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Is It Time For the US To Ditch the Dollar Bill?

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the i-volunteer-to-collect-them dept.

The Almighty Buck 943

coondoggie writes "It seems well past time that the U.S. ditch its $1 bill — considering such a move could save the country somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 billion. But there is much resistance, or perhaps a lack of real consideration of the issue from most people. Watchdogs at the Government Accountability Office this week testified before a Congressional hearing on the topic, and said dollar coins could save $4.4 billion over 30 years (PDF), or an average of about $146 million per year."

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I'll be the first to say... (5, Funny)

thesameguy (1047504) | about a year ago | (#42148037)

Dollar coins at the strip club sounds both dangerous and hilarious.

Re:I'll be the first to say... (5, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | about a year ago | (#42148109)

That will just bump the tips up to higher denominations.

End fiat currency! End THE FEDERAL RESERVE!!! (2, Insightful)

kdawson (3715) (1344097) | about a year ago | (#42148193)

I saw this insightful comment and will post it here.

How about this! If we took the power away from a bunch of secret bank mobsters to PRINT MONEY and instead backed it with gold or some other finite, precious commodity, the dollar would retain its value.

I'm sick and tired of this implicit tax that I have just because I *HOLD* a dollar. Read Greenspan's "Gold and Economic Freedom" essay. Once it's started, that money which is printed out can only be repaid by printing more money. This is the shabby key to the (corporate/social) welfare state that exists today.

The reference is here: http://www.321gold.com/fed/greenspan/1966.html [321gold.com]

Re:End fiat currency! End THE FEDERAL RESERVE!!! (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | about a year ago | (#42148463)

That might've worked when there were less than a billion people in the entire world but even then they had to keep making the dollar worth smaller and smaller amounts of gold to keep up. In a world of 7bn+ people... it's just not feasible

Re:End fiat currency! End THE FEDERAL RESERVE!!! (2)

Smallpond (221300) | about a year ago | (#42148495)

Nothing is stopping you from buying gold.

Re:I'll be the first to say... (0)

pixelpusher220 (529617) | about a year ago | (#42148289)

What will affect more people is the newly priced $1 cans of soda/pop...

Re:I'll be the first to say... (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year ago | (#42148387)

What will affect more people is the newly priced $1 cans of soda/pop...

Sweet!!!

You mean we'd get an immediate price drop for the usual $1.25+ it costs in the machines nowdays?!?!

Re:I'll be the first to say... (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about a year ago | (#42148445)

What will affect more people is the newly priced $1 cans of soda/pop...

Sweet!!!

You mean we'd get an immediate price drop for the usual $1.25+ it costs in the machines nowdays?!?!

12 ounce cans are typically under a dollar.
$1.25 gets you a 20 ounce bottle.

Of course if you're at an amusement park, airport, zoo, whatever, triple all prices.

Re:I'll be the first to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148377)

That will just bump the tips up to higher denominations.

I'd really expect more of a bang for my higher denomination bucks then.

Re:I'll be the first to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148407)

2 dollar bills?

When was the last time these strippers had a pay rise?

Re:I'll be the first to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148163)

What do you think we do in Canada?

Re:I'll be the first to say... (3, Funny)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#42148205)

They spread em and then you chuck loonies ($1 coins) and if you can get them stuck in the slot they'll give you a poster or something. As much as I like naked women I still can't figure out how they came up with this stupid game.

Re:I'll be the first to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148185)

In Canada we have dollar and two dollar coins and I can tell you. You wouldn't believe what the strippers can do with coins.. I don't recommend touching the coins afterwards though...

Re:I'll be the first to say... (1)

toejam13 (958243) | about a year ago | (#42148273)

Most strippers won't even give you the time of day for a dollar anymore. Inflation has made it to where you need at least a two dollar bill or preferably a five dollar bill to get their attention.

Re:I'll be the first to say... (1)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#42148423)

Where do you live that has such sad excuses for strip clubs in it?

Re:I'll be the first to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148299)

Dollar coins at the strip club sounds both dangerous and hilarious.

Windsor, Ontario Canada has a ton of strip clubs that have been doing great business for the last 10-15 years where the dollar bill has been non existent.
This might have something to do with Colbert proclaiming it to be the worlds rectum however...

