Saturday, May 23, 2015

a small step towards fixing the economy

hello there

one of those weirdly common sense, mostly genuine and a little bit practical posts for you, look you see. yeah, i know, it's most peculiar - and a little scary - when i write something actual and proper on my own time, but every now and then it doesn't hurt, i suppose.

i have, on a couple of occasions, encountered a machine that is simply awesome. it is a simple and yet brilliant thing that is rather practical, and if deployed on a wider basis than it currently enjoys it would create a minor ripple of good in fixing the pond of any economy you care to name.

what is it? it's a machine that you throw coins into, right, and then it allows you either to donate those coins to a charity or, if you prefer, for a minor administrative fee, issues you with a voucher to be used in the store where the machine is located.

genius, really. especially if, like me, you tend to just build up piles of low face value coins of money for no apparent reason other than you can't be bothered to carry them all around.

going to a shop with a whole load of coins, throwing them into a machine and then getting a voucher to use at the till is somewhat preferable to taking those same coins to the till and having them all counted out to pay for assorted goods and services. the time it saves, and the awkwardness of having it all counted by a teller, is, to me, worth the 9% charge in place for doing this. especially since, in my case, if it were not for this machine, the coins would not get used at all.

what's that, you ask? no mention on this blog of Boro heading off to Wembley? well, everyone else seems to have said it better than me, but it was a nice touch to see this on my travels today.

you cannot, i appreciate, make that out too good. it is a sign, presumably from some sort of highway or transport authority, hoping that all driving down to Wembley have a safe journey, and wishing Boro well in the match; doing so by that whole Twerker thing of #believe and #utb. luck? no, we just need to play as well as we can and our fortune shall take care of itself, thank you.

but back to coins, and my odd notion that these coin machines could in some way help out any economy that you care to name. which, actually, they really can.

low denomination coins are a fact of life. there is a legal obligation, in the way that money works around the world, to produce them and have them available. in the majority of cases, however, they are issued as part of change for purchases, with the recipient not normally prone to use them. there are all sorts of stats and facts out there about this. bear it in mind as you bear with me.

that these low value coins are a fact of life means they have to be produced. and production of them is an exercise which costs the treasuries and mints of governments. the lowest two face value coins anywhere in the world - here in England that would be the 1p coin and the 2p coin - cost more to make than the coin is worth.

and make them they do, dear reader. they are, as mentioned above, required to exist, but the coins seldom end up in as wide circulation as higher value coins. yes, i appreciate at penny arcades they are used, but the whole country is not a seaside place where such machines exist. with people not using the coins on a regular basis, increased demand comes along from stores and shops and places pressure on the mint to manufacture more of these coins. a bit of a vicious loop, really. unless people could be encouraged to use the coins presently minted more than they do now and thus reduce the need to create so many every year.

how much money could be saved by an economy? it is difficult to say. someone did ask Her Majesty's Treasury just how much it costs to make a 1p coin, but as you might expect, they saw it as really rather appropriate to answer with bullsh!t and hide behind secrecy. but let's work with the info we have from that link right there.

if a Canadian penny costs 1.5p to make, and a US 1c coin costs 2.4c to make, let's pretend that for some reason we believe the UK Royal Mint to be more efficient - no, stop laughing, i did say pretend - and that 1p costs, say, 1.25p to make. so 100 1p coins, with a face value of £1, cost £125 to make. £10 worth of 1p coins costs, then, £1250 to make. multiply away, it gets scary. and that's with me being very kind indeed to the UK Royal Mint and their deft skills with budgeting and getting cost efficiencies in place.

i appreciate that all of the coins put in this machine ultimately end up at the Royal Mint anyway, unless Coin Star have some absolutely massive jars to store them in or melt the coins down for the metal (which i suspect is illegal), but why the hell do they not encourage with incentives more of these machines to be in place?

well, just a thought, i suppose. i did say it would only be a little fix, but little fixes tend to help resolve bigger problems. i am sure the reason for these machines - or competitors - not being more widespread is all tied up in licencing deals, exclusive distributions and things like that. in the big grown up world of corporates and governments, efficiency and getting value for money is pretty much insignificant compared to the lure of hastily singing preferred supplier deals. trust me on this.

back to nonsense with the next post, i would think.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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