Friday, May 23, 2008

Ugly, Stupid, Valueless Money

In the not too distant past, the United States was the greatest nation in the world. We were a world power. We commanded the respect of all. Now, we are a regional power that has not beaten a second-rate nation at war in decades, we are the laughing stock of the free world with our economic system based primarily on the industries of interest and incarceration, and our money is almost valueless.

It didn't used to be like this.

But, two terms of Reagan, one of Bush I, two of Clinton, and two of Bush II have made us pretty much nothing in the eyes of the world. I don't think there are any good jokes about us. We've become a rather dull lot.

And our money used to be valuable. But no longer.

It has always been ugly. Now it is worth half of what it was worth ten years ago, but they are adding colors to make it pretty.

I have visited some European countries, and I visited them before the Euro homogenized the money. You could travel short distances and the money from place to place was different colors and sizes. A large denomination note was larger than a small denomination note. It was so sensible.

I learned at a relatively young age (some time in the early 1970s) that American money was hard for blind people to use, because every denomination note was the same size, and there were no distinct marks for the blind to discern a single from a C-note.

Now, in 2008, a federal appeals court has ruled that our money discriminates against the blind because it is "impossible for them to distinguish the bills' value."

Imagine! It only took until 2008 for Americans to figure this out. Not only that, there were people in Court arguing against the notion! Which means that these people think that it's OK that blind people can't effectively use paper money. I can only assume that those people are Republicans!

So, now that we are getting prettier money, perhaps we will get more functional money, as well (not that it's worth much anyhow).

Court says money discriminates against blind people
Tue May 20, 11:08 AM ET

The U.S. discriminates against blind people by printing paper money that makes it impossible for them to distinguish the bills' value, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

The ruling upholds a decision by a lower court in 2006. It could force the Treasury Department to redesign its money. Suggested changes have ranged from making bills different sizes to printing them with raised markings.
Read more at Yahoo! . . .

Perhaps, as my friend Mitzel once suggested, we could have a star-shaped, red white & blue, Judy Garland, three-dollar bill!

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