Re:I'll be the first to say... (4, Funny)

Kneo24 (688412) | about a year ago | (#42148453)

Strippers will coin the phrase, "making it hail".

Not yet... (5, Insightful)

broggyr (924379) | about a year ago | (#42148049)

Not gonna happen; we still have pennies, for chrissakes!

Re:Not yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148155)

Pennies are a relevant fraction of the currency, such that it's difficult to give 37 cents in change without them. This is in no way equivalent to, or reasonably relational to, changing an easily damaged piece of paper into a durable coin.

Re:Not yet... (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year ago | (#42148393)

That said, many countries (Canada included) have or are eliminating the penny. The smallest denomination is the nickel, and there are very simple rules in place for stores to do rounding (on the cash registers) that averages out over time.

Re:Not yet... (5, Insightful)

redback (15527) | about a year ago | (#42148165)

This will not happen until Americans can let go of their irrational attachment to dollar bills and pennies.

In Australia we ditched $1 and $2 notes for coins in 1984 and 1988. 1c and 2c coins were dropped in 1992.

Re:Not yet... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148259)

In Australia we ditched $1 and $2 notes[...]

In the USA, we still like to pretend our currency has value.

Re:Not yet... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148471)

Any paper and coin currency at all is 'irrational'.

We 'tried' dollar coins before. It was a failure not because of any attachment. (I prefer them myself. Give me $2 coins as well and I'm in heaven. Hell, even a $5 coin.) It was a failure because few were made, they weren't promoted, and no one had them to exchange. You could redeem them in post office vending machines and you could get them as change there. Everywhere else... so few were actually being circulated it was meaningless.

As for the penny, I can't remember the last time I spent one. I usually don't pay cash. When I do the coins generally going into my collection never to return or to be returned to a bank years later.

I don't think the average American really cares either way. (Although I am sure regarding the penny people will reject the idea of rounding up. I always pay with credit anyway.)

Re:Not yet... (5, Insightful)

boristdog (133725) | about a year ago | (#42148247)

Yeah, my wife bitches when I say we should get rid of pennies and just have purchase totals rounded up or down to the nearest five cents.
Her: "But the retailers will price everything so it gets rounded up!"
Me: "No, multiple item purchases will make it just as likely to round down, and that's only for cash transactions."
Her: "But I still may pay more when I go to the store!"
Me: "Uh yeah, If you make 10 CASH transactions per week you might pay about 30 cents more per week, or about $15/year."
Her: "It's a way to rip me off!"

She makes over $100K/year. People like her are why we will always be stuck with pennies.

Re:Not yet... (1)

Nutria (679911) | about a year ago | (#42148345)

Shame on you for not vetting her more carefully. (Bitching about pennies can't be her only irrationality.)

Re:Not yet... (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year ago | (#42148281)

I was in Denmark earlier this month. The smallest currency I saw there was 50 ore (half a krone) which works out to about 8 US cents. A lot of stores didn't even bother with those and just rounded.

Wish we'd do something similar here. Rolling up pennies is a waste of time.

Re:Not yet... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42148469)

Don't roll them. Dump them into one of those counting machines at the super market and get a gift card. Normally at least amazon is available, often the grocery store the machine is in as well.

Re:Not yet... (1)

jez9999 (618189) | about a year ago | (#42148287)

What I want to know is why the US has quarters instead of 20c coins. 25c is such a pain in the ass to work with. If you want say 83c, I personally would find it a lot easier to figure out I need 50+20+10+2+1 than 50+25+5+2+1.

Re:Not yet... (1)

marcovje (205102) | about a year ago | (#42148381)

Hmm, here in the NL we had quarters (called kwartjes btw) when it was still guilders, and now we have 20 c coins. Can't say that it was really different or hard to get used to.

Re:Not yet... (1)

Applekid (993327) | about a year ago | (#42148435)

If they weren't 25 cents, we couldn't keep calling them quarters...

Not again (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about a year ago | (#42148295)

Not yet, because nobody wants them.

