Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I get the feeling...

(Via Drudge)

That today is going to be a day for, well, let's call it flakiness.

Judge Orders Treasury Department to Make Paper Money Recognizable to Blind People

Now at the risk of appearing insensitive (What!! Me insensitive? I'm hurt.), Judge Genius here seems to have taken leave of her common sense. I can understand how dealing with paper currency is hard on the blind or visually handicapped, but to attempt to require the US Treasury to "make it all better" through some ill-advised scheme to make currency different sizes is going to cause a lot of trouble.

Let's look at this for just a second. In order for this to work, you would have to make the size differences large enough that, well, a blind man could see it. Given that there are bills in $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 denominations, that means there will have to be a considerable size difference between the largest and the smallest, assuming we keep the traditional rectangular shape of most paper currency. (God help us if we start trying different shapes.)

So, men, how will your wallet deal with this, especially if the largest size is much bigger than the current bills? Looking at my wallet, the answer is going to be "Not too good".

How about vending machines? I wonder what it will cost to design, manufacture and install these into all the vending machines that currently take bills? (Hm-m-m, that is a point against the proposed new dollar coin as well.)

Tills in cash registers? Bank teller drawers? Money counting machines? The list is long, varied and expensive when you start considering it. All this for the benefit of a relative few. Heck, it would be cheaper to design a hand-held device that would scan a bill and would verbally tell them what it was, then distribute them free, than to go through all this.

Smart. Real smart. Let's hope someone above the district court level stops this before it gets out of hand.

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