Skip

It's Our Money, Too
February 13, 2007 9:48 AM   Subscribe

The one dollar bill: 2.61 inches wide, 6.14 inches long, 0.0043 inches thick. Wait - that's all of them. What happens if you just can't see the bill? Some 180 other countries have non-visual ways to determine what denomination a bill is, but the USA does not. The ACB has twice tried to introduce resolutions to fix this, with no results. A recent lawsuit, however, may finally make the change happen. After all, It's Our Money, Too.
posted by niles (79 comments total)

 
it's really hard to argue against changing it. the only thing i've heard is that it'll cost a lot of money to re-tool all the machines, which seems like a whole lotta bullshit to me.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 9:52 AM on February 13, 2007


I have Canadian friends who criticize US legal tender on account of it's hard to tell the bills apart when you're drunk and it's dark.
posted by Mister_A at 9:53 AM on February 13, 2007


Even if it weren't BS, it cost a lot of money to install ramps and Braille too--that doesn't mean it isn't the right thing to do.

That said, just what are they planning to do? The "180 countries" link has only one feature that I can see (ha!) being of help to the blind: variably sized bills. Screw that wallet-de-neatifying noise! You can't put braille on a bill either. Notches on the edge are too easy to fake (but then again, so is anything--telling a dollar bill from a random scrap of linen-based paper with your eyes closed has got to be a chore).
posted by DU at 9:59 AM on February 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


The main thing I think when I look at American currency is how old fashioned and easily forgable it looks. Having a note for a vlaue as small as $1 is kind of ridiculous as well.
posted by Artw at 10:00 AM on February 13, 2007


Having a coin for a value as big as $1 is even more ridiculous.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:02 AM on February 13, 2007


It's amazing that we haven't already made this simple change to our paper currency. Meanwhile we continue to produce new (and unwanted) one dollar coins and mint endless useless pennies.
Is this a matter of pork, incompetence or something else entirely?

(Not a rhetorical question, I'm genuinely puzzled.)
posted by speug at 10:03 AM on February 13, 2007


DU, the site also mentions Tactile Markings, which are similar to braille. See here for the Candian ones.
posted by dobbs at 10:05 AM on February 13, 2007


put tactile markings on the larger denominations ... and get rid of the dollar bill ... the real reason the dollar coin never succeeds is because they keep making the dollar bill to compete with it
posted by pyramid termite at 10:08 AM on February 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


As you may know, euro notes are all different colours and sizes. They looked like Monopoly money for a few weeks five years ago, but we've got used to it now. Only thing is, anything bigger than a €20 doesn't really fit in my wallet, and sticks out a bit. Makes me spend it more quickly I guess.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:11 AM on February 13, 2007


If we make our bills different sizes, how will we be able to ever learn those 5 presidents?!
posted by mckenney at 10:12 AM on February 13, 2007


Having a coin for a value as big as $1 is even more ridiculous.

seriously? $1? Thats what, about 50p?
posted by Artw at 10:15 AM on February 13, 2007 [7 favorites]


No, the reason the dollar coin never succeeds is that the only place you can ever get one is at the post office stamp machine. I'd be all over a dollar coin like green on a dollar bill if I could ever get hold of one.

I assumed Braille-like dots would be impossible because our money is so soft, especially after it goes through the wash, but maybe we'd just have to cycle through it faster?

Why not drop the idea of paper money all together? If it's economical to use metal for a $.25 coin, why not for a $25 coin? Then you can have all the markings, bumps and different sizes you want (this is starting to sound like an ad for condoms).
posted by DU at 10:15 AM on February 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


DU writes "You can't put braille on a bill either."

With practice you can feel the denomination of Canadian money. There are different patterns of little bumps in the corners and also the pattern of engraving is different between different bills.
posted by Mitheral at 10:15 AM on February 13, 2007


Or, um, ya what dobbs said.
posted by Mitheral at 10:17 AM on February 13, 2007


That said, just what are they planning to do? The "180 countries" link has only one feature that I can see (ha!) being of help to the blind: variably sized bills.

