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American currency pet peeves power ranking

3. The fact that pennies still, somehow, exist in 2019

2b. Nickels are easily mistaken for quarters, a result of American currency designers’ longstanding embrace of the idea that money looking different is somehow a deficiency

2a. All bills same size and color (cf. 2b)

1. A dime is incredibly small in comparison to a penny (in fact it is nearly the smallest coin I have ever handled, second only to a Georgian 1 tetri coin worth 0.36¢) yet worth ten times as much! Who the fuck allowed this! On what Earth!!!



bad post, no mention of dollar bills



I’m actually going to disagree with on almost all of these points

  1. small coins are, actually, good, because they minimize the burden of carrying around all these random chunks of metal. this is the actual reason nickels are bad.

2a. color okay, but bills being different sizes is just displeasing. I get that blind people like to know how much money they have but they just fit together so nicely!

2b. this has never happened to me

  1. just because I’m able to tolerate the government putting xenoestrogens in my water supply doesn’t mean I’m gonna let them start rounding up prices to the nearest nickel. it’s bad enough that none of the “99¢” pizza shops give you a penny. $3.99 for a gyro my ass, it’s $4. anyway I’m not gonna tolerate a world where we have 96¢ pizza places. just no



Who said anything about rounding *up* to the next nickel? I was just talking last week [link] about exploiting round-to-the-*closest*-nickel laws to get 52c items for 50c.

(Our bills are all the same size, but different colours and marked with Braille-like dots.)



Exactly: the rounding will introduce an element I have to care about and track, or else be exploited for a percentage or two by people who care more or have enough volume for the marginal cents to matter.

I am not in favor of increasing transaction costs.

(see also this other branch)

True, although there are very few cases in which someone worried about every last percent would be paying cash at all [link]. Even most employee-discounted fast food costs enough to be cheaper with a credit card: only the *very* cheapest items are worth even *considering* paying cash for.

(Maybe somewhat more cases in a place like NYC, with more street vendors? Vendors are *starting* to take credit cards now that there are card readers that use smartphones as their infrastructure connection [link], but there are still many who haven’t done that yet. And come to think of it there’s those Chinese restaurants that give you a 10% discount for paying cash, but that would be big enough to wash out other considerations and make it worthwhile to pay cash *regardless* of whether it’s rounded in your favour or not.)

Payment optimisation is a fun game, but I get not wanting to penalise people who hate playing it: the rest of us can always get it out of our system by becoming player merchants in MMOs and stuff like that.

From a seller’s point of view, it’s tricky to ensure that round-to-the-closest-nickel comes out in your favour, although that might be from being a franchise (prices set by people many levels above the actual store owners). As of yesterday evening, we’d *lost* 15 cents that day on cash rounding two of which went to me. That’s an unusually large number: on most evenings that I see the figure it’s a couple of cents in one direction or the other.


#adventures in human capitalism #(deliberately echoes a video-game tag!) #home of the brave #our home and cherished land #in which Brin has a job #reply via reblog

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