Title: I am a dollar
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00052862/00001
 Material Information
Title: I am a dollar
Alternate Title: Tompkins, John S. I am a dollar. Reader's Digest
Physical Description: 3p.
Language: English
Creator: Tompkins, John S. ( Author )
Publication Date: December 1988
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
General Note: Box 5, Folder 22 ( SF - SIGNIFICANT NUMBERS ), Item 16
Funding: Digitized by the Legal Technology Institute in the Levin College of Law at the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00052862
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Levin College of Law, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

Full Text

__ ._ ___ _!........... .hands. Chase and the three Presi- ings). The base of the pyramid bears
.You think about t_ ^ dents were retired from circulation the Roman numerals for 1776, and
You think about in 1969; whenever one of them below is the motto Nous Ordo Seclo-
me all the time, shows his face, the Federal Reserve rum (A New Order of the Ages).
yet you rarely give .MrI Bank ships him to the Treasury for The seal shows a bald eagle with
yet you rarely ve destruction. a burst of light containing 13 stars
me a second Much has been written about the above its head. The eagle's breast
glance arcane symbols on the back of the holds a shield with 13 stripes-
One. The eagle and the pyramid symbol of the original states. Its
are simply the obverse and reverse right talon holds an olive branch
V tk AIikr !m of the Great Seal of the United representing peace; its left, 13 ar-
S" States, whose design was influ- rows symbolizing war. The eagle's
enced by Franklin, Jefferson, Ad- head is turned toward the olive
l9 )H W l, llfll ams and others. They wanted our branch, suggesting a desire for
seal to be an allegory representing peace. The top of the shield is said
^I-P ll the destiny of the new nation. to represent Congress, the eagle's
The mysterious pyramid topped head the executive branch, and the
BY JoHN S. TOMPKINS with an eye leads some of you to nine tail feathers the judiciary. The
accuse the Treasury of occultism. Latin mottoEPluribus Unum means
Some link my symbols to secret Out of Many, One.
OR GENERATIONS I've been thing from Persian Gulf oil to Bra- societies. The All Seeing Eye is a Besides these symbols, some peo-
4 J honest, sound and reliable. zilian coffee is quoted in my name. Masonic symbol, and Franklin and pie are sure I contain hidden mes-
My safety is legendary. Take a look at me. I carry an Washington were Masons. In oc- sages. It is said, for instance, that if
Sk Some call me Almighty. engraving of George :.Washington cult tradition the eye signifies the you look with a magnifying glass
Others warn that worship of me is after Gilbert Stuart's painting. Bank inner light, or intuition. And the outside the upper left corner of the
a sin. I am a dollar. A buck. One tellers stack me face up so they can triangle enclosing the eye is associ- right shield surrounding the 1 on my
of those 2.61-by-6.i4-inch pieces of look George in the eye. It's a security ated with several societies, includ- face, you'll see a tiny white owl-
printed paper in your pocket or feature. Counterfeit portraits often ing the Rosicrucian Order, which or maybe it's a spider. Does this
purse. look dull or one-dimensional. claimed Jefferson. mean anything? The Bureau of En-
Credit cards were supposed to Seven Presidents are shown on The official explanation is that graving and Printing says no-it's all
have made me obsolete years ago, my other denominations, but it's the unfinished pyramid symbolizes in the eye of the beholder.
but people use me more than ever. unlikely you've eyed McKinley, material strength, a foundation for I am printed on special paper,
In 1960, only $I65.x6 was in circula- Cleveland or Madison. No $500, growth, and a goal of perfection, three-quarters cot-
tion for each one of you. Now it's $iooo or $5000 bills have been is- The eye represents the eternal eye
$888.85. sued since 1969 because demand of God and the virtue of putting
I'm the world's is small. Salmon P. the spiritual above the
most important t I f Chase, Lincoln's Sec- material. ,
currency. With- retary of the Treas- Above the pyramid -Z'' 3.
out me, inter- ury, graces the is the Latin mot- -
national trade $10o,ooo bill. But to Annuit Coeptis A\
would halt. The L only 345 of these (He Has Favored -"
f -- price of every- "are still in your Our Undertak-

