Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 20, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

A DAY LATE....Straight from the "Missing the Point" file comes this brilliant plan from the United States Mint:

In an effort to wean Americans off the dollar bill and onto dollar coins, the U.S. Mint announced today plans for a series of metal dollars with images of every U.S. president.

The mint hopes the presidents will succeed where Susan B. Anthony and then Sacagawea failed. Each year starting in 2007, it will release four presidential coins, beginning next year with George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

I can hardly wait for 2012, which will feature the dynamic quartet of Chester Alan Arthur, Grover Cleveland, Benjamin Harrison, and then a reprise of Grover Cleveland. Good times!

Needless to say, this will do nothing to get people to use dollar coins. As with the state quarters, it may encourage people to collect dollar coins, but not to use them. I think I can say with some confidence that the only thing likely to accomplish that is to get rid of the dollar bill once and for all.

Still, there's a bright side: the "Name Everything After Reagan" crowd will finally get their hero on a coin, even if they do have to wait another decade for it to happen. On the downside, Richard Nixon will also get a coin. Hard to believe, isn't it?

UPDATE: Michael O'Hare has much more on this subject.

Kevin Drum 7:48 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (135)

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Comments

After the last six years, I have much warmer fuzzier feelings towards Nixon. Plus conservatives will have to suffer through having Bill Clinton on a coin.

--Rick Taylor

Posted by: Rick Taylor on November 20, 2006 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

If the US government wants to "wean" people off of dollar bills and get them using dollar coins, they don't need to make different dollar coins, they need to:

1) Stop making dollar bills, and
2) Stop making at least one currently-minted coin, either the penny (though reducing the "resolution" of currency that way may face too much resistance) or the dime (the only commonly-used coin that can be eliminated besides the penny without creating a greater than 5:1 ratio between adjacent denominations), so that retail coin drawers have a space to use for dollars.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 20, 2006 at 7:54 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't the point here to get people to collect? I got the impression when I heard this story that collectors taking coins out of circulation = money in the bank for the US. I'm no economist, but that makes a certain amount of sense to me. Even so, it does seem like an odd project (especially the brilliant idea of making the coins the same size as the oh-so-popular Susan B. Anthony and Sacajawea coins).

Posted by: Benson on November 20, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Another looney lib prejudice against trying anything new and inventive. Let's cling to the same old socialist currency that was developed during the Great Depression under Komissar FDR.

The fact is is that this will stir the imagination among the users of American currency. I will incite a resurgence in the demand for money, speed the velocity of money, and delight audiences of all ages.

But it happened on George Bush's watch, so it must be horrible, mustn't it, Kevin, honey? /rolls eyes

Posted by: egbert on November 20, 2006 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin, don't go dissing Grover Cleveland. You would probably not have agreed with him on many of the issues of the day, but he was a man of—by the standards of his day and ours—spotless character in his official conduct (or as one newspaper observed during the 1884 campaign: "We are told that Mr. Blaine has been delinquent in office but blameless in public life, while Mr. Cleveland has been a model of official integrity but culpable in personal relations. We should therefore elect Mr. Cleveland to the public office for which he is so well qualified to fill, and remand Mr. Blaine to the private station which he is admirably fitted to adorn"). A little respect, here!

When Dubya's time comes (the world is full of pretzels), perhaps the paper single will have been abolished, in which case it might be appropriate to introduce a three-dollar bill with his kindly visage thereupon.

Posted by: Rand Careaga on November 20, 2006 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

egbert says: "I will incite a resurgence in the demand for money, speed the velocity of money, and delight audiences of all ages."

How will you do that, egbert? So far as I can see money's in pretty high demand already. For the rest, you've yet to demonstrate here that you can delight anyone.

Posted by: Rand Careaga on November 20, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

I suppose you think we should be using more multicultural icons, like Lani Guinier, Hugo Chaves and Lawanda the welfare queen.

Posted by: egbert on November 20, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

Put Reagan on the Hay-penny!

Posted by: Betty Black on November 20, 2006 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

As with the state quarters, it may encourage people to collect dollar coins, but not to use them.

Are there really people out there who are only collecting state quarters but not using them? I get state quarters every single day, and I check to see if there's new ones, but that doesn't mean I'm hoarding every single state quarter I come across.

The problem is also not just one of dollar bills remaining in circulation, but the absolutely awful distribution of dollar coins. I guess the two do go hand-in-hand, but I don't understand why they don't make an effort to give out dollar coins every chance they get. You only ever see them as change in stamp machines at the post office, and I'm sorry, that's not a really good approach to getting wider use of dollar coins.

Posted by: Ferruge on November 20, 2006 at 8:04 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

I am replying to the thread below a little late. USC doesn't deserve to play in the NC b/c they are not that good. The lost to an unranked team. Florida lost to a top 10 team. You also have a weak schedule. Notre Dame is your TOUGH game? ND is unimpressive also. If two mediocre teams play each other, what does that prove? Michigan does not play anybody and does not deserve to be there either.

Posted by: Live Free or Die on November 20, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

I can't wait for the Reagan Dollar. I'll keep it in my car and hand it out to the homeless upon request. I will offer the Nixon coin freely to every black, latin, jewish, and homosexual person I meet.

Take that suckers.

Posted by: enozinho (wetorture.com) on November 20, 2006 at 8:06 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely - agreed.

But if we stop printing dollar bills and take them out of circulation, doesn't that leave a space for the new coins?

I prefer the Sacajawea dollars myself - thought they were a pretty coin.

Posted by: Wapiti on November 20, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Weird. I just had this conversation with me wife. At any rate, yes, if they want to get of the dollar bill...JUST GET RID OF THE DOLLAR BILL.

Crazy, I know.

Posted by: Trent on November 20, 2006 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Questions: (1) Don't you have to be dead to get your face on a coin? (2) If the answer to (1) is yes, any way that Dubya's coin can be released next year? (3) Would we have to call the Clinton coin a Dollar Bill?

