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$1 Coins are out!
Old 12-13-2011, 03:54 PM   #1
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$1 Coins are out!

It only cost us $300M to create them, now we get to pay for them to be destroyed. But it will "save us" $50M.

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The federal government will stop minting unwanted $1 coins, the White House said Tuesday. The move will save an estimated $50 million a year.
Earlier this year, we reported on the mountain of $1 coins sitting unused in government vaults. The pile-up — an estimated 1.4 billion coins — was caused by a 2005 law that ordered the minting of coins honoring each U.S. president.
We calculated that the unwanted coins had cost taxpayers some $300 million dollars to make. There were so many coins piling up that the Federal Reserve was redesigning a vault in Texas to help hold them all
White House Kills Dollar Coin Program : Planet Money : NPR
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:59 PM   #2
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Dollar coins will never, ever, ever circulate while they still produce the $1 bill. The Canadian $1 coin worked because they eliminated the C$1 bill. Frankly the $1 bill is a waste and should be eliminated, and maybe that would also get the $2 bill out and circulating again.

Anyone paying attention knew that ANOTHER attempt at a $1 coin would be another boondoggle, because they still haven't learned the lesson of eliminating the $1 bill along with it.
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mickeyd View Post
It only cost us $300M to create them, now we get to pay for them to be destroyed. But it will "save us" $50M.
Destruction of the coins is not planned, but I agree with your sentiments.

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The Treasury department estimates it will take about 10 years for the economy to absorb the 1.4 billion $1 coins now in storage.

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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
Dollar coins will never, ever, ever circulate while they still produce the $1 bill. The Canadian $1 coin worked because they eliminated the C$1 bill. Frankly the $1 bill is a waste and should be eliminated, and maybe that would also get the $2 bill out and circulating again.

Anyone paying attention knew that ANOTHER attempt at a $1 coin would be another boondoggle, because they still haven't learned the lesson of eliminating the $1 bill along with it.
Exactly. Same in the UK. I remember when the "10 bob note" was eliminated and later the £1 note. They first started issuing the 50p coin, and then the £1 coin.

I think I understand why so many want to keep the dollar bill, even though it costs more, but the continued minting of new $1 coins that can't even be used in vending machines is just a waste of money.
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:50 PM   #4
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Not not as anti-government as some, but isnt this the classic case of why our government is not good stewards of the tax payers money? They have had history prove over and over this will not work. Everybody knows the definition of insanity, except the government, I guess. Now remember there was even more cost for these coins. Not all of them just were moved the Reserve. Many of them traveled this way which resulted in more costs. People would buy monthly maximum purchases of these coins with their cash back credit card to earn free money, while the government paid the transaction costs. The government paid for the shipping of coins free to these people ( more cost). Then the buyer would go dump them immediately at the bank and guess where the coins went then? Very ineffecient way of getting the coins to the old storage vaults wasnt it?
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:52 PM   #5
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Here in Canada we have both a $1 and a $2 coin.

They are a royal PITA! They weigh down your purse, add unsightly bulges to pockets, have caused economic hardship for some and they also caused the cost of living to go up:

- tipping is a problem. Belly dancers and strippers felt the pinch (so to speak) because people stopped tipping them: coins just fell through the costumes and no one wanted to leave a $5 tip for a couple of minutes of entertainment (don't ask me how I know this )

Now that the US dollar is at or near par, we're seeing more and more people tipping with US dollar bills.

- Items that used to cost under a dollar were "rounded up" when all the vending machines were re-calibrated to take the new coins

- there's also something psychological about tipping with dollar bills. Coins just look cheap.

On the plus side, having the coins helps with savings: most people I know just throw them into a jar and cash them in now and then. I save hundreds of dollars a year.
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:04 PM   #6
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One can certainly make a case for going to dollar coins over dollar bills. However, the public doesn't want to do it. Same with $2 bills. Having your own government "shove" something down your throat for "your own good" gets folks tossed out of office - and rightly so. If we all acted rationally, we wouldn't need so much gummint in the first place. Just one (old) man's opinion.

Totally off topic, but since Nuiloa brought it up: I was crossing from Canada back into the US several years ago. I stopped to exchange currency (maybe $50 total). In front of me was a young (very attractive) woman. She had bundled stacks of currency (primarily CAN$5s and Can$10s) - enough she needed both hands to carry it all. Without thinking how rude it was, I asked her why she had so much currency in small bills. Without hesitation, she told me that she was a dancer at a gentleman's club in Windsor, Ont. and that 5s and 10s were the coin of the realm for table dances. This was her take for Friday and Saturday night. She was a US citizen who had another job (or was a student, maybe - I forget). IIRC, she netted out well in excess of US$1000 - and this was Ca. 1995. I don't think the coins would have been an issue to her - even if they existed at the time. Just sayin...

