My new friend fleece me over at his eponymously named blog, got me to thinking about one of my minor pet peeves: The penny.
People give them to you in change. They drop them on the street and don’t bother to pick them up because, it’s just a penny! I get rid of mine as fast as I can.
One reason is, aside from the fact that they are practically worthless, is that is costs the government more to make than it is worth! Government efficiency at its finest!
The Mint estimates it will cost 1.23 cents per penny… which ends Sept. 30 . The cost of producing a penny has risen 27% in the last year…
Stop making pennies! Force everyone to either round up or round down to the nearest nickle. I think some consumers wrongly fear that this will just cause everything to cost more: one or two cents will be added to every purchase. Knowing the psychology of marketing, it’s more likely that this would save consumers a few pennies on most items, since instead of rounding everything up from 9.99, 99.99, etc., merchandisers would round prices down to 9.95, 99.95, etc.
When you stop making them, pennies become largely collectors’ items. Like Bradford plates, only smaller. People will tuck them away with dreams of the nickles they will someday reap!
Another objection is that when we stop making pennies, we displace one of our most beloved presidents, Abe Lincoln, from the realm of coinage. So, let’s put Lincoln on the dime. I know that we would be bumping off FDR, but FDR bumped off the Mercury head, so his time has run as well! There was some talk about putting Reagan on the dime, but what if Reagan were destined for greater things?
One of the problems in getting the public to accept the quarter sized dollar coins, which outcast and are therefore cheaper to make and maintain than paper dollars, was the choice of the visage thereon: the hatchet faced Susan B. Anthony, who did many good things, but whose face could split green oak, and Sacagawea, who also did good things, but most people weren’t even sure how to pronounce her name, much less celebrate her life.
There is a Reagan dollar coming up in 2016 as part of the Presidential Dollar coin series. We should let Reagan jump the line and start minting the Reagan coin right away. Those of us who honor The Gipper should keep these coins in circulation and make them the success that dollar coins that have gone before couldn’t achieve. Let’s spend one for The Gipper!
And for heaven’s sake, get rid of those pennies!