Sunday, February 08, 2009

FBO: 'Solves the US Coin Problem'

Quick: Name the first American HERO to appear on US currency.

The answer is Abraham J Lincoln. One hundred years ago -- that's 1909, and not farther back -- the 'Lincoln penny' introduced the first person's likeliness on a US coin or note, something that George Washington had decried as dangerously 'monarchichal', per a New York Times story today.

The fate of the historic coin -- which hilariously outraged defeated Confederate veterans at the time; hey, that's the spoils when YOU GET BEAT guys -- is hotly debated. It's frequently noted that the coin worth $0.01 costs $0.014 to produce.

The FBO offers a solution.

Presently the US dollar is broken down into 100 cents. Let's change that so that the dollar is divided into TEN CENTS.

* The penny will be worth one cent.

* The nickel will be worth two cents.

* The quarter will be renamed the 'halfer', and worth five cents.

* The dumb dime and dumb JFK half-dollar will cease to exist.

* The dollar coin, in various forms, will remain worth $1.

A bit on that last point. One of the great things about travel to the United Kingdom is that coins there actually matter. The pound -- the single greatest coin on earth -- weighs in a pocket, though only a bit bigger than a dime. It hangs there like 'I'm a bagel with cream cheese' or 'I'm a pizza slice.' You don't want to lose it.

The US needs bigger stress on its many many many dollar coins. There's the Eisenhower, the Susan B Anthony, the underrated Sacajawea and -- since 2005 -- a steady stream of US president coins (I've only seen the gold Washington and gold James Madison... I cannot wait to see the William Henry Harrison, who died shortly after becoming president after getting sick at his inauguration).

--> Suggestion: Please refrain from using $1 bills for the next four weeks. Only use dollar coins.

We are really happy, though, that the US has about 45 different dollar coins.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY


Burro Hall said...

Coin, yes; note, no. Lincoln not only created US currency (which prior to 1863 had been issued by private banks), but he emblazoned it with his own image, making himself the only figure in American history who could pull a legal tender note out of his own pocket and say, "Look, that's me!"

(I've been somewhat immersed in this stuff recently - sorry to be a tool.)

THE FBO said...

Oh, just for coins then? Thanks for this revelation. Did not know it... that article oughta have made that distinction. Very very interesting. AJ Lincoln's tenacity.

tom caw said...

I love the dollar coins. Holden is collecting them. Maybe the Harrison one will only be worth $.25?


Sadly, there may not be a coin commemorating Geo. W. Bush, since he (probably) won't die in time.
But we can always commemorate his legacy on these petro-dollars...