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Opinion: Financial Literacy Critical as World Goes Cashless

November 7, 2018 Crime, Featured, Politics/Policy, Retail Comments Off on Opinion: Financial Literacy Critical as World Goes Cashless
Shake Shack is one of the places mentioned as going/being cashless. Since we use plastic I have no clue if they accept cash or not.

The recent non-scientific Sunday Poll was about cashless businesses — establishments where you need plastic (debit/credit) to purchase goods/services. I current live essentially a cashless life — save for one $2 PowerBall ticket per month. After having paid off mountains of credit card debt the 2nd time I vowed to never have credit cards again. Then, in 2012, I sold my car. For a few years prior I didn’t use bills & coins, just my debit card. Once I sold my car I knew I needed a dreaded credit card again to be able to rent a card at times.

My parents, both now deceased, were raised in Oklahoma during the Great Depression/Dust Bowl. They tried very hard to instill good money management habits in me. I listed…then did all the wrong things over and over. I was never a fan of cash, though I still remember going with my dad as a kid when he bought a used van from an individual. They haggled on the price and when they agreed on a number my dad pulls out his wallet from the bib in his work overalls. He then proceeded to count out the $5,o00-$6,000 amount in $100 bills. Today people would think they were counterfeit, but it was like 1981 and people were more trusting. The seller had a shocked look on his face because my dad never looked like he had much to his name — but he usually had a few thousand in cash on him. I rarely have more than $5 on me.

Since my stroke and father’s passing in 2008, and selling my car & meeting my husband in 2012, I’ve applied all the financial advice my parents gave me. I do things differently than they did, however. We pay for everything we can on credit cards. This allows me to do a monthly cash flow spreadsheet for the next month. I know when each payment is due and when we each get paid. By paying off all cards on the due date we don’t pay any interest. In fact, we basically borrow a couple of thousand dollars each month interest free.

I know a person who received a small amount from social security every month. The government stopped mailing checks long ago, and she can’t manage a checking account with or without a debit card. She got her benefits through a checking cashing place that charged high fees to receive her money electronically and convert it into cash for her. For those like her  they can receive benefits on a government debit card — no checking account required.  Still, it’s hard for people who’re used to carrying cash to adjust to non-cash on a debit-only or checking account. I’ve been trying to educate my brother-in-law for a few years now.

Which brings me to cashless businesses. I got on this topic because of the homeless asking me for change. I barely have a $5, and certainly don’t have any coins. I recognize it’s unlikely they realize the world is going cashless. Think of all the things that require plastic: renting scooters/bikes, parking apps, transit fare machines?, Redbox/Netflix.  There are non-attended gas stations, like the one at Broadway & Chouteau, that only accepts credit cards.

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I worked retail for about 6 years when I was in high school & college, thankfully never encountered a robbery. For a few years I was one of the people that went to the registers at Toys “R” Us to remove excess cash during the holidays.

Last week one local retail clerk wasn’t so lucky.

An armed robber opened fire inside a Dollar General store in St. Louis Thursday afternoon, hitting and killing a store clerk, police said. (Post-Dispatch)

Going cashless can reduce crime.

In Sweden, which is leading the race toward a cashless society, negative attitudes toward the decline in cash usage has increased as the country progresses toward a cashless society. Although cash is still used extensively in several countries, such as Austria and Germany, the use of physical cash is diminishing across the board.

Even the U.S., where cash accounts for one-third of all purchases, the use of cash is declining. But at the same time, the amount of cash being issued is growing. Forty years ago there was approximately $80 billion of cash in circulation. Today, this number has increased nearly 20 times, to roughly $1.5 trillion in circulation. In the same period, the amount of $100 bills has increased from 25 percent in the mid-1970s to around 80 percent today.

The obvious explanation is inflation. However, the increase has exceeded inflation — with a good margin. According to economist and author Kenneth Rogoff, the world is drowning in cash, and it is making us poorer and less safe. He argues in his book The Curse of Cash that this phenomenon is not an American phenomenon, but also the case for every other widely used currency — and the primary explanation is that cash is the preferred means of value exchange in the black-market economy. His solution? Phase out the larger bills. (Techcrunch)

Of course cash is also the currency for legal medical & recreational marijuana — because retailers can’t get back accounts because of outdated federal drug laws.

