Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee

4.29.2005

The House passed a bill Tuesday for the US Mint to start producing new $1 coins featuring America's presidents.

While this certainly isn't a pressing issue, I feel compelled to say that I believe we're long overdue to move from a paper dollar to a dollar coin. Consider this recent research:

Because coins are more durable than bills, the government could save as much as $500 million a year on printing costs if the public embraced the dollar coin, according to a 2002 report by the Government Accountability Office. The government minted just 6.7 million Sacagawea dollars last year, most of them destined for private coin collections.

Besides the savings in tax dollars, wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to deal with the annoyance of having that paper dollar rejected at the vending machine or on the bus?

3 Comments:

At 4/29/2005 09:43:00 AM, Anonymous Ben said...

Scott, I've said it before and I'll say it again, what a dumb idea.

You just don't understand how many people rely on singles. An average cash register could have 100 or 200 singles inside. A bartender can recieve another 100 or 200 over the bar as tips in one night.

Just think of the difference in gas you would burn in transporting $100,000 in paper singles and $100,000 in coin dollars. I don't care how light you make them, they're still ging to be infinitely heavier than a paper dollar.

That extra $500M is paid to have a funtioning economy.

 
At 4/29/2005 10:58:00 AM, Blogger Scott said...

Ben, don't worry. The strip clubs will have a solution for you. :)

Look, the dollar has depreciated in value significantly since it was first put into circulation. At this point, it makes more sense to have a $2 bill than a $1 bill, not that I'm advocating that.

I'm not saying more research shouldn't be done on the idea. However, I think many of the arguments against it are overly alarmist since people are so used to having the paper dollar.

All I wanted was a Pepsi, and the machine wouldn't give it to me.

 
At 4/29/2005 01:51:00 PM, Anonymous Ben said...

I could see minting more coins and encouraging their use. But too many paper dollars change hands. People who don't work in the service industries or retail just don't get this.

I think if you wanted to save money on minting and do something good for the environment, getting rid of the penny makes much more sense. Copper mining is nasty.

I think it's more likely that electronic transferring will get more simple. I'm sure people witl wave their cell phone over a flashing red light and be able to buy anything, plug a parking meter, even pay each other, before long. It's like why invent the next big analogue recording technology when everything has clearly been going digital for years?

It would be kind of funny to see a stripper with a coin changer on her garter belt. "Can you break a Sacajawea?"

 

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