Posted by: JJF on November 20, 2006 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

This whole dollar coin idea is never going anywhere as long as they keep making the damn thing the same size and shape as a quarter. I've lost count of the number of really expensive cups of coffee I've bought after a visit to the post office. They do this to cave to the vending machine industry, who hate dollar bill acceptors but refuse to spend the cash to install bigger coin slots.

Posted by: pjcamp on November 20, 2006 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

JJF: Yes, what I heard on the radio this morning was you have to be dead at least two years.

Posted by: Benson on November 20, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Rick, alas: Clinton doesn't go on a coin. The current president and all living former presidents (eg, Clinton, Bush, Carter, and Ford) are not allowed to play, according to the article Kevin linked to.

Posted by: aphrael on November 20, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

BUT, THEY CAN'T SERIOUSLY BE THINKING ABOUT PUTTING JIMMY CARTER ON A COIN, CAN THEY? AFTER WHAT HE DID?

IT'S AN ABOMINATION.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on November 20, 2006 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

Canada, Australia, the UK, and NZ have all changed coins successfully in the past 10 years. And most of Europe changed their entire currency. The secret: withdraw the old bills/coins when you introduce the new ones. Complicated, I know.

Posted by: Max Power on November 20, 2006 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

pj camp: All the bills are the same size and shape as well.

Could you lend me $1?

Posted by: Max Power on November 20, 2006 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

The Objective Historian:

You know, you should learn: there really is a difference between high dudgeon and all caps.

Posted by: frankly0 on November 20, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

As a coin collector, let me tell you the US Mint is a repository for unimaginative morons. No one gives a shit about dollar coins.

This is simply an excuse to create more crap that certain US coin collectors will snap up like a 12 year old on Pokemon.

There will be twenty limited edition sets each year for these four coins. The Mint will charge upwards of $80 a set and morons on eBay will be paying $400 the year after.

This is how you adjust for losses incurred by the rise in metal prices. A penny ain't a penny anymore (it's roughly 1.4 cents, metal content alone) and there's no simple fix to that. So, to recoup their costs, they pump out a bunch of collector crap. Of course, when the scale of crap is this large you have to say it's for the public good.

Posted by: bubba on November 20, 2006 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

Nixon deserves to be on a paper dollar, not a coin.

Coins are much harder to wipe with.

Or burn.

Posted by: Cap'n Phealy on November 20, 2006 at 8:25 PM | PERMALINK

What is the American problem with getting rid of the dollar bill?They phased out the two-dollar bill and people didn't freak out.

Canada managed to get rid of both its one- and two-dollar bills without any obvious negative consequences. Maybe the secret is to start printing really objectionable things on the paper money. IIRC, the Canadian two dollar note had a whaling scene on the back. I think people were relieved to see it replaced by a nice shiny coin with a friendly polar bear on the back.

Posted by: Lindsay Beyerstein on November 20, 2006 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the old Canadian $2 bill, it was replaced with a kinder gentler robin on the back before the coin was phased in.

Posted by: Lindsay Beyerstein on November 20, 2006 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

As several people above have pointed out, people will not start using dollar coins until forced to, which means that you need to take dollar bills out of circulation. Note that Canada, for example does not have paper money smaller than $5, and neither do countries using the Euro.

Additionally, its high time we got rid of the penny.....even penny candy costs a nickel these days! They did this in Australia a while back and it worked just fine....all cash registers are progammed to round to the nearest nickel.

Posted by: mfw13 on November 20, 2006 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

To be fair to the Mint, this wasn't their idea; it was Mike Castle's. The program was established by a bill passed in '05 (it's PL 109-145 if anyone cares) which sets out almost everything about the program, including the requirement to have every single president, the release schedule, etc.

It's less Mint stupidity than Congressional grandstanding.

Posted by: schwa on November 20, 2006 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

enozinho, brilliant! BRILLIANT!

*claps*

Posted by: PigInZen on November 20, 2006 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

The supposed phasing out of the $2 bill is one of the great urban legends of American numismatics. (Lots of competition for those slots, to be sure.)

The $2 bill remains in circulation and you can get it from most banks.

My personal hypothesis about the persistence of the humble single (and for what it's worth, I like the dollar coins) is that it's related to tipping. Even if you have to weigh them down with a salt-shaker, a couple of dollar bills is easier to drop on the counter at the diner than a couple of coins.

Posted by: schwa on November 20, 2006 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

The United States gold coins that circulated through the 1920's had a very unusual design, that I wish they'd bring back for the dollar coin. Those gold coins had a surface that was "flush" with the edge, and the image was indented, rather than raised.

Almost all coins have a raised rim around the edge, a depressed 'background', and the printing and image raised from that background. The old U.S. gold coins, in contrast, had no rim around the edge, and the 'background' was raised compared to the image.

I'm confident dollar coins could be made with no rim and a depressed image, and still work in coin machines. I think the absence of a rim at the edge would also make it easier to tell them from quarters. They'd even feel different -- you'd notice there was no rim at the edge.

BUT, just to make it super-easy, in addition, I'd suggest the coins be 2-tone. Remember how most of our silver colored coins are actually copper-colored metal underneath? You can see it at the edges. If they made the background of the new dollar coins silver colored but the image was copper colored, or vice-versa, they'd be among the most distinctive, eye-catching coins in the world. They might not be considered pretty, but they'd sure be flashy.

If dollar bills were taken out of circulation, would people start using two-dollar bills?

Posted by: david78209 on November 20, 2006 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't the U.S. penny the least valuable coin still in circulation in the "developed world"? And isn't our dollar bill the least valuable paper currency? Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

Posted by: david78209 on November 20, 2006 at 8:46 PM | PERMALINK

I keep dollar coins in my backpack and use them as a kind of bus/subway token. They're convenient. When I'm taking public transit, I can just put some in my pocket, and I don't have to mess with getting out my wallet when I'm carrying something.

When I visit Canada, I find loonies and toonies very convenient. I'd like to see both used here in the US.


