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Recently, I heard a news program on the radio posing the question, “What are we going to do with all the silver Sacajawea dollars?” Nobody’s using them, apparently, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. When was the last time you used one?
The problem, I am told, is that people don’t use coinage over 25 cents or that paper money is easier to use. That answer, though, just begs another “why.” I know why, but it doesn’t have anything to do with paper vs. metal.
Hardly anything you can buy costs a dollar or less. A twenty oz. pop is typically $1.50, and a candy bar is a dollar now, the bigger ones more. And forget about the days when a gallon of gas cost less. Countless items used to be priced at a dollar or less, but are now more. Why congress didn’t realize this in 2007 when they minted a couple billions of these coins, I can only guess. I mean, it’s kind of a cool coin and all, but…seriously? Are we still minting these things and losing money? How can you lose money while making money? That’s a paradox a robot can’t even solve!
But I have an answer to the problem of what to do with them all. Make the silver dollar Sacajawea coins worth $2.00.
Time to accept the monetary reality we’ve created for ourselves—and time to accept that the almighty dollar, to quote Devin the Dude, “ain’t what it useta be,” and that “hobos useta aks ya for a dollar, now the mothaf—-s aks ya for three” (Waiting to Inhale, 2007). Of course, you’d still have the paper dollars, but now, you’d have a perfect use for all those coins. The Sacajawea coin program could actually prove useful, instead of a boondoggle.
Maybe my economist friends will say, but wait! You can’t just do that! That’s currency manipulation. Maybe I can’t, but I know They can, and They often accuse the Chinese of doing this. But we’re warned that when none of these coins have been circulating, and then, suddenly, they become part of the money we all use, it’ll cause inflation. True enough, but why not take an equivalent value of paper dollars out of circulation. Men will have plenty of reasons to keep that change jingling in their pockets (to the inexplicable annoyance of their wives), and less cash giving them reasons to go to the chiropractor. Problem solved.
(Okay, it probably isn’t that simple.)