Hey! Nuiloa, was that you??
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:32 PM   #7
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She was a US citizen who had another job (or was a student, maybe - I forget). IIRC, she netted out well in excess of US$1000 - and this was Ca. 1995. I don't think the coins would have been an issue to her - even if they existed at the time. Just sayin...

Hey! Nuiloa, was that you??
Don't I wish! They make more money than most brain surgeons and they hardly ever catch colds. Must be all that exercise.

The other thing - which is really strange - is that exotic dancers can go back and forth across the border with no visa/immigration problems at all. This is also unlike brain surgeons, who have to get a labour market opinion to determine if their skills are needed. Makes you wonder what Canadian priorities are, eh?
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Old 12-13-2011, 07:18 PM   #8
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My friend is a male belly dancer (which is how I know about coins vs. bills ). He hates coins so much - says that when they drop them into his pants, he feels like a "one arm bandit"

Every Monday he goes to his bank with a wad of bills coated in glitter, body oils and sweat. The tellers see him coming and put on gloves.
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:04 AM   #9
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Let's see I can carry pounds of coins in my pocket or 1 oz or 0.1 oz of paper in my wallet which I'd be carrying anyway. Um, tough call here but maybe just maybe I'd opt for not walking around with a ton of crap in my pocket but hey I'm crazy like that.

Ah gubmint at work, makes one wonder just how we ever managed to put men on the moon or win WW II?
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:25 AM   #10
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At least dollar coin circulates/lasts longer because it's inherently more durable than paper dollar bill, so in long term, it doesn't have to be shredded and recycled more often. The downside of it is that when inflation surges, people can not use wheelbarrows to carry them to buy bread like with dollar paper bills. Instead, Dodge Ram heavy duty diesel truck will have to be called.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
Dollar coins will never, ever, ever circulate while they still produce the $1 bill. The Canadian $1 coin worked because they eliminated the C$1 bill. Frankly the $1 bill is a waste and should be eliminated, and maybe that would also get the $2 bill out and circulating again.

Anyone paying attention knew that ANOTHER attempt at a $1 coin would be another boondoggle, because they still haven't learned the lesson of eliminating the $1 bill along with it.
I agree!
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:03 AM   #12
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Personally, I love the dollar coins. I always have a bunch of them in my pocket, and use them almost daily. I think the only reason they haven't caught on is that the gummint won't eliminate the dollar bill.

I also note that the dollar bill hasn't been eliminated because of opposition from the senators from Massachusetts, the state with the company producing the special paper used to print them. Coincidence?
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:00 AM   #13
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I think the only reason they haven't caught on is that the gummint won't eliminate the dollar bill.
I would say the reason that haven't caught on is that people find paper lighter and easier to carry and prefer it; and that government has not yet forced us to accept a choice that we do not want. Eventually they will, force is the only thing they understand.

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Old 12-14-2011, 09:20 AM   #14
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At least dollar coin circulates/lasts longer because it's inherently more durable than paper dollar bill, so in long term, it doesn't have to be shredded and recycled more often.
Why don't they make bills out of that Tyvek style paper? That stuff is tough-tough-tough! Must cost less than heavy metal, and you would not need to force people to use it. Oh, this is why (from wiki):

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An alternative polymer of polyethylene fibres marketed as Tyvek by DuPont was developed for use as currency by the American Bank Note Company in the early 1980s. Tyvek did not perform well in trials; smudging of ink and fragility were reported as problems.
Seems those problems could be resolved. If we can put men on the moon...

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Personally, I love the dollar coins. I always have a bunch of them in my pocket, and use them almost daily. I think the only reason they haven't caught on is that the gummint won't eliminate the dollar bill.
Wow! That's a real vote of confidence for $1 coins - people would use them if they had no choice? Really?

We could say the same about canned SPAM. Just take all that fresh meat out of the stores, more people would buy SPAM! (cue Monty Python...)

Actually I probably still wouldn't use them. I hate change. When I buy some little something at a store, and the register rings up $2.01, I get out the credit card. I don't want $0.99 of change to carry around.

