10 August, 2010

Dear America,

Grow up.

I was reading this morning on the BBC that America is minting more $1 Dollar Coins even though the American public is resistant to them. In my typical fashion, I have a way to get Americans to suck it up and start using the new dollar coins that are cheeper to produce, last way longer and just look cooler than dollar bills.
Step one. Issue a press release saying that dollar bills (the paper ones) will be no longer be accepted as real money. You can change them at your local bank for coins for the next few months, but starting on X date, they are no longer considered money. And before you get your pants in a wad, it happens here every so often when they change the notes. I found an old 20 the other day and swapped it at the bank for a proper one.

Step two. Follow through with it. Not like that dumb-ass "switch to digital" thing that cable was supposed to do. Actually stop taking the money. Full Stop.

The article quotes US Mint Director Edmund Moy saying, "We have tried every major idea that we can come up with, with limited success." Really? Have you tried telling people that dollar bills are no long going to be accepted? I didn't think so. The article goes on to say that legislation halting the use of paper dollar bills or halting the minting of the coins would not likely pass given the partisan condition of congress at the moment, and to that I say "America! Grow UP!"

Good hell, if most of the countries in the G8 (of which you are a member) have stopped circulating paper singles due to their short lifespan (just a few years versus four decades for a coin) what makes you so good that you have to keep them? Is it the massive strength of the American Economy? Is it just because America is so cool? Is it because we have Sarah Palin and she is looking out for us and representing america? If America would switch to the coin from the paper, it would save between 500 and 700 million dollars a year. That is enough to put a dent in the health care coverage cost, or if you prefer blowing shit up, buy a few new planes and maybe a tank* or two.

I will admit. There might be a potential side effect from switching to the dollar coin from the dollar bill. Someone is going to have to retro-fit all the vending machines that so many school-children get their lunch from every day. Plumbers are going to have to buy belts to hold their trousers up from the extra pocket weight. But you know what I call that? Job Creation! Sorting the vending machines out alone should knock a percent point off the unemployment rate. There are factories in Detroit just housing crack addicts, lets put them to good use! 

In closing, President Obama, Congress, and Americans at large, here is a small ladder. Please step down off of your high horse, and join the rest of the world in coinage use. Use the money you save to fund a school, or feed children, or buy Haiti, (I bet property rates there are low) or tanks, guns, bombs and bullets to take over Mexico and end the immigration dispute. I don't care what you do with it but it kills me to hear you argue about the cost of something America needs (schools, police, health care) when you are pissing away money on something you don't (dolla, dolla bills, y'all).
And while we are on the subject of growing up, can you please learn to use your Inside Voice when you are inside? If not I am going to give you a time out and you are all going to have to sit on your bed for the next ten years and think about what you have done. 

*That isn't really a tank. It is a Self-propelled artillery vehicle capable of launching 155 mm rounds 42 kilometers downrange, at a rate of 10 a minute. That means it can blow your house up from two towns away then start in on the surrounding neighborhood just for practice. Mexico, we are coming for you. 

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