Changing With The Times?

Pennies, Nickels, Dimes And Quarters

A weekly commentary by CBS News Correspondent Andy Rooney:



You don't know how much I make and I'm not going to tell you. But I will let you in on a little secret.

I have more money than I know what to do with. What do you do with all of this stuff anyway? We've all got it.

Every time we finish a can of coffee, I save the can and then at night I empty the change in my pocket into that.

You know something? We don't drink coffee fast enough to come up with all the cans I need to put my change in.

You can't spend it. Some year, I'd like to trying paying my income tax with pennies. Wouldn't the government have to take them?

I've tried everything. I bought a couple of hundred of these wrappers. I got these plastic things.

I even got this coin separator, but then you get $50 worth of change separated - what do you do with that?

For years the U.S. Mint has been putting out just six coins - Lincoln pennies, Jefferson nickels, Roosevelt dimes, Washington quarters, Kennedy 50-cent pieces and Susan B. Anthony dollars.

They stopped making these great silver dollars years ago. The Mint stopped making the Susan B. Anthony dollars because no one liked them.

Now the Mint has released a coin they're calling "The Golden Dollar."

It doesn't seem as if our Government ought to get into that kind of advertising doubletalk. This coin is not gold, of course. It's gold-colored. "Gold-colored" is like drinks they call "chocolate-flavored" or popcorn they say is "butter-flavored". There isn't any chocolate in the drink, there isn't any butter on the popcorn and there isn't any gold in this new "golden" coin.

The Susan B. Anthony dollar failed because people couldn't tell it from a quarter. The Mint thinks the color of the new dollar will solve that.

I don't know. The trouble is when you go into your pocket for change you don't look at it - you feel for it.

It's still going to be hard to know whether what you're feeling is a dollar or a quarter. They are about the same size. You wouldn't dare pay for anything in the dark.

The vending machine companies and the telephone companies are going to like these. They'll change all their 25-cent slots so they only take dollars probably.

I think the Mint is going in the wrong direction - again. What we want isn't a new coin. When we pay 99 cents for something that comes to a dollar six with tax, we need a way to keep from getting three quarters, a dime, a nickel and four pennies every time.



© MMI, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

60 Minutes App

New Look. New Season. The 60 Minutes app for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch!

More from 60 Minutes

Comments