Canadian Money is Better than US Money

Canadian bills and coins are better than US bills and coins. Canadian bills are colorful, waterproof, partially transparent and holographic. Awesome. Canadian coins are also better. Who wouldn’t want a sterling silver and niobium Wolf Moon? And as if that weren’t enough the Canadian mint just started producing a glow in the dark coin for Canada’s 150th (shown at link) although it doesn’t match the great 2012 glow in the dark skeleton dinosaur (shown below).



Fancy currency sounds like big government intrusion into the lives of private citizens if you ask me.

Swing and a miss, Jan. You're doing it wrong.

Thanks, Jim. I did it for you.

Feel free to send me those dirty old U.S. dollars if you are tired of them.

Fuck Canada.

Feel free to call me when y'all put a man on the moon.

So what is the point they put a man on the moon. You have a foreign bank called the Federal Reserve printing and lending you your own money with interest.
42 million people on food stamps,but they a man on the moon. 👍

Call me when you have universal health care and your leader isnt an orange asshole

Why would an American need to call a Canadian?

The rest of the world says much the same back at you...

It was to save money. Lower re-printing costs.

Same reason that higher value coins are in use.

Printing no money would be the cheapest and promote the most liberty.

That's what chess GM economist K. Rogoff has said, and even wrote a book on the benefits of the cash-free society.

I like the American approach. Same color, same size. I understand the size differentiation being helpful for blind people and I could give it a pass but oversized bills unfit for regular wallet should go, some EUR bill are gigantic.

On Canada, that black coin is terrible. I like the wolf one though.

See here:

Good pictures too.

Wait. American bills are waterproof too! You can put them completely through the washing machine and they survive intact. Jeeze.

Canadian coins are nice.

I own a number of one-ounce, .9999 gold "Maple Leaf" coins. Also, own Austrian Philharmonics, China Pandas, Kruger Rands, and US Eagles.

However, Canadian gold coins don't compare to the US St. Gaudens "walking liberty" and Buffalo (.9999) gold coins. Although, I prefer the war eagle mode to the nesting eagle.

Federal Reserve Notes aren't so good at being "water-proof" but they fairly well survive being soaked.

Last I looked the US dollar is the World's Reserve Currency. Maybe not for long.

Dick the Butcher, we're in good company. I owe all those including something else: Mexican 50 Peso coins from the 1940s (1.2 oz Au) and Austro-Hungarian 100 Corona (0.98 oz Au) coins. A great place to shop for gold, and they beat anybody in bullion prices, is CNI/ of Los Angeles, CA (California not Canada). I've done the bulk of my orders with them by mail.


Thanks for the tip. I've been out of the gold buying swing for several years. Went into real estate. Thinking about returning if/when price goes below $1,200. Silver at $15.54 is approaching a compelling buy point. Silver was below $14.50 and gold below $1,100 in the fourth quarter 2015.

As the great Renan wrote, "le grand inconvénient de la vie réelle et qui la rend insupportable à l'homme supérieur, c'est que, si l'on y transporte les principes de l'idéal, les qualités deviennent des défauts, si bien que fort souvent l'homme accompli y réussit moins bien que celui qui a pour mobiles l'égoïsme ou la routine vulgaire".

Ich verstehe nicht.

That's nearly all the German I know.

The great inconvenience of practical life, and that which renders it insupportable to a superior man, is, that, if one carries into it the principles of the ideal, talents become defects; so that very often the accomplished man is less successful in it than one who is fitted by egotism or ordinary routine." -

It is one of the most famous sentences of Brazilian literature (it was used as a epigraph for a famoua Brazilian book) and explains why the vulgar Americans got rich why Brazilians, being morally superior, had somewhat less success.

Brazilians invented French too?

As I said, Renan's sentence was made the epigraph of a famous Brazilian book.

I get it. One may be too "good" (it depends on the definition) to be successful.

