Bills > Coins
My country’s political “leaders” are at it again. A bill is currently on the table in the House and a separate bill on the table in the Senate to replace the $1 bill with coins. This is one of those rare, “Let’s use a bill to get rid of a bill” situations that arise on Capitol Hill.
My disdain for this proposal could not be deeper. The reasons for this disdain are mutli-fold:
1) Rationale being presented for the change is due to aid the government in its overspending. By changing from bills to coins, which last longer in circulation, the government would have to print money less often the theory goes.
Well let me tell you something, it costs a lot more to buy metal than cotton fiber, so you can probably buy the fiber many times over before you reach the cost of the coin. Also, metal is mined and the ore is only in the earth once. It is not a regenerative material. But guess what is? Cotton! This amazing material grows and can be re-planted.
Government 1, Environment 0. Bad decision.
2) Let’s revisit the rationale in #1 – that this would help the government in its problem with overspending.
You know what would really help the government with its overspending problem? To stop spending. Giving away money to foreign countries, giving away money to citizens of our country, giving away money to their friends in corproations all lead to WAY more spending than re-printing a few dollar bills every few years.
Let’s highlight that the solution at hand has a proposed savings of, wait for it, $200 to $500 million. Sounds like a lot right? It is less than what it costs to build a good, sturdy baseball stadium with a retractable roof.
That’s a drop in the proverbial bucket. The current budget deficit? Trillions.
So if you were to go to your employer and say, hey, we’re strugging, I’d like to save us some money, you could suggest you would save $1,000. Well, let’s make $1,000 = Hundreds of Millions.
$10,000 = Billions, $100,000 = Tens of Billions, $1,000,000 = Hundreds of Billions and $10,000,000 = Trillions.
So, how do you feel that your $1,000 idea was off by an order of 5 magnitudes? Good? Or maybe just an insignificant approach to a far larger problem.
If your company was losing Tens of Millions, and you found a way to save $1,000, you might get a pat on the back. A nice manager might have a cake for your team to celebrate. The company would still go out of business.
3) Heavy pockets. Financial rationale aside, which our “leaders” in Washington do not really understand anyway, walking around with coins instead of bills leads to heavy pockets.
I lived in England for almost five years. God Save the Queen, but I’ll tell you what, God didn’t save my pockets, or my wallet. Our trousers will all look like MC Hammer’s infamous pants if we make the “change” to coins. Coins are heavy, do not pack well and get lost far easier than bills.
1, 2, 3 reasons why this suggested change needs to stay in committee and not find its way to a vote by our “leaders” in Washington.
Why the ” ” around leaders throughout this post? More on that soon.