The Change Is A Comin'

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Posted on : 12/12/2012 07:00:00 AM | By : Dann | In :

Or at least we will have it if Congress decides to the smart thing instead of the popular thing.  Recent history isn't encouraging on that perspective.

In any case, we really need to do away with the paper dollar and replace it with coins.  I'd even go so far as to suggest that we copy Canada and establish a $2 variant.

I know a lot of people don't like the current $1 coins due to size issues that make is slightly similar to the current quarter.  We have managed do deal with pennies and dimes that similar in size, so I'm not sure why this is such a big deal.

However, the government might consider making two-tone coins for easier visual recognition.  They might also consider using other features (scalloped edges, a hole in the middle, etc.) that will make it easier to tactilely differentiate the $1 coins from their $0.25 cousins.

The GAO's Lorelei St. James told the House Financial Services panel it would take several years for the benefits of switching from paper bills to dollar coins to catch up with the cost of making the change. Equipment would have to be bought or overhauled and more coins would have to be produced upfront to replace bills as they are taken out of circulation.

But over the years, the savings would begin to accrue, she said, largely because a $1 coin could stay in circulation for 30 years while paper bills have to be replaced every four or five years on average.
"We continue to believe that replacing the note with a coin is likely to provide a financial benefit to the government," said St. James, who added that such a change would work only if the note was completely eliminated and the public educated about the benefits of the switch.

Even the $1 coin's most ardent supporters recognize that they haven't been popular. Philip Diehl, former director of the Mint, said there was a huge demand for the Sacagawea dollar coin when production began in 2001, but as time wore on, people stayed with what they knew best.
 The sooner the better.

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