I don’t want cash-only people to be excluded from society, but increasingly being cash-only means they’re not part of the mainstream. I want to help find ways to ease them into new habits. So do the credit card companies. They make their money from fees charged on every transaction. Those of us with excellent credit scores can get rewards cards to offset fees but most don’t qualify for these cards.

This is a long way of saying I have no clue about banning cashless businesses. Would have zero impact on my life either way, but would keep many from being excluded. In the non-scientific poll most didn’t think we should ban cashless businesses:

Q: Agree or disagree: St. Louis should ban cashless businesses & discounts for paying with cash

  • Strongly agree: 2 [8%]
  • Agree: 2 [8%]
  • Somewhat agree: 3 [12%]
  • Neither agree or disagree: 1 [4%]
  • Somewhat disagree: 3 [12%]
  • Disagree: 6 [24%]
  • Strongly disagree: 7 [28%]
  • Unsure/No Answer: 1 [4%]

As more commerce moves online/apps the number of legal cash transactions will decline. As cash transactions decline and store robberies increase, we’ll see more businesses make the decision to go cashless.  Now is the time to increase financial literacy to help others adjust.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 22 of 2018-2019 Session

November 2, 2018 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 22 of 2018-2019 Session
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 22nd meeting of the 2018-2019 session.

Today’s agenda includes four(4) new bills:

  • B.B.#153 – Pres. Reed – An ordinance outlining the priorities of funding for any potential revenue derived from a possible lease of St. Louis Lambert International Airport as may be permitted by theFAA’s Airport Privatization Pilot Program (49 U.S.C. §47134;Section 149), or any successor program thereof, and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#154 – Kennedy – An ordinance establishing the North Central Special Business District pursuant to Sections 71.790 through 71.808 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, setting its boundaries, tax rate, initial rate of levy subject to the approval of the qualified voters, bonding authority, and uses to which tax revenue may be put; creating a board of commissioners; and containing severability, effectiveness, and emergency clauses.
  • B.B.#155 – Kennedy – An ordinance repealing Section One of Ordinance 63915, and in lieu thereof enacting a new Section One authorizing and directing the Director of Streets to permanently close, barricade, or otherwise impede the flow of traffic on Enright by blocking said flow seventy (70) feet east of the curb line of Newstead; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#156 – Kennedy – An ordinance authorizing and directing the Director of Streets to permanently close, barricade, or otherwise impede the flow of traffic on Washington by blocking said flow at the west curb line of Newstead; and containing an emergency clause.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2017-2018 session — the new bills listed above may not be online right away.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 21 of 2018-2019 Session

October 26, 2018 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 21 of 2018-2019 Session
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 21st meeting of the 2018-2019 session.

Today’s agenda includes four(4) new bills:

  • B.B.#149 – Bosley – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service to amend and make technical corrections to Ordinance 70524, which vacated above-surface, surface and sub-surface rights for vehicle, equestrian and pedestrian travel in several streets and alleys bounded by St. Louis Ave. on the north, 22nd on the east, Cass on the south and Jefferson/Parnell on the west in the City, and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#150 – Ingrassia – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service to conditionally vacate above surface, surface and sub-surface rights for travel in the 10 foot wide north/south alley, the remaining portion of the 20 foot wide east/west alley and the 25 foot wide north/south alley in City Block 2273 as bounded by Union Pacific Railroad, 21st, Gratiot and 22nd, and a portion of Gratiot beginning 134.01 feet east of 22nd and extending 73.5 feet eastwardly to a portion of Gratiot previously vacated by Ordinance 65340 in the City.
  • B.B.#151 – Bosley – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service to conditionally vacate above surface, surface and sub-surface rights for vehicle, equestrian and pedestrian travel in the 15 foot wide east-west alley beginning at Salisbury St. and extending southeastwardly 125.5 feet to the 20 foot wide north-south alley in City Block 1174 as bounded by 19th St., Mallinckrodt, 20th St. and Salisbury in the City, Missouri, as hereinafter described, in accordance with Charter authority, and in conformity with Section l4 of Article XXI of the Charter and imposing certain conditions on such vacation
  • B.B.#152 – Davis – Pursuant to Ordinance 68937, an ordinance authorizing the honorary street name Rev. Dr. W.H. Goatley Jr., which shall begin at the intersection of North Leffingwell and Franklin and run west on Franklin to the intersection of T.E. Huntley and Franklin.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2017-2018 session — the new bills listed above may not be online right away.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 20 of 2018-2019 Session

October 19, 2018 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 20 of 2018-2019 Session
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 20th meeting of the 2018-2019 session.

