JUST FOR A LAUGH

The Economist.
Politico.
Der Standard, Austria.
Politico, USA.
Caglecartoons, Netherlands.
The Augusta Chronicle, USA.
The Salt Lake Tribune, USA.

Thanks to BJSAlba for sending on these cartoons.

joke

63 thoughts on “JUST FOR A LAUGH”

    1. It lost its legitimacy in Scotland as soon as we voted in a majority of SNP MPs (much as I hate to agree with Margaret Thatcher on anything). If it had any left, it lost it again by riding roughshod over our Remain vote.

      Similarly, by heeding only Ash-for-Cash Arlene and her Orange Loyalist dinosaur-deniers, the Westminster has lost it legitimacy in Northern Ireland, where it was always provisional in any case.

      Wales? I understand that the Welsh-speaking Welsh voted to Remain; as Wales is otherwise a Labour fiefdom it remains wedded to the Union, though not to the current Westminster regime. I don’t know enough about Wales to opine on the level of disaffection there, except to say that overall it is likely to be higher than in England overall.

      The English (in the broad sense) are confused; they don’t know who they are, and are hung up on who they’re not. They know they’re not Scots or Welsh, or “foreign”, or Irish, or Black, but otherwise? “British”? What does that mean? Nobody knows. It is a nebulous sort of term, a referent without much left to apply it to: no more British Steel or British Railways. When May said “British values”, it conveyed about as much information as “Brexit means Brexit”.

      They are also conceptually deluded: they tend to think that “British” is synonymous with “English”, and are quite happy to call the Central Reserve Bank of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland the “Bank of England”. It is also one of the reasons the BBC is so unsatisfactory: it cannot understand, institutionally, that Scotland is not a region. Such fuddled thinking verges on the disordered sometimes, and is of course asymmetric: is you believe that British = English, then Scottish ≠ British, and this explains why a BBC presenter at the Olympics (?) jumped down the throat of, I believe, the leader of the TeamGB ladies’ curling team for inadvertently saying “Scottish” instead of “British”, when the rest of us are well aware that things British are called English so often that most of us Scots just grin and bear it.

      There is precisely nothing we Scots can do about any of this, for all the well-known reasons: it is up to the English to sort out their own existential questions, and whether they want to go on letting the place be run by flint-hearted, grasping robber capitalists with unsavoury views and unsavoury connections, including access to sources of dark money, must remain entirely up to them, possibly with the help of a Russian troll farm or two.

      I know so many decent, loving, caring English people that it really hurts me to know the extent of the trouble they now face in their everyday lives. I hope I’ve managed to convey to them that my support for Scottish independence is not a rejection of them, but of Westminster regimes which treat Scotland and us Scots with the utmost disrespect. Lastly, I hope I have helped them understand their own Englishness a bit better, and to differentiate it from “Britishness”. Whatever that is.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. Of course there are many nice,good people in England as well as some of their political representatives.
        It is the Westminster system of governance that has “evolved” since feudal times that is the problem.
        England’s Tories are intent on eliminating other national identities which diminish their view of England’s greatness and that is what they mean by taking back control.
        Ireland,Scotland and to some extent Wales are to be treated as sub entities within Greater England so that the Tories can pursue their one nation fantacy.
        No room for consensus politics in such an environment,it is rule by diktat and the shutting down of any form of dissent in the pursuit of a narrow agenda.
        Unfortunately,many in England have bought into this idea.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. There is this huge imbalance. England is massive (population wise) when compared with the other countries in the union.

          It’s a bit like The Soviet Union and Russia.

          I was only vaguely aware of the other countries that formed a part of the SU. Who had heard of Uzbekistan? It was, or seemed, all just Russia.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Well, I had, but I would have, wouldn’t I, what with being a Russian translator and all.

            Here’s a wee historical snippet about Central Asia, which is defined *in Russian* as follows: “The term Central Asia encompasses the five former Soviet and now independent republics of Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang (also known as Eastern Turkestan), and Afghanistan.” You can see how the last two inclusions could set up a little – creative tension – here and there.

