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Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Is Doing Away With $1 Bill A Good Idea?
Periodically, someone gets the idea that we should replace the dollar bill with a $1 dollar coin. And, every time this comes up, we hear the same tired litany about how much money the government would save.

A December 3, 2012 Associated Press article in the L.A. Times is headlined:

Switching from $1 bills to coins is no small change

“A new plan to eliminate the note would save taxpayers about $4.4 billion over the next 30 years, a U.S. agency says. But Americans haven't embraced the coin.”

“American consumers have not taken to the $1 coin. But there's renewed pressure to eliminate dollar bills in favor of coins.”

“It's a simple matter of dollars and cents — congressional auditors say doing away with dollar bills entirely and replacing them with dollar coins could save taxpayers some $4.4 billion over the next 30 years.”

“This projection from the Government Accountability Office came as lawmakers begin exploring new ways for the government to save money by changing the money itself.”

“At a House subcommittee hearing Thursday, the focus was on two possible new approaches:

“Moving to less expensive combinations of metals like steel, aluminum and zinc.
“Gradually taking dollar bills out the economy and replacing them with coins.

“The GAO's Lorelei St. James told the House Financial Services panel it would take several years for the benefits of switching from paper bills to dollar coins to catch up with the cost of making the change.

Equipment would have to be bought or overhauled, and more coins would have to be produced upfront to replace bills as they are taken out of circulation.”

“But over the years, the savings would begin to accrue, she said, largely because a $1 coin could stay in circulation for 30 years while paper bills have to be replaced every four or five years on average.”

"We continue to believe that replacing the note with a coin is likely to provide a financial benefit to the government," said St. James, who added that such a change would work only if the note was completely eliminated and the public educated about the benefits of the switch.”

“Even the $1 coin's most ardent supporters recognize that they haven't been popular.
Philip Diehl, former director of the U.S. Mint, said there was a huge demand for a new dollar coin when production began in 2001, but as time wore on, people stayed with what they knew best.”

"We've never bitten the bullet to remove the $1 bill as every other Western economy has done," Diehl said. "If you did, it would have the same success the Canadians have had."

“Beverly Lepine, chief operating officer of the Royal Canadian Mint, said her country loves its ‘Loonie,’ the nickname for the $1 coin that includes an image of a loon on the back.

The switch went over so well that the country also went to a $2 coin called the ‘Toonie.’”

“Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) affirmed that Canadians have embraced their dollar coins. ‘I don't know anyone who would go back to the $1 and $2 bills,’ he said.”

“That sentiment was not shared by some of his fellow subcommittee members when it comes to the U.S. version.”

“Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) said men don't like carrying a bunch of coins around in their pocket or in their suits. And Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) said the $1 coins have proved too hard to distinguish from quarters.”

"If the people don't want it and they don't want to use it," she said, "why in the world are we even talking about changing it?"

"It's really a matter of just getting used to it," Diehl said.

The AP also reported: “Congress looks at doing away with the $1 bill”
“American consumers have shown about as much appetite for the $1 coin as kids do their spinach. They may not know what's best for them either.

Congressional auditors say doing away with dollar bills entirely and replacing them with dollar coins could save taxpayers some $4.4 billion over the next 30 years.”

“Vending machine operators have long championed the use of $1 coins because they don't jam the machines, cutting down on repair costs and lost sales. But most people don't seem to like
carrying them. In the past five years, the U.S. Mint has produced 2.4 billion Presidential $1 coins. Most are stored by the Federal Reserve, and production was suspended about a year ago. (Posted by Staff)”
 
As usual, nothing is as simple as it appears to be – or as easy.
 
© 2013 Harris R. Sherline, All Rights Reserved
Posted at 23:53 PM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)



Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Thinking About Money
Most people think about money much of the time. Do they have enough to live on, can they afford to buy a new car or house, or rent a better apartment, how much can they spend on food or clothes, pay for their children’s education,
the seemingly endless list of wants, desires and needs that everyone has? 
 
Even with all of the attention we pay to the uses of money, we rarely, if ever, think about money itself, the actual pieces of paper or coins that we carry around and use to buy things.
]Where do they come from, and just what do they actually represent?
 
Most of us rarely give it a thought. We tend to take our money for granted, generally thinking it’s the bills in our wallets or the coins in our pockets.
 
But, it is actually much more than just bills and coins. It’s also bank transfers, sending money almost anywhere in the world electronically.
 
But electronic money transfers have not always been possible. As a matter of fact, a review of the history of money reveals that money has often been various types of commodities.
 
Before money came into existence, people traded various possessions for something they wanted or needed.
 
