Currency for the Blind May 22, 2008 3:30pm by Barry Ritholtz Tom Toles via Yahoo! Spread the wealth. twitter facebook linkedin What's been said: Discussions found on the web: DL commented on May 22 The judge in this case (James Robertson) was appointed by Clinton in 1994. austincompany commented on May 22 A court system gone mad. A Congress that would make the Roman Senate proud and a legislative branch that has been alseep at the wheel. We are all doomed. Pool Shark commented on May 22 “A Congress that would make the Roman Senate proud…” How can we expect our Congressional ‘Leaders’ to fix our economic troubles when they themselves are apparently engaging in the same fraud or were at least ‘duped’ into 100% LTV mortgages on homes they couldn’t afford: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/laland/2008/05/report-californ.html (California Congresswoman walks away from her Sacramento home after taking a $578,000 100% LTV mortgage, and making no payments on it. Neighbors complained of unkempt premises.) A pox on both parties… DonKei commented on May 22 I’m a lawyer and I still don’t get how we allow dipshit federal district judges to issue decrees w/ national implications. Okay Judge Robertson, step aside, your fifteen minutes are over. KnotRP commented on May 22 Never fear – a solution has been in the works for a few years now: All paper bill denominations will approach the same value over time. Since metal coins are already different sizes, they will retain their value (and may even increase!). In God We Trust (because it’s going to take a miracle), Treas. Sec. Paulson & Fed Gov Bernake. AGG commented on May 22 Barry this is off topic but I laughed so hard I just have to share this article about a Maureen Dowd column.http://whiskeyfire.typepad.com/ AGG commented on May 22 This idea of redesigning money to assist the blind is really ignorant. The blind have access to portable Optical Character Readers that speak into their ear. Anything a sighted person can see, they can “see” with the OCR technology. The Government already funds hearing aids; why not seeing aids? Will commented on May 22 What a bunch of ignornat pricks many of the above commentators are. Blind people are citizens and entitled to equal rights under the law, not to mention the ADA. Let me see you close your eyes and tell me the demonination of the bill. As the decision states, making blind people rely on others or carry around not insubstantial devices to determine the value of the currency is like telling the handicapped that since you can crawl up the stairs, we don’t need to make anything handicapped accessible. Plus, the fix is cheap. Next time you are in Canada, feel for the raised braille on the bills. The Euros are different sizes. Why are you all so attached to the currency that way it is? I suggest you all read the judge’s decision and then come back and tell me how you can support your ass-backward conclusions in view of the reasoned decision of the judge. /rant off OkieLawyer commented on May 22 You tell ’em Will. I feel the same way you do. Changj commented on May 22 Seriously, whats with all the complaints about it? Its hardly a big deal. The judge specifically states that the Treasury has been redesigning the currency every other year lately. Its hardly a big deal for them to incorporate these changes next time they do it. Maybe they’ll change it around such that the US dollar isn’t the ugliest currency in the world. austincompany commented on May 22 As one of the “ignornat pricks” referred to above, a quick caveat. My issue is not with the ruling – I have nothing against blind people. My issue is with the courts going “mad” telling us all what for. At one time in our history, the Legislative branch made the law and courts interpreted it. Today, many judges act like King George (post above) and create judgements, rules and procedures without regard to the very people who were elected by the people to create laws for the people. Will commented on May 23 The Courts are a co-equal branch of government, rightfully stepping in where the legislative and/or executive branches fail to uphold the constitution, which is the supreme law of the land. That is their job. I suggest that austincompany go back and take a civics course. Troy commented on May 23 My issue is with the courts going “mad” telling us all what for. At one time in our history, the Legislative branch made the law and courts interpreted it. yeah, well, the theory is that democratic majority-rules government needs some help now in then to protect the rights of minorities. This ruling doesn’t infringe on anyone’s liberty so I don’t understand the stink, other than your above-stated philosophical objection to the Court applying existing Law (the ADA) to a new challenge. This left-libertarian has no philosophical objection to ANY branch of government extending liberty and making us a freer and better society; democracy itself doesn’t have that sterling a history in this area over the past 150 years. OkieLawyer commented on May 23 To add to Will’s reply regarding the Court’s stepping in, realize that almost all Court actions will by definition entail overturning popular sentiment, whether through direct democracy (referendums) or representative democracy (legislative or executive) actions. What is so surprising by opposition to this judicial decision is that it applied existing law passed by Congress and signed by a President. If anything, it merely logically applied the expressed will of the people. Is it the fact that it was a Clinton appointee that has got all you detractors up in a dander? Blind people should not have to rely on other’s honesty to ensure legitimate transactions. The decision was soundly grounded in the 14th Amendment’s “equal protection” clause and the ADA. I, for one, just can’t see what the fuss is all about. DonKei commented on May 23 Okielawyer, Why would almost all court actions overturn popular sentiment? It seems to me that if courts follow the law–law that presumably reflects popular sentiment–it would almost always rule in accord w/ popular sentiment. I find it hard to imagine a lowly federal district court judge would last long on the bench if he routinely acted against popular sentiment. Holmes said hard cases make bad law, meaning the law is not designed to answer and can’t answer every issue that might arise for every last litigant. Better that remedies in hard cases be narrowly tailored such that no new law is created. In any event, what can this judge do? His ruling has no precedential or enforcement value outside of his district. Will he demand the Treasury change the bills it sends to his little federal district? Absurd, of course, and why he should have dismissed the suit when it arrived. However, assuming we are to allow this court to order the Treasury on designing its currency, blindness makes a hard case. The intent of the ADA is to accomodate handicaps as much as is reasonably possible. Given there are many alternatives to folding money available today (e.g., coins, debit cards, credit cards, etc.), it seems that retooling the money presses at great expense to the general fisc to accomodate the blind might be unreasonably burdensome. austincompany commented on May 23 As I am learning in my old age, “…damn the cost!” The attitude of many of the above is that the government (and businesses) must make all things available to everyone – regardless of cost. Perhaps it is the businessman in me, or maybe history. Our company spent in the six figures over the last ten years making our public spaces compliant with ADA. Money that we could have used for R&D or employee benefits. And how many people have actually used these ADA compliant facilites? Two. And one said she would have come in anyway with assistance. So forgive me, ye liberals flush with excess cash, when I see yet another dictate from high demanding yet another costly change to satisfy a small minority. A minority that, in all probablity, did not place feely-touchy money high on the list of their demands from sighted peoples across our great land. Aurora Borealis commented on May 23 Ever since the beginning of the euro in 2000 I have been saying that the US dollar is for the blind. Since then the dollar has changed – about 40% more visible even for the blind ones. OkieLawyer commented on May 23 DonKei: Why would almost all court actions overturn popular sentiment? Because courts protect minority interests / rights, which, by definition are unprotected in popular sentiment. Just one example: the Bill of Rights protects unpopular speech, because popular speech doesn’t need protection. Read this next.July 7, 2015 Long Term Drivers of Economic Growth & ProfitsFebruary 22, 2018 Hidden Brain: The Rich Are Different . . .July 22, 2013 Does Nate Silver’s 538 Change the Model for Blogger Journalists? Posted Under Currency Macro/Econ Taxes and Policy Previous Post Coincident Index by States Next Post Half Empty? No Such Thing!