            Thinking about Uzbekistan and Central Asia reminded me that Trotsky was exiled by Stalin to Alma-Ata (capital of Kazakhstan, now known as Almaty) (googles frantically) in 1928 before he was eventually deported to Turkey the following year. He was in turn deported from Turkey, going to France; after being deported from France, he went to Norway; and he ended up in Mexico, where he was famously murdered on Stalin’s orders.

            Returning to the subject of Uzbekistan, I was reminded that the famous Russian poet Anna Akhmatova was evacuated to Tashkent during WWII by order of Stalin, because of her importance to Russian literature and culture… that her writings were also banned at the time is just one of those little internal contradictions that dictatorships produce in such abundance. She is also my own favourite poet; her poetry not only describes Russian and Soviet life from the Revolution until after WWII, her life exemplifies it.

            Here’s her Wikipedia bio: http://t1p.de/ikx0.

            Here’s one short quote from her work, the one prose paragraph introducing her great poem “Requiem” about the Great Terror:

            “She [Akhmatova] would often queue for hours to deliver [her son Lev] food packages and plead on his behalf. She describes standing outside a stone prison:

            ‘One day somebody in the crowd identified me. Standing behind me was a woman, with lips blue from cold, who had, of course, never heard me called by name before. Now she started out of the torpor common to us all and asked me in a whisper (everyone whispered there):’Can you describe this?’ And I said: ‘I can.’ Then something like a smile passed fleetingly over what had once been her face.'”

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Tris: “Who had heard of Uzbekistan?”

              Thanks to Ed and Tris, I just can’t resist revisiting the “what or where is Uzbekistan” crisis that occurred during the 2012 American presidential campaign.

              Donald Trump wasn’t the first con-man to run for president, he’s just the first one who won. In 2012, we had Herman Cain the pizza man.

              Yes, all those “stan” countries are hard to keep straight. But there’s other “small insignificant states around the world” which also tax the memorization skills of those who would be president. Libya for example. 😉

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Hilarious, Danny. He was even funnier than Trump and about as useful at foreign affairs as the Brit Foreign Secretary who gets mixed up with countries that start with an “S” and end with “ia”.

                Liked by 1 person

    1. Ed………brings to mind old Tom Jefferson who had a lot to say about ignorance and learning.

      “If a nation expects to be ignorant & free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was & never will be.”…..Thomas Jefferson

      Willful ignorance and stupidity are compelling virtues in a political party and among a group of voters who revel in their hostility to intellectualism itself. A few months ago, Jennifer Rubin wrote an op-ed piece in the Washington Post about the “intellectual rot and moral nihilism” of Donald Trump and the modern Republican Party.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/10/17/trump-revels-in-his-ignorance-and-reveals-his-cowardice/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.04130292ef0b

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Excellent article, Danny. He is what his supporters want him to be…

        Loud, boastful, unsophisticated, crude, vapid, hypocritical and with the attention span of a goldfish.

        Of course, in that, he is a lot closer to the working classes than highly educated and intellectually sophisticated law graduates, Obama or Clinton are. After all, a large number of his followers probably are all these things too.

        I’ve worked out why the super hyper religious Pence always looks as if he’s comatose when anywhere near Trump.

        He must switch off and stare vacantly into the middle distance with a look of pure adoration on his face to mask his repugnance of the fat orange blabbermouth and think of… well, whatever people like Pence think of.

        I enjoyed seeing, last night, Trump and his Trade Secretary (?) falling out in public over the meaning of Memorandum of Understanding (if I remember right).

        He can’t stand to be wrong, no matter how wrong he is.

