In July 2020, a message supposedly written by radio host and financial advisor Dave Ramsey about the dangers of a cashless society went viral on social media. This piece of text typically started with the title “Here’s What No Cash Actually Means” and a line attributing the message to Ramsey:
A common tactic of purveyors of misinformation is to attach a well-known or well-liked person to an opinion piece in an attempt to give those opinions credence. In this case, Ramsey was attached to this warning about a cashless society in order to lend some authority to this diatribe.
Ramsey, however, did not write the above-displayed text. On July 10, 2020, Ramsey took to Twitter to clarify that he had nothing to do with this message. Ramsey exclaimed “NOT me” before adding a common and obviously fictitious quote from late U.S. President Abraham Lincoln about believing everything you read on the internet:
It should also be noted that many of the activities mentioned in this post wouldn’t actually be precluded in a cashless society. One could still, for instance, do odd jobs, send money for birthdays, or sell used items for extra money. The nature of these transactions might change (one would have to find a digital solution, such as a pre-paid debit cards or a mobile payment service), but it wouldn’t cause these acts to disappear entirely.
Although Ramsey did not write this warning, the financial guru has opined on the idea of a cashless society. When asked about his thoughts on businesses doing away with cash transactions, Ramsey said that it wasn’t a topic that caused him much worry:
I really don’t spend a lot of time thinking or worrying about the situation. When it comes right down to it, most businesses are doing that for one or two reasons. Some of them just think cash is old school, and they want to give the impression they’re cutting edge and into technology. Others do it, depending upon the space they’re in, because their sales using plastic are higher than with cash.
Honestly, I think the whole scenario is kind of silly. Businesses that are suddenly into the “no cash” thing lose out on a lot of transactions. There are still many people out there who only make purchases with cash. So, from a business owner’s perspective this philosophy can cut into your market share.
I’m a cash guy. There are some situations where I might walk away if someone wouldn’t accept cash. But in most cases I don’t think anything about it. I’ll just use my debit card, and buy what I need.
It’s still unclear who authored this post about a cashless society, but it was not Ramsey.