Words of wisdom

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The penny (and the dollar too)

Long ago I remember hearing that da Gubment wanted to do away with both the penny and the paper dollar.  Why?  They are both a waste.  The penny is virtually worthless these days, and it costs a whole lot more to make each penny than each of those pennies is worth,  The paper dollar, after having gone through a cost-benefit analysis, turns out to also have a very low rating; studies have shown that paper dollars in circulation last only a small fraction of the time that metal coins last.  After that, the paper dollar must be taken out of circulation, having gotten too beaten up to even be recognized as a dollar.  Plus, I think I remember hearing that manufacturing metal coins is cheaper than printing paper currency.  So why are we still using these?

For some reason this question popped into my head again recently, and I just happened upon this post at Reason.com which discusses one half of the issue, so I figerred I'd rant just a little bit (like THAT never happens).  Notice that this article was originally written 3 1/2 years ago.  This is not a new topic.

From what I recall, the main opposition to moving to dollar coins from paper money was the union(s) composed of the workers who do the work.  From what I recall, the savings (10 or so years ago) would have been in the hundreds of millions of dollars (don't know if that is annually or total).  So, bottom line, what pissed me off back then and what pisses me off now, is that we taxpayers are spending a whole bunch of money so's we can keep several hundred people employed.  And, of course, so that some Congressmen and women can say that they are supporting their damned constituents.  [Term limits please!!]

As for the penny, the article I sited above [here again for the lazy crowd] says that
  1. The penny costs waaaaaay more to make than its own worth, and
  2. The penny's only supporters appear to include ... let's see ... hmm:
  • Coin counting companies
  • Coin collectors
  • Companies that help to manufacture the coins
  • Charities
Charities?  Really?????  Who the hell gives their pennies to charities?  And, if they already do, then who the hell wouldn't just shift to nickels?

The rest sound kinda like a list of conflicts of interest and uselessness.  Collectors: I am a collector of ... stuff (DON'T GET MY WIFE STARTED!!!)  But minting coins at Gubment expense so that people can keep them?  Companies: Do I even have to explain this?

So, once again, conflicts of interest, sheer stupidity, uselessness, and a lack of term limits in Congress all trump common sense.

This is a great country ... mostly.

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