        Total idiot.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes Tris……you have Mike Pence figured out. He’s probably thinking about the fact that it’s all a burden he has to carry, since the orange faced moron is his ticket out of relative obscurity as a Congressman and Governor of Indiana to the White House, with maybe a future chance at the Oval Office. 😉

          As for Trump, facts are whatever he says they are, including the meanings of words and names. The public argument between him and his trade representative Robert Lighthizer was a lot of fun to see, and Lighthizer vowed never to call anything a memorandum of understanding ever again. From now on it will be a “trade agreement.”

          https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/431283-trump-trade-chief-changes-trade-terminology-after-president

          There was an incident in 1978, when Alfred Kahn, a top economic advisor to Jimmy Carter, prepared a statement that the country might be headed into an economic recession or even a deep depression. White House staff ordered him to use a different word than recession or depression, so he issued the statement saying that “We’re in danger of having the worst banana in 45 years.” Jimmy Carter was reportedly not amused. For years, the word “banana” was used as a joke in Washington to describe threats of recessions or other unpleasantly named things.

          Not enough institutional memory in Bob Lighthizer I guess to make him think of calling future memorandums of understanding “bananas.” 😉

          https://www.prwatch.org/spin/2009/03/8250/economic-depression-or-very-bad-banana

          Liked by 2 people

          1. LOL, Danny.

            I always think that Pence stares at his boss with the adoring look that a young couple keep for one another, but that he is, in fact, dreaming of the sacred day when he gets to sit at Jesus’s right hand in that great white house in the sky and fulfil his real ambition.

            Besides, it stops him committing the sin of looking in the direction of a female of the opposite sex who is not his wife.

            I think it might be plagiarism to call a Memorandum of Understanding a banana, not to mention a bit confusing as no one would be sure whether it was in fact a memorandum of understanding, a trade agreement, a depression or even, perhaps, a yellow fruit with a kinda bend in it.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Was it his Wall that Trump suggested could be called “peaches”, or his national emergency? What is this thing with fruit?

            (Notes to self: Wednesday: take over world. Thursday: think up new euphemisms to popularize. Initial suggestions: “when the plantains hit the propeller”. “Thick as quince.””Like shooting pickled olives in a barrel.” “Russian internet zucchini farm.”)

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Tris…..Ed……

              I would have imagined that with Trump’s ignorance of Washington history, the irony of calling a memorandum of understanding a banana would be totally lost on him…..sowing utter confusion as you suggest Tris. 🙂

              It’s truly impossible to keep up with the madness that emanates from the Trump White House. I had entirely missed the “peaches” name suggestion.

              https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-border-wall-peaches_us_5c39c36fe4b01c93e00a2b43

              The Washington fruit salad euphemisms expanded for a time in 1978, when Professor Kahn came up with “Kumquat”to placate large commercial fruit interests who complained about disrespecting bananas. Seriously!

              I love your ingenious new euphemisms Ed! You would do well in Washington. 😉

              Liked by 2 people

    2. PS: Democratic governments are never more than one election away from the cunning demagogue with a message that the people want to hear. The 1928 Republican campaign message of “a chicken in every pot and a car in every backyard” came to grief in 1929, and by 1935, a Democratic demagogue from Louisiana was nationally prominent and appeared to be a credible political challenge to FDR in 1936.

      Due to an assassin’s bullet in the Louisiana Statehouse in Baton Rouge in 1935, we’ll never know if Long could have wrested the 1936 Democratic nomination from FDR, or at least split the Democrats and assured the election of a Republican who Long could then defeat in 1940.

      “The Kingfish” was widely considered to be a clown and buffoon (as was Trump,) but the dictator of Louisiana and his messages of “share the wealth” and “every man a king” were wildly popular in Louisiana and many quarters of depression-ridden America. He might have been in the White House in 1941 on the eve of Pearl Harbor and WWII.

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Ed, in general terms (exceptions of course) but is his base not as wilfully ignorant as he is. He says the kind of things these people say round the dinner table or in bars or, who knows where…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That put me in mind of “Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle mérite.” I thought it was Richelieu, but my advanced googling skills tell me that it was one Joseph de Maistre. The word “nation” though … Trump nation gets the government it deserves; the rest of American society (60% plus) and most of the rest of the world – everyone, minus those who benefit directly from Trump and his administration’s corruption – do not.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Interesting thoughts in the comments – and the cartoons.

