A city man, who printed counterfeit money, was not the brightest fella and accidentally inked a large stack of twenty-one dollar bills. Realizing he could not pass such bills with city dwellers, the counterfeiter came up with the idea of taking the money to the hills, where he’d pawn it off on backwoods folk who wouldn’t know any better. So he drove as deep into hillbilly country as he could, coming upon an old one-pump gas station with a bare-foot teen, the attendant. He asked, “Can you change a twenty-one dollar bill?” and the hickster replied, “Sure, are two sixes and a nine okay?”Question? What is the one thing that passes between more people more often than any other item? Answer. It is paper money. So what’s wrong with that? Simply this. There are far more germs on a dollar bill than there are on your toilet seat. As a matter of fact, according to the Centre For Disease Control, there are on average ten microbes per square centimetre, everything from e-coli to fecal matter. And whereas bacteria and viruses live on most surfaces for two days, embedded on money they survive for up to two weeks. The primary reason for this extended duration is they thrive on the heat provided by finger tips and a warm body temperature wallet (or purse) is like a petri dish.
The bottom line? Unless you have “cold cash” or are going to “launder money”, you may want to pay with a debit card, because having a stack of bills in your wallet or purse just makes you “filthy” rich.
There is a growing movement world-wide to totally eliminate cash from all business transactions. And no country is moving faster towards this goal than that of Sweden. (Which is ironic, because it was in 1661 that Sweden became the first country to issue banknotes, on thick watermarked paper bearing eight signatures.) Swedish buses have not taken cash for years, it is impossible to buy a ticket on the Stockholm metro with cash, retailers are legally entitled to refuse coins and bills, and street vendors – and even churches – increasingly prefer card or phone payments. All over the country you see signs from service stations to sidewalk cafes, “We do not accept cash.” According to Sweden’s central bank, cash transactions made up barely 2% of the value of all payments made in Sweden last year – a figure seen dropping to 0.5% by 2020. In shops, cash is now used for barely 20% of transactions, half the number five years ago, and way below the global average of 75%. And astonishingly, about 900 of Sweden’s 1,600 bank branches no longer keep cash on hand, take cash deposits, or have automatic teller machines. And the advantages are many. For the government, no cash means tax revenue is up as underground economies disappear. For the police, no cash means bank robberies and street muggings are down as there is no money to steal. And for businesses, no cash means the bottom line increases as security costs diminish. On the other hand, there is loss of fiscal privacy for the citizen as just about all of a person’s financial transactions are now recorded.
However, all this is not news to the Christian, as the Bible prophesied it long ago in Revelation 13:16-17.