My grandfather, who has lost most of his vision to macular degeneration, uses a system where he folds his bills based on denomination. He uses horizontal, vertical, and diagonal folds to make a serious of shapes he's worked out for himself. He needs the help of a friend, family, or bank teller to do it, but once he knows what a bill is he gives it the right fold(s) and sticks it in his wallet. When he gets change that he can't figure out the denominations, he sticks it in his pocket to save at home for one of us to look at. (Our running joke every time I visit and sort his change is that the stack of crumpled ones and fives are his earnings from his stripping and escort service.) I'm no expert but seeing how this method works makes me an advocate of variable sized bills.
posted by peeedro at 10:19 AM on February 13, 2007


I know someone who has something to do with the US Mint, and according to what I heard, it's far cheaper to give away handheld bill readers (costing $20 to $50 a piece) to every blind person in the country than to redesign and retool and reprocess the currency.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:19 AM on February 13, 2007


it's far cheaper to give away handheld bill readers (costing $20 to $50 a piece) to every blind person in the country than to redesign and retool and reprocess the currency.

that makes sense until you remember that they've been doing that to the currency anyway
posted by pyramid termite at 10:22 AM on February 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


DU: I get them whenever I add money to my subway/bus card (in Boston). Kinda neat, although it's a bit weird when the machine makes a mistake and gives you $20 in coins out of a $20 bill ...
posted by spaceman_spiff at 10:23 AM on February 13, 2007


I don't see how the expense would be SO monumental. I work at a printing press and we have a machine that will Braille punch a price and title code onto book covers 3 times faster than we could ever print them. I guess we pay for the electricity, but I was under the impression that the treasury wouldn't be so hard up for cash.

They do MAKE money right.. Right.
posted by French Fry at 10:25 AM on February 13, 2007


There's some weird superstition about killing the dollar bill, its such a symbol of our economy. The government just won't do it and if they won't then any dollar coin is doomed to failure.
posted by octothorpe at 10:26 AM on February 13, 2007


I have Canadian friends who criticize US legal tender on account of it's hard to tell the bills apart when you're drunk and it's dark.

Damn! I heard the same thing from an Australian once. We Americans just don't know how to get drunk like we used to.
posted by jonp72 at 10:34 AM on February 13, 2007


Having a coin for a value as big as $1 is even more ridiculous.

I dunno about that. I thought 100 and 500 yen (approx $1 and $5) coins were odd, but they're actually quite convenient once you get used to it.
posted by PsychoKick at 10:47 AM on February 13, 2007


Pfft, Britain got rid of £1 notes years ago (except in Scotland). We even use £2 coins, which are not far off $4 now. Coins cost less to make, once you account for their longer life.
posted by matthewr at 10:50 AM on February 13, 2007


Speaking for all Canadians*, we mock your money and feel our own currency is vastly superior in all ways.

Fancy colors, new(ish) security features, tactile indicators, various images of wildlife and native art, not to mention our wide array of coins with snappy nicknames.

Your bland array of near identical bills is a huge bore-fest and far less usable.


* I do not actually speak for all Canadians. Only for myself and maybe a couple of friends who participated in this conversation with me.
posted by utsutsu at 11:02 AM on February 13, 2007 [4 favorites]


Coins are cheaper to make but harder to secure. Counterfeiting of higher denomination coins is (supposedly) more common than one might imagine. Coins are barely examined by most cashiers, banked less often, and hang around for a long time if they are undetected. Hence, notes often make more sense in the context of higher denominations.

All that said, the idea that $1 is too high a denomination for a note seems, I would suggest, more than a little eccentric to any European.
posted by howfar at 11:04 AM on February 13, 2007


The ACB has twice tried to introduce resolutions to fix this, with no results.

