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Saturday, August 3. 2013
And it appears he's got his thumb on the pulse of the nation:
If this all sounds vaguely familiar, this the third time in recent years that some Congresscritter has gotten this particular hair up his ass. It'll hopefully end in the same resounding defeat the first two measures did. As far as I know, they actually did start printing the first time, but the
Below is my original article during the first go-'round.
I might also note that I solved the problem.
The Valued Maggie's Readership™ would expect no less.
Because of the media, we tend to focus on Congress as the people spending all of our hard-earned tax doubloons, and we tend to forget that there are scads of government agencies out there wasting money by the crateful.
Literally, in this case.
This is the new U.S. dollar coin:
If you would be so kind, our government would like you to use these new dollar coins instead of dollar bills.
Yes, you read that right.
And would you like to know just why you're going to do this?
To save the planet.
To continue sinking into the deep abyss of eternal madness, please...
Coins last longer than bills, y'see. Less re-minting means less energy expended and a longer, happier life for our planet as a result.
Gosh, any fool could have figured that out. If you didn't, then you're not just any fool!
Here's the article, and we quickly note there are just a few eensy little problems with this otherwise brilliant plan:
— There isn't a vending machine or arcade game or slot machine or toll booth or coin changer or coin counter in the galaxy that can handle them. And this isn't just a matter of tinkering with the machine to accommodate some slight variation. Since we're actually adding a coin, the entire guts would have to be replaced, and in the case of coin counters and the like, that's the whole damn machine.
— Although it seems like a small thing, when it comes to actually getting them into circulation and getting people to use them, the lack of a place for them in the cash register drawer is a huge obstacle. You certainly aren't going to mix them in with the other coins or you won't be able to just grab the customer's change by feel. They'll end up in the little 'extra' slot along with the checks, which means they won't be handed back out as change to the customers and it's bye-bye 'into circulation.'
— By measurement, they're approximately 1/16" larger than a quarter, or almost the same size. People who actually have to deal with lots of coins in a fast-paced environment are just gonna love these things. Look for industry suicide rates to rise sharply.
— Then there's the sheer inanity of keeping 20's, 10's and 5's in your wallet or billfold but somehow 1's are supposed to be treated differently? At the risk of the obvious pun, people just won't buy it. It cuts across the grain of common sense. You're trying to convince people that '1' is a fraction; that it belongs with those other 'less than one' items, i.e., coins. Psychologically; culturally; pragmatically; it just ain't gonna wash.
— And, just curious, but does the U.S. government actually think people like heavy, bulky coins clanking around in pockets and weighing down purses? It just seems kind of odd, like they never even considered whether people like coins in the first place. Note to U.S. government: many of us HATE the pesky things!
When I'm president, I'm going to eliminate all coins and issue 50-cent bills, just because "getting change" is an expected part of our cultural heritage.
"So, did you have to spend the whole wad?"
"No, no, I got change."
And the mega-money they're going to spend on an ad campaign to
Times a mil per.
And don't forget the presidents who served two terms and having to customize each coin to squeeze those two long dates into that tiny little space.
Times a mil per.
And don't forget...
Times a mil per.
(repeat cycle as necessary)
Unless, of course, you'd rather smelt the metal for your new presidential coins over at Ma Gaia's Molten Works:
And don't give that pollution any thought. The company's well-stocked with carbon offset credits so the EPA's given it their highest rating.
If the fateful words "Susan B. Anthony" popped into your head at some point, yeah, it's another one of those. For you young'uns, the gub'mint tried this goofy idea in the late 70's with a dollar coin commemorating some dame nobody had ever heard of with spectacularly miserable results and for all the reasons listed above. Another one of President Carter's inspiring legacies.
Of course, at some point the question drifts along, "Okay, big mouth, if you were running the show and the directive was to get the
Piece o' cake:
1. First, eliminate all unions. That immediately cuts the price of everything in the known universe by half, including raw materials for the exciting new 'full-size' dollar coins.
