Friday, February 16, 2007

Dollars and Sense

The US Mint has issued a new worthless coin. Why? Because many coin collectors will hoard them and keep them out of circulation. Some money supply theorists say that this is good for our economy.

This new coin is a $1 coin featuring our first President. The mint is promoting this coin saying “Buy George”. This coin will be slightly larger and thicker than a quarter.

What happened to the good old days when the dollar coin was a large coin? I would imagine that it’s because a dollar was actually worth something back then and the Silver Dollar was not just another worthless coin.

The last two one dollar coins have been failures. First there was the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin first issued in 1979. By some it was nicknamed the “Suzie Slut”.

The second one dollar coin was issued in 2000 and like the “Buy George” coin, it was gold clad. It featured a famous Native American, Sacagawea, on the front of the coin and the American eagle on the back side. It was nicknamed the “Bird Woman” coin or as I called it the “For the Birds” coin.

I have several of these coins. They are worthless to me, I keep them in a little coin box, so I don’t mistake them for quarters when I have been imbibing intoxicating beverages.

The mint plans to release four coins per year through 2016, each with a different President’s (in order of their Presidency) likeness. The initial issue of the George Washington Dollar is 300 million. The hoarding of the State Quarters went so well, why not up the ante to a buck.

I may be wrong, but I believe that a President must be dead for at least two years before he appears on a stamp or piece of US currency. And unless they issue two separate Grover Cleveland coins, this means that George H. W. Bush must die in 2014. The Bush family must be getting a little nervous about this situation.

Let’s take this game one step further.

Why not issue a commemorative Five Dollar coin once a year, featuring some of our notable politicians who never became President. This coin would be copper clad and slightly larger and thicker than a nickel. This way no one would mistake it for a nickel or a penny with the exception of foreign visitors. Foreign visitors already hate our currency because it is not color coded, as theirs is. Let’s take advantage of them by giving them these coins in their change. This way they will tip service employees better without really realizing what they have done.

This $5 coin will be similar to Baseball trading cards when I was a kid. "I’ll trade you one Wendell Wilke for 4 George Washington’s."

The Beach Bum

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