Friday, June 24, 2016

The Penny and the Twenty

Image source: Wikipedia

Image source: Wikipedia

Recently, it has been announced that the familiar face of the twenty dollar bill will be replaced by a newcomer after protest of society's softies. Harriet Tubman will take the place of President Andrew Jackson. President Jackson owned slaves, an unheard of thing now, but a legal and acceptable practice during that time period. Harriet Tubman is a better choice for symbolizing freedom and the modern world. Nevermind that she was a slave which are purchased, you know with money. Now her face shall represent it? Seems a little backwards. Plus, I feel it's stepping on the face of our former leader. Admittedly, I don't agree with this change. I'm tired of so-called political correctness.

Unfortunately, money fuels the greed of pop culture and fame. The faces on currency carry a sense of power. There are other ways to signify an individual's importance. What about postage stamps? History books? Friendly conversation? Do people care about those things anymore? Of course not! America is obsessed with money money money. Maybe the mint should print geological landmarks on our currency instead, such as Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon, a Hawaiian volcano, etc. Then, perhaps, money won't be associated with a person's power. And the arguments over who is more important will cease.

There has also been debate over abolishing the penny. The one cent. The coveted collector piece for kids. It's the filling for glass jug lamp bases. It's provided luck when finding one face up on the pavement; avoidance if face down. It checks wear and tear on tires and provides exact change. Yet, the penny has suddenly become a nuisance. It weighs down wallets. Putting elementary math concepts in place to trade a merchant for goods, is a time constraint. Nothing is worth a penny anymore, so why have it? (Although, I remember a time when I could purchase a tiny Tootsie Roll for a penny at the local gas station.)

But has anyone noticed who is on the penny? Abraham Lincoln! The man who freed the slaves. Why remove a president from the twenty dollar bill in favor of a slave; yet propose to eliminate the penny, when it houses the face of the very man who set them free.

Copyrighted 2016 by Jennifer E. Miller

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