They did introduce resolutions. Too bad resolutions are meaningless and never have results.
posted by smackfu at 11:04 AM on February 13, 2007


Having a coin for a value as big as $1 is even more ridiculous

If you think a $1 coin is ridiculous, what do you make of a million dollar coin.

Of course, that's Canadian.
posted by mazola at 11:06 AM on February 13, 2007


I'll see your million dollar coin, mazola, and raise you a million pound note. They're real, and used inside the Bank of England to back Scottish banknotes.
posted by matthewr at 11:11 AM on February 13, 2007


It took me years of living in the USA to get used to the identical looking bills. Different sizes would be a great start.
posted by gaspode at 11:13 AM on February 13, 2007


Am I the only one who really likes dull money that looks all the same? It provides a nice official feel that I just don't get from money that's a bunch of different crazy colors. This is my main problem with most non-American currency, it just doesn't say "legal tender" when I look at it. It's like the currency equivalent of a middle schooler's Powerpoint presentation.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:15 AM on February 13, 2007 [3 favorites]


No, the reason the dollar coin never succeeds is that the only place you can ever get one is at the post office stamp machine.

Also, this other crazy service establishment, specializing in currency products, called a bank. It's true, any old bank can just give you $1 coins for your folding money!

Once I got used to the 1 and 2 euro coins, it became annoying to have to come back and mess with paper money for (relatively) small denominations.

It seems arch and silly that we won't get ADA-compliant for something as fundamental as money.

Am I the only one who really likes dull money that looks all the same? It provides a nice official feel that I just don't get from money that's a bunch of different crazy colors. This is my main problem with most non-American currency, it just doesn't say "legal tender" when I look at it.

Some Europeans feel the exact same way, just replace "dull money..." with "easily distinguishable money," and "a bunch of different crazy colors" with "looks all the same shape and size like it's fake."
posted by pineapple at 11:19 AM on February 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


matthewr: note, shmote -- the coin is the thing!

Can you imagine accidently tossing a million dollar coin out to a busker? (not that you could, if produced it will weigh in at over 200 lbs).
posted by mazola at 11:19 AM on February 13, 2007


The US mint is trying yet another publicity stunt -- this time $1 coins with each President on them, in order, starting this year -- in their never-ending quest to make $1 coins that people will not reject. They still don't get that the crucial thing is to stop issuing $1 bills and just go through with it. Unfortunately, these $1 coins will be like the Sacagawea coins that have a gold luster when you get them, but quickly fade to a dark, dull matte.

Personally, I'm all for multi-sized bills, and I'd like to see someone other than Andrew Jackson on the $20, while there's a chance to redesign the thing.
posted by graymouser at 11:20 AM on February 13, 2007


Speaking of bill readers, does anyone have a friend at one of those companies that makes the change vending machines? This might be a good time to one's foot in the door there.
posted by JohnFredra at 11:21 AM on February 13, 2007


> Am I the only one who really likes dull money that looks all the same? It provides a nice official feel that I just don't get from money that's a bunch of different crazy colors.

Fortunately, as America transitions to a credit-based economy, Discover Cards with puppies, Nascar drivers, and Pixar characters will uphold the aesthetic of classical restraint.
posted by ardgedee at 11:23 AM on February 13, 2007 [3 favorites]


Dave Faris writes "according to what I heard, it's far cheaper to give away handheld bill readers (costing $20 to $50 a piece) to every blind person in the country than to redesign and retool and reprocess the currency."

Even if true (sounds exaggerated to me) I wonder how that is going to scale in the next 30 years. And who is going to provide all the training and at what cost?
posted by Mitheral at 11:25 AM on February 13, 2007


Don't forget about easier to count and clean from machines. Canada used to employ people just to unclog bills from the bus fare containers. Bills are no longer permitted (in most cities -- are any left?), made easier by $1 and $2 coins.

And what PsychoKick said about $1 and $5 coins.

