Second-Class Cash

Treasury To Redesign Bills

Poor To Get Their Own Currency
The poor have special money needs. 

Richieville News Service – Washington, D.C.
The Treasury Department today announced plans for a complete redesign of U.S. currency, creating a separate class of money to be used exclusively by the nation’s poor. Treasury officials said the new poor people’s currency would include features meant to, “enhance the money-owning experience.” The decision followed last week’s federal court ruling ordering a redesign of the currency to add features to help the visually impaired. 
“We realized that the poverty-stricken also have special monetary needs,” explained Felix G. Moynihan, of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. “For example, a lot of them have less money than rich people. So we thought maybe we could figure out ways they could get more enjoyment out of the few dollars they do have. Like, we could print them in really bright colors, or run a comic strip on the back.”
Other entertainment features envisioned for the new bills include holographic, three-dimensional photos of movie stars or sports legends and embedded sound chips like those found in some greeting cards. The chips would be programmed to tell a joke or play a snippet of pop music every time the bill was withdrawn from a wallet or purse. 
“Imagine you want to buy a gallon of milk that costs four dollars and you only have three,” the Treasury spokesman said. “Having singing money will really take the sting out of that.” He added that the Treasury was also in talks with Apple Computer about the feasibility of downloading music or television shows directly into dollar bills. One drawback to the scheme is the fact that the cost of the download might be more than the value of the bill itself.
Mr. Moynihan said that the higher costs of printing bills with these features could be offset by selling advertising on the currency or through sponsorship deals. For example, the five dollar bill could become the Microsoft five dollar bill. However, he stressed that Abraham Lincoln’s picture would remain on the bill regardless of the sponsor. 
He also revealed that the department was considering another set of currency designed for the nation’s wealthy. Unlike the somewhat gaudy bills envisioned for the poor, the rich people’s currency would be small, unobtrusive and printed in tastefully muted shades of gray. There would be no denomination markings, following the principle that if you have to ask, you probably can’t afford it. The bills would also be printed with special codes making them immune to taxes.
 “Right now we spend so much of our time trying to re-jigger the tax code to keep the wealthy from paying their share,” Mr. Moynihan explained. “Giving them tax-free money will save us a lot of headaches, let me tell you.”
Some critics of the design plans said there was a danger that the poor would become too attached to their new bills and not want to spend them, but Mr. Moynihan disagreed. “We think the poor will still have incentives to spend, like for instance, hunger and the need for shelter.”
As for the idea, advanced by some, that the currency needs of the poor could best be met by giving them more of it, the Treasury spokesman had this to say, “The problem of poor people having less money is very complex, we don’t want to just throw money at it.” 

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