Considering the hardships and limitations, both Brazil and Portugal are/were huge over-achievers. To wit, Brazilians' unfamiliarity with English common law concepts and minimally higher (than Anglo-Saxons') marginal propensities for cupidity.

Cash free society would give them total control over everything.

I still miss the Cruzeiro bills, they were works of art, the money smiled at us and promissed a shining tomorrow. Now, we have americanized soulless money.

Brazil is always promising a shining tomorrow that never comes.

It is not true. Brazil is strong and is one og the niggest economies the world has known and is bigger than the Roman Empire ever was.

Oh man this one is too easy, I can't do it...

Because you recognize that Brazil's economy is a wonder and our Republic is mightier than rhe most fabled empires of yore! To be Brazilian is to hit the jackpot.

Yes, Brazil is glorious.

Has spell-checking technology made it out to Brazil, yet?

Not on this site, as far as I know.

This Canada 150 is a clever ruse from the maple sippers, the Canadian gov't has only been independent for 35 years.

It's a representative democracy (ignoring lack of representation implicit in the FPTP method).

The representative democracy waited 2 weeks to declare war in 1939 after calling all the MPs back to Ottawa to have a vote (100% of representatives voted to honour ally status with Poland, and go to war against Nazi Germany which initiated violence in non-German places).

And, under "with us or against us" terms, did not join in the "coalition of the willing" in 2003, as opposed to the UK which did.

Surely cash just needs to meet a certain threshold as far as durability, aesthetics, etc? I've never understood why some people think bill design is competitive (except for forgers).

Not because it is easy, but because it is hard; because designing beautiful bills serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win and the others, too.

Opportunity cost, Thiago, opportunity cost.

According to American leading blog Slate Star Codex, Americans spend one hundred times more money on simulated online farming games than on AI safety. As Mr. Kennedy pointed out, America in the early 1960's wanted to spend more money on lipstick, face cream, and chewing gum than on "help[ing] the developing nations of the world become strong and free and independent". Sad.

@TR - America (and Canada) foolishly did help the Third World: ever heard of "Atoms for Peace"? Pakistan has, and I bet so has China and North Korea, not to mention Israel. Read: The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good [William Easterly] for background.

Bonus trivia: contrary to popular belief, in the last 200 years there's been very little catch-up growth between regions of the world. What's happened is that formerly Communist (including CHN) countries have come back from the lacuna they were in, and of course the First World has pushed the frontier farther out so living standards have increased for everybody, on an absolute scale (pace Africa). Source: Angus Maddison's data to the 1990s.

Yet, as Kennedy pointed out, Americans prefer spendinf their money on gum! Brazil clearly catch up. There was a time Ford's business had a bigger GDP than Brazil. Now Brazil is one of biggest economies the world has ever seen.

"Let them chew gum"

It seems America has sold its birthright for a pack of gum.

What is America's "birthright"?

America used to be a leading narion. In 1942, the most important leaders of the American Conrinent, Roosevelt and President Vargas met to plan the unfolding of the war in Europe. Now, America leads from behind because Americans care too much about their precious gum packets and farm games to make sacrifices. America has become a spent force.

@TR - "It seems America has sold its birthright for a pack of gum." - the one-time president of Mexico, and conqueror of the Texas Alamo, Santa Anna, invented a form of gum and retired in New York City. True story, Google it.

According to Wikipedia, "During his time living in New York City, he [Santa Anna] is credited with bringing in the first shipments of chicle, the base of chewing gum. He failed to profit from this, since his plan was to use the chicle to replace rubber in carriage tires, which was tried without success."
It would have never worked. Brazilian rubber is widely considered the best in the world.

"Brazilian rubber is widely considered the best in the world."

No it isn't.

Yes, it is the best in the world.

No it's the worst in the world.

It's consumption. You can spend a million dollars on a national park that tens of thousands will visit and enjoy a lot, or you can spend a million dollars on nicer money that millions of people will enjoy a little bit. I can't really say one is worse than the other.

