On the growing irrelevance of American coins
January 13, 2021 2:31 p.m. ET
“America is ready to pay for change” by Stephen Moore (editorial, December 30) on the coin shortage in the United States only addresses part of the problem of the circulation of coins in our country. The real elephant in the room is the fact that no one is carrying coins anymore because they have become essentially worthless. Our politicians are loath to admit that decades of inflation have made US currency worth less than monopoly money, so why would anyone bother carrying coins around in their daily life? This is even more true today, when we have debit and credit cards and smartphone payment apps.
The smallest euro banknote is five euros, and there are coins for one and two euros, as well as the usual penny denominations. We should be doing the same, with the possible exception of eliminating pennies and nickel.
The shortage of parts could be greatly alleviated if the country adopted “transparency” in pricing, that is, it would have to include all taxes in the advertised price, as do EU members and other civilized countries. The trader would then avoid setting the price of a product at $ 34.56 and the population would not need as many parts.
Pierre V. Mini
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Published in the print edition of January 14, 2021.