Fletcher in the News

13 Reasons Why Cash Is Terrible: Dean Chakravorti Weighs In

Bhaskar Chakravorti is a Senior Associate Dean at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University.

Apparently the latest fad is to do all your spending in cash.

One of our contributors recently chronicled how debt-riddled 20- and 30-somethings turned around their lives by moving to a cash-only existence.

Plus, as The New York Times' Hilary Stout reports, many are also now contemplating switching to an all-cash diet after high-profile cyber thefts at major retailers like Target.

But there lots of reasons why cash is bad, and we should be eager for everyone to stop using it.

Here they are:

#1 Cash is expensive

Cash costs the economy $200 billion, according to Tufts professors Bhaskar Chakravorti and Benjamin Mazzotta. The study did not compare the relative costs of cash v. plastic (or other alternatives), but that is a fairly staggering number. For an individual, the losses mostly come in the form of fees and opportunity costs. For businesses it mostly comes in the form of theft. And for government this mostly comes in the form of lost tax revenue.

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