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Saturday, December 08, 2012

The silliness of US currency

We should get rid of the penny. It’s moneylosing to make, and not worth anything.

Maybe we should get rid of the nickel as well. It’s worth less in real terms than the half-penny when the U.S. eliminated that many years ago.

The dollar bill should be eliminated, replaced by a dollar coin. Yes, this means people would be forced to use dollar coins.

Would they mind? A Rasmussen poll last week suggests support:


although the publicly available part of the story only reports the negatives – and 4.4 billion dollars over 30 years is an interesting calibration (we’re not used to seeing numbers aggregated this way).

What currency do we have left?

We’re basically running off the $20 bill, thanks to the reliance on ATM machines. Twenties and ones are usually all that is in my wallet, with the occasional $5 or $10.

Businesses 50 years ago accepted $20 bills. Why not accept the $50 now?

For coins, we’re really running off quarters, with pennies and nickels serving as comic relief.  I haven’t seen a 50 cent piece in years, although they were common in my childhood (and worth more than $1 coins would be today).

We’re only saved from cash register gridlock by the fact that so many transactions take place through credit card.

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