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Gold is dumb. What can you do with it? Gild stuff -- lilies and Capitol buildings and whatever -- or cram it into your cavities, that's about it. So I'm glad the U.S. dropped the gold standard back in, um, back in whenever they dropped the gold standard. But I can't seem to get fired up about the dollar either. Dollars are all the same boring color, they get wadded up and torn, and, frankly, I think Andrew Jackson was having a serious Bad Hair Day when he snapped his picture for the twenty. Plus the value of the dollar keeps going down. (Apparently it used to go up too, but that was back in the late 90's when people still thought e-potbelliedpigs-online.com was a pretty good idea).

But I was listening to Marketplace the other day, and they said something interesting: no matter what the state of the economy, toy makers generally do pretty well -- after all, kids don't give a rat's ass if Lucent missed their third quarter projections by 7/15 of a cent, all they know is they need a Fashion Polly Sparkle Style House and, by God, they need it NOW!

That's what gave me Great Idea #57709: the US should make the four pronged square Lego the standard unit of US currency. The bigger Legos will be worth more, and the smaller Legos will be like coins, and those huge Lego plates will be, like, $1000 bills. We'll also outlaw those stupid "Mindstorm" Legos because they are new-fangled and I don't understand them.

This plan has so many good points that I can't even begin to list them and yet now I will:

  • When Bush announces that we're abruptly switching from the dollar to the Lego, your new wealth will depend on how many Legos you own at that moment. In other words, your affluence will become proportional to your nerdliness (which will pretty much make it a wash for Bill Gates, I guess).
  • People will have a much greater incentive to save. What can you do with a bunch of saved dollars, except hide them in the Minute Maid Premium Original Low-Pulp Orange Juice container you have in your fridge (not that I do this!!). With saved Legos, you can make castles and life-size blocky replicas of Halle Berry -- hooray!
  • Money would suddenly become color-coded, thereby making the US exactly like Canada.
  • Legos are, like, impossible to counterfeit. Believe me, I've tried.
  • When you tip a pretty waitress you could make a cat or a rose or something cheesy like that. Conversely, when you pay your taxes you could build and send in a pair of $7,860 multi-colored buttocks.
I could go on and on, but I think it's pretty clear that this scheme has no down side. In fact, I think this is my best idea yet, except for the Combination Bagpipes / Breathalyzer, but I'm not going to tell you about that one because it's so great you'd steal it.

Posted on November 20, 2002 to Favorite Posts, Great Ideas


You. Are. A Genius.

Posted by: Kate on November 20, 2002 6:22 PM

What about those lego knock-offs that never stick together and you have to build and destroy your creations with a hammmer, i think they should be outlawed, i think they are called megablocks, but i cant remember

Posted by: Maggie on November 20, 2002 8:39 PM

Wait...Legos make you nerdy?

Oh who cares. I'm rich! I'm rich!

Posted by: Miel on November 20, 2002 9:11 PM

Things that are no doubt in your mind but do not appear on your list:

The term "Millionaire" changes to "Legomaniac"

"Lego my Eggo" instantly becomes best ad line in the buisness.

Kids everywhere complain when told to "pick up their money" because "stepping on money with bare feet hurts like hell."

www.brickapple.com - world's richest person?

Posted by: Lee on November 20, 2002 10:39 PM

wow. if that happened i could pay off my college debt right now! what would the lego horses be worth though?

Posted by: adam on November 21, 2002 5:28 AM

Would Duplo blocks be something along the lines of a buffalo nickel, or perhaps the JFK 50 cent piece?