Today’s agenda includes ten (10) new bills, including a few on candidates & elections:

  • B.B.#138 – Roddy – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 4328 Swan
  • B.B.#139 – Arnowitz – An ordinance relating to the employees of theOffice of the Recorder of Deeds’ salaries in cases of voluntaryDemotion or position reallocation, repealing Section 6(b)(2) And Section 6(c)(1) of Ordinance 70336, effective August 14, 2016, pertaining to the same and enacting in lieu thereof new Sections 6(b)(2) and 6(c)(2) pertaining to the same; and containing a severability clause.
  • B.B.#140 – Spencer – An ordinance amending Section 1 of Ordinance 62571, pertaining to exemptions from the graduated Business license tax, codified as Section 8.07.020 of the Revised Code of the City of St Louis, by adding a new Subsection 5, to Section 1 of Ordinance No. 62571, creating An exemption from the graduated business license for the Local farmers selling their agricultural products and products Produced therefrom directly to consumers solely at farmers’ Markets; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#141 – Green – An ordinance pertaining to commercial semi-trailer Trucks, also known as a semis, or tractor-trailers; prohibiting Such traffic along Utah Street from the west boundary of Grand To the east boundary of Morgan Ford Road, exempting from Said prohibition emergency vehicles, including privately owned tow trucks when providing emergency service to non- commercial vehicles, vehicles making deliveries to nearby Addresses, and vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight of less than 26,000 pounds; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#142 – Vaccaro – An ordinance amending Section 4, of Ordinance 49623 approved November 9th, 1959, codified as Section 4.18.050 of the City Code of Ordinances, pertaining to theFiremen’s Retirement System to allow the retirement system,with the approval of the board of trustees, to enter into cooperative agreements to transfer creditable service between the retirement system and any other retirement plan established by the state of Missouri or any political subdivision or instrumentality of the state when a member who has been employed in a position covered by one plan is employed in a position covered by another, in accordance with section 105.691 Revised Statues of the state of Missouri and the policies and procedures established by the board of trustees.
    B.B.#143 – Navarro – An ordinance repealing paragraph (C) of Section Two of Ordinance 63777, approved on June 4, 1996, as amended by Ordinance 64546, approved on December 18, 1998, and by Ordinance 68200, approved on June 4, 2008 and in lieu thereof a new paragraph is enacted extending the period of time during which the Cathedral Square Special Business District shall be permitted to collect the tax within the boundaries of the district therein established; and containing effectiveness and emergency clauses.
  • B.B.#144 – Coatar – An ordinance amending Section 2, of Ordinance No. 58267, approved March 19, 1981 and codified as Section 2.08.060 of the Revised Code of Ordinances of the City, pertaining to candidate payments to the political party upon whose ticket he or she proposes to run as a candidate and seeks nomination, one percent of the annual salary of the office for which he or she is a candidate, to permit a candidate to submit said payments to the Board of Election Commissioners at the time the candidate files his or her declaration of candidacy; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#145 – Coatar – An ordinance revising Section 2.08.120, of the City Revised Code of Ordinances, pertaining to the Board of Election Commissioners preparing sample official ballots, so as to provide for the placement of candidates on said ballots in the order in which they are to appear on the official ballot rather than alphabetically as is currently provided; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#146 – Coatar – An ordinance repealing the first paragraph of Section 2, of Ordinance No. 66193, approved March 10, 2004, codified as Section 2.08.330 of the City Revised Code of Ordinances, pertaining to the nominating process for a nonpartisan candidate, and in lieu thereof inserting a new first paragraph in Section 2, changing said process so that nonpartisan candidates may be nominated by a petition signed by registered voters, rather than a certificate signed by registered electors; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#147 – Coatar – An ordinance revising Section 1, (B)(1), of Ordinance
    No. 59982, approved July 31st, 1986, codified as Section 2.08.400(B)(1), of the City Revised Code of Ordinances, pertaining to the last date on which a candidate may withdraw from a primary election from forty (40) days prior to the date of the primary election to fifty (50) days prior to the date of the primary election; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#148 – Navarro – An ordinance repealing paragraph (f) of Section Two of Ordinance 62622, approved on May 29, 1992, as amended
    by Ordinance 63840, approved on July 19, 1996, as amended by
    Ordinance 64935, approved on May 17, 2000, as amended by Ordinance 68202, approved December 8, 2008 and in lieu thereof a new paragraph is enacted extending the period of time during which the Central West End North Special Business District shall be permitted to collect the tax within the boundaries of the district therein established; and containing effectiveness and emergency clauses.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2017-2018 session — the new bills listed above may not be online right away.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 19 of 2018-2019 Session