Are people of the mindset that big denomination coins need to be big and heavy? It's a symbol. They don't.
posted by dreamsign at 11:29 AM on February 13, 2007


(I simplify "Canada" for sake of the thread -- natch the muni's employed their own bill wranglers, but it was an expensive and needless problem)
posted by dreamsign at 11:32 AM on February 13, 2007


Even if true (sounds exaggerated to me)

Well, the Federal Regulators have nothing to worry about when it comes to Metafilter. Even when someone tries to pass insider information, it's discredited by cretins who trust their guts over all else.
posted by Dave Faris at 11:40 AM on February 13, 2007


What to you expect from gouvernement issued FIAT money?
posted by yoyo_nyc at 11:41 AM on February 13, 2007


It's not that people won't use the dollar coins. It's that no vending machines will take them. Right now I have 3 dollar coins that I would have spent already had our coke machine at work been fitted for them. Also: laundry machines, cigarette machines (if you can find one), jukeboxes, and videogames (do casino game take them?). Mandate that all new machines take dollar coins, and then you can get rid of the bills, no problem. Considering how often bill readers seem to break/get jammed on those machines, the vendors might even prefer it in the long run.

Then there's cash registers; none of the ones I used as a retail clerk years ago had enough slots for 50 cent OR dollar coins. They got thrown in the check tray or penny slot. This makes them unpopular with cashiers.
posted by emjaybee at 11:48 AM on February 13, 2007


When I first moved to NZ it took me a while to get used to the wacky different-sized-and-colored money. It still kind of looks like play money to me. On the other hand, now when I visit the states I find myself very annoyed with dollar bills and pennies. Seriously, 1 and 2 dollar coins are the way to go, so much more convenient. And is the US the only country that still uses pennies? No one else cares about that crap, they just round up or down and everyone's couches are much cleaner for it.
posted by supercrayon at 11:50 AM on February 13, 2007


Heh. Even Monopoly money is different colours. When I took my girlfriend to the US recently she was amazed that all the notes were the same size & shape when I warned her to watch out what she handed over. And not to feel rich when she had a wad of bills ;-) Coming from the UK, where the lowest note is worth $10, it feels a bit like a step back in time.

This is my main problem with most non-American currency, it just doesn't say "legal tender" when I look at it.

Apart from the fact that it is easier to counterfeit.

[I miss the old Dutch guilden notes. Esp. the 50 Sunflower design.]
posted by i_cola at 11:52 AM on February 13, 2007


If we change the money to be easier to use, how will we ever smoke out the German spies?
posted by smackfu at 11:56 AM on February 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


I live in New York, and the Metrocard machines dispense $1 coins. I love them. They're really easy to fish out of my pocket, they're identifiable by feel (hello, ADA), and they're easier to handle. I don't notice the weight of a few.
posted by Mikey-San at 12:00 PM on February 13, 2007


Am I the only one who likes dull money..
Most of the dutch still pine for the pre-euro banknotes; f.i. the sunflower.
I never such wonderful printing again; thick ink you could feel, all kinds of marks and quirky details, great design.
The lighthouse is another one that I loved.

It's only for a short while that you'd consider it Monopoly money....
posted by jouke at 12:03 PM on February 13, 2007




No pun intended, right, quaeler?
posted by Mister_A at 12:17 PM on February 13, 2007


put tactile markings on the larger denominations ... and get rid of the dollar bill ... the real reason the dollar coin never succeeds is because they keep making the dollar bill to compete with it

If people prefer bills for $1, then why force coins on them? I say, make 0.25¢ bills and see what happens.

I've never understand this desire some people have to force dollar coins on people. They've voted with their wallets long ago.
posted by delmoi at 12:18 PM on February 13, 2007


If people prefer bills for $1, then why force coins on them? I say, make 0.25¢ bills and see what happens.

Er, I should say 25¢

Am I the only one who really likes dull money that looks all the same? It provides a nice official feel that I just don't get from money that's a bunch of different crazy colors.