This isn't news. They made the same argument in 1979, with the "Susan B. Anthony" which nobody used; and in 2000 with the "Sacagawea dollar", which nobody used.

http://consumerist.com/2012/11/30/if-no-one-likes-the-dollar-coin-why-is-the-u-s-government-trying-to-push-it-so-hard/ [consumerist.com]

Re:Not again (3, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42148417)

I use them. Way easier to keep a bunch in the ash tray to pay tolls with.

People would use them if they stopped printing dollar bills.

Re:Not again (5, Insightful)

Guspaz (556486) | about a year ago | (#42148433)

It doesn't matter if anybody wants them or not, the solution is simple. Start making one dollar coins. Stop making one dollar bills. Very quickly, your entire economy has switched.

That's what happened in Canada. What, you think there wasn't resistance when we eliminated our one dollar bill or two dollar bill (which was far more commonly used than in the US)? Of course there was. And it didn't matter, because people didn't get a choice. The government decided they wanted to save money, so they did. It's not an election-level issue, so they could do that sort of thing.

The only reason that the dollar coin has not succeeded in the US is because the US government doesn't know how to do such transitions.

Get rid of the murderers instead... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148055)

I mean the military.

Won't someone think of the strippers! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148071)

I'm thinking about them right now .....

Re:Won't someone think of the strippers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148279)

How do you think strippers in other countries handle that situation? Playing loonies at the peelers is a national past time. They're not dangerous it's a game. Knock the loonie off the lady bits with another loonie :). A beer jug between the jugs is another one.

Data? (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about a year ago | (#42148081)

So that's $146,000,000/yr.

Does the projection for the future savings take inflation into account?

Re:Data? (1, Redundant)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about a year ago | (#42148141)

...and I'm not talking about the inflation mentioned in the article. ("purchasing power").

I mean actual value of the dollar inflation.

Dollar Bill? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148083)

How about the penny first.

pace (2)

alienzed (732782) | about a year ago | (#42148085)

It seems like everything in the US takes forever to accomplish. Everything changed when the internet came to be. We can do things now in seconds that used to take days. The governing system needs to learn a thing or two from this. However, Canada gave up the dollar bill a long long time ago, and soon we're getting rid of the penny. It seems more and more like we're the real leaders in North America now.

Allowance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148087)

If we get rid of dollar bills, how am i supposed to pay my girls their allowance every two weeks?

And no, this isn't a euphemism for a visit to a strip club. i have two daughters. They earn an allowance.

Re:Allowance (4, Insightful)

Radres (776901) | about a year ago | (#42148131)

With dollar coins?

Re:Allowance (1)

s0nicfreak (615390) | about a year ago | (#42148499)

In $5 dollar bills. Unless you're not giving them enough to actually buy anything?

Elsewhere (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#42148089)

No stripper is worth a $5 tip to watch them on stage.

Re:Elsewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148177)

I second this, i felt awkward giving coins to strippers in canada.

Re:Elsewhere (1)

superslacker87 (998043) | about a year ago | (#42148179)

So use $2 bills!

Re:Elsewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148187)

They still make $2 bills.

Re:Elsewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148233)

the smallest euro bill is 5€, the smallest bill here is worth ~10usd

And the penny! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148097)

Please for to abadon the penny!

END FIAT CURRENCY! END THE FED! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148099)

How about this! If we took the power away from a bunch of secret bank mobsters to PRINT MONEY and instead backed it with gold or some other finite, precious commodity, the dollar would retain its value.

I'm sick and tired of this implicit tax that I have just because I *HOLD* a dollar. Read Greenspan's "Gold and Economic Freedom" essay. Once it's started, that money which is printed out can only be repaid by printing more money. This is the shabby key to the (corporate/social) welfare state that exists today.

