HOUSTON, TX – Barack Obama isn’t the only one campaigning for change these days. His old rival, John McCain is asking for change, too. Spare change.
The Arizona senator, along with others, is pushing a measure called the “coins act” which would replace the dollar bill with the dollar coin. Advocates for the measure say it could save the government as much as $13 billion in printing costs over the next 30 years because the metal coin would simply last longer than its paper counterpart, which has to be replaced every three to four years.
“I like the idea of a coin because it would last longer and save the government money,” says Houstonian Trace Dressen.
But a handful of folks say, not so fast.
“You know, it would probably kill us,’ says Larry Olson of CNC vending, ‘it would probably put us right out of business.”
CNC owns more than six-hundred vending machines around town, including the ones at HCC campuses.
“Seventy-five percent of sales come from the dollar bill itself,’ Olson explains. ‘Since the machines don’t take dollar bills – i mean the dollar coin – we would certainly have to retrofit all those machines, which is going to cost us dearly.”
Look around. Odds are the vending machines in your office break room don’t accept dollar coins either. Larry Olson says it would cost his company roughly eight-hundred-dollars per machine to make the retrofit. That’s nearly half-a-million big ones just to stay in business.
“It’s going to put a lot of people out of business, a lot of mom-and-pops and a lot of the smaller vending companies out of business.”
Savings here equal costs there. It’s what we call the trickle-down effect. We’ll keep our ears to the ground on this one.