Study Slams Proposed Switch To Dollar Coin

   WASHINGTON - (BUSINESS WIRE) - 11/12/2011 - A pivotal independent economic study released on Nov. 7 found the proposed Congressional legislation to drop the dollar bill in favor of the dollar coin will cost Washington businesses millions of dollars as well as jobs.
   The study, titled “The Economic Impact of a Transition from Dollar Bills to Dollar Coins on the Retail and Service Sectors of the United States Economy,” was conducted by the independent economics research firm John Dunham & Associates.
   Examining the financial and operational costs to 29 different retail and service sectors across the country, the study found a transition to dollar coins would increase annual costs in Washington by $4.48 million and lead to an estimated annual loss of $10.99 million in business activity, as well as costing jobs.
   Nationwide, the switch would increase annual costs by $201.85 million and lead to at least 4,300 job losses. In addition, these implications did not incorporate the additional capital expenses - new cash registers, change counting machines, cash drawers, larger safes, etc. - and costs to banks, money transfer companies and other financial firms.
   “Essentially, changing to a coin would be a tax increase on retail and service firms of all sizes in Washington,” said John Dunham, president of John Dunham & Associates. “Washingtonians are already struggling with a poor economy and high unemployment rates, and forcibly removing the dollar bill from circulation will only exacerbate these problems.”
   This independent economic study showed that the switch to the dollar coin would impact the private sector in Washington very negatively. There are no short- or long-term savings for Americans associated with abandoning the dollar bill in favor of a dollar coin.
   Correspondingly, a new public opinion poll conducted by Frank Luntz highlights Americans’ opposition to the switch. When given a choice between the dollar bill and the dollar coin, 83 percent of respondents favored the bill. The study also found:
  • 85 percent believe the public, rather than the government, should decide what kind of currency to use;
  • 73 percent felt that the switch to the dollar coin is a gimmick designed as a cost-cutting measure;
  • 97 percent believe the $1 bill is more convenient to carry than coins;
  • 64 percent oppose legislation designed to remove the $1 bill from circulation and only seven percent strongly support it.
   “I could not be more emphatic: the American people do NOT want a dollar coin. Period,” said Luntz. “To Americans, this move is just another gimmick disguised as a cost-cutting measure.”

Photo by Steve Rensberry (c) 2014