Jul
23
2013

:wearily: There’s a reason we don’t use dollar coins already, Senator McCain.

Blessed if I know what it is, precisely; nor do I really care what the reason is.  All I know is that the federal government’s tried to get people to use the blessed things for my entire life, and the American people keep refusing to. How many times do we have to beat our heads against a bri… oh.  Right.  John McCain.  Silly me.

Moe Lane

PS: Retire, Senator McCain.

(Via Hot Air Headlines)

24 Comments

  • Finrod says:

    The reason no one uses dollar coins is because it was a damn fool idea to make them in a size nearly indistinguishable from a quarter. I can understand why people didn’t like the old Eisenhower dollar coins (even though I personally love them), they felt too heavy even though they were scaled to the right size– one Eisenhower dollar, two half-dollars, four quarters, and ten dimes all weigh the exact same amount– but making them nearly the same size as a quarter was the Wrong Move.
    My solution: reintroduce the dollar coin, keep it gold-colored, but make it the size of a half-dollar. No size confusion, after all the government hasn’t minted any half-dollar coins in ten years and most people probably can’t remember the last time they even saw one in person. Eliminate the $1 bill in favor of the $2 bill, and phase out the penny already, it’s ridiculous that we’re still minting a coin that costs twice what it’s worth to mint.

    • Aruges says:

      We used to have silver dollars for years that were huge. They went away. You may remember the 50 cent piece. That was also huge. Also, gone.

      • acat says:

        There is an amount of chicken+egg to this ..
        .
        Dollar coins aren’t accepted in vending machines, so why would I carry dollar coins instead of more usable paper?
        .
        Because nobody uses ’em, why would vending machine operators pay more to recognize Eisenhowers, Susan Bs, and Sacajaweas ?
        .
        My vote is to make the things square.
        .
        Mew

        • Aruges says:

          Or we could just accept the ubiquitous availability of cash/debit cards and put more card readers on things.

          Really, for most applications, hard cash is a solved problem.

        • Finrod says:

          They tried that when they reintroduced the dollar coin around 2000 or so, advertised it as the ‘golden dollar’, put signs on vending machines, etc., etc. It still didn’t help.
          Pinball machines in 1979 had three coin slots: the center was for the dollar coin (Susan B) and gave 5 credits instead of 1 credit for a quarter. Thing was, the dollar coin mechanism couldn’t distinguish between a dollar coin and a quarter …..

        • Skip says:

          Dollar coins are accepted in virtually every vending machine, acat. The standard coin acceptors that everyone uses have supported them for at least 15 years. Used to use them in soda machines all the time.

          • acat says:

            *WHICH* dollar coin, Skip? Susan B? Sacajawea? Not around me they don’t.
            .
            Machines local to me, even 15 years ago would accept *paper* dollars, though, so .. why bother?
            .
            I do know the CTA updated their ticket machines to accept Sacajawea dollars .. they were quite proud of how much money they spent. Think about that.
            .
            Mew

  • Catseyes says:

    Got a couple silver dollars and some 50 cent pieces and even a Susan B Anthony sort of quarter looking dollar. If they went with a silver dollar sized coin it would work but no one would carry the damn things to much weight. In the old days people would get holes and their pockets there was a reason people got holes in their pockets. Imagine putting $20 dollars in silver dollars in your pocket how far do you think you would get before you started leaving a trail of dollars behind you.

  • Finrod says:

    If you want to have some fun sometime, the government will ship you dollar coins at cost. That’s how badly they want to get rid of them; they’re willing to eat the cost of shipping just so they don’t have to store them any more, since by law for many years they had to make a certain number of them each year. One of my friends intended to get 500 of them or so, put them in a small chest, and lug it around a geek convention paying for things from it (calling them gold pieces, of course) just for the heck of it.

    • Skip says:

      That’s actually not why, Finrod. They want people to use them, so they’re absorbing the shipping cost to get them in circulation.

      At some point they just need to bite the bullet and stop making the $1 bill and people will get over it in, oh, about sixty seconds or so, and the government will save a ton. Which is something we should all be behind, right?