Re:END FIAT CURRENCY! END THE FED! (2)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about a year ago | (#42148333)

Backing up a currency is a tragic waste of gold, which has substantial industrial uses but sadly is too expensive because of the irrational attachment that people have to it. Plus if a new source of very large amounts of gold were to be discovered, then it would endanger the economy.

dollar bills are not necessary (1)

Xicor (2738029) | about a year ago | (#42148103)

i cant remember a time where anything ever cost less than a dollar once tax is included. and honestly, if stores did a decent job of not charging pennies then we wouldnt need those either

One step at a time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148105)

Start with the penny

Inflation beware (2, Interesting)

Jack Malmostoso (899729) | about a year ago | (#42148111)

Here in Europe it is widespread belief that the fact that 1 and 2 euros are in coins are a reason for inflation. You think twice before spending a bill, while psychologically a coin is easier to part with.
It does happen quite often to have 10-20eur in coins so it's probably not all wrong.

Re:Inflation beware (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148335)

widespread belief[citation needed]

Long been time. (1)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#42148115)

In fact, we should ditch the five dollar bill as well. One and five dollar denomination coins, possibly even adding a two dollar denomination, wouldn't be a bad thing. It'd be effectively mirroring what exists in other countries and would save a considerable amount of money printing bills that barely last 18 months as it is, replacing them with coins that last decades.

I think the only hard thing would be finding a metal that isn't worth more per weight (I'm guessing Zinc is still cheap) than the coin stamped into it. Or we could look into other alloys and materials (carbon fiber coins anyone?) Maybe do like other countries and start punching holes in them.

Re:Long been time. (2)

operagost (62405) | about a year ago | (#42148341)

You want to carry a stack of 1 and 5 dollar coins in your pocket? Or will it be in a sack tied to your belt?

But, think of the strippers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148119)

What are we expected to do, tip with coins? Purchase tickets of some kind?

Re:But, think of the strippers! (2)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about a year ago | (#42148235)

RFID tags in their outfits, and when you go in you get given a "watch" wristband that will read the tag and credit that stripper's account. You prepay at the bar or on the door, and you charge your drinks to it too. If you go over, just top it up with the handy credit card machine that a hostess will bring to the table with your next round of drinks.

You can keep it anonymous, or you can register with the system for a discount on drinks and to make sure you always get a dance from your favourite girl.

This one's free, bitches. You know who you heard it from first.

Re:But, think of the strippers! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148395)

or you could just make a variation of what the casinos do, chips

Re:But, think of the strippers! (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42148325)

You insert them in the slot.

Is this really that hard to figure out?

A agree completely (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148121)

I suggest we move to a system built on barter and bitcoins.

It worked for Canada... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148135)

Maybe the US can start there then more onto the metric system.

Great for tracking... (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about a year ago | (#42148145)

Really, subject says it all. I sometimes get cash out of the ATM, just because I like to have some on hand. The great thing about cash is that if you end up in a bad position, anyone anywhere will accept it. I got to thinking about it the other day though, and I'm kind of surprised they don't record they serial number of the bills they dispense to you and track where they end up in order to better track purchases that go under the radar because there's no 'card trail'.

Not that I WANT this, mind you, but from a marketing point of view, the most interesting demographic has got to be the one that is trying it's damned to prevent you from finding out about it.

Familiarity (4, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#42148147)

Wait, they're saying we can save potentially billions of dollars, by simply changing our expectations and habits in a very slight and non-destructive fashion? Unless we can declare war on it as some kind of abstract ideological concept, nobody's going to go for that. This is America, dude, where we turn off the lights when we leave the bathroom to save the environment while we let petroleum producers dump thousands of tonnes of oil into the water because they half-assed the construction and bypassed most of the safety procedures. We come in peace, ignore the Predator drones.

The only sensible way to do this is to shove it down the average person's throat with them screaming bloody murder... only to find out a few years later that they actually like it better the new way. It's how things have always been done here. Don't ask me why, I don't know whether it's human nature, or there's something in the water that makes people this resistant to beneficial change, but will happily make useless changes to everything...

Re:Familiarity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148269)

It's not really billions of dollars. According to TFS, by switching from dollar bills to dollar coins we could save $0.50 per person per year.

I am pretty sure that switching from dollar bills to dollar coins will cost me personally a lot more than $0.50 per year in lost coins.

Re:Familiarity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148305)

It's simply "I'm right and you're wrong" syndrome. You want someone to refuse a perfectly logical thing?

FORCE them to do it.

That's all you have to do. Nothing more. You want to get someone who is fat to be thin? Go to their house and threaten to beat them if they don't eat.

