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The Almighty Buck Government United States News

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

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  • Inflation beware (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jack Malmostoso ( 899729 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @05:55PM (#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.

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @05:58PM (#42148171) Journal

    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:Not again (Score:4, Interesting)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @06:13PM (#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.

  • by thomasw_lrd ( 1203850 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @06:35PM (#42148875)

    I once thought this way too. But it is possible. Instead of a $1 USD buying a loaf a bread, it might actually buy 4 loaves of bread. I wish I could find the post that pointed this out, but I'm too lazy. We would still have money, but it would be worth more in the long run.

  • by Dwedit ( 232252 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @06:36PM (#42148901) Homepage

    For anyone wondering where all the Sacajawea dollars went to, they are mostly in Ecuador. Ecuador uses US dollars as the currency, and people there use dollar coins all the time. You can see some photos of dirty tarnished dollar coins that have obviously been used, which is unheard of in the US.

  • Re:Not yet... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FrankSchwab ( 675585 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @06:46PM (#42149063) Journal

    100% agree...Kill the penny, kill the nickel, kill the quarter, kill the $1 and $5 bills.

    The dime (the physically smallest coin) becomes the smallest denomination. 10 of'em to the dollar. If you absolutely have to, create a 50 cent piece that's a bit larger than the dime.

    Build a dollar coin that DOESN'T LOOK LIKE A QUARTER, goddammit. Even the gold Sacajawea dollars, after a couple of years, tarnished to look like an older quarter. Build it with an external polygonal rim, or put a hole in the middle of it,. Maybe make it about the size of a penny, or nickel so coin holders in cars, etc., will hold the new dollar. .Build a 5 dollar coin if you must, just a bit larger.

    In my world, that'd be two coins ($0.1 and $1.0). The numismatists (who single-handedly keep the penny alive) would probably require 4 ($0.1, $0.5, $1.0, $5.0). Then, three bills - $10, $20, $50. Despite my misgivings about losing a cash economy, the ease of counterfeiting (especially at the nation-state level) probably means that making higher denomination bills is a poor choice.

  • MOD PARENT UP!!! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 30, 2012 @06:49PM (#42149103)

    Exactly. Here's some reading for you.

    Link []

  • by booyoh ( 2511204 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @06:50PM (#42149111)

    I can't find a machine to vend 12 oz cans.

    There are still around. I have seen quite few of them this week on Auto Repair Shops. I noted that the cheaper the soda can price ( Cheapest was $0.60 USD) the cheaper the quote. Most expensive was $0.90 USD

  • by ebh ( 116526 ) < minus math_god> on Friday November 30, 2012 @06:53PM (#42149175) Journal

    Most vending machines these days take dollar coins. The reason the vending machine industry wants to keep the dollar bill is that it's a lot easier to get a slug past the coin mech than it is to get a counterfeit $1 past the bill acceptor.

  • by Mathieu Lutfy ( 69 ) on Friday November 30, 2012 @06:55PM (#42149195) Homepage

    Although the main argument of the linked article on why it's more expensive, is that people tend to hold on to coins (put them in useless jars) rather than use them, so the government had to produce 1.6 dollar coins for each 1$ paper billed replaced.

    In the linked PDF file [1], search for "1.6", you will find this sentence in the same paragraph:

    "However, in both cases, once the transition was complete, coin
    production was very low or even nil in some years. Therefore, we
    determined that a 1.5-to-1 replacement rate would be appropriate for our analysisâ"low enough to avoid an excess of $1 coins without creating an undue risk of producing too few."

    It was only a transition issue, there is no mention about people forgetting about those coins in jars. A 1$ coin is useful, it's what is usually given as a tip for a beer in a pub, so I find the argument that people put them in jars kind of odd..


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