Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ace and the Dollar Coin

205 Ace and The Dollar Coin

Ace Farmer runs the little coffee cart on the corner of Park and 59th. It used to be a busy corner and he used to not be Ace Farmer.

It’s no longer busy as it used to be because the new tenants at 499 Park and at 110 E.59th are not as coffee and danish conscious as the previous ones were. The Bloomberg News and Data types spent big bucks with Ace.

Ace Farmer became Ace Farmer on September 12th, 2001. Sometimes he calls himself Al Farmer. But he never calls himself by his previous name, Achmed Farouk.

Ace rolls up in a van each morning about 4:30, detaches the coffee cart and sets it up on the street, loads it with the breakfast stuff, drives off to find a legal parking space, then runs – RUNS – back to the cart to open for business.

After work, about eleven, Ace hooks up the cart and before he heads for the garage in Queens where he keeps it, he stops off at the bank which is right outside Grand Central on the Lexington Avenue side. It’s eleven and there’s a big crowd. What’s going on? Ace aces his way nearer and he’s horrified.

There are the guys from the US Mint and they’re showing how dumb they can be. They are doing this by displaying and selling the new US Dollar coin.

Ace, who doesn’t have a mean bone in his body has developed a major hatred of Susan B. Anthony and Princess Sacagawea. His English is good. His spelling is okay. But he can neither say nor spell Sacagawea. Who can blame him? And who can do better.

Ace makes change in the pre-dawn hours and now he’s got another dollar coin to worry about. When the Princess coin came out, he put a sign on the cart: “No Dollar Coins, Please.” No problem. No one used ‘em. (He wasn’t here when the Susan coin was introduced.)

He won’t put the sign up this time, having learned well before the Mint that no one’s going to use the new one. The Mint hasn’t learned that yet. It will.

Canada is laughing at us. They – and every other country that has tried to fob off a high-value coin on its population has learned that the only way people will use the coins is if they can’t get the bills.

That’s a pretty big focus group, guys. Three hundred million residents of the United States, and millions more around the world. Dollar coins don’t work. We don’t want ‘em. The two previous editions are sitting in dresser drawers or in piggy banks (those with slots big enough,) and in cigar boxes.

They weigh us down. They tear holes in purse and pocket.

You’d figure two huge and recent failures would have taught them what we want and what we don’t. But, no.

Earth to Mint: We want money to burn holes in our pockets, not rip them.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

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