          There is something fundamentally wrong with outsourcing your political opinions to others without having at least filtered them through your brain. It can have outcomes you never expected, ‘this far and no farther’ tends to get swept aside and one becomes a supporter of outlandish policies. As Danny says in the post above this:

          ” Con-artists and would-be demagogues are a dime a dozen, but the scary people are the ones who vote for them.”

          These are the folk that are so lazy that they are really disengaged from discussion and debate.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Ed……..So American dime a dozen meaning 12 to a dime corresponds in the UK to 10 to a penny. (Cheaper in the UK…..LOL.)

            I wonder if people in the UK generally know that a “dime” is an American ten cent (10 penny) coin. Wiki says: “The Coinage Act of 1792, passed on April 2, 1792, authorized the mintage of a “disme.” At some point (fairly early in the republic I think) the “disme” became a “dime.” Wiki says: “The word dime comes from the French word dîme, meaning “tithe” or “tenth part”, from the Latin decima [pars].”

            BTW, I think there’s a British phrase: “In for a penny, in for a pound.” In America it becomes “In for a dime, in for a dollar.”

            And there seems to be confusion as to how “disme” was pronounced in 1790’s
            America…….diz-me? or deeme? (rhymes with team), or maybe just “dime” (rhymes with time.)

            Liked by 2 people

            1. I couldn’t tell you how many people (out of 100) in the UK are au fait with the niceties of American currency, but from TV they will have at least heard the words quarter, nickel and dime, even if they don’t know what they are. They are, I think, unlikely to have heard of Susan B. Anthony, or imagine that there is (was?) such a thing as a two-dollar note.

              A useful phrase whose equivalent does not exist in BritEng is “to nickel and dime [someone] to death”. So, you can say in AmEng “Of course Verizon is just like all the other telcom companies, their headline rates sound amazingly cheap, but they’ll nickel and dime you to death”, but in BritEng you’d have to say something like “Of course BT make their phone service sound cheap. They all do, it’s the hidden extras that’ll kill you.”

              Perhaps we should make up a new phrase: “They’ll Ryanair you to death”.

              Liked by 2 people

                1. Ed…..It occurs to me that the names “dime” and “nickel” might seem more mysterious to people in the UK or Europe than the “Quarter” for example…..which obviously means 25 cents or one Quarter of a dollar. The very first silver American coins with a date and a denomination were the “disme” and “half disme” of 1792. By the 1830’s, the words “One Dime” and “Half Dime” were on the coins. The “Half Dime” as a tiny silver coin continued in circulation until 1873, when it was discontinued in favor of the base metal nickel-copper alloy 5 cent coin, popularly called a “nickel,” which had been minted since 1866.

                  Modern 10 cent coins are designated “One Dime” and modern 5 cent coins are popularly called “nickels,” but are actually designated “Five Cents” on the coins.

                  The inexpensive general merchandise stores that were operated as Kresge’s and Woolworth’s for example, were often called “dime stores,” or sometimes “five and dime” stores.

                  Liked by 1 person

              1. Yes Ed……To “nickel and dime you to death” is a very useful phrase, and you should definitely work up something comparable for Scotland and the UK. 😉

                No one seems to know why people won’t use $2.00 notes. Uncle Sam still prints them, but nobody seems to want them. Nice picture of Tom Jefferson on the front and the signing of the Declaration of Independence on the back. (Earlier versions had Tom’s home Monticello of the back.)

                An even bigger problem that bedevils the feds is that people simply will not use a dollar coin……forcing the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to print huge numbers of “dollar bills.”

                The problem in the old days of silver and gold coins is that the SILVER dollar coins, which had been minted since 1794, (the so-called “cartwheels”, which contained about 3/4 of a troy ounce of silver) were too big and heavy to be comfortably carried. And the GOLD dollars (minted 1849-1899) were so tiny they could get lost in the seams of pants pockets.

