Worst Case Scenario

Eileen Sabrina Herman, Editor-in-Chief

CaseCash, debit, and credit cards are probably the only kind of monetary exchange that Case Western Reserve University students engage in these days. Cash is, I’ve noticed, slowly becoming a foreign concept in locations both on and off campus.

Going to the bookstore to get some candy, or perhaps even a book? CaseCash. Going to the Jolly Scholar for some noms? Credit cards or meal swipes. Qdoba? CaseCash. It’s as if the national currency is slowly going extinct.

Let me give you a non-CWRU example of this phenomenon. I was at Legacy Village last weekend, at the Apple store. When it came time for me to surrender my money, the kind hipster working there said to me, “Now let me show you how to check yourself out with this App store App for Apple.” To which I responded, “No thanks, I have cash.”

I’m pretty sure it broke her mind. They had to find me a cash register to accept my money, all the while asking if I was sure I didn’t want to use my phone to pay for my purchase. It’s a national phenomenon that is slowly creeping up on people. “Credit or debit” is what I get asked today, instead of “cash or credit.”

Is money having a midlife crisis? CWRU prides itself on being hip to the latest innovations, but think back to the last time you used cold, hard cash to pay for anything on this campus. For some of you, you may not even know. With an ATM at every corner I’m surprised we don’t have more cash floating around, but I can tell you this: I have never found money lying around on this campus. Change, torn dollar bills, and the stuff that used to fall out of pockets pretty easily…none of these pleasant surprises are to be found at CWRU. Maybe that’s why we don’t have as many hobos wandering around trying to panhandle: they know it’s just not worth it.

CaseCash is a wonderful way to have money to spend in a limited area and feel like it isn’t real money at all. I’m not quite sure where CaseCash falls, but it’s a little bit better than Monopoly money if you don’t live on the CWRU campus.

Without cash it’s hard to see the consequences of spending. Credit cards make it easy to believe that you didn’t spent any money at the mall, and debit cards require you to balance your checkbook only occasionally. With cash, when you’re out, you’re out, and that’s all there is to it. But on the other hand, if you get robbed and have cash…you’re going to lose it. Oh, pros and cons, why do you exist?