The Federal Reserve vaults are sitting on $1 billion — that's with a "b" — in unused one-dollar coins, shunned currency that has been piling up since 2007, when a government program made their production compulsory. That number could double by 2016, when the program is scheduled to end.
This is the third time that the U.S. government has attempted to get Americans to adopt dollar coins, these bearing the likeness of every president. (We're up to Ulysses S. Grant.) The other two attempts — the Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea series — similarly bombed.
So what's the problem? Why do Americans hate dollar coins so much? Why do I hate dollar coins so much? I see you, bodega cashier, creating a distraction as you attempt to sneak one of those infernal things into my palm. Don't even try it.
And yet Canadians can't get enough of the things! Well, for starters, Canada removed the one-dollar bill from circulation two years after the Loonie was introduced, so they didn't have much of a choice in the matter. But they were generally accepting of the new coin even before that happened. They can't help themselves — Canadians love new forms of currency! (Now it's all-plastic bank notes with peekaboo windows.)
But could you imagine the U.S. dollar bill ever being pulled from circulation? Ha! That seems unlikely, so long as the powerful cocaine and stripper lobbies have anything to say about it. No, the dollar bill isn't going anywhere. Let's face it — change is heavy, gets lost in your couch, and generally sucks. But low-denomination paper money — now you're talking! It's always there for you, making you feel like there's something in your wallet, even if it's only enough to get you a King Size Snickers bar. It's all about the Washingtons. [NPR, photo via Shutterstock]