                Then gold coins were discontinued in 1933 and silver coins were discontinued in 1964. Maybe THAT would open the door to a dollar coin. HA! The Susan B. Anthony dollar coin looked very similar to a quarter and everybody hated it. Although the Sands in Vegas modified their dollar slots and ran a “Susie’s at the Sands” promotion, the gamblers in Vegas and Reno and elsewhere hated them too. So the casinos went to $1.00 metal tokens exactly the size of the old cartwheel silver dollars.

                So the mint decided that maybe a different COLOR dollar coin would work, and we got the brass alloy yellow-colored Sacajawea dollar. A design showing both a female AND a native American with a baby on her back thrilled a few liberal feminist native American advocates of course, but most people hated the Sacajawea as much as they had hated the Susan B. Anthony. The post office went through a phase of trying to give out Sacajaweas in change, but most people pushed them back across the postal counter and asked for dollar bills.

                So the feds and the mint have so far failed to force Americans to use dollar coins, while the Bureau of Engraving and Printing keeps the dollar bill presses operating round-the-clock. 😉

                Liked by 2 people

                1. As the value of the currency declines over time, the intrinsic cost of the note or coin rises closer and closer to its face value. Coins my have a higher intrinsic value, but they last a lot longer; printing notes on plastic, as we do in the UK, makes them last longer too.

                  If the US Treasury is still printing dollar bills, then it still must cost less to print them than their face value. In other words, I betcha anything that if the net return on printing dollar bills (seigniorage) were zero or below, the Treasury would stop printing’em pronto.

                  BTW, there are pro-dependence types here in Scotland who insist that an independent Scotland would be unable to print its own money because it would be “too expensive”. This strikes me as very odd indeed – “seigniorage” may be a bugger to spell, but the concept is extremely simple!

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. Ed…..Allow me to mount my middle of the road only slightly left of center soapbox and pontificate on the evils of nanny state socialism as it applies to the dollar coin issue.

                    The dollar bill verses dollar coin battle has been going on for as many years as I can remember, and shows no signs of abating any time soon. Yes, it costs more to mint a dollar coin than to print a dollar bill, and that’s only the beginning of the fight between replacement rates of bills vs coins, competing commercial interests, and public preferences. I tend to place a lot of emphasis on the fact that I hate to carry coins, and replacing the 20 to 30 or so dollar bills I carry with dollar coins is simply a non-starter as far as I’m concerned.

                    Thankfully, Congress places a lot more emphasis on keeping the voters happy, than they do in indulging the liberal academics who (like the nanny state Democratic socialists of Europe) are quite happy to see that the people are compelled by force of law to do whatever they (the social planners) want them to do. I read these words from the federal General Accounting Office (GAO) a few years ago:

                    “We continue to believe that replacing the note with a coin is likely to provide a financial benefit to the government if the note is eliminated and negative public reaction is effectively managed through stakeholder outreach and public education,”

                    Note the weasel word “likely,” followed by GAO gibberish about “managing” “negative public reaction ” through “education.” YES…….the lefties are always more than happy to force people to do what they SHOULD do. The people will in fact be “educated” to be happy about what the leftist social planners have decided to make them do by force of law anyway.

                    A Washington Post article on a Federal Reserve paper which basically said that the GAO is full of it. 😉

                    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2013/12/12/the-fed-doesnt-think-its-a-good-idea-to-replace-dollar-bills-with-coins/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.823752c319fa

                    The fight goes on. Political ideology aside, the issue is not nearly as straightforward as many would have us believe……IMHO. 😉

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. Subsidizing the production of money – whatever next! How Socialist!

                      It’s not a liberal leftie academic thing, it’s a fact of life: when the face value of a coin or note falls below the cost of printing it (and the length of time in circulation has to factor in too), the Mint is losing money. There weren’t many leftie academics around during the time of the Roman Empire, for example! The Treasury – who is it prints the bills and who reaps the profits / seigniorage? – that likely varies, institutionally speaking. Some countries have their bills printed abroad by various private and other companies; the UK Royal Mint prints some for other countries, as it happens.

