My contributions have been light lately but in my defense I've been fighting for time using the family PC. But now all of that has changed as I bought a new laptop last night and it's all mine (bwa ha ha ha)!
The good - small, light, cheap, and long battery life
The bad - windows vista, and I ran out of cash to buy MS Office so I'm going it with just OpenOffice
Well, enough of that lets move onto the good stuff…coins :)
I've heard lots of banter lately over whether or not certain U.S. denominations should be eliminated (like the cent) or if coin compositions should change. So here are my opinions on this:
Regardless of what some people may say coins have no purchasing power thanks to inflation. We use a decimal monetary system so the primary purpose of coins is to complete a decimal cash transaction for retail. In this light, it shouldn't matter what the composition of coins are as long as they are cheap enough to make and serve their function in life. If anything we may want some funky denominations to make decimal transactions easier so less coins are required, how about a 75 cent coin? Long story short…coins are good and we should keep them!
What really mucks with our government decision making for coins are special interests groups, in particular the vending industry. Yes they fight to keep coins (which is good) but they fight any change in weight, size, or denomination (which is bad) because they do not want to modify their machines that take coins. This drove me nuts last weekend as I went to a self car wash that cost $4 but they only took quarters (argh). After my wonderful car wash experience my son wanted something out of a nearby vending machine and with a dollar in quarters left over I figured why not. The only thing less than a $1.25 was a pack of gum and of course I used my last singles on the darn car wash change maker leaving only a $10 bill in my wallet. In the end we walked away with nothing and stopped at a corner store. Why can't these machines take larger bills!!!
Another argument I hear is that toll booths need coins at their current composition & weight so as not to change their equipment. I don't know if anyone has driven on a highway lately but most states are putting in those electronic EZ-pass detectors. Coming back on from Massachusetts there were 4 toll lanes open with three for EZ-pass and only one for cash (guess which lane I was stuck waiting in)! So this argument holds no weight (joke intended).
My final opinion…coins good, lots of denominations good, composition (or weight) change good!