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Americans just don't like dollar coins

A $1 coin

TEXT OF STORY

Renita Jablonski: All right, do you have everything you need for the day... like, your dollar coins? That's what I thought. The U.S. mint is launching yet another advertising campaign to get people to start using dollar coins. This time, there's a new message. Marketplace's Jeremy Hobson reports.


Commercial: She's gone . . . she's not there!

Jeremy Hobson: The latest ad from the U.S. Mint starts off with Lady Liberty walking through New York City to buy a hot dog with $2 coins:

Commercial: They last for decades, are 100 percent recyclable, and using them now could save our country billions of dollars.

The environmental plea is the Mint's latest attempt to hawk the dollar coin to consumers. But economist Robert Whaples at Wake Forest University says regardless of the message, Americans just prefer bills.

Robert Whaples: The public right now is voting with their pocket book, and saying there are these two things in circulation, we like this other one better. We're using it. We're showing you that we like it better by using it.

Whaples says the only way to get people to switch to coins is by following in the footsteps of the Europeans and getting rid of the notes altogether.

New faces on the coins won't cut it, he says. After all, if the faces of Washington and Jefferson couldn't convince the public, what makes the Mint think William Henry Harrison and James K. Polk will?

In New York, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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