Dollars and No Sense

So our beloved government is getting ready to issue a series of Presidential One Dollar Coins. If I were a benevolent sort, I’d wish them luck with this enterprise.

After all, when the Mint came out with the Susan B. Anthony dollar, people hated it because it was the same color and roughly the same size as a quarter.

A few years later, the Sacagawea dollar came along. The innovative method they came up with to distinguish it from a quarter was to color it gold. Oh, and it had a smooth edge, which meant if our hand was palpating in our pocket for a coin, we had to run a thumbnail along the edge to see if it made a ratcheting sound or not.

Now along comes the Presidental profiles series of dollars, and as you can see on the official page, “the size, weight and metal composition of the new Presidential $1 Coin will be identical to that of the Golden Dollar featuring Sacagawea.”

Remember what the definition of insanity is? Doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.

In discussing the failure of the Sacagawea coin, the late James Benfield, then executive director of the Coin Coalition1 said, “The chief stumbling-block to the success of the ‘golden dollar’ is the continued presence of the $1 bill. The lesson demonstrated by our SBA experience, and learned by all countries that have introduced a high-denomination coin since 1979, is that the equivalent note must be removed from circulation. The only country not to learn that lesson is the United States.”

That might be true. But it would also help if the new coins weren’t so stupidly close to the size of something else in such common use that mistakes would be costly.

It’s not like they can’t make the coin a different size. Remember the Eisenhower dollar?

Maybe it’s a good thing that our beloved government refuses to learn certain lessons… but on the other hand, when it’s not the right lesson, it can be pretty annoying.

It’s getting crazier in every way
We’ve got the same kind of idiots as yesterday
They were chosen by more idiots
Theyre one of a kind
They’ll steal your life
But they’ll never get mine

(via iTunes)

1 An organization so obscure that they apparently have no web site.


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