Posted by: Mornington Crescent on November 20, 2006 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

I don't like carrying coins. I prefer paper dollars and would carry paper quarters if they made them. Here in Indonesia the smallest bill is 1000 rupiah and it is worth only a little more than a dime. Great!

Posted by: Captured Shadow on November 20, 2006 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

Compare this strategy, US presidents, with what's on the Europe's money. That sums up the US in a nutshell.

Did anyone, even during the decision making process, think that maybe there are other people in the US worth honoring like, perhaps, the various US Nobel Prize winners?

Posted by: Maynard Handley on November 20, 2006 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, what are they going to name this dollar coin. Canada already has the 'Loonie', apparently named after the current occupant of the White House. NZ calls their dollar coin the 'Kiwi'. My suggestion, call it The POTUS.

Posted by: Mr. Wu on November 20, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

What's on Europe's money? Bridges. And not just any bridges: bridges that don't actually exist. Because the people designing the euro notes were afraid that anything even remotely recognizable would antagonize somebody and derail the whole project.

I'm about as pro-European as they come, but really, there is a limit to "Everything Is Better In Europe!"

Posted by: schwa on November 20, 2006 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe if they helped replace old coin vending machines with newer ones we wouldn't have this problem.

None of the new machines that take dollar bills take dollar coins! Heck, the too-damn-far-from-abuilding parking meters at Stanford only take quarters - for five minute intervals. ugh. If they took dollars, I could at least get enough time to walk to the square and back.

Posted by: Crissa on November 20, 2006 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

What is it with you Americans and your currency designs? You have paper money that's all nearly the same color, coins that don't have numbers on them, you still have pennies... just dumb.

If you want to sensible currency designs, may I not so humbly recommend you try something like Australia's polymer banknotes. All strongly contrasting colors, and all different sizes such that the larger the denomination, the physically larger the note. And, as a bonus, if you leave a plastic banknote in the wash, it's completely unharmed afterwards.

Posted by: Robert Merkel on November 20, 2006 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Price every to the dime! Stop making the penny, nickel and quarter. Make the half dollar the smaller. Replace the paper dollar and $2.00 bill with coins. Oh heck replace the $5.00 bill with a coin also.

OK its a nonstarter.

Posted by: Al'd dad (not that Al) on November 20, 2006 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

"Another looney lib prejudice against trying anything new and inventive."

Yes, egbert, that's why conservatives are known for being so progressive. By "another", I guess you actually meant "the same old". And the "looney" thing must be a crack about the basic unit of Canadian currency, and the fact that the centre-right party here used to balled the Progressive Conservatives.

Oh, right, but you would have to be at least kind of smart to know or mean any of those things, and that's pretty much off the table, now isn't it?

Posted by: Kenji on November 20, 2006 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

Called, not balled. Part of their problem, since they died out.

Posted by: Kenji on November 20, 2006 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

TOH
Words like "ABOMINATION" are reserved in good conservative Christian vocabulary for homosexuals. Are you implying that Jimmy Carter is homosexual? Did he rape you in the shower?

Posted by: buck turgidson on November 20, 2006 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

The much rarer series of $2 coins will feature Presidential paramours: Lucy Mercer, Mrs Calhoun, etc. Unfortunately given that there are rather more mistresses that Presidents (137 known) it will be some time before we get to Maralin Monroe and Monica Lewinsky.

Posted by: Phill on November 20, 2006 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

Phil, you need a spell-checker for names.

On the other hand, how are they going to fit Monica on a coin and still have her features discernable?

Posted by: buck turgidson on November 20, 2006 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

Presumably the idea is to make back from coin collectors some of what they lose by continuing to churn out dollar bills.

Posted by: DaveL on November 20, 2006 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

I lived in Australia for three years and England for one year. Having done so, I have come across three observations:

1. I HATE dollar coins! I HATE them! I HATE them! I HATE them! Dollar coins are horribly inconvenient. They are usually heavy, big, and hard to carry around. Especially since it will be the most used currency. And they usually bulge in one's pocket, giving the impression of a larger derrier! Give me paper dollar bills any day.

2. I do like the polymer banknotes of different sizes and colors. The U.S. has the ugliest currency. Also, different sizes, colors will make it more difficult for counterfeiters. It will also make it more difficult to accidentally give somebody a $5 bill when you wanted to give a $1 bill.

Of course, someone's going to think that printing different colored paper currency is forcing the "homosexual agenda" on to the unsuspecting American public. To use a quote from a Simpsons (the episode when they were in Brazil), "I never realized this, but our currency is so gay!"

3. Anyway, moving on, we should also get rid of the penny. Australia did this, and it seems to work fine there.

Finally, to the above poster. I think the "1 fen" coin in China, is the least valuable coin. It is worth about 1/16 of a penny and it costs more to make it than what it's worth. And yes, I still consider China part of the "civilized world."

Posted by: adlsad on November 20, 2006 at 9:24 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, but when did the first real object become represented on US currency?

When did the first real person become represented on US currency?

Posted by: Crissa on November 20, 2006 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone knows that quatloos are the currency of the future.

Posted by: Just Somebody on November 20, 2006 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know if it is still in circulation, but in Poland in 1998, I got change in groszy, which was a hundredth of a zloty. The exchange rate for a zloty to the dollar is currently 3:1, so a groszy is worth about 1/3 cent.

The coin felt like it was made out of aluminum.

Posted by: aphrael on November 20, 2006 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

Let's just tattoo a dollar sign on the foreheads of all US presidents.

That way our presidents commemorate our money, which is much more apropos than the reverse...

Posted by: olds88 on November 20, 2006 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

I remember when I was a child in Vermont. We'd pass the summer days away down by the old mill, where we'd bury our dollar bills and eat lemon drops.

In time I grew to love those very dollar bills I buried. I wanted more of them. So very much more. I wanted to amass them in large numbers and tuck them away in inconspicuous bank accounts paying unassuming interest.

