We’re in the sixth year of our collective trek through the Valley of the Shadow of Debt, also known as the Great Recession plus the Jobless Recovery plus the Continuing Downturn.  IMHO, the long climb back has been made longer because so many dollars are sitting by the sideline and out of the game. Billions (with a B) are being warehoused by corporate players (you know who you are). That may be the key to our dilemma. Here’s another…

Al Pacino’s great character Frank Serpico famously said, “Love me, love my garden.” The “garden” of many working folks is the cumulative value of their labor. When they favor a merchant or service provider with their business, it’s up to that vendor to honor the customer in all stages of transaction. We all benefit when dollars circulate. As money flows through the economy, it increases in value. But some businesses impede this circulation/acceleration of wealth.

Real-life example: I frequently do business in a shopping center whose patrons are largely working-class families of many origins including a high percentage of immigrants. An insurance agency in that center boasts a sign in its front window: “No Cash.” No doubt this is a response to a less than wonderful experience at some time, but still. Some of their customers will probably just disappear. Others will get money orders—giving value and continued relevance to Western Union. Either way, that insurance agent is sending out a powerful and negative message.

In contrast to the above, PayPal is extending its service to brick-and-mortar merchants. That’s powerful and positive. There’s even a movement to develop a currency for astronauts, built on the correct assumption that where there is the exchange of goods or services, there is a need for money. Lason in space ? “To the Moon, Alice !” (For context: google “Ralph Kramden”).

BTW, Lason accepts cash. We love your garden.