|$1 coins available at a bank near you!
||[Dec. 9th, 2008|01:49 pm]
At least if the bank near you is the Bank of America at Parmer and Mopac. The clerk happily gave me 20 $1 coins for a $20 bill. (although she did have to find out where they were kept) I'll be spreading them around!
But why? They're heavy and feel like quarters.
Wow, what a strange site. It tries to convince everyone that coins are "green," but it describes no real benefit to the average person. Heck, I'm not even sure I believe the whole "green" claim. Savings for the government are listed in terms of "billions" but no actual numbers are listed.
In short, it probably saves the government money, but so would a lot of things. If we didn't want those pesky roads, for example, that would also save the government money.
I like paper dollars (lighter weight, easier to use), so to switch I need to see more benefit for me. Dollar coins help me because...why?
1) Coins are more expensive to make, but last a lot long (50-100 years, not 2-5 years). The whole "recyclable" claim is strange. The points is that we don't need to recycle them for a long time. But, over time, the assertion that coins are cheaper is true.
2) If you are carrying around a lot of money, large paper bills are king. No one should argue differently. But just like you don't carry $100 worth of paper money in singles, you wouldn't in dollar coins.
3) Coins' biggest benefit is tollways where you can pay w/out an attendant & not carry around (and throw) 5 coins, but 2 (assuming a $1.25 toll). Similar argument for vending machine.
4) In general, if you are interested in helping the government reduce waste, streamlining the world, eliminating life waste, then doing most of your purchases with credit card and using dollar coins would help. But this is a fuzzy feel good thing, not a concrete "if I do this, I will benefit" thing.
The benefit to you personally; pretty much nil. This is why I'm arguing that by the government trying to "sell" the idea of dollar coins to consumers is flawed. They can sell all they want, but it will not change anything. They need to figure out how to get them into circulation via banks and businesses & people will use them when they get them.
I would be curious to track the flow of dollar coins. How do they leave the bank/mint (personal withdrawals, like Greg made or businesses buying cash for change)? Where do they go from there? I have a sneaky feeling that businesses don't withdraw dollar coins and any they receive just get thrown into the weekly cash deposit. I bet most don't have a slot in their money drawer for dollar coins and they are just considered a pain. Therefore, the whole idea of getting dollar coins for yourself and using them to "get them in circulation" isn't really valid, unless you use them at companies where you think they will then use them again & not just deposit them.
So, does anyone know any small business owners? Can you convince them to make a push for dollar coins (only using them for change, deposit their bills & get slugs of coins?)
My bet is that the carrying costs for the coins were excluded in the government's calculations. Specifically, how much does it cost to use and carry dollar coins?
That includes things like the cost of moving them (they're heavier than the same quantity of dollars), retrofitting existing equipment (cash registers), and the overall wear and tear on things like pant pockets and purses.
Add those in, and there's almost certainly a negative cost for the *users* of the coins, but not for the *producers.* My bet is that this reason trumps all others including familiarity with existing dollars and habit.
Put another way, if coins were really cheaper for banks and retailers, we would all be using dollar coins now.