Paper money discriminatory?

Paper money discriminatory?

Breitbart.com said:
Judge: Make Bills Recognizable to Blind
Nov 28 6:10 PM US/Eastern

By MATT APUZZO
Associated Press Writer


The government discriminates against blind people by printing money that all looks and feels the same, a federal judge said Tuesday in a ruling that could change the face of American currency.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson ordered the Treasury Department to come up with ways for the blind to tell bills apart. He said he wouldn't tell officials how to fix the problem, but he ordered them to begin working on it.

The American Council of the Blind has proposed several options, including printing bills of differing sizes, adding embossed dots or foil to the paper or using raised ink.

"Of the more than 180 countries that issue paper currency, only the United States prints bills that are identical in size and color in all their denominations," Robertson wrote. "More than 100 of the other issuers vary their bills in size according to denomination, and every other issuer includes at least some features that help the visually impaired."

Government attorneys argued that forcing the Treasury Department to change the size of the bills or add texture would make it harder to prevent counterfeiting. Robertson was not swayed.

"The fact that each of these features is currently used in other currencies suggests that, at least on the face of things, such accommodations are reasonable," he wrote.

He said the government was violating the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in government programs. The opinion came after a four-year legal fight.

Electronic devices are available to help blind people differentiate between bills, but many complain that they are slow, expensive and unreliable. Visually impaired shoppers frequently rely on store clerks to help them.

"It's just frankly unfair that blind people should have to rely on the good faith of people they have never met in knowing whether they've been given the correct change," said Jeffrey A. Lovitky, attorney for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

Others have developed ways to cope with the similarly shaped bills. Melanie Brunson, a member of the American Council of the Blind, told the court that she folds her bills into different shapes: $1 bills stay straight, $5 bills are folded in half left to right, $10 bills in half top to bottom and $20 in quarters.

The Treasury Department had no comment on the ruling Tuesday. The government has 10 days to decide whether to appeal.

U.S. bills have not always been the same size. In 1929, the government standardized the size and shrank all bills by about 30 percent to lower manufacturing costs and help distinguish between genuine and counterfeit notes.

Since then, the Treasury Department has worked to stay ahead of counterfeiters. Security threads and microprinting were introduced in The portraits were enlarged in 1996, and an infrared feature was added to encourage the development of electronic readers for the blind.

The latest redesign is under way. New $10 bills, featuring splashes of orange, yellow and red, hit the market this year, following similar changes to the $20 bill in 2003 and the $50 bill in 2004. The $5 facelift is due in 2008.

In court documents, government attorneys said changing the way money feels would be expensive. Cost estimates ranged from $75 million in equipment upgrades and $9 million annual expenses for punching holes in bills to $178 million in one-time charges and $50 million annual expenses for printing bills of varying sizes.

Any change to the dollar's design could ripple into the vending machine industry, which participated in discussions regarding previous redesigns. The American Council of the Blind is not seeking changes to the $1 bill, according to court documents.

The Treasury Department spent $4.2 billion on printing over the past decade, Robertson said. Adding a raised number to the bills would have increased costs less than 5 percent over that period, he said.

"If additional savings could be gained by incorporating the new feature into a larger redesign, such as those that took place in 1996 or 2004, the total burden of adding such a feature would be even smaller," Robertson wrote
Source
Yup. Money discriminates. I hate the Americans with Disabilites Act a little more every day. This kind of asinine BS serves no purpose other than to make life harder (and more expensive) for the rest of us.

Changing the bill size would never work. It costs enormous sums of money to re-tool vending machines to accept the "new and improved!" bills and coins. Imagine the enourmous costs of re-tooling our entire system of handling money?

Raised ink? It'll just come off. It'll also make stacking bills impossible, thus raising costs for banks. Hello higher interest rates. Notary style stamps on the bills would have the same effect.

The solution is simple. Judge. Rope. Tree. Some assembly required.
 

Lord Nyax

Banned
There is no way to do this effectively.
Make the blind people learn to read. If they don't want to, they can use a damn debit card.

Personally I'm still waiting for a law suit about telephone ringers discriminating against deaf people.
 

kobold

Banned
Do you suppose you'd feel differently if you were blind?

I'm all for making little changes if it will allow people to become more independant in their everyday lives.

I just checked a five that is in my wallet. There are six bumps on it. Doesn't correlate to the number five (according to wiki), so I have no idea what the hell it is supposed to mean. My point though is that there hasn't been a complete breakdown in the social fabric of Canuckistan because we have bumpy (and colourful) money.