I loved the dollars. The Virginia Planter on the front. The pyramid with the eye on top. The gaudy, casino looking fonts all over. So pretty. So very very pretty.

I remember at stores the nice people they would pass out the dollar bills. All I had to do was give up those ugly fivers and tens and twenties. Ugly ugly ugly!!!!

Then one day, the Mint. It took my dollars away from me.

The bastards. They took my dollars away from me.

Posted by: JasperBlubber on November 20, 2006 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

pjcamp, US dollar coins and quarters are the same size as Canadian dollar coins and quarters. Are Canadians a lot smarter than Americans, or do they have better eyesight? The Sacagawea dollar is bigger than a quarter, has smooth edges rather than ridges, and is gold colored (which darkens to bronze). What more do you suggest they do? Bring back the giant Eisenhower dollar that no one wanted to lug around? Add flashing red LEDs?

schwa, how are dollar bills easier to drop on the counter than coins? How did people manage to tip 50 or 100 years ago?

In earlier years, change was actually worth something. It still is in other countries. But Americans have gotten used to not being able to buy anything with the coins in their pockets and seem determined to keep it that way.

Posted by: KCinDC on November 20, 2006 at 9:42 PM | PERMALINK

If Nero can have a coin surely Dick can have one.

Posted by: paul on November 20, 2006 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

If Reagan gets coin it would be worth a Dollar.OK Fine.If Clinton gets a Coin will he be on it or Her Highness? Will it be worth more than a Dollar? Will all poor people automatically get a Sack full?Will Clintons coin have two heads on it?Will Bubbahs coin be stamped in English or Espanol? Can it fit in a Condom machine?Will it be accepted in France?

Posted by: Glyn Lockhart on November 20, 2006 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

If Clinton gets a Coin will he be on it or Her Highness? Will it be worth more than a Dollar? Will all poor people automatically get a Sack full?Will Clintons coin have two heads on it?Will Bubbahs coin be stamped in English or Espanol? Can it fit in a Condom machine?Will it be accepted in France?

I quite enjoy watching wingers heads implode, but it's more fun if I can understand what the f*ck they're talking about...

Translation, please?

Posted by: floopmeister on November 20, 2006 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

--->I HATE dollar coins! I HATE them! I HATE them! I HATE them!

Yes! ME TOO!!!

I FUCKING HATE THEM!!!

I FUCKING HATE REPUBLICAN TROLLS AND I FUCKING HATE DOLLAR COINS!!!

I'm not too fond of the cable company, either.

BUT I FUCKING HATE THEM ALL JUST THE SAME!!!

mm242

Posted by: mercury_man_242 on November 20, 2006 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Bring back the Peace Dollar. Same design, same size, no silver. It's a damned fine looking coin.

Posted by: Winda Warren Terra on November 20, 2006 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of counterfeiting, the Aussie ploymer bnotes are one of the hardest to counterfeit, while (apprently) the US notes are among the easiest (just ask the North Koreans).

Polymer notes are also more hygienic and much stronger than paper notes (and no, I don't wash my notes!)

;)

Posted by: floopmeister on November 20, 2006 at 10:07 PM | PERMALINK

'ploymer bnotes'?

Urgh.

Posted by: floopmeister on November 20, 2006 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

I suspect that the Richard M. Nixon coin will lead to a bumper crop of Annie Oakley-style sharpshooters.

Posted by: So-Called "Austin Mayor" on November 20, 2006 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK


cmdicely - said everything that needed to be said.

pjcamp - These are significantly larger than a quarter, won't fit in any vending machine slot, are gold colored, and have writing on the edge. It would take an extremely feeble-minded or sensory impaired person to mistake it for any other U.S. currency.

The Susan Bs were a tragic mistake.

Posted by: winner on November 20, 2006 at 10:34 PM | PERMALINK

They need to make the coin bigger, and look different.

In Europe you find these coins that are a silver color on the inside, and brass band on the outerside. They need to be bigger, thicker and weigh more. That's a big problem for the vending people. But for them there are now easy answers.


Posted by: The wonder moron on November 20, 2006 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately, we won't be able to rid ourselves of the penny until we reform the sales tax laws in every state that has one. How do you pay 6 or 7 cents tax on a $1 purchase without pennies?

Posted by: Devil's Advocate on November 20, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

Devil's Advocate, you do it the same way you pay $2.399 for a gallon of gas now: you round it off at the time of purchase.

Posted by: KCinDC on November 20, 2006 at 10:45 PM | PERMALINK

I need to use my George W. Bush plunger to unclog my Ronald Wilson Reagan toilet after taking a Spiro Agnew-sized dump!!!!

BWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA...

Posted by: Joe Bob Briggs on November 20, 2006 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Nothin' brightens me day like haulin' 50 pounds of gold dabloons down to me local quicky mart!

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Posted by: Bluebeard on November 20, 2006 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

What is the deal with calling Kevin Drum "the bedwetter" ??

I don't get that one.

Posted by: Inch by inch on November 20, 2006 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

How do you pay 6 or 7 cents tax on a $1 purchase without pennies?
Posted by: Devil's Advocate on November 20, 2006 at 10:40 PM | PERMALINK

$1.07 = 4 quarters, and 2 3-cent coins we make to replace the penny.

$1.06 = 3 quarters, 2 dimes, and 4 3-cent coins.

It's like you pansies are mathematical cripples or something.

Come on! That would totally work!

For any amount greater than 4 cents, excluding 7 cents.

Posted by: Impeach.Remove.Convict.Punish.Justice on November 20, 2006 at 11:23 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the Canadian perspective...

I think most people are content with the switch from paper to coins for our $1 and $2 bills (unlike you guys, we actually used our $2 bills a lot). The people who didn't like the transition are the people who had to pay for it - ie. merchants and coin/ops. That being said, our cash drawers should be readily useable by American merchants once you make the switch.