  • jbird says:

    I don’t think they’ll catch on unless they do away with the paper dollar. most of my change ends up in my car, couch or in a basket. That’ll get expensive if I start losing dollar coins to the couch.

    • earlgrey says:

      I think the smallest bill they have in Europe is a 5 euro note. I can’t keep my change straight there. I am not a fan of using the dollar (or Euro) coin.

      Plus I feel stupid counting out 5 or 6 euro coins to get a cheeseburger.

      • Finrod says:

        Yeah Canada eliminated paper money below the $5 a while ago in favor of the $1 and $2 coin.

      • jbird says:

        I used pound coins in England just fine. It’s just easier to carry the paper money, so why switch unless the paper money goes away. The coins will supposedly save the government billions so I’m fine with it. Just no good reason for me personally to change over until they make me.

        • acat says:

          Thing is, the change-over will cost the private sector quite a lot.
          .
          Following Slippery Jim DiGriz’s* logic, the vending machine operators (who tend to be small businesses) will retrofit and make less money and pay less in taxes.
          .
          The armored car companies will spend more on gas (coins are heavier) so will make less money and pay less in taxes.
          .
          Banks may have to expand vault space (coins are bulkier) and will make less money and pay less in taxes.
          .
          So .. does the savings really exist?
          .
          Mew
          .
          .
          .
          * Classical reference

    • Dave R says:

      That actually is the answer to why dollar coins have never caught on. Anywhere they’ve successfully pulled off an equivalent swap, they actually got rid of the $1 bills. The size and weight of the coin isn’t really the issue; it’s always going to be less convenient than paper.

  • BigGator5 says:

    I think we should just do away with with dollor bills and coins altogether. With checks and credit/debit cards, who carries money with them these days?

    • BigGator5 says:

      Also, the biggest reason for keeping the dollor paper money, is (believe it or not) vending machine lobby. I am not joking. Until they can end credit card swip fees, they don’t want to lose the single dollor bill.

    • Darin_H says:

      I hardly carry cash anymore (not when my bank pays me to use a credit card), but cash is anonymous, and that is sometimes useful.

      • jbird says:

        this. I carry cash to keep my wife from bothering me every time I buy lunch. But, it actually takes effort to go get the cash in the 1st place.

        • acat says:

          Exactly. Or when I hire a guy to do some labor who’s obviously not reporting all of his income but is down on his luck..
          .
          Or when I hand the exceptionally competent waitress a $5 in addition to whatever I wrote on the credit card receipt..
          .
          There are lots of good reasons to use cash, and only one arguably good reason to do away with it… it’d end the “underground economy”.
          .
          Mew

  • Skip says:

    @Acat, the Susan B’s and the Sacajawea (and all the ones since then) are identical weight and dimensions, so all of those. As far as the upgrade cost, are you surprised that the government can make something that should be fairly cheap enormously expensive? If you’re a vending machine owner, here’s what it’s going to take. Is your machine less than fifteen to twenty years old? You’re done. All you have to do is enable the denomination in the configuration, if for some reason you disabled it. Older than that? If it’s less old than the SBAs, there’s a pretty good chance you’re done, but you might require an upgrade. An upgrade which might just be ‘swap out the coin acceptor for one that’s identical size and interface’, or might require a software upgrade.

    And the software upgrade is a pretty trivial change, you send a command to the acceptor to find out what denominations it accepts, and you send a command back to enable/disable them. That’s it. I’ve written device drivers for the things. It’s not complicated, it’s not difficult.

    • acat says:

      Skip, same size and weight, not same shape, and neither alone are how a modern coin selector determines if a coin is valid.
      .
      Otherwise, I’ve got a drill press and some sheet steel, eh?
      .
      I will also point out that most vending machine operators are small time operators who really don’t want to upgrade the coin mechanisms because the replacements are *not* free.
      .
      You may have written device drivers for them, but did you look at the price per unit and compare it to the profit on a bag of chips?
      .
      Mew

RSS feed for comments on this post.


Site by Neil Stevens | Theme by TheBuckmaker.com