The Current Currents of Currency

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Like that catchy title? While it may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, it signifies what just might be the most significant change ever proposed in the history of United States money. Specifically, the $20 bill. Not long after the recent announcement hit news-stands, did a contentious debate break out in all venues of instant communication. As is often the case with controversial issues, interested parties seem to have set up camp on one of two sides: those who avidly support the upcoming change and those who have expressed their no-bones-about-it opposition.

If you haven’t heard, the Treasury Secretary of the United States recently proclaimed plans to remove former president Andrew Jackson’s image from the front of the $20 bill, to be replaced by an image of Harriet Tubman. Mr. Jackson’s image will find a new home—on the back of the paper currency. It will be a much smaller image, positioned next to a picture of the White House.

No other woman’s image has ever been featured on paper currency, except Martha Washington; and, that was only for a short period of time in the 19th century. After a similar proposition was considered last year, involving the $10 bill and Alexander Hamilton’s image, the decision was made to retain Hamilton’s front-of-the-bill image and add images of several women (Susan B. Anthony and Eleanor Roosevelt among them) to the back.

It has been suggested that the reason plans transitioned from removing Hamilton to Jackson is that…well…people don’t typically like Jackson as much. Jackson is remembered as someone who forced Native Americans off their land and was a staunch supporter of slavery. Hamilton seems to be making a hero’s comeback since his life story has come to the stage in a surprisingly successful Broadway hit.

Apparently, some big names in Hollywood and news media have weighed in on the subject, including actress Geena Davis, soccer star Abby Wambach and news anchor/tv show host Katie Couric. These ladies were among others who signed their names to express their angst to the Treasury Secretary after he decided not to remove Hamilton’s image from the front of the $10 bill, stating that the decision limits girls and likens them to second class citizens.

 As for myself (and, anyone else out there who tends to memorize currency by whose image is on the front), I may have to refresh my recollection of famous women in history so I will be ready when their faces begin to appear on my money!

For those against the currency-change ideas, there is no need for ruffled feathers just yet. It seems that the newly proposed paper bills will not reach circulation until late 2020, a year which also happens to be the centennial anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement. And, in fact, since the current president (who supports the changes) and Jacob J. Lew (current Treasury Secretary) only have a few months left in office, there is a (slim?) chance that their successors might veto the changes altogether.

You know what “they” say: “Time is money and money is time.”

In this case, only time will tell!

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/21/us/women-currency-treasury-harriet-tubman.html?_r=0

Writer Bio

Judy DudichJudy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.


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