I used to run a business and as a joke my office wall featured a little plaque that read, “If it makes sense, it’s against company policy!” About a month ago I was sorting out my pocket change and stopped to frown at the pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters for a moment. Then I glanced at a pile of currency comprised of ones, fives, tens, and twenties. It was then that I wondered why the United States produces a 25-cent coin but only a 20-dollar bill.
Wouldn’t it make more sense for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to produce a 25-dollar bill? Using this method it would only take four “25s” to make 100 dollars instead of five 20s. For every four 25-dollar notes produced by the B.E.P. the country would save the expenditure of making one 20; effectively saving the nation 20% in the production costs involved.
The “twenty” is one of the most utilized forms of currency today, however the note has a shelf life due to wear and tear of only around two years at best. Most people don’t know that the Federal Reserve destroys 7,000 tons of no longer usable currency a year. With that kind of turnover, finding an excuse not to print one out of every five only makes sense to me.
On that note, (sorry for the pun) I would like to propose to the powers that be my own idea of what the “25” might look like.
There couldn’t possibly be that much controversy (especially among Native Americans remembering the "Trail of Tears") regarding retiring Andrew Jackson from U.S. paper currency — could there? Though I’ve done some extensive research on the subject, I’ve yet to determine what exactly motivated someone to propose his portrait to replace Grover Cleveland’s in 1928 in the first place. After all, this is the same Andrew Jackson who, in his farewell speech to the nation, stressed his opinions against paper money and in fact made it one of the goals of his administration to put the National Bank/the Bank of the United States/Federal Bank out of business.
Rather than go through congressional hearings and politicos’ ranting all over the radio waves for the next decade over who to replace him with, in the name of expediency and for the sake of argument, I chose to put someone who is already approved and appears on the 50-cent coin; namely President John F. Kennedy. This would cause a stir in some quarters, but the man did after all have his life taken from him during his service to his country, was a war hero, saved the nation from nuclear annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and did more than any other to get America into space and onto the moon. In my view that is reason enough.