Posted by: jeremy on November 21, 2002 5:47 AM

IŽm deeply impressed! Your idea #57709 made its way all across the ocean to Germany, where I live. I totally agree in your suggestion to make LEGO the standard currency in the USA. I think, Europe would adopt the LEGO currency, if successful in the US!
But IŽm afraid, there is one (insignificant) point you havenŽt mentioned yet:
- LEGO is a registered trademark, invented and manufactured by LEGO in Billund, Denmark. A small European State with a higher population of cows than inhabitants.
The USA would depend on the supply with LEGO from Denmark to guarantee a stable currency. And here appears a problem: what happens, if Denmark cuts down the production of LEGO bricks? Or even more worse: what happens if Denmark, not yet a member of the European Monetary Union, gets in trouble with its European neighbours? For example, they want Denmark to enter the Union and to stop producing LEGO for customers outside the union!? The US Government would be in serious trouble and would have to react to ensure supply...
By the way, did you know, Denmark is only 3-times bigger than kuwait and LEGO bricks are made of refined crude oil... Well, but actually I can see no parallels! Do you? :-)

regards all the way from Germany, Moritz

Posted by: Moritz on November 21, 2002 6:05 AM

I'm organizing a demonstration this afternoon. No war for legos.

Posted by: BillB on November 21, 2002 6:58 AM

Good to know thereŽs someone out there taking my fears serious :-)
Not that I dont want the US army to conquer Denmark... but there are a lot of good surfing spots, which shouldŽnt be mined and full of barbed wire!!!

IŽll watch the evening news to keep me informed about your progress concerning Lego!

best regards, Moritz

Posted by: Moritz on November 21, 2002 7:24 AM

I got some Canadian MegaBlocks in my change the other day and the Coke machine wouldn't take them. Grrr. I hate that!

Posted by: George on November 21, 2002 7:41 AM

Uh, the gold backing was removed in 1971, FYI.


Posted by: Joshua Krell on November 21, 2002 8:07 AM

LEGO's gave me the visualization skills that make me who I am Today! I"m a counterfeiter thanks to LEGO's. I can bootleg stuff really well. But as far as money, I already got that.

Posted by: Sincy on November 21, 2002 9:38 AM

denmark has good surf spots?? no way. where???

Posted by: nookiemonster on November 21, 2002 9:43 AM

the main problem I would see would be with proving how rich you really are. Have you ever tried to light a cigar with a really big LEGO?

Posted by: boomratt on November 21, 2002 10:03 AM

I'm still trying to come up with a practical idea for how to carry your LEGOs around. I think they might not fit in my purse.

On the other hand, if LEGOs will also be used instead of Euros we have world domination right there! Brilliant! The true American Dream coming to life!

Posted by: Deviant Brainwave on November 21, 2002 10:26 AM

I think I would make my fortune by developing a new wallet ro accomodate the new currency. Suddenly, those 5 gallon plastic buckets that are only used by street corner drummers to collect spare change will have all sorts of added cachet.

Just think -- the bigger your bucket, the more people of the opposite sex will be attracted to you...and it's easier to make sure they see your bucket than it is to wave your platinum card around...

Posted by: Stacey on November 21, 2002 11:19 AM

I'm having trouble reconciling these two statements (from mom, of course...)

- Oh, good! You're playing with Legos! They're a very creative toy.

- Don't play with that money! It's filthy and you don't know where it's been.

I don't think you've considered the psychological trauma you're proposing here.

Posted by: Lost Poke on November 21, 2002 12:56 PM

Certainly no one would want to exchange their legos for such bland necessities as food or shelter. This could lead our society back to total agrarianism and self reliance. This has much opportunity.

Posted by: Anonymous on November 21, 2002 11:46 PM

I'll stop sniping people for 10,000,000 square legos.

Posted by: Jim TheTallGuy on November 22, 2002 12:40 PM

What about the little lego men? Does each body part count? And are the heads with beards worth more then the heads with just eyes?

