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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

New Dollar Coin

It seems those wild and crazy guys at the U.S. Mint are at it again! They have plans for a new $1 coin.

Stealing their own idea from the 50 state quarter program, the new $1 coins will feature all the US Presidents. Even the ones nobody remembers - like James Garfield, Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, and even Zachary Taylor. Then there are the presidents we would rather forget, like Nixon and Mr. "Aids is gay cancer" himself - the hero of the neo-conservative movement - the one and only Ronald Wilson Reagan. Every year there will be 4 president coins released. The coins will be released in order of who was in office, starting with George Washington. The exception will be when we get to presidents still alive when their number comes up so to speak. There is a law that says no living president can be on a coin, so at some point the coins will stop. The mint has no plans to skip the living presidents to issue coins for dead presidents that held office after them.

Of course, there have been attempts at the $1 coin before. There is the Susan B. Anthony coin from the 70s. But the SBA coin flopped, unless you ride mass transit a lot. The SBA coin is almost exclusively used as a subway token. But why was this? Well the people at the mint forgot to make the SBA coin NOT look like a quarter. It is almost the same size as a quarter. It is the same color as a quarter. People got them mixed up with quarters as a result. Except for the blind. Blind people almost never get the SBA coin confused for a quarter because they learn to identify coins by feel - not sight. The SBA coin has a hexagonal border on it - the quarter does not.

OH YEA! I forgot to insert the famous Eisenhower "silver dollar". Well that does not count. Why? Because I say so. I do not think that coin was ever intended for mass circulation.

So then there was the famous "golden dollar". It was way larger than a quarter, and a totally different color. But not enough of them were made. Clinton had a hand in this. I have my theories as to why, and they revolve around titty bars. Say you like to frequent such places. You know you have to tip the girls. So you have your stack of $1 bills. If a coin replaces the bill - what do you use as a tip? A coin? Where are you going to put that? Not the "coin slot" I hope. So you would have to use $2 bills or even $5 bills. That would get expensive 2 - 5 times faster.

So the mint did not make enough of the coins. Collectors snatched them up by the roll, and prevented them from making circulation. And then there were the people that would flat out refuse to accept them as change. They would get all hostile and think you were trying to rip them off somehow. So between the titty bar problem, the collectors, and the hostility of the public - the coin never took off.

But the mint hopes to correct all these problems, except for the booby bar issue - which I seem to be the only one who dares to acknowledge - with this new $1 coin. First off, a whole lot will be produced. This means that at least as many $1 bills will be collected by the FED and destroyed. So with fewer bills people will have to use the new coins. Also, the golden color scheme will remain - so there will be no confusing them with quarters. The mint is banking that the "limited edition" scam will cause people to want to collect the coins, driving up demand. And once you collect a few Millard Fillmores, you will start to spend the rest you get. This will place them in circulation, and the more in circulation the faster the public will accept them.

Now there are great reasons to dump the bill. First off, there is that creepy Masonic pyramid eyeball thing on the back. And there is the phrase "New World Order" or "A new order of the ages" written in Latin around the creepy pyramid thing (novus ordo seclorum). Creepy stuff man! What "new order" is that talking about? Maybe that 80s synth-pop band? Probably not.

Then there is the problem that dollar bills wear out fast. Check your wallet for singles. Chances are, they are all series 2002 or higher. Paper money wears out fast. The average life span for a dollar bill is about 18 months. Tens hold up for about the same amount of time. Five dollar bills hold up for about 15 months, twenties for about 2 years, and fifties and hundreds even longer.

Coins last at least 25 years. Or longer. Check your quarters on the nightstand. You will find coins much older than your paper money.

The mint prints tens of millions of notes per day. A good many of these are singles. The vast majority of this printing is done to replace worn out notes. So by replacing the most common note that has a short average life with a long life coin, we will save a lot of trees. Well not really. US Currency is printed on what is more like linen than paper. So we will save a lot of cotton. Or whatever. You get the idea.

With less paper needed daily by the mint, they will also need less ink. So the government will actually save a large amount of money - which can then be squandered somewhere else. I vote that it should go to me so I can promote the new coins!

I do not think the public will accept the new coins. People like that paper money. Also most other nations have done away with single unit paper currency. Is there a 1 euro bill? Hell no, its a coin. How about the UK pound note? Nope! Coin as well. So because Europe is doing it, automatically many Americans will be against it.

But really - it is time to dump the bills. So if you work for the mint and you are reading this, here is my tip to you.

Give a rap star some 24 inch rims made from the new golden dollar coins. It will INSTANTLY ramp up demand for the coins so high that there will be a metal shortage.


Blogger Ed Abbey said...

Here's my complaint about the $1 coin. I can use a $1 bill in any coin changer can can even use the $5, $10, & $20 in some coin changers but there isn't a vending machine around here that will take a $1 coin. Second, even the businesses around frown when you give them a $1 coin because they have no slot in the till to put it.

On the bright side, with vending machine prices increasing and assuming vending venders quickly replace their changers, having $1 coins means I don't have to walk around with a pocket full of quarters.

Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

Gag. On the Presidents.

I'm okay with a dollar coin, but not with using the presidents on it. Most people like the new quarters. They should have used that idea for the dollars.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Ed - it is all about demand. The intention is to replace the paper bill with a coin. The vending industry would save money by dumping the bill scanners and going with slightly modifies clin slot units.

TLP - I already have state quarters. What I really want now is a President Taft coin!

Blogger Fuzz said...

I like to use the little gold colored dollars at the renaissance faire. I carry them in a little bag. Unfortunately they still won't buy much.

Blogger O Ceallaigh said...

Those places like the UK, Australia, New Zealand, even Canada, that replaced bills with coins did it by ukase.

In English, that means the Gummint said: "We're making coins, not bills, from today. Complaint department's on the third floor. Please use the lift. What? This is a one-storey building? Oh. Too bad. Deal with it."

The prime mover here isn't the shape of the coins. Or the size. Or the pictures.

It's habit.

"Took me a damned long time to learn what a dollar looks like. You ain't changin' it, buddy. I ain't goin' through that again."

Same reason why we still use pounds and inches while the entire rest of the world uses kilogrammes and centimetres. Countries that changed over didn't give their citizens a choice then either.

And you know the worst of it? When the first national paper money was printed (the "greenbacks" of the Confederate Revolutionary War - yes, dammit, that's the "Civil War"), the enabling bill was fought viciously.


Because opponents said that, when the Constitution authorized the Federal Government to "coin money", the founding fathers meant coin.

Yep. Once, people resisted the dollar bill the same way they now resist the dollar coin.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Well I think the dollar coin is a good idea. Its time has come. The mint should have started to collect dollar bills and replace them with coins years ago. There is no reason why any singles should have been printed after 2000. It will save money. And trees. And ink. And so on.

And we should have switched to the metric system a hundred years ago! Come on people. 1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds! 500 mL is close enough to a pint for beer drinking purposes! 1 kilometer is about .62 miles. (C x 1.8) + 32 = F. 25 degrees C is about 77 degrees F.

And here is the coolest part! a cube 1 centimeter on each side holds 1 milliliter of water - and has a mass of exactly 1 gram! Weight in metric is actually the Newton, as weight is a function of mass and the acceleration due to gravity.

What is so hard about all of that?

Blogger Fuzz said...

"A pint 's a pound the world around." We don't need that Commie-rat stuff around here.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Commie stuff? Well here you go then!

How many square feet in an acre? what is 4 3/8 inches plus 7 11/16 inches, minus 2 1/4 inches? How many yards in a mile?

The metric system is very easy to use.


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