ct e-quarter number of every bill is recorded. If which I change from a crisp bill to a mattresses, Mason jars, wall safes,
omthe presses, an inch-high stack one is damaged in printing, it is limp rag with broken edges and hollow trees and other secret places.
of me contains exactly 233 bills. My destroyed and replaced by a bill with turned corners. I get that way by Many C-notes that do circulate are
distinctivee feel enables bank tellers a star in place of the last letter. The being counted, folded, thrust into handled with care by casino gam-
to rise ViU"iu saw-toothed seal on the left identifies bill changers, pushed across wet blers, drug dealers and the payers
A magnifying glass clearly re- the Federal Reserve Bank that issued lunch counters and passed around and receivers of bribes. And tens of
veals random, hairlike red and blue me. So do the first letter in the serial in some 400 transactions, millions more are hoarded from
lines on me. These are chopped silk number and the four black numerals None of you likes to get a dirty Saigon to Beirut to Mexico City by
threads impressed in my paper, in the corners of my white space. bill in change, and when you do, people who worry about the future
which is made in a closely guarded The series date, to the right of you quickly palm me off on some- of their own currency. Certain that
( mill in Dalton, Mass. Federal law the portrait, is the year the design one else. Ninety-five percent of I will never be repudiated, the citi-
forbids anyone else from manu- was adopted. A small letter is add- new bills are printed to replace that zens of every nation accept me at
facturing paper with such threads. ed to it if a minor change is made, worn and dirty money pulled from face value.
At the Bu- such as the sig- circulation by Federal Reserve Still, my purchasing power has
reau in Wash- I nature of a new Banks. shrunk over the years. What one
ington, D.C., Secretary of the Each of the 12 federal banks
14 huge print- Treasury or recycles around $100 million every
ing presses, us- qs Treasurer of the day. When a bill no longer meets s
ing secret black .L United States. the standards of the Fed's sorting
and green inks, The tiny letters machines, it is automatically shunt- 0
run round-the- ^ and numerals in ed into a shredder. Daily, the New
clock turning my upper left York Fed alone destroys more than
out about 22,500,ooo bills a day. A and lower right identify the plate $35 million. It also turns up about
One costs the same as a Hundred to used to print me; they help locate 30 fake bills, stamps them "coun- dollar bought in 1940 costs $8.50
print-around 2/2 cents. The presses printing problems. terfeit" and forwards them to the today. That's inflation, which can
force the ink into my paper under Errors do happen. Several years Secret Service. occur when there are government
pressure, which makes the printing ago, a spate of bills was released In an average year, up to 30,000 bills to pay and no tax money to pay
feel slightly raised and counterfeiting with serial numbers printed upside of you send to Washington money them. The Treasury then gets
more difficult, down and on the wrong side. Deal- that has been accidentally washed, money by selling bonds on the open
Studies show that one out of five ers paid up to $2oo apiece for them. burned, eaten by animals, found market. The federal government
Americans working near a color Some unusual bills are not mis- buried, or otherwise damaged be- can then spend money without hav-
copier will casually try making a takes. Bills overprinted with the yond repair. The Bureau has 22 ing to raise taxes. But there is a cost:
copy of a bill. A process is being word HAWAII occasionally show examiners who spend their days the erosion of my value.
perfected whereby, if you hold a up, as do bills with yellow Treasury trying to reassemble such bills. Un- When inflation begins to push
new bill to the light, you'll see seals. These were designed during cle Sam will make good if more prices up, the Federal Reserve Sys-
"USA" and the bill's denomination World War II tobe asi cleared than half the bill can be rendered tem, our independent central bank,
written in tiny letters. Printed on v -" i C umA recognizable. makes me harder to borrow. The
flat polyester threads inside my p y the enemy. As you might expect, Hundreds Fed can do this by selling U.S.
per, these cannot be reprodu d There are 4,358,753,5 x of me last longer than Ones.The average Government securities and raising
by copy machines. in circulation and $213,945,921,740 Hundred is more than 20 years old. the level of reserves that banks
On my face is a pair of greeA worth of my bigger relatives. My Of the 1,o52,239,910 Hundreds that must keep on hand. The banks
ten-character serial numbers. The average life is 18 months, durn now exist, you hoard 91 percent in would then have less cash to
256 i57
p.,. :h.

lend. The Fed can also raise the nese competitor, hurt by a strong
interest rate it charges banks to yen, has had to raise prices. Mind
borrow me-which can push up you, there is another side. Because
interest rates for everybody. When of the weak U.S. dollar, a Japanese
the Federal Reserve Board wants to company was able to buy Firestone
stimulate the economy by making it Tire at what seemed a bargain price
easier to borrow money, the system in Tokyo.
reverses and the cost of borrowing What I'm worth in foreign cur-
goes down. rencies depends largely on a few
My purchasing power in the thousand men and women in New
United States changes so slowly York, London, Frankfurt, Zurich
that you don't notice it. But my and Tokyo banks. They are for-
value overseas moves a little each eign-exchange traders whose fran-
day. Since February 1985, I've lost tic buying and selling of me and
40 percent of my worth in terms of other currencies-almost $2oo billion
the other major currencies. That is or so a day-sets the value of the
why watches, wine, perfume and world's money. My price falls when
other imported luxuries cost more- there are more sellers than buyers,
but also why American wheat and and rises when buyers outnumber
computers and airplanes are cheap- sellers. In recent months, I've ral-
er for foreigners to buy. This has lied fairly strongly, and some na-
helped fuel a turnaround in exports tions are hoping this will bring
that has pushed unemployment American tourists overseas again
down to a 14-year low. and stem the tide of our exports that
My international value can be are competing with their goods.
crucial to your job, your business The only sure thing about my
and your future. Caterpillar Inc., international value is that it will
the largest employer in Peoria, Ill., change. At some point I will be as
now works overtime to fill export strong as I was in the mid-i980s;
( orders. When I was strong, Cater- then I will almost certainly fall
pillar's bulldozers were priced so from grace once again. No matter
high that foreign customers what my ups and downs, however,
switched to machines made in Ja- I'll be around for a long time. Stick
pan. Now, Caterpillar's main Japa- with me.

Clerical Error. The conference of ministers was nearly over when one
pastor rose to suggest a vote of thanks to wives holding the fort at home.
"Having enjoyed this spiritual feast," he said, "I cannot help being filled
with gratitude for the work of my own wife, back at my church, bravely
carrying on with the deacons." -Contributed by Raymond J. Ross
j 5

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs