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Thread: Currency concerns

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    Cyburbian
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    Currency concerns

    Checks were also frequently stolen out of mail boxes, so that's another reason for the change. It's not hard to figure out when someone was going to receive their SS check for the month.

    While we're at it, the Treasury should get rid of pennies and switch to dollar coins exclusively.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    Checks were also frequently stolen out of mail boxes, so that's another reason for the change. It's not hard to figure out when someone was going to receive their SS check for the month.

    While we're at it, the Treasury should get rid of pennies and switch to dollar coins exclusively.
    I like the paper bills. Digging change out my pocket is a pain.

    Just waited in line at the post office to have my tax returns postmarked only to be told they only did that downtown.

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    Checks were also frequently stolen out of mail boxes, so that's another reason for the change. It's not hard to figure out when someone was going to receive their SS check for the month.

    While we're at it, the Treasury should get rid of pennies and switch to dollar coins exclusively.
    It's rational, just didn't necessarily consider the unintended consequences (or didn't care). It's not just the "intelligence" agencies that don't communicate with each other and you can't expect Congress or the Executive Branch to do oversight.

    A lot of taxing agencies should be happy to see pennies go away. Rounding up those sales taxes to the next nickle could result in at least a one time revenue bump.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

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    Cyburbian
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    They're expected to lose $60 million dollars this year producing the penny. It costs 2.4 cents to make a single penny.

    As I understand, Canada just go rid of their penny. Things are only rounded to the nearest nickle when you use cash though.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    Checks were also frequently stolen out of mail boxes, so that's another reason for the change. It's not hard to figure out when someone was going to receive their SS check for the month.

    While we're at it, the Treasury should get rid of pennies and switch to dollar coins exclusively.
    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    They're expected to lose $60 million dollars this year producing the penny. It costs 2.4 cents to make a single penny.

    As I understand, Canada just go rid of their penny. Things are only rounded to the nearest nickle when you use cash though.
    Couldn't they just use a cheaper metal? Not sure how much that would lower the cost though.

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    They're expected to lose $60 million dollars this year producing the penny. It costs 2.4 cents to make a single penny.
    Time to outsource the mint operation. Hell, half the currency in circulation was probably printed overseas anyway.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    Couldn't they just use a cheaper metal? Not sure how much that would lower the cost though.
    They did that once already, when they switched from copper to zinc. Can't get much cheaper than that without seriously altering the weight (aluminum), or having coins that will look terrible after a few years of heavy use (steel, iron, etc).

    Excepting 1909 S VDB Lincoln cents, the penny is worthless. In 1857, when the half-cent coin was eliminated, a penny was worth 23 cents in 2010 dollars. Think about it: the smallest denomination coin in 1858 had the purchasing power of about a quarter. Those five cent streetcar fares in 1900? $1.29 in 2010 dollars.

    Up until the early 1960s, coins used to be real money. Now, they're change. You can't buy anything significant with coins alone, unless you've got a sack of them.



    Inflation is a relatively modern concept, but the money we use hasn't kept up. Only hyperinflationary third world countries and the United States have small-value paper currency. It's a joke.



    IMHO, the penny and nickel should be eliminated, along with the $1 and $5 bill, which should be replaced with coins.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Moderator note:
    I tried really really hard not to split this thread off from RTDNTOTO, but my fingers slipped and I accidently ended up doing it anyway.

    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Inflation is a relatively modern concept, but the money we use hasn't kept up. Only hyperinflationary third world countries and the United States have small-value paper currency. It's a joke.

    You stupid Americans! Of course your currency - much like your infamously consumerist culture - is a joke. You Americans and your insular views (unless we are talking about military actions, in which case you are barbaric interventionists) account for your failure to adopt rational currency policies, as well as your failure to adopt the metric system as did most civilised nations in the 19th century! I make spit on you!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    IMHO, the penny and nickel should be eliminated, along with the $1 and $5 bill, which should be replaced with coins.
    Arghhh mateys, I votes for bringing back pieces of eight.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  10. #10
    As a semi-retired coin collector, I agree with Dan. Get rid of the penny and dollar bill. The dollar coin is easy to use and after the Susan B. Anthony fiasco, it's really difficult to mistake the dollar coin with anything else. Heavens, if the Canuckistaniis can do it, why can't we.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

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    Sweden is taking it to the extreme. They're looking at getting rid of cash all together. I actually like the idea since I rarely use cash.