Cash is on its way out. None of this matters.

There is still a ways to go. Power cuts still happen even in developed countries and foreign visitors need a hassle-free way to pay for things when their credit cards get blocked or rejected.

C'mon, they call their dollar a "Loonie".

Nation of cucks. Except for hockey players, they're badass for some reason.

What's a cuck?

I believe that's an internet-troll word that means something like "useless wimp". I assume it comes from the word cuckold, which means a guy whose wife cheats on him.

If you really don't know what that means, be proud. It probably means you've successfully avoided the gutters of the internet.

Yes true. It originated on websites like 4chan. It refers to a genre of amateur pornography, in which a husband watches another man (called the "Bull") have sex with his wife. The Bull is sometimes but not always a muscular Black man with a "BBC" ("big black cock"). So the term contains an element of racial betrayal too, which is why it is used in this context sometimes.

I've seen that written elsewhere too, but cuckold is a very old word - the Oxford English Dictionary traces it back to 1250 and it appears in Shakespeare. It originally meant someone who is tricked into bringing up another man's son (from cuckoo), but quickly turned into a generic term for a man whose wife cheats on him.

Before internet porn cuckold was a bit of an old-fashioned word, but I wouldn't say it was so rare that people only know it through cuckold porn

Shakespeare! What am I, chopped liver?

I may not know what "cuck" means, but I darned sure know every word in LGBTQIA and its proper usage!

P.S. Caitlyn Jenner is beautiful!

A moderate right winger, or relatively extreme right winger (in either/both the fiscal or social conservative sense), who is to be shamed for non-racism.

A.k.a. traitors to skin hypomelaninomia which defines them. (It got us lots of vitamin D in northern climes where the angle of incidence of sunlight is reduced, and thus helped to prevent cancers in reproductive ages due to the increased access to vitamin D.)

The Canterbury Tales (towards the end of the dark ages) include an entire story of a "cuckold", which is a fairly different usage, but should make apparent its use as a means of ridicule and condescension.

The Canterbury Tales (towards the end of the dark ages)

Chaucer was writing in the latter 14th c, i.e. late Medieval. There is very little English or Celtic literature from the early Medieval period (Bede, Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Gildas).

I first saw it used at some point in the last 2 years by Stormfront types invading RS McCain's comboxes. It's used here by one of the Mercatus interns posing as a commenter.

They have a political culture that conjoins colorlessness and pusillanimity to a weird sort of girlish celebrity traffic. That allows scheming sociopaths like Pierre Elliot Trudeau and Jean Chretien to sweep the board. The Conservative Party co-operated for many years by turning it's leadership over first to an animated cadaver named Robert Stansfield and then to C J Clark, a man whose level of quick-wittedness makes Gerald Ford look like Groucho Marx. Pressing the electorate teen mag button gets you Trudeau's son in the prime minister's chair. It's all so silly.



Donald J. Trump

On the one dollar bill.

Putin on the $20

I don't know. A little gauche.

The bills are regular currency, but the coins are just special creations for collectors.

The bills are pretty nice, though. Multiple colours are very useful for quick identification at a glance.

The point of having the same color scheme on every bill is compelling people to look closely.

I would be happy to get rid of the penny. And maybe the nickel.

How are we supposed to buy a bottle of Coke?

There haven't been pennies for a few years.

It helps to be pretty when since 2013 it lost 25% of it's value.

Ooh! Shiny! Pretty! As they say in Quebec, un attrape nigaud.

As we say in the US, esp at George Mason, government issued currency is treason.

I imagine you're one of the more sensible ones who cannot be persuaded that Notley single handedly caused the oil price crash (which particularly affected Alberta) that is the main reason for the relatively lower value of the Canadian dollar at present?

The price of oil dropped, and the extraction costs of Alberta oil is likely too high. Notley is just the icing on the cake, a bad situation made worse. Ontario is likely to have a debt crisis at one point, and that is going to define the Canadian economy for the next decade or so. Outside of buying overpriced real estate with Chinese dollars, there is little reason to invest in Canada right now.