October 12, 2018 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 19 of 2018-2019 Session
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 19th meeting of the 2018-2019 session.

Today’s agenda includes nine (9) new bills:

  • B.B.#129 – Williamson – An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission, to change the zoning of property as indicated onthe District Map, from “D” Multiple-Family Dwelling District and“H” Area Commercial District to the “H” Area CommercialDistrict for the portion of the parcel known as Lot A on theattached Exhibit A and to the “D” Multiple-Family Dwelling District for the portion of the parcel known as Lot B, in City Block 5520 (401-33 Debaliviere); and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#130 – Vollmer – An ordinance approving the petition to establish the La Collina Community Improvement District, establishing the La Collina Community Improvement District.
  • B.B.#131 – Spencer – An ordinance approving a Redevelopment Plan for 3107 Meramec.
  • B.B.#132 – Arnowitz – An ordinance authorizing and directing the Director of the Department of Health, Mayor of the City, and their authorized grantee official, to enter into and execute a Cooperative Agreement Award with the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, to fund the St. Louis Opioid and Homicide Prevention Command Center, upon approval of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, and to expend funds by entering into contracts or otherwise for the Cooperative Agreement Award purposes and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#133 – Coatar – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment and the Board of Public Service authorizing the St. Louis Municipal Finance Corporation, in its discretion, to issue and sell its new bonds supported by payments by the City and with limitations on the amounts due as City payments with respect thereto, in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $105,000,000, and, alternatively or in addition, authorizing the Board of Estimate and Apportionment to approve and the City to execute one or more Financing Agreements with one or more governmental entities providing for payments by the City, with limitations on the amounts due as City payments with respect thereto; and containing an emergency clause and a severability clause.
  • B.B.#134 – Williamson/Moore – Pursuant to Ordinance 68937, an ordinance authorizing the honorary street name Frank Williamson Sr. Way, which shall begin at the intersection of Enright and Union and run east on Enright to Arlington.
  • B.B.#135 – Williamson – Pursuant to Ordinance 68937, an ordinance authorizing the honorary street name Thelma N. Williamson Way, which shall begin at the intersection of Arlington and Clemens and run north on Arlington to the intersection of Arlington and Windemere.
  • B.B.#136 – Vaccaro – An ordinance defining “recreational fire” as an outdoor fire, burning fuel other than rubbish, leaves, grass, paper, building materials except for untreated dimensional lumber, or logs larger than four (4) inches diameter, where the fuel is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, portable outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit, has a total fuel area no more than thirty (30) inches in diameter and eighteen (18) inches in height, used for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes; and providing for the regulation of recreational fires; and containing an emergency clause. [See barbecue vs barbeque at Grammerist]B.B.#137 – Williamson/Green – An ordinance revising and amending Ordinance No. 62885, which imposes a one-half of one-percent sales tax, known as the Capital Improvements Sales Tax, on all retail sales made in the City which are subject to taxation under the provisions of Sections 144.010 to 144.525 R.S.Mo., and providing for the allocation of such funds for the purpose of funding capital improvements, including allocations for ward capital improvements, so that allocations for ward capital improvements for each ward shall be made based upon eachward’s “need”, such need to be determined pursuant to anannual analyses conducted by the St. Louis Development Corporation of the following six data points for each ward: Median Household Income, Poverty Rate, Educational Attainment (percentage of college graduates), Unemployment Rate, Crime Rate (crimes against persons; murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault), and Vacant Parcels per ward; and containing a severability clause.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2017-2018 session — the new bills listed above may not be online right away.

— Steve Patterson

 

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