Posted by: Katie on November 24, 2002 7:46 AM

The little lego men?
Of course they do count!
Little Man without beard: 10.-$
Little Man with beard: 20.-$
Little Man with beard and turban: 10,500,000.-$

Posted by: Moritz on November 24, 2002 11:06 PM

Matt, Dad and I have changed our wills. Julie gets the money, you get the Legos. Love, Mom

Posted by: Mom on November 25, 2002 9:09 AM

so how about the legos that don't look like blocks? like the ones that my brother and I fought over, like the little steering wheels and stuff? what are they worth?

Posted by: Molly M. on November 26, 2002 6:46 PM

I have a Lego tuxedo. Na-na!

Posted by: Ian Wood on December 23, 2002 6:05 AM

Henry Lim or Eric Harshbarger would be millionares under
this scheme.



Posted by: Eli the Bearded on December 23, 2002 11:31 AM

Here is an snippet from my forum on Dragondrop.org - we have had some deep though on the subject of lego! This bit is partially influenced by Microserfs, heavily influenced by legologic...

Have you ever noticed . . .

that Lego plays a far more important role in the lives of computer people than in the general population ? computer people spend huge portions of there youth heavily steeped in Lego and it’s highly focused, solitude promoting culture. Lego was their common denominator toy.

Lego is a logic learning tool.
Lego teaches us static rule reasoning.

Problem - action - resolution.
Concept - real time design - object.

Manipulate visual 3D. Build a house, with a multi-level drive through car hoist garage next door. Build a car, to go in the garage. Its to big. Make its roof lower. Cant. . . So. . . re-design the chassis. Use a flat 6x8 and put the flat separate wheels on. To wide. Pull the wheels in.

Solution - Development. . .

Made of acrylonitrile butadiene stryrene (ABS) plastic, Legos discreet modular bricks are indestructible and fully intended to be nothing except themselves.

Lego is binary. A yes/no structure; that is to say the little nublies on top of any given lego brick are either connected to another unit of lego or they are not. Analog relationships do not exist.

Lego anticipates a future of pixelated ideas. It is digital.

Lego Logic.
Make life simple.

Posted by: Matt Watson on January 7, 2003 1:33 PM

Yah, you better watch out. One day 'mindstorms' are gonna power the world then you'll be sorry.

Posted by: obwan on March 3, 2003 3:15 PM

As mentioned above, I have about 1 milliom reasons why I think this is a fabulous idea:


Though, I suppose I could just start building sculptures and mosaics out of pennies and nickels...


Posted by: Eric Harshbarger on March 3, 2003 5:18 PM

I love the idea althouh some of my (crazyer) friends disagree.

Posted by: Cathrine on June 10, 2003 5:27 PM

This would also make Legoland, Windsor, UK, a combination of the new Disney and the new Fort Knox.

Posted by: Adz on July 12, 2003 4:49 AM


However, wouldn't that be a little hard to tote around, considering I got a whole, um, closet full of Legos, I mean just a couple, but, that's still a lot, in a way... OK I'M A NERD!

Posted by: galapagos29 on July 13, 2003 7:48 PM

Why would you guys care about carrying them around? There would be giant tupperware buildings that cranes dump our Legos(money) into when we need to store them. Otherwise you would just wear your Lego money belt.....geez I thought we all had one of those. I remember I was able to store about 50 Legos in my mouth as a kid so I'm betting I could carry around a couple grand now, easy...

Posted by: YeTi_BaRNiCLeS on July 17, 2003 10:32 PM

The Lego Land theme parks are going to need guards who pack heat. Just like the bank vaults in movies. I'm going to have to get a job at the one in California so I can get hazard pay. And you know how theme parks have cameras on roller coasters so you can pay for the picture when the ride is over? With all the security cameras that would be needed there, well, just imagine... You could pay $11.50 for a picture of you taking a dump on a Lego toilet.
Ooh, and imagine the movies to spawn. Maybe "Die Hard 5: Die Hard at Lego Land" with Bruce, Jeremy Irons, 40 dump trucks, and a really hot blonde with a really hot accent. Yeah!

Posted by: eeyan on August 4, 2003 5:56 PM