U.S. Mint Banking On Americans' Love Of Dead White Men
Since the '70s, the government has known that dollar bills disintegrate after only a year or two of use, while dollar coins would last decades and save tons of printing costs. There have been two flopped attempts to introduce said coins since, which have failed not because dollar bills remained in circulation besides them but because they portrayed ladies on the front.
Well, no more! Today, the U.S. Mint, turning to a group that never gets to be on money, is beginning a series of dollar coins with presidential portraits. The coins go in chronological order, four presidents a year, which means that this year we get John Adams, who got some laws passed that made criticizing the president a crime! Thank goodness that will never happen again. The real winners, of course are William Henry Harrison, who gets one-quarter of 2009 despite only making it through a month of his presidency, and Grover Cleveland, who will get half of 2012 because of his crafty non-sequential-term-having ways.
The Mint cheerfully admits that Americans won't spend these dollar coins any more than they did previous versions, but hopes to make cash off of our national magpie-like tendency to collect shiny things. Also, Sacagawea will continue to appear on a few dollar coins minted every year, just as the Native Americans were allowed to continue living on a few small parts of their continent.
Mint rolls out four new $1 coins today [Arizona Republic]