2. Make the coins a little bigger than 50-cent pieces. (Another aside to the young'uns — yes, this country actually has a coin worth 50 cents. Check your local numismatic shop for details.) The biggest reason the Susan B flopped was simply because it looked like a quarter, so they ended up being pesky more than anything else and we couldn't wait to get rid of them. That's a mistake these coins won't make.
3. Have you seen all those cool metallic colors of blank keys at the hardware store, like in the pic? That's the company I'll hire to make the coins. The keys are obviously tough, yet the aluminum alloy is much lighter than regular metals. As an additional bonus, they'll actually sound like metal when dropped, as referred to the plastic-y sound current American currency makes.
And there ya go:
A large coin that actually looks like what a dollar coin should look like and rings like real money when dropped; it's a strikingly beautiful color, and they're so light you can barely feel them in your pocket or purse.
And, projecting, note how different meanings become associated with the various colors. You have a bad waitress at the diner so you 'deliver a message' by leaving her a yellow coin for the tip. She glares angrily at the back of your head as you leave the restaurant. The next day it's a different waitress who does a superb job so you leave a green coin in the coffee cup saucer. She beams with pride when she sees it. The next day it's a really hot waitress so you leave her a red coin and a purple coin — and we all know what that means.
Anyways, that's what I'd do. It just needs to be made fun and interesting. Remember 'pogs'? Pogs for adults.
And here's the next question:
Okay, so they stop printing dollar bills and eventually you're forced to deal with the dollar coins, like it or not.
When do they stop printing the other bills?
Remember, the planet's life is at stake here.
This is no time to get sentimental.
Hi, kids, and welcome to Doc's Financial Tips!
"HI, UNCA DOC!"
Today's financial tip is, "How to make a bzillion dollars!"
You know those little girly pouches that snow skiers and gays wear around their waists?
Well, come the day the government takes the next step and stops printing 5's, 10's and 20's, three hundred and fifty million Americans (minus the skiers and gays) will immediately need one of those things to lug all their coins around in. Want to make a ton of money? Be the first one on your block to sell waist packs specifically designed with coin slots for the new coin-only age of the future!
"THANKS, UNCA DOC!"
Update: As it turns out, a couple of Congresscritters complained so the next batch is going to have it on the front side. Yes, Virginia, it's like a Christmas miracle. The tired and weary engravers searched and searched through the long dark snowy night and finally found an empty manger to put the phrase in.
At the redesign cost of another mil, of course.
Times all those presidents.
And don't forget having to redesign the edge!
Thoughts On A Sunday
During the summer traffic around here tends to be heavy and a little bit crazy on weekends. It's even heavier and crazier on those weekends when there's some kind of event going on in the area. This weekend it's...
Weblog: Weekend Pundit
Tracked: Aug 04, 19:57
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The coins aren't accepted because they feel exactly like a quarter in your pocket. Yes, I know the edges aren't milled, but that's not enough difference to tell by feel.
If they're not willing to change back to the size of the Eisenhower dollar coin, then do something new: make it square, or punch a hole in it like they used to do in China.
Does the name 'John McCain' mean anything to you guys? It rings a bell but I just can't place it.
we should never forget heroes like John McCain
or his distinguished son of the same name
The Ike coin is a REAL coin. You need a coin to flip, that's the ONE.
Since at the rate the government is destroying the economy, dollars will soon only be worth a penny anyway, it probably makes sense.
I am waiting to see the $10 trillion Obama note myself. That's what you're going to be using to buy a Big Mac on the black market (since consuming meat and starches will be banned by Obamacare for "health," "energy conserving" and "green" reasons).
And the Susan B. Anthony dollars were usually referred to here as "Scuzzies." They never caught on: (1) there was no place to put them in the cash register; (2) they were almost identical in size and weight to a quarter (the government had promised to make them 11-sided so they could be easily distinguished, but that was a lie, instead they simply put a multi-sided design inside the rim, but the rim remained the same as the quarter). I also liked the term "Carter Quarter" however.
Unfortunately, although we got rid of Carter in four years, it looks like we are stuck with president and a bunch of boobs in Congress that are much worse. And it doesn't look like they are ever going to go away. At least, until the country collapses.
