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Thread: What do you think of this ...

  1. #1
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    What do you think of this ...

    This judge is advocating changing paper money to make it easier for blind people to differentiate bills. A noble effort no doubt, however may not be practical or wise as pointed out in the article. Judge Robertson is a Clinton appointee famous for defending Osama Bin Laden's driver, and Webster Hubbell, a disgraced Clinton aide, in court rulings.

    [url]http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/11/28/D8LMC4600.html[/url]

    Judge: Make Bills Recognizable to Blind
    Nov 28 6:10 PM US/Eastern

    By MATT APUZZO
    Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON


    The government discriminates against blind people by printing money that all looks and feels the same, a federal judge said Tuesday in a ruling that could change the face of American currency.
    U.S. District Judge James Robertson ordered the Treasury Department to come up with ways for the blind to tell bills apart. He said he wouldn't tell officials how to fix the problem, but he ordered them to begin working on it.

    The American Council of the Blind has proposed several options, including printing bills of differing sizes, adding embossed dots or foil to the paper or using raised ink.

    "Of the more than 180 countries that issue paper currency, only the United States prints bills that are identical in size and color in all their denominations," Robertson wrote. "More than 100 of the other issuers vary their bills in size according to denomination, and every other issuer includes at least some features that help the visually impaired."

    Government attorneys argued that forcing the Treasury Department to change the size of the bills or add texture would make it harder to prevent counterfeiting. Robertson was not swayed.

    "The fact that each of these features is currently used in other currencies suggests that, at least on the face of things, such accommodations are reasonable," he wrote.

    He said the government was violating the Rehabilitation Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in government programs. The opinion came after a four-year legal fight.

    Electronic devices are available to help blind people differentiate between bills, but many complain that they are slow, expensive and unreliable. Visually impaired shoppers frequently rely on store clerks to help them.

    "It's just frankly unfair that blind people should have to rely on the good faith of people they have never met in knowing whether they've been given the correct change," said Jeffrey A. Lovitky, attorney for the plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

    Others have developed ways to cope with the similarly shaped bills. Melanie Brunson, a member of the American Council of the Blind, told the court that she folds her bills into different shapes: $1 bills stay straight, $5 bills are folded in half left to right, $10 bills in half top to bottom and $20 in quarters.

    The Treasury Department had no comment on the ruling Tuesday. The government has 10 days to decide whether to appeal.

    U.S. bills have not always been the same size. In 1929, the government standardized the size and shrank all bills by about 30 percent to lower manufacturing costs and help distinguish between genuine and counterfeit notes.

    Since then, the Treasury Department has worked to stay ahead of counterfeiters. Security threads and microprinting were introduced in The portraits were enlarged in 1996, and an infrared feature was added to encourage the development of electronic readers for the blind.

    The latest redesign is under way. New $10 bills, featuring splashes of orange, yellow and red, hit the market this year, following similar changes to the $20 bill in 2003 and the $50 bill in 2004. The $5 facelift is due in 2008.

    In court documents, government attorneys said changing the way money feels would be expensive. Cost estimates ranged from $75 million in equipment upgrades and $9 million annual expenses for punching holes in bills to $178 million in one-time charges and $50 million annual expenses for printing bills of varying sizes.

    Any change to the dollar's design could ripple into the vending machine industry, which participated in discussions regarding previous redesigns. The American Council of the Blind is not seeking changes to the $1 bill, according to court documents.

    The Treasury Department spent $4.2 billion on printing over the past decade, Robertson said. Adding a raised number to the bills would have increased costs less than 5 percent over that period, he said.

    "If additional savings could be gained by incorporating the new feature into a larger redesign, such as those that took place in 1996 or 2004, the total burden of adding such a feature would be even smaller," Robertson wrote.

  2. #2
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    I never relized that it may be hard for the blind because um.. I'm not blind, but now that I know it is a problem I think it is a great Idea to do something about it!

    I don't buy the fact that it will be harder to prevent counterfiting.

    It may be more expensive but that is the price of being fair to all. :yes:

    BTW what does all the judge's history have to do with this ruling??? :confused:

  3. #3
    I dont like having all those dead white guys on the bills!

  4. #4
    if this guy is a clinton appointee he's obviously wrong about everything

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    My point, and it may not be a good one in this particular case, is that this judge seems to put the needs of the few before the needs of the many, as evident in the two other examples.

    I'm sure money is not the only hardship blind people face, however just how practical is it to change. Aside from the costs to the gov't. what about the example raised of vending machines. There would be a huge trickle down that we are probably not realizing. What of ATM's, when was the last time you used a teller?

    And yes Bit, if this man is a Clinton appointee he has to be wrong. :cool:

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=jetswin]My point, and it may not be a good one in this particular case, is that this judge seems to put the needs of the few before the needs of the many, as evident in the two other examples.

    I'm sure money is not the only hardship blind people face, however just how practical is it to change. Aside from the costs to the gov't. what about the example raised of vending machines. There would be a huge trickle down that we are probably not realizing. What of ATM's, when was the last time you used a teller?

    And yes Bit, if this man is a Clinton appointee he has to be wrong. :cool:[/QUOTE]

    Who really cares if the change is practicle??? It is the right thing to do!!

    You can't tell me it is not right to make it easier for the blind to count their money. :rolleyes:

    besides other countries have done this.....I refuse to believe that the change is too hard for us! really, do they only have vending machines in America?

    but again, sometimes you just need to do things because they are the right thing to do.

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=LI2OH]Who really cares if the change is practicle??? It is the right thing to do!!

    You can't tell me it is not right to make it easier for the blind to count their money. :rolleyes:

    besides other countries have done this.....I refuse to believe that the change is too hard for us! really, do they only have vending machines in America?

    but again, sometimes you just need to do things because they are the right thing to do.[/QUOTE]

    make the bills different sizes.

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=BrooklynBound]make the bills different sizes.[/QUOTE]

    that's a pretty good idea. kinda like coins. maybe some different textures.

  9. #9
    OSama's driver!
    That's the closest this country can get to him!!

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