Tuesday, August 11, 2009
1001 Ways To Tune Up The World, Number Six:
Progress marches on, spurred on by the things I think about while driving into work listening to New Pornographers.
6. Switch to "E-money."
Why still use paper and metal money? There's no point to it anymore. Tangible money costs a lot to make, costs a lot to destroy, and costs a lot to store, all for no reason whatsoever. And, the existence of tangible money creates confusion over whether or not stores accept debit cards or credit cards or the like, and allows for things like me dropping the change the other night at the drive-through at McDonald's. There's a dime I'll never see again.
Switching to e-money avoids all of that, and also avoids exchange rates: Everyone in the world can use the exact same currency. I suggest calling it the i, and using that as the symbol. (It can't be the E because that's already used for a euro, and a backwards E, my other thought, looked like a trident or pitchfork, which means that the conspiracy theorists would continue have something to discuss once the dollar's pyramid is gone.)
Switching to the i, too, will allow prices to be even longer -- things can be priced at i 1.9999, instead of $2.00, or $1.99, increasing retailers' sales by i 0.0099, which doesn't sound like much, but if you have 200 sales a week, over the course of a year that's an extra $102.96 for doing nothing more than tacking on a couple of numbers.
As for people who don't have debit cards or bank accounts, there's already a bunch of servicers who are setting up to provide debit cards to the unaccounted, and I'm certain that retailers would step in to set up things like a reloadable Wal-card account that's usable everywhere but which gives discounts when used at Wal-locations.
Added bonus: The symbol I've chosen is also the mathematical symbol for the square root of negative one -- an imaginary number. That makes our money cool and theoretical, and if you spend too much, you can always say "Oh, well, it's all imaginary anyway."
5. Have each person assigned one phone number, and then add an extension for the various phones and faxes that person might be reached at.
4. Abolish Mondays and Tuesdays.
3. Don't listen to interviews with athletes or comedians.
2. Have "personal cashiers" at the grocery store.
1. Don't earn more than $200,000 per year.