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Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2014

Goodbye dollar bill?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Are you ready to ditch some of your paper money?

What if you knew switching from the dollar bill to a dollar coin could save the government billions? Would that help change your mind?

According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, now is the time to really consider phasing out the paper version of the $1 bill, because replacing it with a $1 coin could save the government approximately $5.5 billion over 30 years. A study released by the GAO asserts that bills barely last three years in circulation, compared with 34 years for coins, and higher cotton prices drove up the cost of making paper money by 50 percent from 2008 to 2010.

Mark Perry, an economics and finance professor in the School of Management at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan, also suggests the $1 coin would not only sport a longer life span, it would cost merely 16 cents to produce. The coin version could also replace 17 bills that cost 47 cents to print, Perry said.

Pundits hint the transition wouldn't have to be painful either. Other countries eliminated such small denominations of paper currency decades ago because of the cost of production. The European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada are among those who have nixed the single unit of currency available in paper and replaced it with a coin form.

From what I've personally witnessed during transactions at area cash registers over the past several years, the switch from paper to coin currency shouldn't make a difference. As a society, we've moved toward using digital money, with many business deals conducted via debit and credit cards.

Women who already carry heavy purses may not enjoy the extra weight said coins would add. I am in the midst of this crowd.

Besides, who said making the new money heavier would make its value any stronger.

Kris Todd
Kris Todd