2013 Writing Contest: Future World: How Would You Like to Pay For That?

First Place Creative Writing

Locks of Liquidity

Elizabeth Reichart, Hudson High School, Hudson, OH, Teacher, Gabriel Swarts

Scanners at every Starbucks counter
But not for barcodes! Oh no!
Each customer orders their latte
And then bows their head low.
Not to praise that iconic green siren
Not to say a mid-morning prayer,
But so that cashier may scan their skulls
And pay for coffee with their hair.

Come one and all, to pay with follicles!
The dreadlocked, the greased, the lacking.
Simply load money onto your "Headcount"
And your money's not all they're tracking!
Your hair is composed of proteins
That are a result of what you eat.
When producers scan your DNA they find
Consumer Insight that can't be beat.

Shoe leather costs of no concern
During times of high inflation
Cash was done away with because
of its underutilization.
There's no chance of identity theft,
Because only your head of locks holds the key.
But with all money now held in banks
They hold power over the once free.

Opportunity costs are always existent
But fewer now that cash is gone.
If you once held cash, you sacrificed interest
But once hair scanning caught on,
Consumers all acquired interest.
So banks compete to see
Who can offer the highest interest on
Accounts loaded fully virtually?

Despite this, illegal activities
Would be easier to track.
The government approves all scanners
Denying to dealers of crack
Black Markets full of wigs
That will outsmart scanners
Full of "nonexistent" money
Will buy cars, boats, and manors.

But a society without cash
Would give banks so much control!
Without a cap on interest rates
They own us humans whole!
If all currency is intangible,
Then the new bank robbery is a cyber attack!
Every transaction now leaves a trail
There's no way to get privacy back!

A society filled with scanners of hair
May make illegalities decrease,
But let me buy my Starbucks in cash
And drink my latte in peace.