What would you say, if instead of our printed currency, you were offered some beads or shells for the used appliance you advertised for sale? Or how about the car you’re trying to sell? 
Would you consider accepting beads or shells from your employer? 
 
Although we use paper money and coins, I don’t recall ever hearing anyone say anything about it, except that they would like to have or need more. So, what does our paper currency represent and where does it come from? 
 
No one seems to be concerned about it. Before the advent of money, barter was the method of exchanging goods and services. And, although barter in the U.S. is still used – to the tune of about $12 billion a year, it’s a relatively minor,
almost miniscule, part of an economy that totals over $16 trillion.
 
In early history (9,000 to 6,000 B.C.), livestock was often used as the medium of exchange. Later crops were used. About 1200 B.C., cowry shells were used in China. Tools made of metal were also used, which subsequently led to round coins.
Around 118 B.C., leather money (deerskin edged in vivid colors) was used in China. The first actual paper currency appeared in China, but was discontinued in 1455. Another form of currency was wampum (white) beads,
which were used by North American Indians.
 
It seems as though almost anything can be used as money. And, it can. The key, of course, is confidence. That is, the confidence to exchange (give up) property or provide services for pieces of paper.
We accept it because we are certain we can use it to acquire other property or obtain the services of others. 
 
No matter what form of money has been used, it worked because people had confidence that it represented the value of the goods and/or services that could be bought and sold with it. 
 
Initially, banks gave receipts to their depositors, which indicated that they could be redeemed for whatever goods of value the banks were holding (usually gold or silver).
These receipts were eventually accepted as money because they were as “good as gold.”
 
A new form of money has now developed: electronic funds, the transfer of claims for money that is held by financial institutions in our names, thus taking money beyond the physical possession of some sort of property,
even paper or coins, to a digital accounting system that keeps track of ownership with just a bookkeeping entry.
 
During the Free Banking Era (1837-1862), individual banks were allowed to issue their own currency, much of which was redeemable in gold or silver. Unfortunately, however, some of it was worthless, and by 1860,
some 8,000 banks were issuing notes that had no value.
 
In 1913, the same year the sixteenth amendment to the Constitution established the federal income tax, the Federal Reserve Act created the Federal Reserve Banking system, which is currently the foundation of the banking
structure in the U.S. today. There are twelve Regional Reserve Banks, which are owned by the member banks in each district, and a federal government agency, the Board of Governors, in Washington, D.C.
 
The U.S. went off the gold standard in 1971 and turned to the use of fiat money, which is not backed by a physical commodity (i.e.: gold).
 
Wikipedia notes that “Fiat money has been defined variously as:
§ Any money declared to be legal tender.
§ State-issued money which is neither convertible by law to any other thing, nor fixed in value in terms of any objective standard.
§ Money without intrinsic value.
 
“The term derives from the Latin fiat (‘let it be done’, ‘it shall be’)”
While gold- or silver-backed representative money entails the legal requirement that the bank of issue redeem it in fixed weights of gold or silver, fiat money's value is unrelated to the value of any physical quantity.
Even a coin containing valuable metal may be considered fiat currency if its face value is higher than its market value as metal.
Instead, the only thing that gives the money value is its relative scarcity and the faith placed in it by the people that use it. In addition, legal tender laws require creditors to accept the government’s money in settlement of debts,
thus, although the currency and coins that are in circulation today are not backed by anything, we are forced to accept them.
 
© 2013 Harris R. Sherline, All Rights Reserved
Posted at 23:41 PM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)



Friday, September 13, 2013
This War Is For Real
America is now facing the most serious threat to its existence since WWII.

The seriousness is compounded by the fact that there are very few Americans who think we can possibly lose the War on Terror and even fewer who realize what losing really means.

First, let's examine a few basics:

1. When did the threat start?

Many will say September 11th, 2001, but as far as the United States is concerned, the answer is 1979, 22 years prior to September 2001, with the following attacks on us:
• Iran Embassy Hostages, 1979
• Beirut, Lebanon Embassy 1983
• Beirut, Lebanon Marine Barracks 1983
• Lockerbie, Scotland Pan-Am flight to New York 1988
• First New York World Trade Center attack 1993
• Dhahran, Saudi Arabia Khobar Towers Military complex 1996
• Nairobi, Kenya US Embassy 1998
• Dares Salaam, Tanzania US Embassy 1998
• Aden, Yemen USS Cole 2000
• New York World Trade Center 2001
• Pentagon 2001.

(Note: During the period from 1981 to 2001 there were 7,581 terrorist attacks worldwide).

2. The attacks happened during the administrations of Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, and now Obama.
We cannot fault either the Republicans or Democrats as there were no provocations by any of our presidents or their immediate predecessors.