                      In countries such as Kenya, you often see incredibly grubby low-denomination notes in circulation; in countries with hyperinflation, such as Brazil one time I was there, they adopted the expedient of redenominating the currency by lopping off zeroes at the end. So, you would get a note with a fantastic number of zeroes at the end, with anywhere between one and four stamps on it lopping off a number of zeroes. So you had to count up the total number of zeroes and chop them off the end of the figure on the note, in order to get the value in whatever iteration the currency was going through that particular day.

                      This is what happens when the printing presses physically cannot keep up with the demand for cash money – the notes have their lives extended. In such circumstances, people don’t have to carry any coins at all – because they’re worthless, except as scrap metal.

                      Liked by 2 people

                2. I remember my first experience with Italian lira coins, because it was the first time I’d seen two-tone coins of any kind. Now we have them in the UK too. The pound coin was changed recently (the old ones were too easy to counterfeit, apparently), and a two-pound coin introduced. Now, I have had no luck putting photos into WordPress, but at least I can give you links.

                  One-pound obverse: http://t1p.de/meco
                  One-pound reverse: http://t1p.de/k1tt
                  Two-pound reverse (the obverse is similar to the one-pound coin; the two-pound is larger, heavier and round): http://t1p.de/8ycs.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. Ed……..Those are beautiful coins. But I would really want to see the studies that convinced the government that it was a good idea to replace cheaply printed notes with what are clearly very expensively produced coins. Not to mention how they accommodated what must have been chaos in the vending machine industry.
                    Leaving aside the personal inconvenience of using coins instead of notes.

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. Ed…..PS: After a bit more Googling, just to complete the academic discussion:

                      I see that the Federal Reserve (pro-dollar bill) paper which refuted the 2012 GAO (pro-dollar coin) analysis ran to twenty-eight pages:

                      1) https://www.federalreserve.gov/paymentsystems/files/staff-working-paper-20131211.pdf

                      Thankfully, a short summary:

                      2) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2012/12/03/would-killing-the-dollar-bill-save-money-not-necessarily/?utm_term=.0fc5b0e3a16a

                      “The government’s GAO-projected $4.4 billion profit comes entirely from [a] boost in seigniorage.” “Seigniorage…is fundamentally a revenue transfer from the private sector to the government, and it doesn’t include the costs to the banking industry, retailers, the Federal Reserve and consumers.” “This money [might] cut the deficit…but it does so through implicit taxation, not through efficiency savings.”

                      Conclusion: Nothing was done in 2012. Looks like the American dollar bill is safe.

                      (There will be no quiz on this material.) 😉

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. The thing is, I expect the dollar bill now is worth about the same as a nickel was worth – in terms of buying power – 40 years ago (you’d have to look up the exact figures). In a nutshell, once the value of a bill – as opposed to the face value – sinks into the bracket we normally call “loose change”, then that’s what it becomes.

                      The manufacturers of vending and other machines always complain, but always comply. It’s a bit like mileage standards for vehicles. Technology has made at least some of the problem go away – additional weight and value parameters can be programmed in, so the machine will accept, oh, both old- and new-style one pound coins – and there is a natural replacement cycle too.

                      We have a similar sort of problem here in Scotland: in addition to English notes, we have our own equivalent Scottish notes (×3 as we have three issuing banks). That being the case, the technology in note readers for parking garages in the like has to be rather more advanced – which if fine, if it’s all done by software, and the scanning part of it is the same for all the notes you can stuff into the thing.

                      Liked by 2 people

                  2. Ed…..

                    Thanks much for this spirited discussion. And now let me take one more swipe at flogging this issue to death.

                    Your comment: “Subsidizing the production of money – whatever next! How Socialist!”

                    So…… mea culpa, mea maxima culpa! Yes, I’ll take almost any opportunity to view an issue through the lens of a libertarian political perspective, which places greater value on the unhindered pursuit of legal and ethical personal behavior, over and above the socialistic impulse to restrict by force of law PRIVATE personal behavior in pursuit of the greater PUBLIC good. In other words, I like people who leave other people alone to pursue their private endeavors as they wish, unlike my socialistic minded friends who never leave their neighbors alone about anything.

