Legonomics

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.

* * *

33 comments.

  1. You. Are. A Genius.

  2. 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

  3. Wait…Legos make you nerdy?

    Oh who cares. I’m rich! I’m rich!

  4. 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.”

    http://www.brickapple.com – world’s richest person?

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

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

  7. I

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

  9. Good to know there

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

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

    LEGOS RULE!

  12. 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.

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

  14. 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?

  15. 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!

  16. 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

  20. 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?

  21. 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.-$

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

  23. 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?

  24. I have a Lego tuxedo. Na-na!

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

    http://www.henrylim.org/LEGOSculptures.html

    http://www.ericharshbarger.org/lego/index.html

  26. 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 6×8 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.

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

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

    http://www.ericharshbarger.org/lego/

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

    Nah.

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

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

  31. SWEET! I’m RICH!!

    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!

  32. 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…

  33. 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!