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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Breaking the dollar bill habit is hard

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

First there was the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin. But the American public did not embrace the coin as government officials had hoped. So fast-forward another 20 years and the feds tried it again. This time it was the Sacagawea coin and it was about as popular as its predecessor. In other words, it went over like a lead balloon.

So this week we'll try once again. This time the new dollar coin will feature the presidents, starting appropriately with Washington. Every three months a new presidential image will grace the coins in the hope that the public will grow fond of the coins and abandon the trusty dollar bill. I'd bet a dollar this one will flop as well.

Old habits are hard to break and we Americans have yet to break the dollar bill habit. Even if it makes financial sense (printing dollar bills is costly), we still shun the coins in favor of the old reliable.

You would assume the Treasury would get the message. But you know what they say about assuming.

The two separate dollar coins currently in circulation have proven to be a monumental blunder. Coin collectors seem to be the only ones truly interested in the coins but that is not nearly enough to force a switch away from the dollar bill. I'm sure the feds hope the new rotation of faces on the coins will somehow magically excite the public to make the switch. But we all know it won't.

Here is the only salvation for this potential change away from the dollar bill. Let's say it's a few years down the road and the Senator from New York is president. God forbid. But just for argument's sake, let's say that day arrives. I could see some pleasure in donating a Hillary dollar to my favorite conservative cause. Talk about ironies!

The new coin idea sounds like something McDonald's would try. You know, get the kids excited about collecting all the presidents. At least with McDonald's, you get a hamburger too.

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Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen