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Thread: Feeling Positive About Currency

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Feeling Positive About Currency

    I’ve got an application sitting on my desk now submitted by a publicity firm working for the US Mint. Apparently, they’ve been hired to go on tour around the country promoting the new $1.00 coin. They have an armored car with a video screen/sound system mounted on its side and a mobile change machine for exchanging $1.00 bills for coins. After spending 4 hours in town passing out t-shirts, coupons and blaring rock music they’ll pack up and go to the next town and do the same.

    Query: why is the US Mint spending money to make us feel good about spending money? Inquiring minds need to know.

  2. #2
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    They need to convince the silly US public to give up using their paper $1 bills for the much more cost effective coin.

    The paper dollars are much more expensive to maintain in circulation, because a given bill has a lifespan of 18-22 months, whereas a coin's lifespan is easy 40+ years.

    Really the Feds need to just unilaterally get rid of the paper dollar and the public just needs to deal with it.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  3. #3
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    Really the Feds need to just unilaterally get rid of the paper dollar and the public just needs to deal with it.
    Exactly! I mean if it's going to save taxpayer $ just do it. Why go through the bother and elaborate sales gyrations?

  4. #4
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Grand Rapids is one of four test markets for this new campaign (along with Portland, OR I believe Austin, TX and another town that I cannot remember).

    The goal is not to make us feel good about spending money but to encourage individuals to begin using the $1 coins much more frequently. The reasoning is that it is more environmentally friendly for the mint to make the $1 coins because they remain in circluation about 30 years on average while a $1 bill has a life expectancy of something like 2.5 years and the mint would save money and resources on the recycling costs and extra transporting of the dollar bills to and from the Federal Reserve Banks/printers (even when factoring in the added shipping costs from the additional weight of the $1 coins).

    I think that the government's end goal is to ween the public off of the $1 bill entirely and do away with it like Canada did a few years back.

    I personally like the idea and have been using $1 coins for the past few years for my morning coffee and for dollar beer nights at my favorite watering hole and would welcome the change (pun intended). But I think if the government really wanted to usher in a new age of less paper money, they would have better luck just stopping printing the bills for a period of time (permanently is alright with me). People are creatures of habit and there is really no incentive to use one form over the other so I don't think this campaign is really going to amount to much in the long-run.

    Without being forced to do otherwise, most Americans will choose to using the paper money. Let's not give them a choice.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    I've heard that the 50 state quarter program has been quite profitable for the mint since so many people are collecting the coins. Not sure why this is, just what I've read. I'm sure they have the same thing in mind with the dollar coins.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Agree with the others here - the govt should just stop printing the one dollar bill.

    It would be nice (and help to ease people into it) if the govt could convince all vending machine makers to change their machines to accept dollar coins, and perhaps make some kind of short term deal with a Walmart or Starbucks (or another household name) to only give out dollar coins as change for a month to generate publicity. I'd rather see something like this over a fancy armored truck driving around...
    Last edited by CJC; 23 Oct 2008 at 10:08 AM.
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

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    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    I won't use the dollar coins until they STOP calling them "golden" dollar coins. Bronze at best, please. The word gold should not be used anywhere near any discussions of FRNs or tokens, makes it seem like they are worth something rather than just a symbol.

    RTG the gold bug, whose portfolio of copper pennies and nickles has taken a hit lately with commodity price decreases: http://www.coinflation.com/

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    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    I wonder what strippers have to say about all this...

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    While I realize that coins are cheaper than paper, I do have to say that paper is simply more convienant. Since as a non-European male I don't carry a purse, that means coins go in the pocket which makes them rather hard to get. Sure some wallets have change compartments, but who wants to be sitting on that? My brother insists that his wallet has a change compartment but this of course means the wallet is excessively huge and rather than carry it around he leaves it in his car. I never thought this was a good idea and sure enough he gets in stolen in Toronto's Chinatown along with an Ipod.

  10. #10
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    I wonder what strippers have to say about all this...
    Yeah...the sad unintended consequences of this change - 500% stripper payment inflation.

    I'm sure the strippers will be happy, because now the minimum denomination is going to have to be $5.00 bills.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  11. #11
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    Agree with the others here - the govt should just stop printing the one dollar bill.