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Old 12-14-2011, 09:37 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Nuiloa View Post
My friend is a male belly dancer (which is how I know about coins vs. bills ). He hates coins so much - says that when they drop them into his pants, he feels like a "one arm bandit"

Every Monday he goes to his bank with a wad of bills coated in glitter, body oils and sweat. The tellers see him coming and put on gloves.
This is a scenario that I have never, ever considered until you pointed it out. Ewww!
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:44 AM   #16
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At least dollar coin circulates/lasts longer because it's inherently more durable than paper dollar bill, so in long term, it doesn't have to be shredded and recycled more often. The downside of it is that when inflation surges, people can not use wheelbarrows to carry them to buy bread like with dollar paper bills. Instead, Dodge Ram heavy duty diesel truck will have to be called.
The paper dollar has virtually no intrinsic value, but the dollar coin contains metals currently worth about 6 cents. After inflation surges, the coin's intrinsic value will reach, then exceed, a dollar long before the paper's does.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:39 AM   #17
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When I visit Europe and want to leave a tip it requires a bit of an adjustment. Slipping the bellhop two coins "feels" like you're giving him four bits. Actually, it could be two 2 euro coins, which amounts to about 6 bucks. If you don't recalibrate, it's easy to leave more on the counter at the diner than your cheap breakfast was worth.

And yes, I tip in Europe.

For the record, I'm against the dollar coins. I don't like them, others don't like them, the cost to print bills is a relative drop in the bucket. And, at this particular time I don't think we should be making changes to US currency.
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:01 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ratto
At least dollar coin circulates/lasts longer because it's inherently more durable than paper dollar bill, so in long term, it doesn't have to be shredded and recycled more often. The downside of it is that when inflation surges, people can not use wheelbarrows to carry them to buy bread like with dollar paper bills. Instead, Dodge Ram heavy duty diesel truck will have to be called.
I thought you were going to say the dollar coins will last longer because they will sit forever undisturbed in the Federal Reserve vaults Who knows, maybe in 5 centuries a custodian will stumble onto these coins while cleaning the vaults, and they will be proclaimed as priceless artifacts.
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:08 PM   #19
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For the record, I'm against the dollar coins. I don't like them, others don't like them, the cost to print bills is a relative drop in the bucket. And, at this particular time I don't think we should be making changes to US currency.
I'm okay either way -- either stop trying the dollar coin experiment or stop making the paper dollar. They WILL NOT coexist in common commerce. Period. History is abundantly clear on that.

Though it is interesting to see that despite people's common distaste for carrying coins around for pocket change, a few things should be noted:

1) A dollar today is about like a quarter in (say) the 1970s. People didn't mind carrying quarters in the 1970s even though they represent approximately the same purchasing power as a dollar does today.

2) Until 1963 half dollar coins were very common in circulation. It was only after the design was changed to bear the likeness of JFK starting in 1964 that they really stopped circulating. In the 1970s when I was a kid they were seen in change, but not that much, and by the 1980s they were all but gone to the point where everyone considered the quarter to be the largest coin in "change".

3) Until we started putting the likeness of dead presidents on coinage, design changes were common -- often every 25-40 years. Until the last few decades, the longest-lived coin design was the "Seated Liberty" coins from about 1837 to 1891 -- and even that had some changes to the reverse design. Today *every* mainstream denomination in change has had the same basic design for at least 65 years (the dime was changed in 1946). The cent has had the likeness of Lincoln for 102 years!

So in some sense, our hard-line against "changing change" is unprecedented (and, IMO, hard-headed).
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Old 12-14-2011, 12:22 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by ziggy29
I'm okay either way -- either stop trying the dollar coin experiment or stop making the paper dollar. They WILL NOT coexist in common commerce. Period. History is abundantly clear on that.

Though it is interesting to see that despite people's common distaste for carrying coins around for pocket change, a few things should be noted:

1) A dollar today is about like a quarter in (say) the 1970s. People didn't mind carrying quarters in the 1970s even though they represent approximately the same purchasing power as a dollar does today.

2) Until 1963 half dollar coins were very common in circulation. It was only after the design was changed to bear the likeness of JFK starting in 1964 that they really stopped circulating. In the 1970s when I was a kid they were seen in change, but not that much, and by the 1980s they were all but gone to the point where everyone considered the quarter to be the largest coin in "change".

3) Until we started putting the likeness of dead presidents on coinage, design changes were common -- often every 25-40 years. Until the last few decades, the longest-lived coin design was the "Seated Liberty" coins from about 1837 to 1891 -- and even that had some changes to the reverse design. Today *every* mainstream denomination in change has had the same basic design for at least 65 years (the dime was changed in 1946). The cent has had the likeness of Lincoln for 102 years!

So in some sense, our hard-line against "changing change" is unprecedented (and, IMO, hard-headed).

Maybe our resistance to change concerning " change" is that we in a broader aspect are getting resistant to carrying any type of money anymore. I have increasingly become relying more on using electronic money, and have noticed my change jar doesnt grow as fast anymore.
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