Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lay Your Money Down

There's a report today that a U.S. Appeals Court has ruled that the U.S. discriminates against the blind by the way it designs its paper money. Well, it's about time. It's been apparent to me ever since living in Europe and seeing how the rest of the world does money that the U.S. is once again provincial to the point of ridiculousness. I don't know of any other country whose paper bills are all of the same size and color. One of the things I wondered about while I was watching the movie "Ray" a few years ago was how Ray Charles knew he was being paid enough in those early days before he could afford to hire people to take care of things like that. I'm sure it's the same problem for every other blind person. (Of course, in the middle class world, credit cards are the thing. That's because the middle class is borrowed to the eyeballs supporting the country and their overstreched consumption since the moneyed classes don't pay anywhere near what they ought to.) The story says this decision could force the U.S. to redesign its paper money, either making bills of different sizes or raising the numbers and lettering on them. Good idea.

While I'm on the subject, where in the hell are the dollar U.S. coins? These things should be circulating freely and helping us all out. But they don't; they get hoarded. And why don't they circulate more freely? Well, apparently as long as the dollar bill stays in circulation, the coins are doomed. Moreover, there's all kinds of ambivalence about the coins among Americans. Check out the comments here.
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