The Din of Inequity

The Din of Inequity

...yes, I spelled it that way on purpose.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Treasury Jobs for "Talented" High Schoolers

Have you seen the design for the new nickels? It's a joke, right? Criminy Pete, they suck. The design will be completely non-obvious to the vast majority of Americans who don't remember the details of the purchase (like who we bought it from, etc.), and I believe that to be the vast majority of Americans over 13. In fact, I do remember some of the details, and I'm still not sure what the crossed axe and clay pipe have to do with anything. Did the Leprechauns buy it from the lumberjacks? Was that it?

On top of the crap idea, the artwork sucks in a very real, and legally binding sense. This is drawing (I know, I know, it'll be engraved in the final piece, but garbage in, garbage out, I say) of the caliber most often associated with the seventh grade's "best artist". It's representational--nobody will wonder what they're seeing--but to call it clumsily and poorly executed does Frank Coppola, John Evans and Co. a disservice.

Being able to draw better than the rest of the kids who were forced to take Art instead of Choir or Shop classes does not mean you're qualified to draw the prototype for our nation's currency. Yeah, nobody minds if you mangle the school's mascot on a pep rally banner, or draw the praying hands on your church's holiday bulletin (people will still notice your unhealthy obsession with drawing on every fingernail), but really. Not the nickel--what was up until now one of the better-looking coins, primarily by virtue of the fact that Monticello is a swingin' hizzouse--please not the nickel.

Americans have about the dumbest currency system going anyway, at least since the British went decimal. I guess the idea of it is pretty solid, but the management of it, and the overall attractiveness of the currency (sorely lacking in the first place--the US has the ugliest paper money in the world) has taken an amazingly precipitous plunge in recent memory. First, the "new" bills. Fugly in the extreme, and they just get dumber and dumber looking as more and more "anti-counterfeiting" measures are piled on. And let's not forget the advanced cleverness of not bothering to make sure they'd be compatible with existing automated change and payment machines or at least provide the public or the manufacturers of these machines with some notice of the fact prior to flooding the market with them. Schmucks.

And let's not forget the "golden dollar" or "sacky.*" I'm totally in favor of a dollar coin. Hell, if I had my way we'd have a two dollar coin also. It was a revelation to me the first time I went to England and Ireland and I was able to reach into my pocket, pull out two measly coins, and buy a pint. Getting totally jarred on pocket change! WooHoo! But of course in the US we managed to completely defeat the whole thing. "Let's make it gold-colored! Let's make it the same size as a fucking quarter so people will accidentally put them in parking meters and jam them! Let's encourage asshats to collect them!** Let's NOT take the completely useless and redundant paper dollar out of circulation!" It was a recipe for disaster, which is what it's been. I got a blank look from a checker at the Safeway a couple of months ago when I tried to spend one. These things have been legal tender for something like three years, people! You should not need to call the manager over to explain to you what US currency is. You should be confused when someone hands you a dollar bill, if you ask me, but no--it's still the dominant form.

*I know that it comes from "Sacajawea" who's on the coin, and I know that Girlygirl favors the term, but for fuck's sake. Sacky? I like the dollar coins, but it makes me not want to put one in my pocket. Sacky. Sack o' shite, more like.

State quarters. If there were ever a public program that attracted more of the worst in design-by-committee and amateurish drawing, I'd like to know what it was. Most of them are ugly. Many of them are stupid. All of them are unnecessary. Who benefits from this? The dickheads who sell those maps with a quarter-sized hole in every state of the Union, that's who**.

**This "collectible" thing is actually a stroke of genius on the part of the government. How else are they going to get hundreds of thousands of people to acquire, then never spend, at least $12.50? And a good number of those folks, because of government efforts to sabotage the success of the fricking Sacky, are also hoarding gold dollars under the mistaken impression they'll be rare someday. Yeah, rare like Beanie Babies--people can't give those things away now. So the government found a way to get the American people (at least the stupid ones) to loan them what must amount to a huge amount of money. Your bank buys the coins from the Treasury, you trade some portion of your paycheck for them, then you stick them in a goddamn plaque on the wall. The fed gets paid, the bank gets paid, and you just paid. I guess you could just look at it like the lottery--it's an ignorance tax, mostly.

Looks like I've got three minutes left on my download. Better get back to "work."

|| Bikeboy 2:24 PM ||
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