Why we don’t accept cash at ABBA the Museum
There was a time when bills and coins served their purpose. They replaced cumbersome barter and made trade between people and nations possible. But do they still serve this purpose? Do we really need cash? Or is it a fixed idea like with Scrooge McDuck? Have we lost the ability to see that coins and bills are mere symbols and that those symbols easily could be exchanged for others? Cards and smartphones today and who knows what in the future.
My son’s apartment was burgled a while ago. He happened to put his key in the door while the intruders were busy doing their job and, rudely interrupted, they fled over the balcony the same way they had entered. The only thing they got away with was my son’s sense of having had his privacy violated. A couple of days later it happened again. Most likely the same guys, who understandably wanted to finish what they had started. This time they were left in peace and work done they brought with them TV, computer, designer clothes and other stuff that easily could be converted to cash.
We can be reasonably sure that the thieves went straight to their local peddler. We can be absolutely sure that the ensuing exchange of goods never would have taken place in a cashless society. In the long run it would be extremely impractical for the peddler to trade stolen goods for milk and bread for his children. The drug pusher would be equally uninterested in TV sets and computers. In a cashless society he wouldn’t be in his business at all. His business wouldn’t exist, full stop.
All activity in the black economy requires cash. Peddlers and pushers can’t make a living out of barter. It is highly improbable that a coca farmer has use for my son’s jeans. He wants cash. Imagine if there wasn’t any. From farmer to addict a drug changes hands many times and every time cash is a must. Imagine if there wasn’t any.
My home is Stockholm, Sweden and for the past year I’ve lived my life here totally without cash. Empirically I wanted to find out what possible inconveniences there could be in a country where the tiniest of payments can be handled by credit card. In fact it takes longer now to wait for change than to push in your code, wait for OK and remove your card. The only inconvenience I found was that you need a coin to borrow a trolley at the supermarket.
I challenge anyone to come up with reasons to keep cash that outweigh the enormous benefits of getting rid of it. Imagine the worldwide suffering because of crime, from murder to bicycle theft.
The Swedish Krona is a small currency used only in Sweden. This is the ideal place to start the biggest crime preventing scheme ever. We could and should be the first cashless society in the world.
We at Swedish Music Hall of Fame and ABBA the Museum want to be in the vanguard of this revolution and if this means a small inconvenience for you, please bear with us.