Arguments in favor of keeping coins in the United States (opinion)

The shortage has caused some Argue that we should get rid of some or all of the coins, but I don’t think the United States should give in to the pressure to become a cashless society, like Finland, Sweden or China.
When the pandemic started, people – myself included – were concerned that touching things like groceries, mail, packages and money could lead to infections. Even I laundered and vaporized items bought at the supermarket and stopped using cash and coins. As a result, the number of cashless transactions soared during the pandemic.

But this increase represents a potential danger for the economy. Cashless transactions depend on secure computers and robust communication networks, all of which require a constant supply of electricity. Additionally, they need impenetrable networks that cannot be compromised by hackers and criminals. If either of these is compromised and we don’t have low-tech options, like coins and cash, to rely on, America’s financial system could be in trouble. serious difficulty.

In disasters, things fail. Covid-19 has shown us that the more steps there are in a process, the more likely things are to fail. Low-tech items don’t depend on electricity or computers, and these are exactly the kinds of items we should promote – not eliminate – to ensure national security in times of uncertainty.

Getting rid of coins is also problematic for the poor and those with bad credit. In the United States, there are still many people who are unbanked and do not have easy access to credit or debit cards. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or FDIC, which insures the country’s banks, periodically checks who is not using the banks. His most recent poll showed that more than one in four households (26.9%) is either unbanked or underbanked. By becoming a cashless society, we would further alienate this substantial group, which includes those who can least afford to be left behind.

And, of course, there are privacy concerns. Every cashless transaction is tracked, allowing banks and financial services companies to build a comprehensive profile of your purchases. This profile refines the ability of businesses to micro-target customers and enables intrusive government surveillance. Many people don’t want a public record of their spending in places like bars, casinos or marijuana dispensaries. There are also other transactions that people want to hide. For example, I am supposed to follow a healthy diet. I really don’t want my wife to know how many times I stop for donuts.

I also have before argued to keep the coins and cash for both economic and social justice reasons.
Yes, the penny and the nickel cost more do what they are worth. But even with this state of affairs, the US Mint $ 300 million in net profit last year on the minting of coins in circulation. He did this because the cost of making dimes and quarters is far less than face value.

Finally, our company is going through a period of intense retrospection through the Black Lives Matter movement. Some public demonstrations demanded the removal of national symbols. Statues have been dismantled and buildings have been renamed. A statue in a forgotten corner of the park is not as powerful a symbol as the pictures on the currency that people use to buy food, drink and clothing.

Why Covid-19 could be the end of the penny
American coins and cash today primarily carry images of long-dead white men, such as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin. We only have two coins in circulation with images other than white men: the Susan B. Anthony dollar coin, which was hit from 1979 to 1981 and again in 1999; and the Sacagawea dollar gold coin, which was hit since 2000. However, these dollar coins are rarely used by the public. We’ve only had one piece of paper money with a woman, and you’ve probably never used it. It was a $ 1 bill printed only in 1886 and 1891 that bore the image of Martha Washington, wife of the first president.
The large number of commemorative coins published annually shows that it is relatively easy to create new images, which can quickly be used for the production of coins in circulation.

Now is the time for the Mint to make a statement. There is no clearer way to tell than Black Lives Matter than by putting a black person on our coins or change. It’s a simple but long overdue step that would not only help the Mint re-engage people in coins, but show its support for today’s calls for social justice.

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