    It would be nice (and help to ease people into it) if the govt could convince all vending machine makers to change their machines to accept dollar coins, and perhaps make some kind of short term deal with a Walmart or Starbucks (or another household name) to only give out dollar coins as change for a month to generate publicity. I'd rather see something like this over a fancy armored truck driving around...
    I love the machines that give you $1 coins as change but won't accept them as payment (ahem...NJ Transit).
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  12. #12
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    Yeah...the sad unintended consequences of this change - 500% stripper payment inflation.

    I'm sure the strippers will be happy, because now the minimum denomination is going to have to be $5.00 bills.
    You're forgetting the $2 bill.... it would be a perfect baby step for stripper tips.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  13. #13
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    You're forgetting the $2 bill.... it would be a perfect baby step for stripper tips.
    Off-topic:
    They already do that in some clubs. I used to be an overnight manager for a 24 hour pharmacy chain and there was one of those fine establishments relatively nearby. Gentlemen would come in during the wee hours and pay using $2 bills. We used to be unmerciful with them and ask them how they got so many $2 bills, where could I get them, etc. The best ones were the ones that came the next day with their SO after a night out and try to pay with the $2 bills and we would ask questions while they were shooting the "ShuddupalreadybeforeIgetbusted" look at us.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  14. #14
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller View post
    I wonder what strippers have to say about all this...
    Probably actively looking for ways to encourage an increase in the production of $2 bills
    Two wrongs don't necessarily make a right, but three lefts do.

  15. #15
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CJC View post
    Probably actively looking for ways to encourage an increase in the production of $2 bills
    I wonder what the office for that lobbying organization would be like?
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  16. #16
    I think it's time to eliminate the $1 paper note and the penny. I don't buy the argument that the dollar coin is too bulky -- our friends to the north apparently have no problems with a pocketful of Loonies. Then again, they may be more manly than we. It seems every time I go to a retailer, such as Walgreen's, I can see the dollar coins in the change drawer, but they always hand me paper dollars unless I ask for the coins.

    But, if we simultaneously eliminate the penny, we equalize the weight in our pockets and it's a zero sum gain.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
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  17. #17
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    From the Simpsons:

    Bart: What is that? A quarter?
    Milhouse: A Chuck-E-Cheese token?
    Marge: No! It's a Sacagawea dollar! You can trade it in at the bank for a regular dollar!

    I worked as a bank teller for 6 months while getting my masters and no one wanted them. I hated them in my drawer since there was no place to put them. No one wanted them,..about once a month I would have someone that wanted to trade in the Sacagawea dollar for real money.

    I hate coins, I only use them on things I should not by...like stuff from a vendig machine at for exact changes at a drive up window. With the rise of the debit card I wonder how realivant cons and paper money will be in 40 years.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  18. #18
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I’ve got an application sitting on my desk now submitted by a publicity firm working for the US Mint. Apparently, they’ve been hired to go on tour around the country promoting the new $1.00 coin. They have an armored car with a video screen/sound system mounted on its side and a mobile change machine for exchanging $1.00 bills for coins. After spending 4 hours in town passing out t-shirts, coupons and blaring rock music they’ll pack up and go to the next town and do the same.

    Query: why is the US Mint spending money to make us feel good about spending money? Inquiring minds need to know.
    Because the Congressional delegation from Massachusetts (where the paper is made) refuses to allow the USTreasury department to drop the obsolete $1 banknote?



    (I happen to like $1 coins and very strongly dislike $1 banknotes. In fact I would love to see us use $1, new Canadian-style $2 and even re-introduced $5 coins here in the USA.)

    BTW, if I was a marketing major, a roadtrip like that would be an interesting item on the resumé.

    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    Grand Rapids is one of four test markets for this new campaign (along with Portland, OR I believe Austin, TX and another town that I cannot remember).

    The goal is not to make us feel good about spending money but to encourage individuals to begin using the $1 coins much more frequently. The reasoning is that it is more environmentally friendly for the mint to make the $1 coins because they remain in circluation about 30 years on average while a $1 bill has a life expectancy of something like 2.5 years and the mint would save money and resources on the recycling costs and extra transporting of the dollar bills to and from the Federal Reserve Banks/printers (even when factoring in the added shipping costs from the additional weight of the $1 coins).

