Home Economy Duplicity in currency? Ask a dollar bill

Duplicity in currency? Ask a dollar bill


Editor’s note: Brent E. Zepke shares the story of a dollar bill — in the currency’s own words.

I can relate to the comedian Rodney Dangerfield’s saying “I get no respect.” However, Rodney’s adding “When I was a kid my parents moved a lot, but I always found them” does not apply to me or my lineage that I can trace back 229 years.

It was in 1792 that the U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 8) gave Congress the power to establish the decimal system of currency based on a dollar being valued in terms of “grains” of silver. As a dollar bill, I am proud to anchor a decimal system with simplicity of calculations compared to ones where a foot is 12 inches or a quart is 32 ounces.

Rodney’s quip “When I was born, I was so ugly that the doctor slapped my mother” also does not apply to me as my front side proudly displays the 1796 Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington, a signature of the current U.S. treasurer…

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