The useless changes tend to be done as "Why not try xyz?" instead of "We're going to take xyz from you. By force, if necessary."

Re:Familiarity (1)

Nutria (679911) | about a year ago | (#42148451)

Any amount of savings adds up to billions of dollars if you extend it out for an adequate number of decades.

Real savings comes from slashing entitlements and the Defense department.

Man, I hate coins. Hate 'em. (4, Insightful)

InvisibleClergy (1430277) | about a year ago | (#42148149)

That's all there is to this comment. I throw away pennies. The only coins I save are quarters, and I only do that out of frustration. I don't carry a coin pouch. Seriously.

No (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a year ago | (#42148157)

I dont want to carry around a bunch of change just for a can of coke or a candy bar.

There is a vast weight difference in the 2.

Sure why not, but damn'it (1)

3seas (184403) | about a year ago | (#42148169)

... keep the penny

Strike a zero, keep the dollar (2, Interesting)

istartedi (132515) | about a year ago | (#42148171)

We should just strike a zero from the coins and keep the dollar. In other words, the pennies sitting in your piggy would immediately be worth $0.10. Paper money and the existing dollar coins would keep the same value, just multiply the value of all the other coins.

1. Really not that expensive compared to the national debt.

2. It would be a form of stimulus that goes to middle class people with jars full of coins, not fat cats. It would spark the kind of spending they want to stimulate, just in time for Christmas.

3. The mint would once again be making money minting pennies and nickles instead of losing it. In the long run it would pay for itself. As an added bonus, you don't need to change the minting process.

Re:Strike a zero, keep the dollar (1)

operagost (62405) | about a year ago | (#42148369)

Well, that's brilliant. You just increased the national debt to 160 trillion dollars.

Re:Strike a zero, keep the dollar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148371)

Number two is why that cant happen. The only stimulus the middle and lower class are allowed to get is stimulus to scramble around for money, work.

The desperation of the masses for money is what gives it value.

Penny First (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148181)

We can't even get rid of the penny. How are we going to get rid of paper dollar bills first?

Came here looking for the Planet Money link (5, Informative)

guises (2423402) | about a year ago | (#42148195)

Planet Money did a whole podcast on this. Don't see anyone linking to it, so here's the most current thing:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/11/29/166103071/no-killing-the-dollar-bill-would-not-save-the-government-money [npr.org]

The short is: switching to dollar coins is both less convenient and more expensive than sticking with bills. It's surprising, given the much longer lifetime of coins, but unambiguous.

Not a big deal... (2)

Atticka (175794) | about a year ago | (#42148203)

Up north we have 1$ and 2$ coins and its really NOT an issue. Time to get over the "no way, not ever, coins are icky" attitude and do the responsible thing to save money.

Honestly, something has to be done to reduce government expenditure and this is a simple, no brainer way to go about it.

It adds up further than you think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148207)

average of about $146 million per year

It may not sound like much but for that amount of money we could afford more than a third of an Apple CEO [aflcio.org] every year.

No, it won't save money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148217)

They've been through this before. There's a relevant Planet Money story [npr.org] about this.

The short version is that people tend to hoard coins whereas they tend to spend bills. This means the government would have to have more coins in circulation than if they were using bills. They ran the numbers and concluded that it would actually cost more to replace all dollar bills with dollar coins.

Yep - Bills need to go! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148227)

I'd be very happy if we did away with the bills and went to strictly $1 coins. In fact, I'd also be happy to see us ditch the penny from circulation and perhaps go as far as to say start making $5 coins with the eventual goal to eliminate the $5 bill.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148229)

Think of all the public healthcare that could be funded with that money!

Canadian (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148237)

You now have our socalized healthcare, now be able to afford it as well by adopting 1 & 2 dollar coins just like Canada, in fact, skip a step, and delete pennies at the same time.

You know what prevented the US from making this happen last time (Sacajawea dollar coin) was the fact that your banks didn't have the balls to pull the notes, and the government didn't have enough reach to do so.

On second thought you should move to our socialized, government sanctioned banks at the same time as well.

You know cause if you want something done either pay a shizzle ton of money for it (capitalism) or get a government to mandate it.