What manufacturing remains after competing with low-price Chinese competition is now relatively competitive due to the lower dollar. The same applies to non-manufacturing sectors too ... this could improve the fiscal situation in Ontario.

Canada does not produce a $1.00 bill. Consequently Canadians have no choice but to use a $1.00 coin.

Maybe the US should try a similar behavioral economics experiment.

And rile up all the crackpots?

Yes, if only the US had $1 coins...

Perhaps Canada should try the $1 bill and see if anyone really wants a $1 coin :)

I think the plan was to save $100 million instead of attending to the demands of the moment regarding preferences between bills and coins.

But the CEO of the mint had his intern pick up a pack of gum one time, and the intern wanted his $2 back, and so the receipt ended up being claimed ... for which $2 reason the press determined that it was time to go, and in the face of the lynch mob it took only a matter of days before the 3/4 million a year man said 'f'in f it' over a $2 question ...

Think of all the stripper injuries, unintended consequences

I college football. teams without traditions or a winning history are fond of creating wacky uniforms and gimmicks. They change their logo every year. Meanwhile, traditional powers avoid all that and stick with their basic uniforms, colors and traditions. Similarly, real countries don't invest a lot of time tarting up their money. That's for fake countries like Canada.

Fake country? Go back to bed and give your sister a kiss. Canads invented baseball. And basketball. Everyone gets health care. Oh ya. Your deep intellect of the common person put Trump into power. Id be very embarrassed. Your the shumks of the world. NO ONE likes Americans. Ttuth.

Americans are weirdly conservative about their physical currency. It is probably a superstition about not messing with the respected, reserve, currency too much. Canadians are more creative, yes. They also are more rational, with the smallest denomination coin at 5 cents, and the smallest bill at 5 dollars.

Why should you mess around with the bill designs? After 60 years of experimentation, we settled on ours in the 1920s, then simplified the currency further by withdrawal of gold and silver certificates. It's not credible that recent changes in the depicted images (as opposed to other features of the bills) were necessary to defeat counterfeiters. And, of course, replacing Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman is diversicrat rubbish; DJT should put the kibosh on the whole project.

Surely you know that most US changes have been anti-counterfeiting efforts. There is no reason those changes had to retain the old problems (different colors would reduce error).

But we stand in a different place now, in 2017. More and more is done electronically. If you want to pay pi for a slice of pie, as far as I'm concerned that is between you and your electronic banking provider. But this also dramatically reduces the need for "all denominations all the time" coin and banknote. Let them show you the price to two, or six, decimal places. Pay it exactly with a phone/card or pay it to the nearest 5 cents with bill and coin.

(You are probably old enough to remember when gasoline was sold for prices like 29.9, where that was 9/10ths of a cent at the end. That worked fine without 1/10th coins. It was just rounded for the final charge.)

Surely you know that most US changes have been anti-counterfeiting efforts. There is no reason those changes had to retain the old problems (different colors would reduce error).

Features of the paper, additions to the paper, features of the ink, features of the production process &c. No need to muck around with the portraits, but they just had to out of boredom.

But this also dramatically reduces the need for “all denominations all the time” coin and banknote.

It doesn't, but people like you like to feel all advanced and modern 'n stuff and some people like you work for commercial companies and public agencies and like to irritate the rest of us by leaving us all open to identity theft and making simple things stupidly complicated.

I am a polar bear, I don't need money.

But I know people who have phones, cards, bills, and coins. They seem to use each in different circumstances without a lot of drama.

BTW, it is clever of the US designers to sloooowly introduce colors. It doesn't upset anyone, and in 20 or 40 years, they'll get there.

BTW, it is clever of the US designers to sloooowly introduce colors. It doesn’t upset anyone, and in 20 or 40 years, they’ll get there.

You are an example of an absolutely insufferable social type.


