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Why American’s Carry Around Too Much Change July 23, 2007

Posted by gordonwatts in life.
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CIMG3519In France. I should add. It is because everyone around here says numbers to quick. A garlic clove, a tomato, and some zucchini? What was that? 72 Euros? That can’t be right! Ok, here is a 5 euro note. Oh! You said 1.72 Euros! Crap, now I have another 3 1 Euro coins in my pocket!

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1. Alejandro Rivero - July 23, 2007

There is another problem: Euro monetary system lacks a quarter. You need to add 20+5. Also, all the “modern” systems have the failure of being base 10 instead of base 12, and then there is not a “thirder” coin to allow you to divide exactly a pay between three persons. For small payments, base 12 lets you divide the lot between 2,3,4 or 6 persons, base 60 allows you 2,3,4,5,6 and base 10 only allows 2 or 5.

2. Paula - July 23, 2007

🙂 Does this mean you are cooking?

3. gordonwatts - July 24, 2007

Yes, I am cooking. The exchange rate means I don’t eat out _all_ the time.

Alejandro — I’d never given any thought to how to design a cash system!

4. Alejandro Rivero - July 25, 2007

Neither the European Union.

5. Stephen E. Chalmers - July 29, 2007

Caught in a rapid exchange such as yours, Rett Butler remarked,

“Seriously, Madam, I don’t give a franc.”

6. gordonwatts - July 30, 2007

That doesn’t work as well as as it used to: “I don’t give a Euro.” We’ll have to get more creative than that…

7. Stephen E. Chalmers - July 30, 2007

D’accord. From barter to bar codes, it’s difficult. In addition to the 10 vs 12 base, we get into minutia; lots of little coins. So the system also needs a lower limit. You famously have to buy one screw at the hardware store and spend $10.00 of your time paying for it: 23 cents. Then we think of what we saved on the $1.45 packet of 10. Vegies should be sold by bulk weight at checkout, all together as one line item. Instead, they are sold individually, with cupons! Of course, no one would accept such a change. But it would work. [Darn, too late for the Farm Bill.]

8. gordonwatts - July 30, 2007

Yes, The farm bill. I should ask about that around here — I wonder if anyone has given it any thought. Perhaps it is because of the recent election, but people here seem to be quite up on politics, both local and world.


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