Countdown too some Tea Party drooler doing their best Mel Gibson "...but you cant take our FREEDOM" tirade to shout down the potential savings.

Drop the $2 and the penny while you're at it (1)

toejam13 (958243) | about a year ago | (#42148239)

Dollar bills are horrible for vending machines. About half of the bills in my wallet are in questionable condition, and most aren't even a decade old. Meanwhile, I have have a couple of coins in my pocket that are from the 1950s and 60s. Still perfectly good.

The two dollar bill never really took off in the US. Supposedly some people find them unlucky. Dump 'em for a $2 coin. Works for Canada.

If you really want to get bold, move the currency from two decimal places to one (coins would be $0.1, $0.2 and $0.5). The penny has less real value today than the half-penny had in its day when it was dropped. Sure, we could just round to the nearest nickle to keep 5Â and 25Â pieces good, but we're almost to a point where it costs more to mint a nickle than what its face value is.

$146M won't pay for the debates! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148243)

So, $146M in savings for a year-- will that even pay for the Congress critter hearings? Why is this even in front of Congress? Shouldn't this be a question for the Treasury Department. Repub's want "hand's off, small, efficient government" -- they let the Treasury Dept make the decision -- if you want them to behave like a business then let them tend to their business. I'm also willing to bet that Treas has a better grasp on ramifications w.r.t. counterfitting than Congress. Bunch a PHB's....

Sometimes ya gotta let people do their work.

Hopefully soon. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#42148263)

We should abolish all change below the dime, and turn the one and five into coins.

Why the odd timeframes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148277)

Why are we talking about 4 billion in 30 years? What about a per year rate? It's like when the politicians talk about deficit reduction. They come out an throw out a number of a couple hundred billion and only later you find out they mean "over 7 years." What about next year?
 
4 billion is an exciting number until you understand that it's over nearly half a human's life span.

It probably wouldn't save money (1)

ihop0 (988608) | about a year ago | (#42148285)

Planet Money did an analysis of the issue awhile back, and discovered that the habit of people to let coins collect in jars & drawers, while it would benefit the government, would alter the math and not end up saving us if we made the switch.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/11/29/166103071/no-killing-the-dollar-bill-would-not-save-the-government-money [npr.org]

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/04/19/150976150/should-we-kill-the-dollar-bill [npr.org]

Please answer this question (1)

operagost (62405) | about a year ago | (#42148309)

How do I carry dollar coins in my wallet, again? The dollar used to be worth something, so you could carry a handful of mixed change (including silver and gold $1, 3, 5, 10, and 20) to use during the day. I guess that eliminating the $1 bill is a tacit admission that is it worthless and not worth carrying.

Value of $1 (5, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year ago | (#42148317)

According to Wolfram Alpha, $1 in 1950 had the approximate purchasing power of $9.54 today. So the dollar is the new dime. Pop quiz: did it make sense to print ten-cent notes in 1950? (Hint: no) Then why retain the $1 bill today?

Abandon $50 and $100 bills! (1)

Microsift (223381) | about a year ago | (#42148347)

The $1 bill is useful for everyday transactions, the $100 bill is useful for gamblers in Las Vegas and drug dealers. While I have no problem with the former, making it more difficult for drug dealers to do business seems like a good policy. Also, it would be two fewer bills that we would have to worry about people counterfeiting.

But those coins are a pain to carry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148351)

Having lived briefly in Canada I must say dollar coins are *highly annoying* and being a male with a wallet (instead of a woman with a purse where she can keep a coin holder) makes it even more annoying. I would arrive home from work and dump all the coins in a recipient and keep them there. You end up using $1 and $2 coins only to do laundry. It's a pain to carry that stuff around.

This wouldn't actually "save" any money. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148361)

http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/04/19/150976150/should-we-kill-the-dollar-bill
http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2012/11/29/166103071/no-killing-the-dollar-bill-would-not-save-the-government-money

Even the GAO admitted that the plan to replace dollar bills with dollar coins would pretty much just be seigniorage. The government would make a profit on dollar coins from lack of use, not any actual savings.

