2011-10-20 "Louisiana Makes It Illegal To Use Cash For Secondhand Sales" by Mike Masnick
One of the good features of cash is the fact that it can be used anonymously. It's no surprise that the government hates that, but would you ever expect the government to actually outlaw the use of cash? Down in Louisiana, a recently passed law completely outlaws the use of cash in transactions for secondhand goods [http://www.klfy.com/story/15717759/second-hand-dealer-law]. When I read the story, I thought it was so crazy that it had to be a misunderstanding. I looked up the bill, and the original version of the bill actually does not have this clause [http://www.mygov365.com/legislation/view/id/4db66f7549e51bd334be0300/tab/versions/]. Instead, it requires that anyone selling secondhand goods make a detailed recording of any cash transaction. But somewhere along the way, that bill was amended, and the final version (embedded below) does, in fact, appear to ban cash transactions:
A secondhand dealer shall not enter into any cash transactions in payment for the purchase of junk or used or secondhand property. Payment shall be made in the form of check, electronic transfers, or money order issued to the seller of the junk or used or secondhand property and made payable to the name and address of the seller. All payments made by check, electronic transfers, or money order shall be reported separately in the daily reports required by R.S. 37:1866.
I do wonder if that's even legal. Our cash clearly says that "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private." While businesses may have the right to refuse cash, can a government outlaw the use of cash? That seems pretty extreme.
The state representative behind the bill, Rickey Hardy, seems to think it's no big deal, admitting that this is purely to make life easier for law enforcement in response to criminals who steal stuff and then sell it off: "It's a mechanism to be used so the police department has something to go on and have a lead," explains Hardy.
You can understand why law enforcement wants that, but just because law enforcement wants details of your private transactions, it doesn't mean you should be blocked from using cash. And people wonder why there was so much interest in Bitcoin (even if Bitcoin itself is rather flawed).