Why people might believe cash was outlawed

050415blog no law against cash
Credit: Wikimedia

The always-entertaining Snopes.com weekly newsletter tells us – particularly those who live in Louisiana – not to fret about reports that the use of cash money has been banned in that state for any transaction involving second-hand goods of any kind.

Snopes reports:

On 3 April 2015 the website govtslaves.info published an article titled "Louisiana Makes It Illegal to Use Cash to Buy Used Goods," appended with a "Breaking News" tag. The content of the page was largely excerpted from an article previously published by Acadiana television station KLFY, but an included link to that original content was no longer valid.

The govtslaves.info article reported that cash-centric businesses in the state of the Louisiana had "suddenly [discovered] a new law that flew under the radar during the last legislative session" that banned the use of cash in transactions involving the sale and purchase of second-hand items.

It’s not true, of course, though the origins of the tale that has been knocking around for five years can be traced to a real law that was a narrowly focused attempt to combat the rampant thievery of scrap metals.

So why would anyone believe such a whopper? (I mean besides general mistrust toward the government.)

Maybe it’s because we can’t go a day without someone in the tech press predicting that electronic payment systems on our smartphones are going to be the death of leather wallets, first, followed by the demise of paper money itself.

That’s no more likely in the foreseeable future than the government outlawing cash, but all kinds of smart people seem to believe it.

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