Todd’s Take: Why Is There a Coin Shortage in America?
At the beginning of this pandemic, we had a run on toilet tissue which was one of the last things I would have ever expected (there is, however, a psychology behind it, believe it or not).
Then, items like hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes and facemasks got difficult to come by. THAT, at least, stands to reason.
The latest shortage across America had me scratching my head again... until I looked in my cupboard.
Let's back it up a little bit. Just a couple of days ago, I stopped into the local market -- we only have one where I live -- to pick a few things up. As I got to the cashier, I noticed a little handwritten sign on the counter that was asking customers to use exact change or electronic (debit/credit/EBT card). I simply chalked it up to being in a small town and, having run a few yard sales of my own, knowing that having a adequate supply of change can sometimes be a problem.
It was the very next day (Wednesday) that I caught a news article about a NATIONWIDE shortage of coins!
Some people think it is the government trying to get us all to convert to a cashless society for nefarious reasons but I am a perfect example of why it is happening.
Because of shelter-in-place orders, banks, obviously, have been relegated to drive-through service only and they do not accept loose coin in those funky vacuum tubes. Secondly, even the Federal Reserve Bank and the US Mint have not been operating at 100% capacity, depleting the supply. Eventually, coins have become less circulated than normal.
Typically, my wife and I throw our spare change into a plastic jar that we have in our kitchen cupboard. Every so often, I'll take it to my neighborhood credit union where they count it up for free and simply deposit it (electronic money!) into my account. When I pilled my jar out the other day, I realized the darn thing is nearly full and weighs about five pounds!
I'm thinking about taking it down to the local market to exchange it for greenbacks or food, milk, etc. but... NOBODY but NOBODY wants to be behind "that guy" so maybe I'll just hang onto it for a little bit longer!