|16 votes (80%)|
|1 vote (5%)|
|3 votes (15%)|
20 members have voted
It is much more expensive making "paper" dollars, considering their much shorter lifespan than coins. The cost in fuel of lugging them around I think is negligible. We overweight Americans could use the additional exercise to carry around more metal in our pockets.
In the early '80s when most of the developed world was planning on getting rid of their dollar equivalent banknote and replaced it with a coin, the USA began negotiations to build a second facility to print banknotes in Fort Worth, TX. The standard argument about having a second facility applies (i.e. what about a war, plague, or other emergency). Construction on the Fort Worth facility started in 1987 and dedication was on April 26, 1991. The Loonie coin began production on June 30, 1987 in Canada, and the CA$1 banknote ceased production two years later. The banknotes have all long since been destroyed or vanished into collections.
But since the $1 banknote in the USA represents roughly half the production requirements, the pressure would be intense to close one of the facilities if we replaced it with a coin. Sooner or later the nuclear war and plague scenario wears a little thin. I think it costs in the neighborhood of $300 million per year to run each facility. You can be assured that each facility prints a few of each bill so that no one gets labelled the dollar bill facility.
So I would say that the $1 banknote is well protected. However, if this debacle with the new $100 banknote is not resolved, then some congressman may want somebodies head on a platter. They could close down one of the facilities, and just produce the coin in large quantities.
The logical thing would be to find some private secure printing company and give them the technology and a contract to print the $1 banknote until enough coins are made. Then you close down one of the government facilities. You keep the private contract alive somehow printing small quantities of $2 banknotes. Then if a terrorist blows up the government facility, you have the contractor print old fashioned (pre-1996) banknotes for long enough to rebuild the government facility. If you can build it fast enough, you just let the notes get a little more tattered than normal and don't issue emergency notes. Since it is very unlikely to happen, it would just be for extreme measures.
Agree that plastic notes can be torn,
What I don't understand is why. If you try to tear a paper note, it's easy. A plastic note can't be torn with bare hands. Yet of all the notes I see, and I see a lot because I handle petty cash at the office, torn plastic notes, taped or not, outnumber torn paper notes at least three to one.
but our old NZ paper notes WERE paper, not like the US cotton.
I find that hard to believe. Even dirt poor countries don't use cellulose paper, which seems to be what you mean.
I should add that the Australian plastic notes do seem to lie flat, so maybe NZ is using a cheaper material.
New notes, paper or plastic, lie flat. Over time they bend, crinkle and crumple. Plastic notes especially, since they are of lower denominations and get more use.
Regarding the possibility of $200 or $500 notes - in any western country with a $100 max - I think it's highly unlikely. I reckon all governments want to reduce cash usage wherever possible.
Mexico's largest note now is the 1,000 peso bill. It's worth about $82 US. It's rare to see one. Most small stores won't take them claiming they have no change.