US should stop making cents, money needs modern makeover

If the United States were to enter a worldwide currency design contest, it would surely lose.

All around the world, currencies differ in color, size, in the images depicted on them and even in the material they are made of.

The United States, however, has not changed their currency since 1929, meaning that America has had the same green-and-white paper dollar bills with the same old-man faces for 85 years now.

The Euro, along with many other currencies, has multi-colored and multi-sized bills so that consumers can easily tell the difference among them. 

The 500-Euro banknote is the largest of the Euro banknotes, both dimensionally and value-wise. The banknotes then decrease in size proportionately down to the five-Euro banknote. Also, each value is a different color, so it’s easier and faster distinguish the bills.

It may not seem like a necessary feature in a currency, but it would be nice to pull out a colorful wad of cash and be able to tell right away how much money you have.

Another feature many currencies worldwide have is culturally-relevant, interesting imagery.

 For example, on each Euro banknote, there is a different type of architecture from different eras within European history. 

Similarly, the Brazilian Real has images of different native animals including the jaguar, the green-winged macaw and the sapphire-spangled emerald hummingbird.

The dollar bills in the United States lack this visual diversity and are somewhat boringly-spotted with outdated portraits of presidents from ages ago.

Because paper money can only last so long, some countries have started replacing their smaller banknotes with a plastic-like substitute. 

The new notes look exactly like the old ones, but are now made of polymer instead of a fabric-paper blend. These new notes are waterproof and are resistant to dirt and wear, not to mention washing machines.

 Malaysia introduced these new notes in 2004 and there is talk that the United Kingdom will introduce polymer notes as soon as four years from now.

But it is not only the paper money in the United States that needs to be adapted; coins should not be overlooked in the revision process, especially the penny.

The penny is actually a  worthless currency. Did you know that it costs 1.8 cents to mint a single penny? 

Many of these one-cent coins end up loose in the streets, hiding under furniture  or mistakenly thrown in the trash, anyway.  

Although there are some traditionalists and avid Abraham-Lincoln lovers who say the penny is an important piece of American culture, the U.S. government would save money by stopping the wasteful distribution of pennies.

However, changing the face of currency in the United States is much easier said than done. 

If it were to happen, though, it would probably cause massive anxiety attacks among the older generations. But if the federal reserve ever does decide to make waterproof money, that would be pretty cool.