Use this Harriet Tubman. I'd love it.

Isn't there a lot of path dependence with ATM and various other vending machines?

Sure, and I'd be open to some analysis that conversion cost exceed the benefit of change, but I've never seen any sign of that.

Benefits are almost certainly close to nil for the man in the street.

As a polar bear maybe I shouldn't try economics, but isn't the revealed preference increasingly to throw pennies into that street?

No. Fewer fountains.

Consider that the operators of the vending machines want and will pay for good anti-counterfeiting technology.

Nothing compares with the beautiful Dutch guilder banknotes desigend by Robert "Ootje" Oxenaar who died 13 June 2017 at the age of 87:

+1, I remember being impressed with Dutch notes back in 1990 before the Euro

Better if I was a pre-teen.

Where, in my view, both Canada and the US paper currencies fall short compared to many others (e.g. the Euro) is in having notes of all denominations the same size. I have too often witnessed blind people being short-changed at the store because they have no way to know if they have been given a $1 bill instead of the $5 bill owed them as change.

I have too often witnessed blind people being short-changed at the store because they have no way to know if they have been given a $1 bill instead of the $5 bill owed them as change.

Let go of my leg. About 0.3% of the population is blind and who pays attention to the change given to the person in front of them at a store?

Yes, blindness is not very common. But, no, I'm not pulling your leg. I started paying attention to this a long time ago, back when I was in college and I volunteered to read for a blind student. On one occasion, after we had finished, he asked me to accompany him to the grocery store to help him find some items on the shelves. I did, and when standing with him at the checkout, I noticed that he was short-changed by the clerk. I spoke up, and the clerk fixed the "mistake." But I was strongly suspicious that this was not just a random error. So since then, whenever I have been within eyeshot of a cash transaction with a blind person, I've made a point of noticing what goes on. Of course the number of such situations is small, but they happen from time to time. And my observation over the decades has been that short-changing of paper currency occurs about 15% of the time (15% of times when at least $5 in change is due).

Sad commentary on human nature.

In any case, even if it were only 0.001% of the population affected and it only happened once per 1,000 transactions, what would be the downside of having notes that could be distinguished by blind people? Seems to me it would be all benefit (however small) at no cost.

Thanks. I was not aware of that.

Popular at drunken poker games.

Why must fiat money be tarted up? Hmmmmmmm

Better question, why are gold coins tarted up?

As an American who has lived in both countries, I have to say that the Canadian currency is simply easier to use. Having dollar and two dollar coins just makes sense given the value of a dollar. And no more pennies!

And all my Canadian friends and colleagues would say that I am aggressively pro-American, FWIW.

Having dollar and two dollar coins just makes sense

If you like to rummage around in your pockets.

Yeah, actually, being from Canada, and having visited recently, it got annoying real fast to have to carry around a change purse for loonies and twonies.
I'd much rather have nice flat, light, pieces of paper which fold neatly into the wallet.

At least they got rid of pennies though.

The world is full of funny path dependencies. One such is that prices are quoted and the same to us in cash or credit, but credit cards are happy to give us a dividend for that same price. Thus the rational course is to use cards and collect credits whenever possible.

(removes bear costume)

I have been stocking up on camping gear this spring and I've still not burned through my REI credit.

So in Canada I would do the same thing, keep a couple twenties and fives in my wallet for odd cash purchases. Maybe carry a loonie for luck.

In the US I carry no change now, and if I get any, I try to dispose of it quickly (tips, charity, etc.)

That's probably a good policy.
The only change worth having is quarters, in case, for some reason, you need to use one of those coin laundromats, or run across a vending machine or a parking meter that only takes quarters. Or air at the gas station. It's useful to keep a couple dollars in quarters around for those purposes.

Yeah, no thanks. Any revamping of US currency is going to be swallowed up by identity politics. I'll stick with the old ugly bills, designed when this country had some sense of perspective.

