Proposed legislation to change currency spurs Dekalb reaction

By Ryan Felgenhauer

Proposed legislation to fully replace the $1 bill with coins was met with support and dislike from DeKalb area establishments and students.

The legislation was proposed by Congressman David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), who believes coins will help reduce federal costs. The coins would cut costs because they need to be replaced far less often, according to Schweikert’s website.

Dollar coins have not been widely accepted in the past.

“People dislike change,” said Carl Campbell, chair for the NIU Economics Department. “Previous coins have failed because they had another option, since the bill was still around.”

Besides not liking change, Campbell didn’t see any reason why coins were not better.

“There is no logical reason to oppose them,” Campbell said. “It’s hard to change from the ways things have been your whole life.”

Other countries have been using small denomination coins for years. When in the U.K., having one pound coins is more convenient, Campbell said.

Having experienced both, Dawson believes coins are more convenient.

“I really like the new two pound coin,” Dawson said. “It’s a very useful coin, and that’s how most people in Britain feel.”

Some NIU students believed the coins would be a good way for the government to save money.

“In the long run, we could see lots of savings,” said Sean Mertens, junior computer science major. “If we can shoulder the initial cost, they would be great.”

Mertens believed coins would make small transactions more convenient.

“All I use singles for is vending machines and laundry,” Mertens said. “If those industries were able to adapt to dollar coins, they would be easier than bills.”

Some local businesses do not believe they will see much difference.

“There’s not that much of a difference between them and quarters,” said Murad Mustafa, manager at the Huddle Restaurant, 817 W. Lincoln Highway.

Mustafa thinks the change will be a bigger deal to individuals than it is to business owners.

“It’d be more inconvenient for the customers than it would be for me,” Mustafa said. “To me, it’s all money, as long as it’s accepted. We’d probably just put them next to the quarters or in the dollar slot.”