Friday, October 24, 2008

Deficit Reduction for Idiots

There is a simple way that average Americans can help reduce the Federal budget by approximately $150,000,000 per year – and it won’t cost anyone a dime.
 All you have to do is get rid of all your dollar bills.  No, I don’t mean give all your dollar bills to Uncle Sam – just take them to the bank and exchange them for dollar coins.  Then spend those coins just as you would have spent the notes that you exchanged for them.  When someone gives you a dollar note don’t spend it – take it to the bank and exchange it for a dollar coin.
You see, a dollar note has an average lifespan of only 1.5 years while a dollar coin has a lifespan of about 30 years.  It’s easy enough to understand how durability contributes to efficiency, but that’s not the only benefit of using the coin vs. the note.  When notes need to be examined to establish their condition they must be counted and handled on an individual basis while coins can be weighed in large quantities.
Then there’s the convenience factor.  Yes, there will be a transitional adjustment, but imagine being able to feed a vending machine coins instead of notes – we can get rid of all those finicky bill accepting (rejecting is probably more apropos) gadgets.  Paying tolls becomes simpler (toss in the coins and go!)  The UK eliminated the one pound note long ago and they now have both one and two pound coins.  There isn’t a one euro note – it’s a coin!  Perhaps the U.S.A. needs to follow the rest of the civilized world and phase out the dollar note.

Where, oh Where?

OK, I’ve been negligent for a while.  I can’t claim an apocalyptic event that is responsible for my lack of writing, just lots and lots of little events that have kept me quite distracted.  Between the Presidential race, economic situation and general human condition I’ve got plenty to vent my spleen over – there has certainly not been an excess of common sense brought forth in recent history.
Stay tuned!