Exactly. I mean, isn't there something to be said for artistic restraint isn't there?
posted by delmoi at 12:29 PM on February 13, 2007


There's some weird superstition about killing the dollar bill, its such a symbol of our economy. The government just won't do it and if they won't then any dollar coin is doomed to failure.

See also: the metric system. Tom Paine, Ben Franklin and our glorious rationalist heritage are dead dead dead baby and have been for decades, if not centuries.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:31 PM on February 13, 2007


The whole reason the dollar bill will never go away: the g-string.

You will never see the dollar bill go away until strippers no longer have to wear bottoms, which means all-nude reviews, which are illegal in most states of the U.S. It's a cultural throwback to the Puritanical origins of the colonies and will only happen under the right circumstances of cultural disintegration and disemminated socialist "we know what's best" government, which won't be happening anytime soon (at least not until after the fall of the current electoral system, which will only happen after the crash of the petrodollar).

You're welcome.
posted by daq at 12:50 PM on February 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


What kind of cheap bastard gives ones to strippers, anyway?
posted by luriete at 1:05 PM on February 13, 2007 [3 favorites]


Okay, so we need $1 bills for g-strings, but I also want $1 coins for street performers. I feel awkward walking up and setting a bill in a guitar case, and then having to move some coins around to weight it down on a windy day, but I feel like a dick tossing a guy 25 cents, or a handful of change. I want money with good flight characteristics!
posted by agentofselection at 1:11 PM on February 13, 2007


Only thing is, anything bigger than a €20 doesn't really fit in my wallet, and sticks out a bit.

That drives me insane. It's probably a UScentric thing, but I'm also horrible about loosing coins. When I've visited Europe, I've last a ton of money from euros/pounds dropping out of my pockets. I find paper money helluva lot easier to keep track of than coins.
Also, when in line to make purchases, I can count paper money much easier than coins.
posted by jmd82 at 1:22 PM on February 13, 2007


As a rule, I never ever carry coins. I hate them, they make noise and weigh my pants down. As soon as I get home, I dump all my coins into a jar and every couple of years or so we take them to the bank. The only exception is that I keep a roll of quarters in my car for parking meters. So if we switched to the dollar coin, I'd end up having to break 5s and 10s all the time.
posted by octothorpe at 1:38 PM on February 13, 2007


Once I got used to the 1 and 2 euro coins, it became annoying to have to come back and mess with paper money for (relatively) small denominations.

Won't somebody think of the strippers?
posted by Sparx at 2:08 PM on February 13, 2007


With practice you can feel the denomination of Canadian money.

Unless it's worn down to the point where the dots are indistinguishable from other crinkles in the bill, like some bills I've gotten (at least one of every denomination under $50).

And is the US the only country that still uses pennies?

Ever been to Canada, the UK, or the Eurozone?
posted by oaf at 2:25 PM on February 13, 2007


Won't somebody think of the strippers?

Assuming strippers are somewhat like waitresses, they most likely made out very well in the transition to loonies and toonies in Canada, and would do so in the States, as well. I was waitressing in the years when the loonie was introduced, and my tips went up considerably summer to summer.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:44 PM on February 13, 2007


The whole reason the dollar bill will never go away: the g-string.

Not a bad argument, but the more clever strip clubs stock their ATMs with $2 bills anyway.
posted by solotoro at 2:50 PM on February 13, 2007


Having lived a year in England, I came home to my American currency and loved it. I loved its standard color (disrupted now) and its standard size. Mercy me, if I have to actually read the denomination on the bill, rather than saving that extra half second by looking for the appropriate color. To the people of many lands who have bills of many colors and sizes, welcome to America. Enjoy this fun experiment in currency. :)

I empathize with the blind, but in one manner, electronic transactions have helped reduce the need for having recognizable bills. If the statement about bill readers is accurate, then the Mint should setup a program to send folks who ask for one, a free one.
posted by Atreides at 3:27 PM on February 13, 2007


It provides a nice official feel

That's what the portrait of Her Most Gracious Majesty is for.
posted by pompomtom at 3:36 PM on February 13, 2007


Dave Faris writes "the Federal Regulators have nothing to worry about when it comes to Metafilter. Even when someone tries to pass insider information, it's discredited by cretins who trust their guts over all else."