    No way that would fly in the US anytime soon though. It completely destroys any chance of an underground economy.

  12. #12
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    Sweden is taking it to the extreme. They're looking at getting rid of cash all together. I actually like the idea since I rarely use cash.

    No way that would fly in the US anytime soon though. It completely destroys any chance of an underground economy.
    I suppose there's always bartering and scrip? But it's an interesting idea...I wonder if it might result in a reduction in crime?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    As somebody who has worked with visually-impaired people, I'm totally on-board with coverting the $1 and $5 bills to coins. Coins are much easier for a blind person to distiguish between denominations because you can do so much more with textures and shapes compared to paper bills. And the penny should go away... maybe even the nickel as well.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Up until the early 1960s, coins used to be real money. Now, they're change. You can't buy anything significant with coins alone, unless you've got a sack of them.
    Up until 1965, US coins WERE real money, made primarily of silver. They were debased and are now granted value only by the group delusion of the US dollar. So now the pre-'65 silver is worth 22 times face value. Silver hasn't gone up, it's the decline of the fiat currency. You can still buy a gallon of gas for $0.20 if you have pre-'65 coins. Check out http://www.coinflation.com to see what the metal prices of various coins are today.


    Eliminating pennies would be okay, Australia has apparently had little ill effects from it (and it's rounded up or down so you even out over time). You can't make pennies much cheaper, it's not only the materials but the relatively-fixed cost of making a coin of any type. Some people are storing real copper pennies ('81 and earlier, basically) for projected commodity increases which would make it worthwhile to melt them down. Nickels are probably going to be debased pretty soon as their metal content is greater than the face value (currently $0.052 each but has been in the 7 cent range before) even before considering the cost of making them. So people are also storing nickels in anticipation of the change and future inflation of the USD compared to commodities. Someday they may be like pre-'65 silver coins.

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    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    As somebody who has worked with visually-impaired people, I'm totally on-board with converting the $1 and $5 bills to coins. Coins are much easier for a blind person to distinguish between denominations because you can do so much more with textures and shapes compared to paper bills. And the penny should go away... maybe even the nickel as well.
    I can support the penny, but the nickle would be tough unless you also are going to get rid of the quarter, the whole ending in 5 thing. If we only had dimes, and then added back extensive use of the half dollar (making vending machines take 50 cent pieces and all prices in vending would be in the .10 - however this really messes with our states' use of the 6 and 7 % sales tax. A 50 cent item is now 53 or 54 cents, and without the penny place holder what to do? And if we are ever going to go to a national sales tax to make it more equitable and take the pressure off those of us who pay income tax, I don't know what we do without the .01.

    Totally behind the 1$ coin instead of paper, though it probably costs more but lasts longer than a paper bill. The $5 is still good though. Graded sizes of currency would be nice, small 5s, larger 10s and 20s, and even larger 100s (maybe current size).


    Great to see so many coin enthusiast here. I wonder if there's a correlation between planning and coin collecting?
    @GigCityPlanner

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    Heavens, if the Canuckistaniis can do it, why can't we.
    And, as few people realize, the Loonie is the same size as a Sackie. Canadians don't seem to be having problems telling the difference between a Loonie and a quarter. Then again, the US Mint has always been VERY conservative when it comes to coin design; no significant changes in design for decades, no numerical denomination on any coins except for the dollar, no multi-sided curves of constant width, no bimetallic inserts, etc.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    Another thing I haven't figured out is why the US hasn't switched from paper bills to plastic. Not only do paper bills not last long, the Treasury has to redesign the paper bills every few years to avoid forgeries. With plastic bills, they last longer and you can stick in anti-counterfitting features like windows that make them harder to duplicate. As I understand, many countries such as Australia and New Zealand have started using them.

  18. #18
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    Another thing I haven't figured out is why the US hasn't switched from paper bills to plastic. Not only do paper bills not last long, the Treasury has to redesign the paper bills every few years to avoid forgeries. With plastic bills, they last longer and you can stick in anti-counterfitting features like windows that make them harder to duplicate. As I understand, many countries such as Australia and New Zealand have started using them.
    For the same reason the Treasury won't give up the $1 bill: lobbying by Crane Paper, the manufacturers of the linen-based paper US currency is printed on. Also, it's Treasury policy to be very conservative with changes to currency design, because there's a belief the iconic old-school design represents stability.

