— Cognitive Neuroscience



I think a good rule of thumb is to assume that if someone is proposing some sort of financial transaction and they spell cash with a dollar sign replacing the ‘s’ then something fishy is definitely going on.

I came across this sign advertising CA$H 4 DIABETIC STRIPS while in Toronto, and it seemed a bit odd. Without knowing anything about it my strong intuition was that it must be illegal. Turns out I was wrong. After a bit of googling I came across a NYT article from January 2019 that did a good job of describing the phenomenon, which is happening both in Canada and the US.

I don’t know whether the situation is best characterized as perverse incentives or moral hazard. Perhaps a bit of both. It just seems like such an obvious and easy thing to disallow.

How is this not an invitation for people with subsidized health care of some form to try and get extra strips and then sell them – or in the worst case scenario not use them??

I feel like the kicker, in terms of underlining how obvious it is to the general public that this should be illegal, is the fact that a website for buying/selling diabetic strips (one of the first search results) has this post linked to on its front page (see image below).

On a related note, many of the signs used by buyers advertising their business are illegal, as detailed in this article. It really seems like the lowest hanging fruit in terms of visual pollution in a city – the contact info is right there.