In each case, the attacks on the US were carried out by Muslims, who are 25% of the world’s population.

3. Hopefully, the Muslim Religion is peaceful, but that is really not material. There is no doubt that the predominately Christian population of Germany was peaceful, but under the dictatorial leadership of Hitler (who was also Christian),
that made no difference. You either went along with his administration or you were eliminated. There were 5 to 6 million Christians killed by the Nazis for political reasons (including 7,000 Polish priests). 
(See http://www.nazis.testimony.co.uk/7-a.htm).

Almost as many Christians were killed by the Nazis as the six million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust, but we seldom heard of anything other than the Jewish atrocities.
Although Hitler kept the world focused on the Jews, he had no hesitancy about killing anyone who got in the way of his exterminating the Jews or of taking over the world, German, Christian or any others.

It is the same with the Muslim terrorists. They focus the world on the U.S., but kill everyone who is in the way - their own people, or the Spanish, French or anyone else.
 
The point is that, just like the peaceful Germans were unable to protect anyone from the Nazis, no matter how many peaceful Muslims there may be, they are no protection from the terrorist Muslim leaders
and what they are fanatically bent on doing - by their own pronouncements - killing all "infidels."
 
I don't blame the peaceful Muslims. What would you do if the choice was shut up or die?

4. So who are we at war with?

There is no honest response that it is anyone other than Muslim terrorists.
Trying to be politically correct and not acknowledging this conclusion can be fatal.
There is no way to win if we don't clearly recognize and say who you are fighting.

Given that background, there are two important questions:
1. Can we lose this war?
2. What does losing really mean?

We can definitely lose this war, and the major reason is that far too many Americans simply do not fathom the answer to the second question, “What does losing mean?”

For one thing, it means we would no longer be the premier country in the world. But, regardless, the attacks will continue.
 
Remember, the terrorists want us dead, not just quiet. If they just wanted us quiet, they would not have increased the number of attacks against us over the years.
I believe their plan has clearly been to attack us until we become completely submissive to them.

As a result, we would no longer receive support from other nations: for fear of reprisals and because they would see that we are impotent and cannot protect them.

In addition, they will pick off the other non-Muslim nations, one at a time, which will become increasingly easy for them.

If we lose the war, our production, income, exports and way of life will all vanish. Who would trade or deal with us, if by doing so they were threatened by the Muslims,
and if we can't stop the Muslims, how can anyone else?

The Muslims have no doubts about what is riding on this war, and therefore are completely committed to winning it.
We had better know it, too, and become committed to winning at any cost as well.

However, until we recognize the costs of losing, we cannot unite and really put 100% of our efforts into winning.

If we do not, we will defeat ourselves by refusing to recognize the enemy and their purpose, but if we are united, there is no way we can lose.
However, if we continue to be divided, there is no way we can win!

Here are a few examples of why many Americans simply don't comprehend the life and death seriousness of this situation.

Although all of the terrorist attacks were committed by Muslim men between 17 and 40 years of age, the Obama administration refuses to allow “profiling.”
Does that sound like we are taking this situation seriously?

I blame those Americans who blithely assume we must always be “Politically Correct,” even during times of conflict.

This does not mean that some of our politicians or media people are disloyal. It simply means that many of them are oblivious to the magnitude of the situation we are in and the direction the
Muslim terrorists have been pushing us, particularly in recent years.

Remember, the Muslim terrorists stated goal is to kill all infidels, not just in the United States, but everywhere.

America is the last bastion of defense.

We have been criticized as being 'arrogant,' a charge that is valid in at least one respect, in that we believe we are so good and powerful and smart that we can win the hearts and minds of those who attack us,
and that we can defeat any opponent, even with both hands tied behind our back.

Unfortunately, if we don't recognize this, our nation as we know it will not survive, and no other free country in the world will survive if we are defeated.

Finally, name any Muslim country throughout the world that allows freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, equal rights for anyone (let alone everyone), equal status for women,
or that have been productive in any single way that contributes to the good of the world.

This has been a long way of saying that we must be united in this war or we will be relegated in the history books, similar to the self-inflicted fall of the Roman Empire.
That is, if Muslim leaders will allow history books to be written or read.

Democracies don't have their freedoms taken away from them by some external military force. Instead, they give them away, politically correct piece by politically correct piece.

Unfortunately, they are giving those freedoms away to those who have shown that they abhor freedom and will not allow them to continue once they are in power.

Yet, we continue to hear about the "peaceful Muslims."

It’s always easy to find fault with our country, but I believe it is painfully obvious that we must UNITE!
 
© 2013 Harris R. Sherline, All Rights Reserved
 
Posted at 17:46 PM By admin | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (0)



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