    Here's what I would do to redesign the dollar:

    1) Low denominations: replace the $1, $2 and $5 bill with coins. The only bills should be the $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes.

    2) Material: Replace linen-based paper currency with plastic.

    3) Size: Height remains the same. Length varies based on denomination.

    4) Design: Color. Look to the Euro and the old Guilder notes of the Netherlands for representation. Give a distinct dominant color for each denomination.

    5) Imagery: Ditch the dead presidents, boring government buildings, and weird Masonic symbolism. On the front, use themes that change every 10 years or so - authors, scientists, artists, and others that shaped the American culture. On the rear, depict iconic scenes of nature and the built environment; the Grand Canyon, the Great Plains, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Statue of Liberty with the New York skyline in the background, and so on. Mix them up every so often, so all parts of the country are represented. Save the dead white dudes for a hologram.

    6) Other: Because the US dollar is a world currency, include the name of the denomination in small text in some other languages and scripts.

    Check out the Dollar Redesign Project site. Some of my favorites:

    http://richardsmith.posterous.com/am...lar-redeign-20

    http://richardsmith.posterous.com/pu...lar-redeign-20

    http://richardsmith.posterous.com/mo...n-flanagan-dol

    http://richardsmith.posterous.com/mo...r-redeign-2010

    http://richardsmith.posterous.com/am...ar-redeign-201
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  19. #19
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    I think the biggest obstacle to penny elimination is Big Oil.

    Without the penny they could not price gas at *.99.

    The biggest reason the dollar coin did not go was the vending machine makers and marketers, who could not/would not retool/design their millions of machines.

    BTW I remember when Coca-cola went from a nickle to six cents in their machines. What a nightmare that must have been. The next price change was to a dime.

    The other obstacle to eliminating cash is the illegal drug market, which I'm sure has its cadre of lobbyists.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Nobody has mentioned the cash economy. While I'm certain that the Feds would like to see every transaction go through financial institutions for tax purposes, a lot of transactions are between individuals rather than businesses. Completely eliminating currency would force individuals to trade or barter for goods and services if they couldn't or wouldn't do electronic transfers. I'm sure that the well armed segment of the populace would be out in force.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  21. #21
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    New dollar coins were great for getting me free airfare to Vegas!

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126014168569179245.html

    Shame they caught on.
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  22. #22
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    ...Because the US dollar is a world currency, include the name of the denomination in small text in some other languages and scripts....[/url]
    Oh sure... Why not just stamp the dollars UN instead of US? Just go ahead and push that Agenda 21 plot, commie planner.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  23. #23
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983 View post
    Couldn't they just use a cheaper metal? Not sure how much that would lower the cost though.
    In the USA (and I also assume Canada), the non-material costs of making 1¢ coins exceeds their face value - they cannot be made profitably anymore. Nickels are very close to that threshold, too.

    IMHO, quarters are only barely useful for real commerce anymore (one will buy 20 minutes in a downtown Appleton parking meter) and all of the coins below that are now only useful for fine-parsing of sales taxes.

    Adjusted for true inflation, the $1 banknote of today has only slightly more buying power than the 1¢ coin did before 1933 (end of the gold standard) in the USA - we've added nearly two full zeroes to the dollar since then (about 80:1 inflation over that time).



    Mike

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    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mgk920 View post
    Adjusted for true inflation, the $1 banknote of today has only slightly more buying power than the 1¢ coin did before 1933 (end of the gold standard) in the USA - we've added nearly two full zeroes to the dollar since then (about 80:1 inflation over that time).
    Where did you get this stat? The best I can find is that .01 in 1933 adjusted for inflation is about .25 today. 2500% inflation not 10000%?
    @GigCityPlanner

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Random Traffic Guy's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    Where did you get this stat? The best I can find is that .01 in 1933 adjusted for inflation is about .25 today. 2500% inflation not 10000%?
    It may be taken from how each US Dollar was worth 1/16 of an ounce of gold until 1933, and now is worth about 1/1600 of an ounce of gold. Since most official inflation numbers are full of shenanigans (as we discussed a while back in some of the cost of living threads) or not published at all (M3), it is hard to pin anything down. Gold in hand is usually not a good investment in a growth sense but it does offer a way to keep your wealth intact and mobile when currencies go through crises or conversions.

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