Truman pointed out the disadvantages of the job including low pay and asked her if she could afford to take the job. She replied, "Can I afford not to?"
October 12, 2011 12:19 PM   Subscribe

On the front of every United States Federal Reserve Note, there appear two signatures: that of the Secretary of the Treasury, and of the Treasurer of the United States. Take a look at any note printed since 1949 and you might notice a pattern: since that Treasurer, a Kansan named Georgia Neese Clark, that office has been exclusively held by women.
posted by ocherdraco (27 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Conversely, why has the President always been a man?
posted by imperium at 12:25 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


According to Wikipedia, the other job - Secretary of the Treasury - has been held exclusively by men since 1789.
posted by vidur at 12:25 PM on October 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wonder which job is more important?
posted by Cranberry at 12:26 PM on October 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


See also: List of female United States Cabinet Secretaries
posted by vidur at 12:27 PM on October 12, 2011


<groucho>I'm a secretary treasurer</groucho>
posted by zippy at 12:27 PM on October 12, 2011 [10 favorites]


Huh... I have to admit my ignorance here and say that I didn't even realize there was a separate Treasurer of the United States job. I sorta assumed that was rolled into the Treasury Department as a whole or part of what the Treasury Secretary did.

(Man, Treasury as a word starts sounding really weird when used in quick succession.)
posted by kmz at 12:28 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


She may well be a woman, but my first thought was definitely: cyborg.
posted by heyho at 12:29 PM on October 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


One of those women was once my boss. It is always weird to see her signature on money. I'm sure it's even weirder for her.
posted by The World Famous at 12:47 PM on October 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


She may well be a woman, but my first thought was definitely: cyborg.
How else could she sign so many bills?
posted by BurntHombre at 12:48 PM on October 12, 2011 [9 favorites]


We're through the looking glass here, people.
posted by mikelieman at 1:02 PM on October 12, 2011


Holy crap, heyho, I really hope that's some crude photoshopping.
posted by adamrice at 1:04 PM on October 12, 2011


Or some litigation-worthy surgery/botoxin'.
posted by heyho at 1:14 PM on October 12, 2011


Oh, I missed your "I really hope" part... I sincerely hope it's 'shopped and not a bad slice, stretch, & sew.
posted by heyho at 1:17 PM on October 12, 2011


See, I told you this financial mess was women's fault!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:20 PM on October 12, 2011


Wonder which job is more important?

The Secretary of the Treasury has authority over the Treasurer.

The Treasurer oversees the mint and the printing presses. She's in charge the machinery that prints bills and mints coins in the quantities ordered by the Secretary of the Treasury. The Treasurer is also responsible for making sure the money looks pretty.

The Secretary of the Treasury "is responsible for formulating and recommending domestic and international financial, economic, and tax policy, participating in the formulation of broad fiscal policies that have general significance for the economy, and managing the public debt...The Chief Financial Officer of the government."

In short, the Treasurer is a minor official who's very visible but has basically no real power. For a President like Reagan who had a 90% white male cabinet, it was a perfect position for a token minority hire.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:30 PM on October 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


As West Wing put it back in "20 Hours in America":
They go out and walk in the HALLWAYS.

MARGARET
3:00, wheels down.

LEO
What's his first?

MAGARET
Treasurer of the United States, not to be confused with Treasury Secretary.

LEO
The Treasurer of the United States deals with the color of money. What's the meeting about?

MARGARET
Color currency.

LEO
Push it...
posted by zachlipton at 1:41 PM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


My wife handles the money in my house, too.
posted by crunchland at 1:45 PM on October 12, 2011


Not only have all since 1949 been women, but 5 of the last 6 have been Latina women.

I'm not sure what I'm trying to say with this fact, except to note that it stands out in an institution (the US Gov't, that is) dominated by white men.
posted by Betelgeuse at 2:30 PM on October 12, 2011


The confusion about these job titles reminds me of Dwight Schrute, Assistant to the Regional Manager.
posted by vidur at 3:15 PM on October 12, 2011


The more I read about Truman, the more I admire him, even with the decision to bomb Japan. He and Eisenhower are America's last truly great progressive Presidents.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:28 PM on October 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I really hope that's some crude photoshopping.

If it's an actual human, why am I reminded of the uncanny valley?
posted by dhartung at 6:08 PM on October 12, 2011


D'oh. I was about to talk about the uncanny valley.

I once got the classic feeling of uncanny valley revulsion when I saw a pic of Hugo Chávez [a photo of his meeting with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to be exact]. Also a milder feeling of revulsion and WTF? when I saw recent pics of Muammar Gaddafi.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:22 PM on October 12, 2011


True fact: Ivy Baker Priest, who served as Treasurer of the United States under Eisenhower, was also the mother of Pat Priest, the actress who played Marilyn Munster on the Munsters.
posted by jonp72 at 8:35 PM on October 12, 2011


He and Eisenhower are America's last truly great progressive Presidents.

Um. OK, no. I know it's hard to like Johnson because he was a southern sum'bitch, but here's a short list of the things he's responsible for:
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1959, 1964, and 1968
  • The Voting Rights Act of 1965
  • The Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965
  • Medicaid and Medicare
  • Job Corps
  • Upward Bound
  • Head Start
  • PBS (as in, Public Broadcasting)
Plus just a whole shitload of other fantastic stuff.

Lyndon Johnson was the last great progressive president. There's really no argument here. The problem with Johnson is Vietnam Vietnam Vietnam and some place in Southeast Asia and oh by the way, Vietnam.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:29 AM on October 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


It may not be bad Photoshopping.

More to the point, though, it's an interesting piece of trivia that the position has been held by women for so long.
posted by DWRoelands at 6:37 AM on October 13, 2011


some place in Southeast Asia

Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand perhaps?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:34 AM on October 13, 2011


Wow. It didn't take long to turn the focus to her looks, did it?

--

Also, I think this is interesting. I wonder what the pay-grade is.
posted by amanda at 12:38 PM on October 13, 2011


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