Friday, September 6, 2013

A Jefferson Type Protest...!

In an age where nearly anything we do can list us as "Domestic Terrorist", this is a good way to protest whatever you like.

In doing it this way, nobody gets hurt and nothing is destroyed. No damage of any kind is done and you are never in danger of becoming what you are protesting, ya know?

Thomas Jefferson's Silent Armies



Thomas Jefferson was the primary author the Declaration of Independence, the first Secretary of State of the United States, its third President, and in general, a central figure in America's early days as a republic. He's depicted on Mount Rushmore along with George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. If you live in the United States, you probably have a few images of him lying around; just check your pockets. He's on the nickel. He's also on the $2 bill, but it's unlikely you have one of those at the ready, because they're not all that common. While $2 bills are still in circulation, less than 1% of the bills produced each year are of that denomination. Retail cash registers don't typically have slots for them, and if you get one as change, that'd be surprising, to say the least. In many cases, banks do not even have them. Two dollar bills certainly exist -- but you wouldn't know it.

Which makes them an effective protest tool.

Throughout history, there are many examples of relatively small groups of people feeling neglected or taken for granted. In many cases, the impact of that smaller group on the local economy is significant, but hard to quantify, and even harder to see. To fix this, maybe grab a large pile of Jeffersons?

The idea is simple. First, gather a group of people who each support an issue. Then, have them patronize local businesses, paying only in cash, and wherever possible, using $2 bills. Eventually, the stores will have to give the recently-received $2 bills to other customers as change, and as the bills spread, so will the bemused puzzlement of the townsfolk: where did all these $2 bills come from? Finally, you take to the local paper to explain, demonstrating your group's impact on the local economy.

This is by no means an original idea, though. Hardly. This tactic has been used for decades and by many very different groups. One of the earliest examples is cited by a newspaper article from 1964, notable because the $2 bill would be discontinued just two years later (and reintroduced for the U.S. bicentennial in 1976). In that example, military bases threatened with closure would advise soldiers stationed there to use $2 bills within the local area. Unfortunately, the scheme then often failed because bills of that denomination were often considered a bad omen (really) and downstream recipients would either refuse them or otherwise make them disappear.

In 1977 -- just a year after the currency's reintroduction - the $2 bill tactic was used by football enthusiasts. Georgia Tech, in Atlanta, and Clemson University, South Carolina were football rivals, playing at each other's stadium in alternating years. But for some reason, Georgia Tech refused to travel north, and in response, Clemson announced that the 1977 game in Atlanta would be the final one between the schools. A Clemson booster encouraged fans traveling to that game to spend $2 bills to show the revenue that the area would lose out on. While the story made the press, it's hard to say if it worked -- the rivalry resumed in 1983, but there were other factors at play.

Nevertheless, many others have tried the same type of economic-signalling marketing campaign. Other examples range from the strange -- participants at a barbershop quartet convention, skydivers, and nudists have all employed the tactic -- and more serious, politically-charged ones. In any event, the next time someone hands you back your change with a $2 bill in it, there may be a reason why.


I don't know about you, but I like this form of protest. Now if I could only get someone to lend me the money to get started!

Coffee out on the patio today. The kitties are outside now, so watch where you step!

15 comments:

Mamahen said...

I can't remember the last time I saw a $2 bill! I do like this concept though. The pstio sounds great, and would love to see the kitties....got some fresh apple dumplings to share.

HermitJim said...

Hey Mamahen...
They are hard to find, that's for sure.

I like the idea of the apple dumplings!

Thanks for coming over!

Glan Deas said...

It is hard to find. I like your thought and ideas of sharing.


Regards,
Kopi Luwak

Gorges Smythe said...

I recently came across some that my dad and I had laid back. I took them to the bank to trade them, because they have a list of people who WANT $2 bills.

Chickenmom said...

Good idea, Mr. Hermit! I'll go to the bank today to see if they have any! Thanks for the apple dumplings Mamahen! Yummy!

Momlady said...

They're hard to come by but show up once in a while. Don't let anyone refuse to take them. They are legal tender. Any pics of the kittens?

linda m said...

I cannot remember the last time I saw a $2 bill. But that is a very clever way to protest. Better than people protesting using violence. When do we get to see pictures of the kitties? Love sitting on your patio with a good cup of coffee. Have a great weekend.

Sixbears said...

I bought a book from a guy who stocks on $2 bills for change. He never said why. Wonder if he's protesting something?

JO said...

It is a good way to protest but like you have to find someone to lend me the money. LOL

Beautiful morning for the patio. Pass the pot please.

edifice rex said...

That's very interesting; I had never heard of that being a protest method.

HermitJim said...

Hey Glan...
More than happy to share this with you!

Thanks for coming over today!



Hey Gorges...
Did they look at you funny while at the bank?

Must have had them hidden pretty good!

Thanks for dropping by today!



Hey Phyllis...
Good luck finding some!

Thanks for coming by today!



Hey Momlady...
So many still out there, so I'm surprised that more don't show up!

Thanks for the visit this morning!



Hey Linda...
Really pretty effective way to get the message (whatever it is ) out!

I'll try and remember to get some pics of the kitties!

Thanks for coming over this morning!



Hey Sixbears...
Now days you just never know!

Many thanks for dropping in this morning!



Hey Jo...
It is different, that's for sure!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by this morning!



Hey Anne...
Never know what's going on at the Hermit's house!

Thanks, my friend, for coming by this morning!


Dizzy-Dick said...

Back in 1969 I went with my uncle to an Airstream convention in Colorado Springs. We traded all our money for two dollar bills to show the impact we had on the town. I brought most of mine back home.

Zarathustra said...

I have two $2.00 bills carefully folded, twice, and hidden in a protected section of my wallet. They've been there for at least 30 years... I call them my 'good luck' money.

Hermit Ladee said...

The timing of this blog post is so weird! I hadn't seen a two dollar bill in... I can't remember how long. And then at work on Thursday I had two customers bring them in. Maybe there's something going on around here and I just haven't heard about it yet! :-)

lorain.jhon said...
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