Nobody wants the dollar coin: Why America hates change

May 17, 2012

Download Story

Americans have been quietly mourning a surprising death for months, ever since news hit that the U.S. government would stop minting $1 coins in an effort to save money. "Nobody wants them," Vice President Joe Biden said with typical candor.

But "[a]s our politicians duke it out on the fields of the U.S. Mint, as Sacagewa and Susie B. Anthony chat it up with our first 20 presidents in vaults the size of Madison Square Garden, one fact remains," says comedian and famed tour guide Margaret Hicks. "Americans are passionate about our money, but we hate change." Read an excerpt of her thoughts below or listen above:

The American public is a finicky beast. When it chooses to shower its unmitigated scorn on something, it’s over for that thing. From eggs to Boy George to Nutella, Americans are clear in their opinions.

The court of public opinion has spoken again. A decision has been made for you countrymen, and according to the front page of bankrate.com,“The US stops minting unloved $1 coin.”
 
It’s hard not to be taken aback immediately, to defend yourself against the assumptions that headline raises.“I have no problem with the $1 coin” you think to yourself, “In fact, I LOVE one dollar coins.” Yeah well, you’re fooling yourself and America too and you’re making the $1 coin look like even more of an asshole.
 
According to the Wall Street Journal, there are over 1.4 billion dollar coins sitting in soccer field size vaults all over the world. 40 percent of the coins are returned to the mint. The detested coins sit in plastic bags, so many hateful coins, that if they were laid flat, they could stretch from Chicago to L.A. . . . Coins across America.
 
At smalldollars.com one can read the history of the dollar coin. First manufactured in 1794, this unlikeable coin was made of silver. After 1935, the price of silver was too high and the silver dollar phased out. But hope was renewed in 1971 with the advent of the Eisenhower dollar coins. They were supposed to be really neat but they weren't.
 
The mint just kept pressing their luck and struck (that’s official coin lanuguage) the Susan B. Anthony coin, which was also scorned and of course, the apparently not-so-beloved-but-we-can’t-talk-about-it-cause-it’s-not-PC Sacagewa coin.
 
So millions of coins, sitting around unloved in massive vaults in Texas. Yet coinnews.net states that in 2005, a congressional mandate passed that said the U.S. mint WILL make dollar coins with the faces of each president, in succession. It would be as rebellious and exciting as the state quarters and let’s admit it, who didn't sit around waiting for their state and then deciding that Georgia still got the best one?
 
The Paper Machete is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 p.m., it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your The Paper Machete Radio Magazine needs filled here, or download the podcast from iTunes here.