Our $1 coin (the loonie) is gold coloured. Our $2 coin is two coloured, with a silver band around a gold interior. When they first started dishing them out there was an issue with the middle falling out (I've got one like that I use as a keychain).

I grew up in Windsor across from Detroit, and whenever the local media wanted a fun story, they'd go across the border and show Detroit merchants our $1 coin - they'd inevitably think it was one of those gold covered chocolates...

Posted by: 3pointshooter on November 20, 2006 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't the U.S. penny the least valuable coin still in circulation in the "developed world"? And isn't our dollar bill the least valuable paper currency? Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

Yup. Lose the fucking dollar bill. No other developed country has such a low value for paper money. It's dumb. And I'm all with a bimetallic dollar coin.

In Europe or Canada, if you have notes in your wallet, then you have money. In the US, you can have a fat wallet or billfold that adds up to $8 in singles.

And lose the penny in the way that the Dutch lost the one cent before the Euro arrived: round down or up to the nearest 5-cents for cash purchases.

Posted by: ahem on November 20, 2006 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Reagan's visage belongs on nothing, except a roll of toilet paper. What are people's thoughts on that?

Posted by: control13 on November 20, 2006 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

The coin felt like it was made out of aluminum.
Posted by: aphrael on November 20, 2006 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK

It wasn't all that long ago that Aluminum was a more valuable metal than gold.
Aluminum fun-fact: The pyramid-shaped cap on the top of the Washington Monument is made of aluminum.

However, the George W Bush dollar-coin will be made of crude-oil.

Posted by: Impeach.Remove.Convict.Punish.Justice on November 20, 2006 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

Noooo. Coins make my pants pockets baggy. And who needs 'em since they got rid of pay phones.

Posted by: gene on November 20, 2006 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

Back in 2000, when the Sacagawea dollar came out, I visited the mint in Philadelphia where they make the things. At the time, the mint was pushing the coins with ads on TV and and buses. I was intrigued, and hoped they'd catch on. The Phillie mint gift shop was filled with various proof sets and other collectible using the Sacagawea coin. They had signs up everywhere publicizing it. Just out of curiosity, I walked up to the woman working the cash register at the mint gift shop and asked her if I bought something there would I get a Sacagawea dollar in my change? "No." she replied flatly, "We don't carry them." It was then I knew the thing would be a complete failure.

Posted by: Bill Dearing on November 20, 2006 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

Is there an actual reason for replacing the dollar bill with a coin? Because the bill is far more convenient. It folds. It's light. It fits in a wallet. Coins are heavy and they bulge in the pockets and they jingle when you walk. I'd prefer replacing coins with paper bills rather than going the other way. Paper money is simply easier to store and carry.

Posted by: Mike M. on November 20, 2006 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

Cash and coins are for terrorists and illegal aliens.

We need to switch to embedded RFID chips and rare earth element tatoos.

Posted by: Al on November 20, 2006 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

RFID chips and scannable tattoos are for proles and soda cans.

We need to switch back to the old barter system and IOU's. Who needs a rusty old longsword?

Posted by: john smith on November 20, 2006 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:

the last time I worked retail (roughly an hour ago) the drawer had five slots for coins. we use one for paper clips (since half dollars are nowhere to be found either) standard US cash register drawers have five slots. so it works without killing the penny, Dollar, quarter, dime, nickel, penny. Kill the penny, and we can have two dollar coins, perfect solution. I pushed for the store I managed at the time to use Sacas, but our bank wouldn't give them to us in the quantity we needed daily, shame. personally, I've been known to go to the post office and get sacas as change from the machines, just to spend them in other places, I consider it my civic duty to promote them until something better comes along.

Posted by: northzax on November 21, 2006 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

Well, if we're going to reform the currency, we might as well do the whole shebang:

$1,000,000,000 bill, only issued to big foreign holders of US debt (i.e., china),
with Reagan's picture on it

$1,000,000 bill, issued as part of tax cuts to billionares, with Ken Lay's picture on it

$100 with Franklin: retired from circulation. That guy was 'way too smart for the current WH crowd.

$50 bill, with Dick Cheney. Used to pay death benefits to US troops killed in pointless wars

$13 bill, with Newt Gingrich. It used to be $20 before two alimonies were deducted

Not sure how the $10,$5, and $1 should be changed, but I'm sure they'll think of something. Probably involving Foley and Santorum.

And finally, the brand new:

$0 bill, featuring George W Bush. Used to fund government services that actually benefit people.

Posted by: Satan luvvs Repugs on November 21, 2006 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't worry about getting rid of the dollar.

China can do that in an instant.

Posted by: angryspittle on November 21, 2006 at 12:06 AM | PERMALINK

"What's on Europe's money? Bridges. And not just any bridges: bridges that don't actually exist."

Ahh, my fault. I should have clarified I meant Europe's old money.

Posted by: Maynard Handley on November 21, 2006 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

How about we stop trying to figure out a way to get women off of US currency. These are the same guys who think providing contraception to women demeans...women?! It's a stupid pattern of a series of bad policies that will likely result in us having to print up many more dollars quickly.

Posted by: parrot on November 21, 2006 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

Japan has pretty sensible currency. Prices include sales tax, so you don't often end up with paying a sum that requires the 1-yen coin (worth maybe 0.9 cent). The coins are:
1-aluminum
5-brass-colored, hole in middle
10-copper-colored, picture of famous temple
50--silver-colored, hole in middle
100--silver-colored, flowers
500--a bit larger than 100, gold-colored, with cool anti-counterfeiting lines.
1,000 yen note
2,000 yen note (evidently not used much)
5,000 yen note (widely used. Why don't I ever use a $50 in the US?)

The coins even give their value in Arabic numerals. Why can't we have something so straightforward?

Posted by: Dave on November 21, 2006 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

Lowest value notes in various countries and USD equivalents:

Japan: $8.50
Canada: $4.36
UK: $9.47
Eurozone: $6.41
US: $1.00

The 'jangling pockets' argument? Get a better tailor. Low value paper money is what impoverished countries have. So perhaps it'll soon be appropriate. A dollar bill won't get you a Coke these days in some vending machines. I end up sticking singles in my pockets rather than having them clog my wallet.