                    In the more or less trivial issue of paper currency verses metal coins, this principle takes the form of forcing your neighbor (who is accustomed to the convenience of carrying lightweight paper currency, folded compactly in a wallet) to curtail his use of cash which cannot possibly be carried as coins in anything like the same quantities. It’s a non-monetary behavior cost on people who use cash, in pursuit of a long term public goal of reducing cost to the public mint and printing facilities; a goal which (as the US Federal Reserve study points out) may not materialize at all.

                    Ed: “It’s not a liberal leftie academic thing, it’s a fact of life: when the face value of a coin or note falls below the cost of printing it (and the length of time in circulation has to factor in too), the Mint is losing money.”

                    In this case, the mint accrues seigniorage income whether printing currency or minting coins, and the cost saving issue involves various assumptions one makes about the relative costs to the government over time.

                    I really did force myself to read all 28 pages of the Federal Reserve report, as well as the financial op-ed piece in the Washington Post, and am persuaded that while the concept of seigniorage is trivially simple in definition, its application to public policy involving long term costs to the government’s currency manufacturing enterprise is fiendishly difficult to calculate accurately.

                    If it were a simple matter of applying the principle of seigniorage on a dollar for dollar basis in real time, the decision would go to paper currency hands down. It costs 5 cents to print a one dollar note, whereas it costs about 35 cents to mint a $1.00 coin, with the net seigniorage difference to the government being 30 cents per dollar greater for printed currency. The more than four billion dollar cost savings over 30 years that some claim for dollar coins depends on highly speculative assumptions about retirement rates of notes vs coins and how people will use cash in their private financial transactions over the next three decades.

                    Add to that the fact that a seigniorage savings to the mint is fundamentally paid as an effective tax on the private sector for the benefit of the public sector……not to mention other costs to commercial and banking operations not even included in the analysis……plus an untold non-monetary inconvenience cost to people who use cash in their daily transactions……..I would say that dollar bills are here to stay.

                    To be more direct about it, before I’ll use dollar coins, you’ll have to pry dollar bills out of my cold dead hands. 😉

                    Liked by 1 person

                  3. PS Ed…….

                    I looked it up. The dollar has done better over 40 years than I would have imagined. According to the Consumer Price Index of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the buying power of the US dollar last month was 27 cents, compared to the dollar of 1979.

                    Anyway, you can imagine how worthless the penny is today. So worthless that people tend to just throw their pennies into a jar at home instead of carrying them in their pocket change. That makes a problem for the government in having to mint more of them for cash commerce. Last year, the mint made 9 Billion pennies.

                    Trouble is, the mint loses money on every one they make due to negative seigniorage. It costs 1.5 cents to make teach coin that the government sells for 1 cent.

                    For more than 10 years, the face value of the penny has been less than its manufacturing cost. The mint has occasionally suggested that the penny be entirely eliminated as a coin denomination, with all cash transactions rounded to a nickel. But Congress has no stomach for the anguished cries and angry letters that would come from their constituents. The coin itself is popular too. For 110 years, it’s had Abe Lincoln’s iconic profile on it.

                    The minting of the nickel incurs negative seigniorage too. It now costs 6.32 cents to make a nickel (that is sold for 5 cents.)

                    The mint makes positive seigniorage on the other coins.

                    As for the dollar, whatever its inflation-adjusted buying power, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing makes out like a bandit on the dollar bill. It costs 5 cents to print it, and they receive $1.00 for every one of them.

                    Speaking of paper currency, it came to my attenuation some time ago that bank notes are not legal tender in Scotland…….not even Scottish bank notes.

                    https://www.scotbanks.org.uk/banknotes/legal-position.html

                    That raises the question of what if anything IS legal tender in Scotland. The bank of England website says this:

                    “So what’s actually classed as legal tender?
                    —-What’s classed as legal tender varies throughout the UK. In England and Wales, it’s Royal Mint coins and Bank of England notes. In Scotland and Northern Ireland it’s only Royal Mint coins and not banknotes.”