It's a miracle that Canadian currency doesn't have drawings iconifying Medicare on it.

None of the items listed are advantages. Believe in revealed preference, the Dollar and Euro are king. You don't see Ecuador and El Salvador using Canadough. They stand with Sacagawea and I'm with her.

"None of the items listed are advantages"

I disagree. They are advantages, just small ones. They aren't large enough to overcome the massive implicit value in being one of the world currency reserves.

Do economists consider non-circulating coins money? I mean, I guess it's legal tender, but if someone pays twenty bucks for a five dollar coin, its primary purpose probably isn't to be a medium of exchange. At that point what you're really saying is that Canada has better state-produced patriotic art.

Well The Maple Leaf is a superior bullion coin, I'll give them that.

Any money is good as long as you have it. I just believe in having it and in business like Forex, I like it even more which is to do with OctaFX broker given their wonderful set of features and facilities which is there to help and support me. I feel so lovely with low spreads, fast execution, over 80 instruments, rebate scheme where I get 50% back on all trades even if it’s lost plus much more, it’s all very cool.

Those look like notes and coins I would design. I have the aesthetic disposition of a four-year-old so that's no compliment. In fact my designs might be more subtle than the Canadian mint's: flame decals, iridescent maple leaves, and a hologram of Laurier that smiles and winks as the bill rotates. If asked how to improve American money, making it 'partially transparent,' 'holographic,' and in general more 'awesome' would be far down on my list of recommendations. But then I don't have Alex's refined Canadian taste.

A few years ago in its perpetual quest to make wgat was once one of the best license plates in America ever uglier, Texas decided to have the states third graders vote on the design. Their was some glimmer of brief repentance.

1977: A Lone Star as the hyphen

1983: Texas' very shape is in hindsight filled with foreboding

2011: behold the aesthetics of a 9yr old Texan

Today: awful but in the right direction

Nebraska apparently is switching to new plates with the state shape as a hyphen but in their defense the state is actually hyphen★shaped

If you're impressed with our money, you should try our health care system, which is far, far better than what the US has to offer. And I say that as a Canadian who lived for decades in the US and knows both systems from personal experience

You all acquitted yourself in grand fashion during the SARS mess.

"If you’re impressed with our money, you should try our health care system, which is far, far better than what the US has to offer. And I say that as a Canadian who lived for decades in the US and knows both systems from personal experience"

Hmm, the health care system is "far, far better" but you've lived for decades in the US. The logical conclusion is that either a) the relative differential in the health care systems is of marginal value or b) the rest of Canadian life is far, far worse.

Australian notes are also colurful plastic. Smallest denomination is $5. Generally I think its hard to counterfeit, though every now and then shops refuse to take $50 notes or inspect them closely as counterfeiters seem to favour that note.

We have $1 and $2 coins (the two dollar being smaller than the one). Mostly, we consider coins a nuisance, so disposing of them at sausage sizzles is a national pastime.

Canadians have the luxury of being fun with their currency because it's not the worlds reserve currency and there isn't a huge amount of symbolism and confidence invested in it's current appearance.
The appearance of the US dollar, greenbacks, dead presidents, has been iconified everywhere, including in black markets. Changing it's look might have some really negative effects on it's value in global cash markets.
I agree the Canadian currency is cool, but US currency has a classic look to it that isn't going out of style. We're the original Coke, while they're like multi-colored Fanta bubble-tea or something.

Modern collectable fiat money like these Canadian coins are a great example of something the government can do very well. They give a country the chance to market its heritage and create legitimate seigniorage profits for the Canadian mint. If I have a normal $5 bill it is a liability to the Canadian government because I can use that bill to help pay off my tax debt. If instead I voluntarily give it up for a shiny piece of collectible currency that costs the Canadian government maybe .10c to produce, and which I'll never spend but keep in a display case instead, both I and the Canadian government mutually benefit from this transaction. Those profits could be used to build a bigger government, but they could also be used to keep taxes lower.

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