Richard Doty writes:
It's my understanding that the staff at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing spend approximately 60% of their time printing dollar bills. Apparently they've gotten the ear of a Congressperson or two to ensure that the paper buck continues in production. (This must be the only time in recent memory when a legislator actually listened to a union guy.)
In any event, you wouldn't have to have a formal program to remove dollar bills from circulation. All you'd have to do is stop printing them and let natural attrition do its work, then demonetize the tatter'd remnants after a decent interval. That's what the British did in the early eighties – and it worked fine. Unless everyone WANTS to keep currency bearing a design that was trite when introduced over eighty years ago; or Congresspersons continue to be weak in the knees before the entrenched power of the printer's union.
David Gladfelter writes:
Use of pejoratives such as "nanny state nonsense" contributes nothing to the discussion about production of coins and currency for circulation in commerce. Seems strange that the dollar bill is too insignificant in value to counterfeit, yet the £1 coin is worth faking. Our money must be as secure as possible from counterfeiting, as well as convenient to use. Both the dollar coin and the dollar bill are now accepted in most vending machines. Our government is not flush with money. If there is a substantial cost saving in the dollar coin over the dollar bill, we should switch from the bill to the coin just as other countries have done with their units of money. The one cent coin is too expensive to continue making. Even without the coin, the cent will live on in commodity pricing just as the mill (never coined) lives on in gasoline pricing.
The mill was the unit of State Sales tax tokens, too (now defunct). I do agree we should stick to numismatics, but politics is almost always a factor in why coins and banknotes are created or withdrawn. Politics being what it is, there will always be strong opinions on different sides of the issue. In hindsight I should probably have edited out the "nanny-state" comment. -Editor
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JULY 17, 2011
Wayne Homren, Editor
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