There is little I can say that can convince you of the blind stupidity and wasteful cost of government as well as this little tale can:
In hidden vaults across the country, the US government is building a stockpile of $1 coins. The hoard has topped $1.1bn – imagine a stack of coins reaching almost seven times higher than the International Space Station – and the piles have grown so large the US Federal Reserve is running out of storage space.
$1 coins? I didn’t even know they made $1 coins.
The coins began to pile up in 2007 when a law went into effect creating a new series of $1 coins commemorating dead US presidents.
How did this happen?
Congress passed the law creating the coins despite evidence that Americans never liked the $1 coin in the past.
You could knock me over with a feather! Politicians creating something that nobody wants, in the face of strong evidence to the contrary?
In a 2002 report, for instance, the investigative arm of Congress described “public resistance to begin using the dollar coin” despite a three-year, $67m (£42m) effort to promote the previous series.
Since the presidential coin programme began, the US government has spent an additional $30m to promote them but they still have not taken hold.
Let me get this straight: they have spent $100,000,000 trying to get people to use these coins, and they still aren’t interested? A hundred million dollars?
Well, at least it’s pretty clear that they’ll stop now, won’t they?
Yet the piles have continued to grow because the law requires the US Mint to issue four new presidential coins each year even if most of the previous year’s coins remain in government vaults.
Of course, you know it’s going to get better, don’t you?
In addition to the millions spent to promote the coins, shipping, storing and guarding the excess inventory costs money, though how much is unclear.
A perfect example of why the government can’t even be trusted with the elementary task of coining money, let alone anything more complex like directing monetary policy. They have created a product that no-one wants, and instead of stopping production and firing the person who came up with the product so that he can’t do any more harm, the government will continue to make this coin that nobody wants, even though Obama should have no problem stopping what must be one of his unpopular predecessor’s “pork barrel” projects.
This complete folly is costing the US millions in continued minting costs, storage costs and protection costs and yet the monster of government continues on and on, pouring money down a limitless pit.
But why should the government care, really?
It’s not their money they’re wasting.