    I think that the government's end goal is to ween the public off of the $1 bill entirely and do away with it like Canada did a few years back.

    I personally like the idea and have been using $1 coins for the past few years for my morning coffee and for dollar beer nights at my favorite watering hole and would welcome the change (pun intended). But I think if the government really wanted to usher in a new age of less paper money, they would have better luck just stopping printing the bills for a period of time (permanently is alright with me). People are creatures of habit and there is really no incentive to use one form over the other so I don't think this campaign is really going to amount to much in the long-run.

    Without being forced to do otherwise, most Americans will choose to using the paper money. Let's not give them a choice.
    As for the lifespan of coins, check what's in your pocket right now (Canada and the USA) - there will likely be one or more coins made before 1970 (38 or more years old) in that mix.

    Again, I agree, just dump the obsolete banknotes.

    -------------

    Also, $1 coin usage has been historically high here in the Appleton area. All but one of Appleton's downtown parking ramps have toll machines at their entrances that take up to $20 banknotes, giving change in $1 coins (rate is $1 or $2 to enter - depending on time of day - park as long as one wants. The oddball ramp is all metered), many downtown parking meters accept them and a major local industrial breakroom vending machine operator has used them as an integral part of their business since the very early 1980s, conveniently making full change for up to $20 banknotes while selling full lunches. I am kind of surprised that the USMint did not pick the Appleton area as one of those 'test markets'.

    Mike
    Last edited by mgk920; 23 Oct 2008 at 12:09 PM.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Because the Congressional delegation from Massachusetts (where the paper is made) refuses to allow the USTreasury department to drop the obsolete $1 banknote?

    Don't forget the Mississippi Congressional delegation role in protecting the $1 banknote...they grow the cotton.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  20. #20
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    mgk920:

    The government no longer issues U.S. Bank Notes. All of the paper money currently being printed are Federal Reserve Notes.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  21. #21
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    I love the machines that give you $1 coins as change but won't accept them as payment (ahem...NJ Transit).
    Thank you for noticing! I remember years ago buying a $3.something ticket in Trenton from the machines only to end up with 16 of those $1 coins. Next day, on my return trip, I can't use the dang things in the same machine that tediously spit them out at me only the day before. What's up with that?!
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  22. #22
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by wahday View post
    Thank you for noticing! I remember years ago buying a $3.something ticket in Trenton from the machines only to end up with 16 of those $1 coins. Next day, on my return trip, I can't use the dang things in the same machine that tediously spit them out at me only the day before. What's up with that?!
    Well I guess you were forced to spend them and get them into circulation weren't you? Of course once you spend them and explain it's real money they'll probably just go back to the bank since the cashier may be hesitant to hand them out as change.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Regarding the strippers- they could have one of those coin dispenser around their waist. It could give a new meaning to shaking your money maker.

    As reformed coin collector, I think using them as standard currency is a great idea. We have all gotten over the Susan B. Anthony mess and there is no way the current coins could be mistake for quarters. If there was more in circulation, people would stop hoarding them as collector's items.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  24. #24
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    While I realize that coins are cheaper than paper, I do have to say that paper is simply more convienant. Since as a non-European male I don't carry a purse, that means coins go in the pocket which makes them rather hard to get. Sure some wallets have change compartments, but who wants to be sitting on that? My brother insists that his wallet has a change compartment but this of course means the wallet is excessively huge and rather than carry it around he leaves it in his car. I never thought this was a good idea and sure enough he gets in stolen in Toronto's Chinatown along with an Ipod.
    Well the Australian men dont seem to struggle with the concept of coins- generally any coinage less than 50cents will go into a jar or something.
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  25. #25
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    mgk920:

    The government no longer issues U.S. Bank Notes. All of the paper money currently being printed are Federal Reserve Notes.
    Ahhh, 'banknotes' are fancy pieces of paper (or polymer, gotta remember the Aussies in the crowd!) issued by a national central bank to represent money.

    Mike

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