JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2009/10/todays-free-ice-cream.html (17 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1255623714-613629  karrde at Thu, 15 Oct 2009 16:21:54 +0000

Reverse seigneurage, eh?

This guy doesn't track production costs, but he does track the value of the metal composition of American coinage. I notice that the modern nickel has 90+% of its value in its composition metals. However, pre-1945 nickels and dimes are worth more than a dollar, at today's values. Pre-1964 quarters are worth more than 3 dollars.

Wonder why you almost never see any of those coins in circulation?

(Some people could argue that the word "coin" doesn't describe the tokens that the US Mint creates, since the value-by-composition of most coins is much lower than the face value. But it's the common usage...)

jsid-1255624469-613631  perlhaqr at Thu, 15 Oct 2009 16:34:29 +0000

If they wanted to stop that, they could re-open some of the mines that have closed. The boost in copper rates is due entirely to "false" scarcity. Phelps-Dodge decided it wasn't worth the effort of pulling out of the ground at the old price, so they stopped doing so in quite a few places.

Not, of course, that I think mining copper is really an appropriate task for the FedGov. Though, I suppose it's better than a lot of other things they could be doing with their time instead... And frankly, they'd still probably lose money at it.

*thinks back to the "whore house story"*. Yeah, they'd definitely lose money mining for copper.

jsid-1255626748-613633  Kevin Baker at Thu, 15 Oct 2009 17:12:28 +0000

Wonder why you almost never see any of those coins in circulation?

Because they've all been collected for resale on the silver markets.

That, and the coin collectors hoard them.

jsid-1255626831-613634  Kevin Baker at Thu, 15 Oct 2009 17:13:51 +0000

If they wanted to stop that, they could re-open some of the mines that have closed.

"They" are. And some new ones, too. That is, if the environmental lobby can be defeated.

jsid-1255632684-613636  Mark in AZ at Thu, 15 Oct 2009 18:51:24 +0000

Wow, the ignorance quoted there is appalling.

Copper is up 300% because the dollar is down compounded with increased demand from Chinese pig farmers hoarding copper because the dollar is down.

jsid-1255633066-613637  EMP at Thu, 15 Oct 2009 18:57:46 +0000

Not just Chinese pig farmers, Mark.

Remember when ammo started going up from about 06-07? Before the buying frenzy started? That was a supply issue--as opposed to the more recent demand issue--caused in part by the Chinese government buying up the metals traditionally used to craft the panoply of war, ammo included.

Odd, that.

jsid-1255634914-613638  Kristopher at Thu, 15 Oct 2009 19:28:34 +0000


Which is why the mint is really pushing dollar coins ... they last many times longer than paper bills.

I suspect the nickel may go away, or get replaced with something even cheaper. Plastic?

Yea ... all those pre-64 silver coins are now sold as $100, $500, and $1000 face value junk silver bags ... with the largest sold at over $11k last time I checked.

All the pre-64 junk silver is exactly 1 ounce silver content per $1 face value regardless of denomination ... makes it easy to figure out what you have when bartering, I guess.

jsid-1255637074-613640  Ken at Thu, 15 Oct 2009 20:04:34 +0000

What does it cost now to print a dollar? (Which is worth about 3 cents in 1913 dollars -- thanks, Federal Reserve!)

jsid-1255641068-613644  Ken at Thu, 15 Oct 2009 21:11:08 +0000

PS on Kristopher's comment on the dollar coins -- have you taken a good look at the engraving on the newest ones? They look like Chuck E. Cheese tokens. There's a message in there somewhere....

jsid-1255644576-613645  Bilgeman at Thu, 15 Oct 2009 22:09:36 +0000


Plastic. The future is plastic.

Wooden nickels would be too expensive to even think about.

jsid-1255658999-613653  Sendarius at Fri, 16 Oct 2009 02:09:59 +0000

... but Bilgeman, plastic is made from OIL.

That is not going to be cheap either, especially if the NIMBY brigade remain successful in blocking exploration and extraction.

jsid-1255668449-613662  GrumpyOldFart at Fri, 16 Oct 2009 04:47:29 +0000

Virtually all money nowadays is actually only bookkeeping entries.

I honestly expect that by the time anyone in government comes up with what they think is a practical solution, the actually practical solution will be something similar to a flash drive.

jsid-1255669702-613663  bob r at Fri, 16 Oct 2009 05:08:22 +0000

"All the pre-64 junk silver is exactly 1 ounce silver content per $1 face value regardless of denomination ... makes it easy to figure out what you have when bartering, I guess."

That is not even remotely correct and never has been.

Silver weight (typ)
dime: 0.07234 oz
Dollar: 0.77343 oz

Minor coins have never added up to the same silver weight as a dollar (any of them: there has been slight variation over the years).

Check out weights at http://www.mountainviewcoins.com/gold-silver-content-us-coins.php

If IIRC dimes, quarters, and halfs were (are?) only legal tender for up to $5. Dollar coins were (are??) legal tender for any amount.

jsid-1255716378-613688  EMP at Fri, 16 Oct 2009 18:06:18 +0000

Plastic money? I don't even have TIME to address something so ludicrous; I have to go fill out an application for a new debit card right now.

jsid-1255723941-613696  GrumpyOldFart at Fri, 16 Oct 2009 20:12:21 +0000

There's really no such thing as a hard currency anymore, and hasn't been for decades. All major currencies are fiat money, whose value lies solely in the stability, perceived integrity and economic strength of the government that backs it.

Given that, the only real priority in what a currency is made of is how hard it is to counterfeit. You could make them out of feces and it wouldn't matter, if they couldn't be counterfeited and the government that produced them could be relied upon.

jsid-1255739782-613710  Kristopher at Sat, 17 Oct 2009 00:36:22 +0000

Thanks for the correction ... yea, from your link, it looks like even the later .900 silver coins were well under a troy ounce in total weight, and even a bit under a av. ounce.

Only an ounce of silver if you have your thumb on the scale, I guess.

Looks like I was repeating a myth.

I'll stop it.

jsid-1255746822-613712  Bilgeman at Sat, 17 Oct 2009 02:33:42 +0000

To be serious for a second, I reckon that since 1950 or thereabouts, our currency has been de facto based on plutonium.

When you think about it, a fiat currency is one whose fiction is backed up by the power of the government issuing it.

And since one of the reliable metrics of government power is it's ability to manufature corpses of it's enemies, (those who do NOT buy into it's subjective version of reality), the amount of fissionable material a government has stockpiled is a probably a pretty good standard.

Not that I'd want to carry my wages in plutonium around in my pocket.

I figure we can always use ammunition for our everyday staple purchases.

At least until we get the Pelosi and the Obama up and running.

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