First Dave you admit this is hearsay information. Second do a quick back of the envelope calc: 10,000,000 blind or visually impaired people in the US (probably doubling in the next 30 years). A hand held device that can reliably read bills1 for denomination would probably cost more than $10 but less than $1000 so let's go with $50-$100 so we'll be somewhere in the right order of magnitude. Add another $50-$100 per for administration, shipping, registration, that kind of thing. Low ball estimate 5% annual costs for replacements and new enrollees. One's looking at 10-20 billion initially + 500 million annual costs. Surely it would cost less than 10 Billion to add braille imprinters to each federal reserve printer. I'd venture that it would cost much less.

[1] an obvious hard problem considering the problems vending machines have reading bills.

delmoi writes "I've never understand this desire some people have to force dollar coins on people. They've voted with their wallets long ago."

Coins are cheaper long term. Coins cost around twice as much to produce but last for 30 years rather than 18 months for bills.

solotoro writes "Not a bad argument, but the more clever strip clubs stock their ATMs with $2 bills anyway."

I've heard of places that give you vouchers if you want to charge your visit.
posted by Mitheral at 3:41 PM on February 13, 2007


Yeah, I regretted what I last wrote in this thread almost immediately after I wrote it. I pretty much trust the guy who told me that the Mint was going to deal with the problem in the way I described, but things could have changed since he told me this, the end of December, when the ruling first came down. The figures he came up with were much lower than the ones you've estimated, with the cost of each scanner being about $20, and the number of blind people in the US being much lower than the figure that article quotes. So for all I know, he was talking out of his ass, despite his reliable placement in the department. But lets just say you owe me a buck when it comes to pass.
posted by Dave Faris at 4:13 PM on February 13, 2007


Why should visually impaired people have to carry a reader around to tell notes apart?

That just seems a ridiculous solution to the problem.

The elegance of tactile changes to the paper money seems a much more sensible idea.
posted by chrispy108 at 6:27 PM on February 13, 2007


Nobody's mentioned plastic bills. There are all sorts of opportunities to have different colors, textures, see-through windows (with different textures). And they don't wear out as quickly, either.
posted by Araucaria at 7:34 PM on February 13, 2007


It seems arch and silly that we won't get ADA-compliant for something as fundamental as money.

Pet peeve: accessibility is not the same as the ADA. I'm not sure if the complaint in question is based on the ADA (though it may be), but in general, the ADA has several relatively obvious 'missing pieces'. Accessibility goes far beyond the ADA.

Not to pick on whoever posted it - this was just the most concise mention of the ADA I saw.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 8:11 PM on February 13, 2007


The US refusing to go to a $1 coin is, I expect and observe, damaging the US economy by encouraging people to spend less money and forcing companies to produce lower cost goods.

I would guess the reason that there isn't a $1 coin is also due to the US Treasury running their service like a business, and trying to judge their market by supply and demand! Hmmm, sometimes governments should to force decisions upon their population.
posted by niccolo at 8:49 PM on February 13, 2007


Hey i_cola , high five! Let the americans enjoy their drab dingy 'official' banknotes.

It's so nice that everybody's idea of what a banknote looks like coincides with what they're accustomed to.
posted by jouke at 9:25 PM on February 13, 2007


Am I the only one who really likes dull money that looks all the same? It provides a nice official feel that I just don't get from money that's a bunch of different crazy colors. This is my main problem with most non-American currency, it just doesn't say "legal tender" when I look at it. It's like the currency equivalent of a middle schooler's Powerpoint presentation.

I feel exactly the same way. I'm all for a few tactile additions, but leave the bills the same size and shape.

Also, for those of you that keep touting all the benefits of $1 coins --consider the increase in the weight of them.

