Spare Change

It’s time for a good ole’ fashioned rant. That’s right. I am ready to rant about the fact our country, at least California, seems to be in a change shortage and has been for two years now.

Several items have been shorted during this ongoing and everlasting Covid-19 supposed pandemic. Toilet paper was the worst. We all remember at the beginning of this Covid mess toilet paper disappeared off the shelves not to be replenished. Why? Did the manufacturers stop making it? Did they shut down for 6 months while toilet paper became almost obsolete.

We talk about it now like it was a bad dream, but truthfully, why did the toilet paper stop coming? It was one of the most needed items and the governments of this country, both state and federal, didn’t do a damn thing about it.

Now, after two years and counting of this so-called pandemic, we can get toilet paper with ease as well as wipes, paper towels, and other items that went into a shortage due to consumers snapping them up like they were made of gold.

However, what has happened to our coins? Everywhere I go it is the same. At the register is a request for exact cash or to use a debit/credit card for payment. Why?

I mean it. Why? Before Covid change wasn’t a problem. In fact, most places never needed to worry about change because people used their debit cards for most payments so making change wasn’t a real issue. Then Covid hit and for some reason we don’t have change.

I can’t see blaming Covid for the lack of hard currency. In fact, Covid should have caused a surplus in coins and cash. In the first year alone a vast majority of people were left at home, out of work, and being paid by unemployment digitally.

Most paychecks and payments are done electronically. No business or government office seems to do it any other way these days. Therefore, the need for exact change should have plummeted.

Yet, we have no coins in most of the stores I go to and if they do, they often still won’t accept anything but exact change. After two years this should no longer be an issue. Should have never been in the first place with the massive number of electronic payments made every minute of every day. Which means no one is hoarding change in the amount it requires for the banks to stop issuing coins.  

Perhaps the reason behind the lack of change is the cost. It costs the taxpayer almost two cents to make a penny. That’s double the amount to produce a coin which no longer has any real value. Imagine the savings we could have in this country if we stopped people from selling things at .99. Everyone does it to make people think they are getting a lower price than the real one. You see something for sale at $9.99 and your mind concentrates on the $9 instead of making it a hard $10.

The nickel is the same issue. It cost anywhere from 2.5 to 2.6 cents more to make nickels. Every nickel in your pocket costs 7.6 cents to make. This make the nickel another coin which no longer is worth manufacturing. Why make it if it costs so much? True, the dime and the quarter make a profit when sold from the Mint to the Federal Reserve so the deficit from the penny and the nickel should be covered.

Why does one of our agencies work in such a manner? Why do we sell coins from the Mint to the reserve? Do we make a profit this way?

Not really. We, as taxpayers and citizens, truthfully own both. They are paid by taxes and overseen by people paid with our tax money so there is no actual profit. It is simple accounting to show one side as a profit and the other as not. Especially since neither are geared towards profit or taking care of themselves financially. They survive because we pay them to survive regardless of their fiscal soundness. Neither has a need to be profitable or be financially sound. Nor do they have a need to cut back on coin distribution.

Which leads me to wonder why there are so few coins in California. It isn’t hoarders. In fact, most people turn in their coins after they fill up the jar. With the advent of the coin counting machines inside every grocery store it isn’t a problem anymore to turn in your coins. They take a hefty 8% or more to change them from coins to cash, but it still makes it far easier than to roll up coins in paper tubes and take them to the bank. By the way, the bank charges you now to both turn in your coins and to issue you coins in a roll. Talk about being ripped off.

So, if it isn’t coin hoarders, then is it the U.S. Mint? Nowhere during the last two years have I heard or read or discovered anything which stated the U.S. Mint had stopped making coins. I believe they were classified as necessary and allowed to continue during the worst part of the Covid uproar.

I mean, if the Mint stopped working, it would become news, wouldn’t it? Yes, I know the news is not the news like it was but even Fox would have to report on a part of the government being shut down or reduced and the impact it has on us.

In fact, the news doesn’t say too much if anything about the continuing coin shortage in this country. Why? Is it not newsworthy that a part of the monetary system seems to be in need of a fix? Is it not a priority to fix this?

We will be on a digital monetary platform before I die, of this I am certain. There will no longer be any coins or paper currency. Everything will be done on a debit card with someone taking a fee out each time you use it. Your money will be tracked from the time it is issued to the time you spend it. There will be zero privacy when it comes to your money. Not that there is any now.

Which leads me to still wonder. The coins are still out there, they always have been. The government has millions in dollars of coins they don’t circulate. Has the rest of the coins become like the dollar?

Since no one destroyed our coins, where are they?

I’m Ross, the Editor-in-Chief at The Pyrateheart Press and I’m out.

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