Posted by: ahem on November 21, 2006 at 1:14 AM | PERMALINK

One of the highlights of my life was getting four Sacagawea dollars in exchange for a dollar bill: I had asked for four quartes.

Posted by: Brian Boru on November 21, 2006 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK

The solution is simple: Get rid of pennies and nickels (both of which cost more to make than they are worth), and people will start using dollars. There's only so much room in my damn pocket.

Posted by: Kimmitt on November 21, 2006 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

Did somebody say coins?

I'd be willing to advise, once that pardon comes through.

Besides, you Democrats owe me for helping you take Ohio.

Posted by: Tom Noe on November 21, 2006 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

The *last* currency change I would support is greater reliance on coins! I recently spent three weeks in the Euro Zone and and found myself cursing their @&%# coins nearly every day.

The aggravation and wasted time of fishing out exact change from a selection of 8 different coins (1, 2, 5, 10, 20 & 50 cents, and 1 & 2 euros) cannot be adequately described. And if you don't have that exact change you *will* walk away with even more coins (and those 1 & 2 euro ones are relatively heavy).

I'm not quite ready to switch to entirely virtual money, but I'd be pretty happy with a system that had only bills, quarters, dimes and pennies...

Posted by: Mark L. on November 21, 2006 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

Rep. Noe thinks the new dollars would make a great retirement investment for Ohio...

Posted by: Mr.Murder on November 21, 2006 at 2:46 AM | PERMALINK

Re. Euro notes: Yup, the banknotes show various bits of architecture (not just bridges, but also windows, portals and an aquaeduct) because they are the same all over. But the coins, which are minted by the individual countries, have lots of different and quite interesting designs (besides national symbols like eagles (Germany), harps (Ireland) and Marianne (France) you get famous buildings, historic persons like Cervantes (Spain), Mozart and Bertha von Suttner (Austria), plants, animals and ancient coins (Greece). Italy even has a couple of works of art - the face of Boticelli's Birth of Venus, Leonardo's Vitruvian Man).
I would say that the problem of mistaking dollar coins for quarters probably to a large extent stem from the fact that some people enjoy living in ignorance of the fact that dollar coins exist. And if there really was such a terrible problem, you could easily overcome this by using a multi-sided shape (like the seven-sided British 50-pence and 20-pence coins), a combination of two metals or a simple hole in the middle.
What is actually much more bothersome is that US banknotes are not of different sizes and colors for different denominations...

Posted by: Menshevik on November 21, 2006 at 3:38 AM | PERMALINK

I recently spent three weeks in the Euro Zone and and found myself cursing their @&%# coins nearly every day.

That's because you've spent your life in a country that regards coins as something to be received, then dumped in a jar, not spent.

Posted by: ahem on November 21, 2006 at 4:20 AM | PERMALINK

The move to coinage will definately force some creativity at the strip clubs.

Posted by: Nads on November 21, 2006 at 4:35 AM | PERMALINK

I have different suggestion. I think we should flip the process and start replacing coins with bills.

"Oh, I want that candy cane!" she exclaimed.
"How much is it?" her father asked?
"75 cents." the man replied.
The man nodded his head, and removed a fifty cent bill and a twenty-five cent bill out of his wallet and handed them to the man.
"Thanks" they said in unison.

Have 1 cent bills, 5 cent bills, 10 cent bills, 25 cent bills, 50 cent bills, 1 dollar bills. Print out a whole bunch of them.

Posted by: Tatarize on November 21, 2006 at 5:54 AM | PERMALINK

Hong Kong had one-cent notes in the 1990s - I've got one. (Worth about 0.14 US cents).

Posted by: ajay on November 21, 2006 at 6:14 AM | PERMALINK

Dave, correct me if I'm wrong, but Japan has a 10,000 note as well (or at least it did last time I visited a few years ago), and it's in general circulation. I remember when I was living there and went to the ATM for the first time. I asked for 30,000 and got 3 crisp bills worth (at the time) $100 each. Kind of freaked me out because I knew how hard it is to spend C-notes in this country on small purchases, but it was no big deal there. I used to enjoy handing over a $100 bill for my weekly fast-food lunch (had to do with getting sufficient fat in my diet) without having the counter person bat an eye.

While we're on the subject, not only are the Japanese coins instantly distinguishable by feel once you learn them, they actually have Arabic numerals on them (in addition to the Kanji numbers)to help out us gaijin until we learn the opes. And Japanese notes are subtly different in size and color that I could look into my wallet from above and tell at a glance about how much money I had without actually having to count the damned things. A Japanese friend of mine visits the States from time to time, and U.S. currency has always driven him nuts because of coins with no numbers and bills all the same size and color (I suppose the new bills will help on this front).

I for one really liked having some relatively large-denomination coins, because it meant I didn't have to fish out my wallet to make small purchases like a newspaper, a pack of cigarettes, etc.

Posted by: Don K on November 21, 2006 at 6:14 AM | PERMALINK

The paper vs. coin debate is finebut Im thrilled: my dreams of Warren G. Harding on currency will finally be fulfilled! I hope they do the right thing and put Teapot Dome on the back.

Posted by: Drasty on November 21, 2006 at 7:23 AM | PERMALINK

Here's an idea - On the reverse of, say, Carter's coin put:

This 'dollar' worth less than 15 in real terms compared to the purchasing power of a 'dollar' when this guy was president.

FDR's coin: 2

Handy little and portable guide to the depreciation of our funny money Banana Republic currency which currently depends upon foreign central bankers (China, Japan, et al) to elevate it above the status of toilet paper.

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content
/06_44/b4007001.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index_businessweek+exclusives

Gluttons at the Gate

Private equity are using slick new tricks to gorge on corporate assets. A story of excess.