That's been one of the more ironic notes over the past five years. Someone's actually making Carter look good.
Not 'good' so much as 'not as bad as we thought at the time'.
Bet it burns Benghazi Barry's butt to make a white man look good.
In all honesty, if reading old comments on backwater blog sites at 7:42 pm on a Saturday night is your idea of a good time, you might give your life some reevaluation.
Just a thought.
I've got some suzie-Bs (I like the term scuzzie!) and some Sacajaweas cluttering up a corner of some drawer here. I hated the stupid look of cashiers when I'd hand them one of those coins.
Here in Canada, the $1 bill was replaced with a coin in 1988? and the $2bill about 10 years later. The reason given was the annual savings of $70million. Coins are cheaper to produce and much more durable than paper money. Paper money has to be withdrawn from circulation when the bills become torn or illegible. Compare the date of the paper money in your wallet (the Treasurer will give you a clue as to what administration) to the dates stamped on the coins in your pocket.
The thing with coins is that they have to distinguishable from one another by touch so blind people can know what they have in their hands. Different sizes and edge treatments (milled, smooth, multi-sided, etc) are used for this reason.
I suggest both. Devaluation and changing to coins.
1) Devalue all paper money by a factor of 100.
Thus a paper $100 bill would become $1.00 and a single paper $ would become 1 cent.
All deposits in banks or specified in contracts would be regarded as paper and be devalued at the same rate. So all would be relative.
This would just be playing with words. But if all must use the same words - as they must regarding money - it can be done.
2) But what about the coins? Simple. Their value would not be changed. So four quarters would still be worth $1 in paper money just as it is today. (Remember the $1 in paper money would have "100" printed on it. But so what, we would call it one dollar.)
This should please the poor. The poorest person is as about likely as Donald Trump to have a quarter at any moment. And those with no money at all would still have no money and be no worse off.
Who would win big? Debtors with a lot of coins. Not many of those. More about vending machines below.
3) Obviously, after the devaluation, people would prefer handling one dime rather than a paper $10 or, even worse, the horror of using ten of the old paper $1 bills.
So the low denominations of paper money now in circulation would be retired. The long lasting coins would continue in use, just as the Treasury would prefer.
4) Like other devaluations the announcement would be made without warning. I suggest at half-time during the Super Bowl.
5) There would be a wave of vending machine robberies as people realized they could pay off substantial debts with coins. Pundits would blame Climate Change or Fracking for the lawlessness.
Betcha they will not be incontrovertible between presidents.
I can hear it now...
"I'll trade you 4 Jimmy Carters for 1 Ronald Reagan!"
Or 8 Buchanans for 1 Lincoln....
And, who would want Barack Obama in their front pocket?
That's a fun point.
"What? You're only offering me 10 Wilsons and 5 Tylers for this mint condition first-print JFK?"
"How 'bout if I throw in 5 Monroes?"
"How 'bout it you offer to take 10 of these Carters off me?"
"Okay, 10 Wilsons, 5 Tylers, and I'll saddle myself with the 10 Carters. Maybe I can dump them at the flea market this weekend."
Sounds like it's gonna be a ball!
I'll bet some people would be willing to counterfeit Jefferson Davis coins at loss.
IF the gov't wants me to accept coinage over paper money, they only need to do one thing.
Start stamping them out of real silver and gold again.
There has to be some advantage to overcome the PITA of the extra bulk and weight, and retrofit of all coin-accepting machinery. Make them out of something with intrinsic value that is beyond the ability of the Fed to manipulate.
Canada did this the simple way - they just stopped minting the $1 bill. They have a $1 coin (the "Loonie", there's a loon on the back) and a $2 coin (the "Toonie" ...). Yes, we do have a $2 bill, they are being currently printed, I always ask for them when I go to the bank and spread them around. Canada has nothing less than a $5 bill and if you don't like it too bad. Of course, they also have a Queen - a hereditary one, not all the self-appointed ones we have in the U.S. I guess they're used to doing what they're told.