Have you seen the new $100 bills? It seems like they make them flashier and flashier every couple years. Meanwhile, the good old dollar bill soldiers on, doing most of our day-to-day heavy lifting (at least in my economic bracket) without having been substantially altered since the sixties. I suppose all the high-tech currency-of-the-future attention goes to the higher denominations as a counterfeiting-prevention measure, but there’s probably also the fact that the object being printed can be fancy enough to cost more than a dollar. I’m sure economists have a term for that, but maybe the bells and whistles applied to the $100 dollar bill give it a material value higher than $1. If the upfront cost of manufacturing a dollar bill was $35, then I suppose people would complain about them with the special sort of disdain often inflicted on pennies.

As our bills get gradually more colorful, I’m not sure what I think of it. I’m not a strict traditionalist, and I seldom use the term “greenback” so my slang wouldn’t have to be adjusted, but I mostly just want them to be colorful enough that they don’t simply look like they went through the laundry, or got left out in the sun. The coloration on the new bill is certainly more decisive compared to the “yellow?” on the $20, or the “pink?” on the $5, but it still feels like it got altered by some accidental means… but maybe that’s just because the design is new to me.

Maybe in a few years, they’ll start integrating musical greeting card technology, and we’ll be a step closer to the talking money from Futurama.