Would You Pay Six Bucks for One Dollar?

Sure you would. Because that one-dollar bill has a serial number beginning with “8888” on it. Seriously.

The U.S. government has done it again. Robbed the yellow man of his hard-earned money. The Bureau of Engraving & Printing released their newest edition to their Lucky Money Collection – the $1 Year of the Pig note. What better way to celebrate the coming Chinese New Year than with a $1 Year of the Pig note that costs $5.95?

This is a pretty clever, yet sly marketing campaign. I’m surprised the U.S. government actually thought this one up. It’s a level of cultural awareness I hadn’t realized the government possessed.

In case you’re not familiar with the significance of “8888,” the word “eight” sounds like the word “fortune” in Chinese, and is therefore considered a lucky number. In fact, the 2008 Olympics set to take place in Beijing will be officially opening on 08/08/08, 08:08:08 PM.

With that kind of strongly-held superstition, a dollar bill with an “8888” is bound to receive a lot of attention. Is it fair that the U.S. government is taking advantage of this superstition though? Capitalistically-speaking, it’s smart business. Socially-speaking, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Like sucking on a dirty sock. Ew.

In an idealistically happy world, where everyone holds hands and sings in perfect harmony, I’d like to see the profits from this Lucky Money Collection go to a non-profit organization supporting Asian Americans in some way. (Which one, I don’t know; what do you think?) But that would never happen. As soon as a government creates a new income stream, it gets hooked on it like crack.

Oh, it’s not just one-dollar bills that you can buy. You can also purchase five-dollar and twenty-dollar bills. And next year, the U.S. government is going to release a version for the hundred-dollar bill too.

Anyone taste that dirty sock?

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About Mike

I'm an idealistic realist, humanistic technologist & constant student. And what, you want to Internet-stalk me too? Why, sure.
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