                    So the Bank of England says that only Royal Mint coins are legal tender in Scotland. Perhaps we should verify that with the Scottish government. 😉

                    The actual meaning of legal tender seems more restrictive than most people realize. At least that’s what the Bank of England says.

                    https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/knowledgebank/what-is-legal-tender

                    Liked by 1 person

                3. Cash of all sorts is becoming less and less used with the advent of “contactless” technology.

                  In Scandinavia it has all but disappeared. In 10 years or so we will have caught up with them.

                  Is that happening in the USA?

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Tris……The picture you posted of the Northern Ireland bank notes made me realize that I hadn’t even thought about the problem of vending machine paper currency readers in the UK having to recognize so many different kinds of bank notes in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

                    There was a time in the US (after currency readers were in use) when slightly different federal paper notes were circulating……United States Notes, Silver Certificates, and Federal Reserve Notes…….but they were mostly identical in appearance anyway. Almost all are Federal Reserve Notes now, so it’s only a problem of identifying the denomination of the note (which is a big number in the corners.)

                    Here in the states, you see cash being used less and less. Even for small charges at the checkout stand of a super market or drug store for example, people just put their bank card in a slot, it reads the embedded computer chip, and the cash comes out of their account and goes into the store’s account electronically.

                    We’re still not cashless to the extent that the Scandinavian countries are though. We’re probably more like the UK is now I would guess.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. It’s certainly complex for UK readers.

                      In England and Wales there are just English notes. Obviously there are 5s, 10s, 20s,50s and 100s.

                      But, there are four banks in Northern Ireland, and three in Scotland.

                      All of these in the various denominations, what to be recognised.

                      And of course there are, at times of note changeovers there can be different designs of the same note in circulation.

                      While looking up this info I came upon this about legal tender, a subject that is hotly disputed in reality, but in legal terms is quite clear..

                      What is legal tender?

                      Legal tender’ is a term that people often use, but when it comes to what can or can’t be used to pay for things, it has little practical use.

                      Legal tender has a very narrow and technical meaning, which relates to settling debts. It means that if you are in debt to someone then you can’t be sued for non-payment if you offer full payment of your debts in legal tender.

                      What is classed as legal tender varies throughout the UK. In England and Wales, legal tender is Royal Mint coins and Bank of England notes. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, only Royal Mint coins are legal tender. Throughout the UK, there are some restrictions when using the lower value coins as legal tender. For example, 1p and 2p coins only count as legal tender for any amount up to 20p.

                      Liked by 1 person

                  2. Tris……..Very interesting information about the banks and the bank notes!

                    And an amazing coincidence! I was looking up the same information on legal tender for my posting to Ed (above) at the same time you were posting it here, and that I hadn’t seen yet.

                    Spooky! …..LOL.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Tris…..As for the legal tender status of 1p and 2p coins, I think there are some requirements in American legal tender law about the payment being in a “reasonable” denomination (or words to that effect.) There was a story of a guy who payed a significant federal income tax bill in pennies, submerged in a big jar of molasses. Not only was his method of payment rejected, he successfully pissed off the IRS. 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

                    1. LOL…….Ed……..I was in fact referring to my own humble efforts. I always hope my comments are at least of passing “interest,” but recognize that “useful” is a much more elusive and seldom attained goal. 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Tris……Incorporating your previous reply into my own (just posted) was entirely inadvertent as plagiarism goes. My apologies!
                      BTW, as for interesting and useful information, it’s no small thing that I can now spell seigniorage in two languages. 😉

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Hmmm. Munguin is thinking of charging tuition fees here, although even he would have to admit that they would have to be redistributed to the learned people who comment.

                      Wouldn’t he?

                      Liked by 1 person

  1. No need to actually print or mint as we could just use a smart phone app instead of cash. Easy for vending machines, parking meters etc.

    For all those not paying attention we have been transitioning to a Gold Standard World for some time now.

    Those 76,429 sealed indictments will be being unsealed soon. Gaol time for the bad guys. #WWG1WGA

    29 days to #DissolveTheUnion time.

    Liked by 1 person

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