Are You ready to Give Up Your Dollar…

Thing of the Past...

Yes the US government wants your dollar bills, all of them as in a recent article the authors shared that the US Government is spending too much money replacing them.   As the typical life expectancy of George Washington is only about 40 months at best before the former commander and chief is sent to the shredder to become some form of novelty fodder while the mint represses a new version for your wallet.

The replacement for the venerable general’s paper is metal yes good ole coinage to clink around in your pocket, get stuck in the dryer drum and form yet another nuisance in ones pocket.  However the government believes it can save 5.5 billion (yes with a B again) of our tax dollars as the new George Washington 1 dollar coin will have an average life span of 30 years!   With this the GAO (General Accounting Office) wants Congress and the Treasury to help yank the $1 note from circulation.

The results of several surveys commissioned by the GAO not surprisingly suggested that the public is not in favor of giving up their  paper Washington’s, for this simply is what they grown comfortable with and because they are reluctant to carry around more coins in their already bulging pockets. Even when explained to survey respondents the replacement of the paper bills would eventually save taxpayers a lot of money each year, the opposition was still at 64 percent.

So how are other nations such as Britain and our neighbors to the north Canada dealing with the same issue?  In short they found the same popular challenges when they replaced their lowest-denomination notes in the 1980s with coinage. However once the notes were withdrawn, the 1-pound coin for example quickly became the accepted norm in Britain as what choice was there.  Additionally the European Union, Australia, Japan and Russia, as well as others have similarly done away with their paper notes for their lowest denominations, and have claimed to have benefited financially from the change.

However everything as we have come to learn has an equal and opposite reaction so what are the system impacts which will result from  this?  One which comes to mind is fuel costs, yes “fuel” cost as there is no such thing as a free ride.  To move an object it takes energy and the more mass the more energy it will take and a metal dollar bill will have quite a bit more mass then its paper predecessor.  Ok, snicker if you will as in the micro you have the right to but for example U.S. airlines carried 58.1* million scheduled domestic and international passengers in November 2010 (one month).  So each of these flying people is assured to have been carrying at least one dollar (on average) in their pocket when they boarded the plane.  So what will this cost the airlines in additional fuel costs?

Laughing are you, well not so quick as I’m sure many of you have read that Continental

Another Thing of the Past...

Airlines is doing away with pretzels and at first blush you might say a lot of things including they are saving the cost of the pretzels.  However it’s not that, as the “pretzels” cost more in fuel to fly then they do to buy!  Yes strange but true as its out there on the internet** and I even spoke to a Continental flight staff to confirm.  What we miss in life is little things when multiplied by big numbers add up quickly

*Note: http://www.bts.gov/press_releases/2011/bts009_11/html/bts009_11.html

**Note: Hungry air travelers could blame rising fuel costs, said global aviation consultant Mike Boyd of Boyd Group International.

“It’s to be expected when the price goes over $3 a gallon,” he said. “They’re going to be doing whatever they can. I don’t know what they’ll cut next, but I’m sure they’ll find something.”

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About Joseph Campbell

As a strong believer in the fact that "people work for people", it has been a life driver to better to understand the complexities of the various aspects which drive efficiency within this axiom, especially the concepts of leadership. Supporting this, I have been fortunate enough to having experienced this as leader on a global basis over the last decade and half. During this time it has been clear there are three core drivers being Life, Leadership and Economics.
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2 Responses to Are You ready to Give Up Your Dollar…

  1. The “Ike” and walking Liberty dollar coins were of real value since these coins were still “silver dollars” to a large degree. When we came off the “silver standard” for coins around 1964 these coins went out of circulation until the arrival of the Susan B Anthony strike. Largely numismatic in value (first struck image of a real US historical woman on a coin) the US Postal Service introduced these coins as change and received huge consumer backlash. The largely ceremonial Sacajawea dollar is likely a good size and content position for whatever the new George coin would resemble. We are at a point in time where the dollars saved are real enough to argue against public outcry. No more washed dollar bill hankies in the kids’ laundry. Goodbye paper George!

    • Joseph Campbell says:

      We however must also think of the cause and effect of such a decision will have as just like the knee jerk reaction to brew ethanol from corn to keep our SUV’s running created food shortages as well higher over costs for the average family. This too will have related costs as yes the government may save itself money on printing however in a world of expensive fuel, this will become an even larger consideration, as all the way from trucks to transport the ore to fact of millions of American’s carrying an extra quarter pound of weight with them will assuredly lead to higher fuel consumption all the way from the automobile to airplane as in the world of physics there is not a free lunch so to move that weight will take fuel and fuel costs money. If they are pushing this, they should push for the elimination of currency as whole, because talk about an out mode-ed concepts as since the release of the debit card, very seldom do I use cash in fact I avoid….

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