Now that I think about it, maybe that is what that guy on the street corner was ranting about the other day. Bastards.
 

Lord Nyax

Banned
Do you suppose you'd feel differently if you were blind?

I'm all for making little changes if it will allow people to become more independant in their everyday lives.
Yes, of course I'd feel differently. Maybe I do need to put [sarcasm] tags around my posts...

In all reality, blind people deserve just as much and just a little as everyone else. Anything else is discrimination.



 

Stompwampa

Diabloii.Net Member
I'm all for making little changes if it will allow people to become more independant in their everyday lives.
Changing the size of the bill is not a little change, as Smeg pointed out in his OP. It would easily cost billions of dollars to change the size of our monetary notes. Not worth it. The blind have been getting along just fine for the last two centuries, why start complaining now?



 

kobold

Banned
Yes, of course I'd feel differently. Maybe I do need to put [sarcasm] tags around my posts...

In all reality, blind people deserve just as much and just a little as everyone else. Anything else is discrimination.
I wasn't referring to you. I was referring to Smeg. When I started to reply, no one else had yet, yet when I finished, I was 6th in line.

I guess I need a handicap sign, maybe that will help my posts get in there first... [/rat-bastard comment]

edit: Stomp, I agree that retooling to make different size bills seems a bit silly in terms of cost. I don't think that adding bumps to bills would require that much more, would it? (I'm sure there was likely a cost associated with that specifically in the article, which I'll read as I post this change and say "d'oh"!)

edit2: D'oh!

Pffft. 75 million is a pittance in terms of the US budget. Give 'em their damned bumps.



 

Lord Nyax

Banned
Changing the size of the bill is not a little change, as Smeg pointed out in his OP. It would easily cost billions of dollars to change the size of our monetary notes. Not worth it. The blind have been getting along just fine for the last two centuries, why start complaining now?
The lawyers are running out of crap to ***** about, so they found something new. That's been going on since the dawn of law...they're just more bored nowadays. I would take up religion if some blind guy would kick that lawyer in the nuts. Seriously. I would convert.

EDIT: Kobold, think about it. Right now, bills lie flat. If they didn't, it would be a lot harder to store them. Banks, as Smegma said, need to store bills efficiently...they tend to have a lot of them. If bills take up 2-3 times up as much space...that means you need to buy new cash drawers...

Maybe not quite as expensive as a retooling of the size, but still not worth it, IMO.



 
It'll look hideous, but putting some sort of notches in the edge would be the easiest. Minor retooling (adding a step to cut the notch), no need to retool atms, vending machines, etc.

-edit-

I still think it's a stupid lawsuit. I understand that blind people are people too, but how often do they go to the store by themselves? Shouldn't their companion be trustworthy?
 

Lord Nyax

Banned
It'll look hideous, but putting some sort of notches in the edge would be the easiest. Minor retooling (adding a step to cut the notch), no need to retool atms, vending machines, etc.

-edit-

I still think it's a stupid lawsuit. I understand that blind people are people too, but how often do they go to the store by themselves? Shouldn't their companion be trustworthy?
You start putting notches in the bills and I wouldn't be surprised if there were a 1000% increase in the number of bills destroyed by rips. Once they get started...they just expand.

P.S: Yeah, exactly. Teach the dogs to read the bills...



 
True, maybe not a notch, but something distinguishable by a blind person, a ripple maybe. Kind of hard to explain, not like a piece of lasagna, but like this:

|----~-----|
| |
| |
|----~-----|
 

Stompwampa

Diabloii.Net Member
well putting notches in the bills isn't a bad idea...but that too would be costly. The value of our money would def. go down since there would be extra steps in creation of the bills.
 

kobold

Banned
well putting notches in the bills isn't a bad idea...but that too would be costly. The value of our money would def. go down since there would be extra steps in creation of the bills.
I fail to see how the value of your money would go down. An investor looking to buy US currency won't be concerned with the cost of the bills, but I suppose that the impact that the additional costs would have would have to be factored into the effectiveness of the economy. As I mentioned before, 75 million in additional costs to add the bumps would be a pretty small portion of the annual budget.

There would be additional costs incurred, but on the scale of the per bill cost, how much would it be? I have no idea how many bills are printed annually in the US.



 
well putting notches in the bills isn't a bad idea...but that too would be costly. The value of our money would def. go down since there would be extra steps in creation of the bills.
Actually, it would barely cost anything. The cutting plates that cut the money are always being replaced, and there is always scrap left over from the edges of the money sheet. All that needs to be modified is the cutting plate, which isn't too difficult.



 
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