Dollar coins already exist (3, Insightful)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about a year ago | (#42148379)

We've tried several. The big problem is that the Treasury won't simply ditch the dollar bill in favor of coins. They try to issue the coins along with dollar bills, so of course people treat the coins as collectibles instead of currency and they never catch on.

The right way to do it is to just do it: issue the coins and stop issuing dollar bills. Bills would still be in circulation and accepted, but no new $1 bills would be issued to banks. If a bank orders $1s, it'd receive them in coins. Any dollar bills received by the Federal Reserve banks or the Treasury would be destroyed, and any replacement would be done with coins. I figure within a year we'd be on coins completely, most dollar bills would've been returned as worn and destroyed and with no new bills being issued coins would become so prevalent that they wouldn't be collectibles anymore.

Yes. (1)

sco08y (615665) | about a year ago | (#42148385)

And get rid of pennies, too.

Dumb ideas never die (1)

Freddybear (1805256) | about a year ago | (#42148397)

It was a dumb idea when they issued the Susan B. Anthony dollar.
It was a dumb idea when they issued the Sacagawea dollar.
It's still a dumb idea.

No, it won't save anything. There are more costs to changing the currency than just the printing costs at the US Mint.

The only place I ever saw dollar coins in actual use was the Miami metrorail system.

Re:Dumb ideas never die (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148493)

Never been to Canada, I take it?

Look at Loonies and Toonies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148409)

Canada did this in 1987 [wikipedia.org] for $1 bills, and 1996 [wikipedia.org] for $2, and phased in the coins over a couple of years. Are they heavy and a pain? Yes and no. All it really means is that you tend not to carry around $10 in small change anymore. When something costs, say, $7, instead of handing someone a $10 and getting $2 in change all the time, you hand them a $5 and a toonie. There's never much reason to keep a lot of loonies and toonies in your pocket, and because of the weight you simply prioritize getting rid of them with each transaction that doesn't round off evenly to $5 or $10 increments. It's only if you can't do math that you let them pile up until they are a problem.

If it's going to save over $100 million a year, that seems worth a minor inconvenience.

the dollar bill, the penny, the nickel.... (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about a year ago | (#42148459)

Nearly every other economy with a unit of money roughly comparable to the US dollar has replaced their corresponding banknote with a coin. Canadian dollar. Australian dollar. United Kingdom pound. Brazilian real. New Zealand dollar. The Whole Freakin' EuroZone's euro. Swiss Franc. Countries whose money is off by a major factor have coins with roughly the value of the US dollar (e.g. Japanese yen, Russian rubles). Do you think maybe they're onto something?

US money is way overdue for an overhaul. It's time to drop the penny and the nickel, and start rounding prices to the nearest 1/10 of a dollar, which would keep the math simple. Stop printing disposable bank notes worth less than $10, and replace them with durable coins.

I'm sure that part of the psychological resistance to this comes down to two words: Washington and Lincoln. They're the two most popular presidents, and they're on three out of the four items we need to discontinue. So reassign them. Put George on the new $1 coin, and Abe on the new $5 coin. Since George is already on the quarter, move Jefferson there (from the nickel). Problem solved.

What about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148467)

Strippers? There's probably not enough $2 bills for that market.

A dollar coin is fine if it looks like one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42148503)

The revised size of the dollar coin is too close to the size of a quarter. Needs to be easily distinguished, like the ones with Eisenhower on them. No chance of mistaking that for a quarter in dim light or a hurry. That was of course one of the problems with the Susan B coins. A much smaller gold coin would also be
workable, but it must not duplicate the size of any other coin.
What is more disturbing is the constant drop in value of the dollar. Think for example that a haircut in the 1950s cost maybe 75 cents. Now it's more
like $15 and counting. The factor of ~20 is constant for most everything else, will probably grow since that's what happens when you print more money.
A dollar coin like the old Eisenhower one (even being made of the LBJ cupro-nickel alloy) might be worth enough to slightly discourage printing
money. Logically you'd want to make coins in $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 and $500 denominations too and drop paper. There are govt types who find cash
too hard to trace and would love to make it impossible to trade without leaving traces. If it's too heavy to carry, cash becomes pushed out.
Is this really desirable?

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