Abolishing The Pinching Penny

1099 Words5 Pages
Should Penny Pinchers Continue Pinching the Pinching Penny?
The American penny has had a long and significant life, and many popular quotes like “penny for your thoughts” and “to pinch a penny” has resulted from this history. But the penny’s long history is no excuse for keeping it, as the penny has now become a useless object. To illustrate, for a choice between one million pennies and one million dollars, the obvious decision would be one million dollars. One million pennies may sound like many pennies, but it only totals to $10,000. The issue of the cheap penny has usually been put on the back burner, but in 2001, the U.S. Representative of the time, Jim Kolbe, voted to abolish the useless penny. Many have argued against this decree, believing
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In an article arguing against the penny from the New York Times, William Safire states, “Two-thirds of them [pennies] immediately drop out of circulations, into piggy banks or – as The Time’s John Tierney noted five years ago – behind chair cushions or at the back of sock drawers next to your old tin-foil ball.” This number may be an exaggeration, but it proves the point. Pennies are not used anymore; they instead get saved or lost throughout people’s homes. Other countries have also dropped the penny, including Canada, Australia and New Zealand (“Elimination”). Like so many of us in America, these countries see the harm in the one cent, and are doing well without it. Majority rules, and especially in this case, the majority is right. The few that do support the penny believe that many charities will perish, since so many rely on them (Wing). This argument is weak. Pennies are not the only change in the world; Americans have a plethora of loose change they will gladly give away. If every penny donated was replaced by a nickel, world hunger would have ended by now. Additionally, according to Huffington Post, countries that have eliminated the penny do not have problems with those types of charities. Like an old man working too hard for his age, the penny needs to be…show more content…
As of 2013, the penny costs 2.41 cents to make (Wing). That is over twice the value of the actual coin! Many complain about the government using tax dollars the “wrong way.” Eliminating the penny could help focus the government’s spending on something more useful. Because the penny has gotten so expensive, the U.S. Mint lost $45 million on penny production in 2006 (“By the Numbers”). Ten years later, that amount has likely increased drastically. With that kind of money, the government could build some nicer roads, or pay for better schools. The penny is an expensive coin inside and out. Not only does it cost a great deal to buy, but it also costs loads to use. Similar to the fact that it’s not worth Bill Gates’ time to bend down and pick up a $100 dollar bill, it is also not worth our time to handle pennies (Wing). A calculation done by Jeff Gore, a graduate student at University of California at Berkley, has proven that in total, the nation loses over $15 billion a year handling coins at the register (Kahn). This is just at the register. Millions of dollars more have likely been lost from little things like Americans picking up pennies for luck. To combat the money lost at the cash register, chain restaurant Chipotle has rounded up the cost of the meal to save time for them and their customers (Isidore). This restaurant was able to see the customer’s needs and
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