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Legal Tender? Maybe Not, Says Louisiana Law 655

Posted by timothy
from the this-is-pretty-nuts dept.
First time accepted submitter fyngyrz writes "Lousiana has passed a law that says people may no longer use cash for second hand transactions. The idea is to make all transactions traceable, thus foiling copper theft, etc. This move has profound implications that range from constitutional rights to Bitcoin, Craigslist and so forth; I wonder if there are any Slashdotters at all that support such a move." On the list of exceptions: people who deal in used goods or "junk" less frequently than once per month, and (drumroll, please) pawn shops. That means a pretty big chunk of the population who post in online classified ads in Louisiana are probably already in violation.
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Legal Tender? Maybe Not, Says Louisiana Law

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  • by Kenja (541830) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:29PM (#37782416)
    Sorry Louisiana, you dont get to decide what federal currency can be used for.
  • The South... (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:29PM (#37782420)
    ...Leading the charge for stupidity.
  • by hedwards (940851) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:31PM (#37782452)

    Precisely what law? You're only required to take cash when servicing debt, not at the time of the transaction.

  • by bl968 (190792) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:32PM (#37782466) Journal

    It would seem that this would be federal issue, not a state one since this can affect interstate commerce. Basically it's unconstitutional.

  • Tin foil hat (Score:4, Insightful)

    by markdavis (642305) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:45PM (#37782788)

    I love how people over the years say I need to wear a til foil hat every time I mention that it is just a matter of time before the governments move to try to limit, stop, or remove the idea of "cash". Obviously there are Constitutional issues around this, but that never seems to stop the governments. And when it gets too annoying, they can just change the Constitution.

    It is not difficult to imagine a world where anything that gives you freedom from being monitored, traced, taxed, restricted, recorded, etc, is eliminated. I keep hoping it will at least wait until I am very old. Younger people don't seem to care about privacy or freedom anyway- they only want safety and convenience, so let THEM deal with it!

  • by PCM2 (4486) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @04:53PM (#37782976) Homepage

    Apple did a similar thing a while back when they refused to sell iPhones for cash.

    There's a big difference between Apple refusing to sell iPhones for cash and the government telling Apple it may not sell iPhones for cash.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 20, 2011 @05:17PM (#37783422)

    It may be legal for an individual or a business to refuse cash, but I doubt it is legal for a State to forbid the use of cash.

  • by Ironchew (1069966) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @05:22PM (#37783490)

    Touché. As others have pointed out, a sufficiently advanced troll is indistinguishable from a Libertarian in most Slashdot discussions, so I may have been listening to the trolls a little too much.

    The federal government is such a popular bogeyman that lots of people paint it with a broad brush, troll or otherwise. It is interesting to see a clear example of a federal mandate that the public almost universally agrees with.

  • by vux984 (928602) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @05:29PM (#37783610)

    Actually in most cases the buyer takes possession of the item first.

    You haven't taken any sort of legal possession of the stuff in your shopping cart.

    Even if it were the other way around there would be a debt, the store would owe me a debt in exchange for my cash.

    Which they could satisfy by returning your cash.
    Or they can hand over the goods you are trying to buy instead.

    In any case, there really is no debt. The transaction is settled without the creation of debt. The goods are presumed to have changed ownership at the time of the transaction. There is no silly 11 seconds of debt where you've paid them and they're waiting for your receipt to print and haven't pushed your bag over the counter to you yet.

    The intention is and always was that cash could be used for transactions.

    Actually no. The intention really was just with respect to actual debts, that you could always satisfy a bill collector with legal tender... he couldn't say no to federal currency and walk off with a few of your goats against your will.

    It gaurantees that federally issued currency would be acceptable for debts.

    It doesn't gaurantee that it would be acceptable for transactions. Its always been the case that if someone didn't want to use currency, that they could simply refuse to transact with you.

  • by nullchar (446050) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @05:39PM (#37783772)

    Great point, sexconker:

    If you can't produce an IOU, or any similar document listing what was sold and for how much and what the terms of payment were, then you'll be hit with this law.

    Privacy keeps eroding towards no anonymity. This law does appear to restrict (and ultimately reduce) anonymous transactions.

    What economic motive would provide an incentive to trace all second-hand transactions?
        Tax motive: ideally taxes were paid on the first sale; are they required on all subsequent sales?
        Raw consumption motive: discourages purchasing of "junk" to encourage more retail consumption?
        Corporate motive: someone has to keep track of this data, a government contract winner would be excited for the data mining potential.
        Other motive?

  • by sexconker (1179573) on Thursday October 20, 2011 @05:55PM (#37784032)

    Other motive?

    Law enforcement: when someone steals your stereo and sells it to the second hand shop, they'll have a record of who did it, and when someone buys it from that shop before you find out and can recover it, you can find it and get it back.

    As if the cops give a shit about your stolen property.
    Thanks for the LOL dude, Thursday was pretty boring up until this post.

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