Should $1 Be “Cold, Hard Cash”?
Check out the original story on Yahoo: Congress looks at doing away with the $1 bill by Kevin Freking.
Some have argued for years that the U.S. should switch to a $1 coin and ditch the $1 bill. And perhaps it makes sense- coins can stay in circulation much longer, after all, so they can be more cost-efficient to produce.
The most common argument I’ve seen against the idea is simply this: we have never used $1 coins, and we don’t want to. As Philip Diehl notes in the article, though, “It’s really a matter of just getting used to it.” That’s my take, in any case.
I’ve been blessed with the good fortune to visit a couple of other countries, the United Kingdom and El Salvador, in which $1 coins are used. Both experiences were unique, but both left me with an improved opinion of $1 coins.
The UK actually uses Pounds rather than Dollars, of course. It was my first real experience with large denomination coins- I don’t really count the few I run into here in the U.S. To me, their 1 & 2 pound coins were just as convenient and useful as bills. Their best feature, though, was that their size and/or thickness makes them distinctly different from the smaller denomination coins.
El Salvador actually uses U.S. Dollars, and the larger denomination bills are used there too. But $1 coins are the norm there- in fact, we ship a lot of ours we don’t use to them. Again, convenience was the same, aside from the one real problem we face in this: gold dollars aren’t easily distinguishable from quarters. I couldn’t simply reach in my pocket and know by touch which one I held. But that’s not too hard to fix.
Perhaps $1 coins are a needed governmental cost-cut and a positive cultural change. In regard to business, aside from a few instances such as vending machines, I think the situation is really six of one, half a dozen of another. With equally convenient usage, I doubt business trends will be greatly effected.
Thanks for reading,