>>Banks have lent companies $71 billion since 2003 to pay dividends to private-equity owners, up from $10 billion during the previous six years, according to Standard & Poor's LCD, which, like BusinessWeek, is a unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies (MHP ). Credit ratings are falling fast. And while debt defaults are still ultralow by historical standards--around 1%--they're sure to rise. "If you look at the overall phenomenon, it has to mean an increase in defaults," says Solomon B. Samson, chief rating officer of corporate issuers at S&P. "And now that you have larger companies that are taking these big risks, you'd expect some of them to fall off the cliff." When that happens, employees and debt holders will suffer.

Posted by: CFShep on November 21, 2006 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

CFShep, if BW thinks these are slick new tricks, then they haven't been paying attention for the last 20+ years. This was Milken's contribution to commerce. He got folks to watch the "junk bonds" so they wouldn't watch the cash going out the door the other way.
Corporate finance has little to do with the value of the $. In fact, since this strategy often yields above market returns, it's a sure way to attract foreign capital which helps buoy the value of a $.

What is and will sink the $ is the deficit,both on a unified budget basis as well as the current account deficit.
The foreign central banks are trapped into continuing to buy $s. The minute they stop,they'll have to eat the resultant losses. The US can just print the money to repay them because they hold $ denominated debt. It's not at all analogous to Latin American debt.

Posted by: TJM on November 21, 2006 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

TJM: No, certainly, BW doesn't think this a new trick merely a new tweaking of the old junk bond scams, it's merely that the scale of these things are now so grandiose.

That and the fact that the vultures of 'private equity' now borrow up-front against hallucinated future profits to pay themselves rather than wait an inconvenient year or 2 while the company's assets are stripped and their workforces decimated.


"Bush would dearly love to blame the return of big government on Congress, Democrats, and the terrorists. But a big government that costs more and succeeds less is at the core of Bushism."
- Bruce Reed

Posted by: CFShep on November 21, 2006 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

Wow! Lots of comments.

Coins with non-neglible value are convenient. In Switzerland, there is a 5 CHF coin, worth about $3. That's what we need. And kill the penny! (I am a believer in cardinal utility, and a penny buys costs more than a util to carry, and buys less than a util.)

Posted by: Matt on November 21, 2006 at 8:57 AM | PERMALINK

Think pennys are bad? - You should have seen the days of the "mills" - Disappeared around 1960 - Several states used them - 1/1,000 of a dollar - looked like subway or bus tokens.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on November 21, 2006 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

One problem, at least for men, is no good place to carry coins. I have a great wallet with a zipped coin pouch on the side, but it's wearing out and I have been unable to find another like it.

Posted by: Virginia Dutch on November 21, 2006 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Yes, there is a problem with men and carrying a lot of coins in their pockets. The eternal question of the right side or the left side.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on November 21, 2006 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

One problem, at least for men, is no good place to carry coins. I have a great wallet with a zipped coin pouch on the side, but it's wearing out and I have been unable to find another like it.
Posted by: Virginia Dutch

I wouldn't worry about it too much. Soon enough you'll need a wheelbarrow.

Posted by: CFShep on November 21, 2006 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

The ones they have made in the past don't catch on because they always look and feel way too much like quarters - and vending machines don't take them. Get the vending machines on board, make a dollar that is copper and has Lincoln on it, get rid of the penny and the $1 bill - all at once. We'll deal.

Posted by: Anaxamander on November 21, 2006 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

Always enjoyed the British one pound coin. Thick as hell, wears a hole in your pocket. You can tell when someone drops it, because instead of the nice "ding" from a bouncing normal coin you get a THUD as that sucker smacks a hole in the pavement.

Anyways, I'm all for the dollar coins, and it will save the government some money replacing a bunch of low-value bills. But ya gotta take the bills out of circulation at the same time.

Posted by: ericblair on November 21, 2006 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

That's because you've spent your life in a country that regards coins as something to be received, then dumped in a jar, not spent.

i've always said that people who complain about having change are the same people who never learned to MAKE change. it's the one good thing about being a cashier at a convience store during high school -- i learned to make change and quick.

i think a dollar coin would be a great idea. when i go over the border i don't have any problem using loonies and toonies. seems to me the main obstacle (as others have noted) is getting vending machines, change machines, parking meters and toll booths etc to accept them.

Posted by: e1 on November 21, 2006 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

Elephant in the room time.

Could it be that people don't WANT a dollar coin and prefer light, foldable paper to a solid, rigid coin?

American males carry their money in their pocket or in a wallet. Coins make pockets uncomfortable and obviously don't work with a wallet.

This is clearly a plan to get red-blooded American men to start carrying purses or to hang coin pouches from their belts!

Who the heck wants more change in their pocket?

Makes more sense to make a new 50-cent bill than another dollar coin that clearly very few actually want!

Posted by: PocketFullOCoins on November 21, 2006 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

The should put Bruce Lee on the one dollar coin. I don't see why they don't.

Posted by: Kelly on November 21, 2006 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

This is clearly a plan to get red-blooded American men to start carrying purses or to hang coin pouches from their belts!

It's not a purse. It's a magic bag.

Posted by: Tinky Winky on November 21, 2006 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Gee, I'm way ahead of the curve -- I use dollar coins and $2 bills -- problem is the banks don't always have them!

Another problem: teenagers (who heavily populate the cashier-wait person categories) don't always recognize them -- maybe they think there are looking at quarters and monopoly money.

Posted by: Ray Waldren on November 21, 2006 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

The British 2 pound coins are useful, if a bit massive. Japanese coins are remarkable because they're easily distinguishable, and none is excessively heavy. The only coin that might pile up in the pocket is the 5 yen. You simply don't get enough 1 yen coins for change to represent a problem, thanks to most prices being set in 5 or 10 yen units.

One partial solution to our penny problem would simply be to require merchants to post prices INCLUDING sales tax.

Posted by: Dave on November 21, 2006 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK
them.