Think of how many $1 bills you deal with on a regular basis. Now imagine all those dollar bills weighing your pockets or purse down.

I much prefer the lighter, more convenient option that fits right in my wallet.

I've lived in and traveled to Europe pre-Euro (though I've seen the currency), and experienced other forms of currency. Having coins for small denominations was extremely annoying, especially in Britain, where the £1 coins are very thick and heavy.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:47 PM on February 13, 2007


Australian money has plastic windows! Plastic windows, people! How cool is that?

The correct answer is very, very cool.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:03 PM on February 13, 2007


Physical currency is dead. Welcome to the 21st Century.
posted by Paragon at 11:38 PM on February 13, 2007


As a guy, who carries everything in his two front pockets, I hate carrying coinage. (American women generally carry a handbag, so a change purse is a more feasible option for them.) If/when the dollar coin replaces the paper dollar, I will dump the dollar coins into a change jar at the end of each day, along with the other unweildy coinage. So, in practice, I wouldn't use dollar coins unless I received them as change earlier that same day -- I suppose I'd use them about 20% as much as I currently use paper dollars.

I'm guessing that a lot of other guys also dislike carrying coins. I dunno how (or if) this would affect the economy.

And, yeah, pennies should die.
posted by LordSludge at 5:44 AM on February 14, 2007


There are lots of unjustifiable, but very common, U.S. attitudes towards physical money. Most of them involve the idea that the U.S. dollar is somehow "powerful", and fiddling with it will reduce its power.

So, you can't make the dollar look like that funny foreign money, because then it won't be special anymore, and will lose its power. You don't want to make the dollar "look like a quarter", because that would hurt its power.

What I'm calling "power" here isn't even an economic notion, it's more of a magical thing, like something you'd ascribe to witch doctors or tiki idols.

For some people, I think complaining about changes to currency is a coping mechanism--it's easy and tangible to talk about the change drawer at the supermarket, compared to big, abstract things that we have no control over, like the trade deficit with China.
posted by gimonca at 6:07 AM on February 14, 2007


Then again, I've experienced Indonesia as a place where paper money rules, even in relatively small denominations, because of inflation. Smaller coins become obsolete nostalgia items; new bills come out with more zeroes on the end. Paper money isn't always a signifier of stability.
posted by gimonca at 6:10 AM on February 14, 2007


LordSludge: The solution to that is a wallet with a coin compartment. WFM.
posted by pharm at 7:44 AM on February 14, 2007


The solution to that is a wallet with a coin compartment. WFM.

I suppose, but that's lots bulkier and heavier than the paper solution.

If it works for you, great. I, OTOH, don't carry coins when I can help it.

Not saying it would ruin my life or anything if dollars were made coinage; I just wouldn't use 'em.
posted by LordSludge at 12:25 PM on February 14, 2007


That drives me insane. It's probably a UScentric thing, but I'm also horrible about loosing coins. When I've visited Europe, I've last a ton of money from euros/pounds dropping out of my pockets.

This means its time to buy new pants.

I hate them, they make noise and weigh my pants down.

This means its time to buy a new wallet and a belt. When I put my wallet in my back pocket there's not enough give for the coins to move and jiggle.

Back on topic, its pretty disgusting that they've made money so inaccessible for blind people. I can't believe that nobody has made it into a national issue of discrimination already.

Also, you can pry my purple fives, my blue tens and my red twenties from my cold dead fingers. Plastic money kicks the living crap out of paper money.
posted by Talez at 2:26 PM on February 14, 2007


This means its time to buy a new wallet and a belt. When I put my wallet in my back pocket there's not enough give for the coins to move and jiggle.

Sorry but I'm not putting coins in my wallet. It doesn't matter where you put them; coins are too heavy and they are going to go in the jar on the kitchen counter. I don't care if you make $20 coins, I'm still not carrying them around. Sorry.
posted by octothorpe at 3:55 PM on February 14, 2007


« Older how much would michael scott cost in legal fees?   |   The Last Jews of Cairo Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post