Are there really people out there who are only collecting state quarters but not using them?

Kevin was referring to what the new coins encourage, i.e., what changes in behavior they stimulate.

Sure, everyone is using the new quarters, but I doubt anyone is using (rather than collecting) more quarters than they would have with the old design retained because of the new designs, which is what Kevin is referring to.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 21, 2006 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK
But if we stop printing dollar bills and take them out of circulation, doesn't that leave a space for the new coins?

Well, it leaves an extra bill slot in registers, but bill slots aren't particularly convenient for coins (though more than the other way around.)

I prefer the Sacajawea dollars myself - thought they were a pretty coin.

Me too. I only stopped using them when I stopped being able to get them at the bank.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 21, 2006 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK
I have different suggestion. I think we should flip the process and start replacing coins with bills.

Bills wear out faster than coins and cost, IIRC, about the same to produce (cheaper material, but more expensive process). They are, at any rate, considerably more expensive per year of useful life.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 21, 2006 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, Grover Cleveland was a pretty good president. Way, way better than what we've been afflicted with these past 6 years.

You do know that if they keep stringing this out enough Friedmans, Napolean McBatshit will get his coin as well (yippie).

Posted by: Paul in KY on November 21, 2006 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Nobody will use a dollar coin until they stop making them indistinguishable from a quarter. Every time they try they spend years and millions of dollars to come up with yet another that a woman at the checkout can't tell from all the other quarters in her purse without tipping out all the coins, taking them to a window, and sorting them.

Posted by: Jane on November 21, 2006 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

If you want to switch to dollar coins, it is absolutely required that the paper bill be eliminated at the same time. People won't change from the familiar unless forced to do so.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on November 21, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

YOu have a real life case: Italy.
They were used to the smallest paper money: the 1,000 Lire note (about 0.50 Euro)
they had to change to the Euro, with the smallest note being 5 Euros, scrapping the 1.000 and the 5.000 Lire notes.

Some people bitched, enough to let Berlusconi push once (short before the elctions, what a chance) for a 1 Euro note.

But the bitching is fading away, under the level of the summer times foes, and you know what:
Italian still can buy an espresso in the morning.

Posted by: Look at italy on November 21, 2006 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Hey Ferruge, how many bicentenial quarters do you get in change? Where'd they go?

Posted by: Coin Hoarder on November 21, 2006 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Don't knock Chester Arthur. He kept us out of Vietnam!

Posted by: K on November 21, 2006 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

To get rid of the penny, you'll first have to figure out who has the largest investments in the mining and processing of zinc, the primary component in pennies. In politics (and Congress controls whether the penny stays or goes) remember to always "follow the money."

Posted by: Don on November 21, 2006 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

People once thought that slaves didn't deserve dollars, either.

Posted by: Jeffery on November 21, 2006 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

The way to get people to use a coin is to make it easy to use.

Don't make it look like a quarter. The Susan B. Anthony coin is far too easy to mistake for a quarter, same size and a similar picture. Make the coin a different size and a different color AND put images front and back that don't come even close to looking like the images on any existing U.S. coins.

Figure out how to deal with cash registers. Registers have sections in their drawers for the penny, dime, nickle, quarter, and half dollar. Merchants have no place to put the dollar coin, so they don't like them. Require manufacturers to include a separate section beginning at least a year before the first coins are released. If possible develop some VERY INEXPENSIVE way to replace the current drawers with ones that have a section for the newer coins.

Don't worry about the collectors. If it's an authentic U.S. coin, they will want to collect it, regardless of what it looks like.

Posted by: Lew Wolkoff on November 21, 2006 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with Mike M. If you carry your money in your pockets, the coins get very heavy. I often get ones in place of fives or tens for change. Imagine what that would be like in your pocket. And, then I am always in a line waiting to pay for my goods and there is a 95 year old woman with arthritic fingers, paying with change right down to the last penny. She counts each coin out and is there for 15 minutes. Then, you have to wait for her to put her coin purse back in a bigger purse. What a pain in the neck. I sure hope I don't get that hopeless in my old age.

Posted by: Mazurka on November 21, 2006 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

The eternal question of the right side or the left side.
Posted by: thethirdPaul on November 21, 2006 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Simple - opposite pocket of my RAZR. Those things scratch easily.

Posted by: Impeach.Remove.Convict.Punish.Justice on November 21, 2006 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

One last snark for this very dead thread:

The George W Bush dollar will have Ahmed Chalabi's picture on it.

Posted by: Impeach.Remove.Convict.Punish.Justice on November 21, 2006 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Don,

Do you have any figures on how much zinc is used in the coining of pennies?

Posted by: Yancey Ward on November 21, 2006 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Forget the dead presidents on the money. This nation was founded on the Bible, so let's put Jesus on the money.

You'll go to hell if you don't agree. Besides, it will help clear up that whole "rend unto Caesar" deal as well.

Posted by: Max Power on November 21, 2006 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

If you carry your money in your pockets, the coins get very heavy. I often get ones in place of fives or tens for change. Imagine what that would be like in your pocket.

But it really doesn't work out like that in practice. If you're using coins for transactions, you don't accumulate them. Americans are understandably used to treating coins as 'what goes in the parking meter and/or the vending machine' because the highest value coin in circulation is the quarter.

As Don K notes, once Americans have coins that they can spend, they'll spend them. I once did a rough survey of my friends in various non-US countries and the coins in their pockets added up to something around the value of the lowest value note.

Posted by: ahem on November 22, 2006 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

"Boo hoo, I don't want dollar coins, they're soooo heavy in my wittle pocket! I like paper, it's so nice and light."

Holy fucking shit, American men are a bunch of mealy-mouthed pussies. What's the matter, you want a pony too?

Posted by: on November 22, 2006 at 3:34 AM | PERMALINK

Keep the dollar bill. Coins have ruined the pockets of every purse I ever owned.

Posted by: dsfs on November 22, 2006 at 10:18 PM | PERMALINK

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