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Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Today is Lucky Penny Day, a day set aside to appreciate the good luck finding a penny is supposed to bring. Remember the old rhyme:

See a penny, pick it up,
all day long you’ll have good luck.

Unfortunately, pennies may not be with us much longer. For the sixth year in a row, it now costs the U.S. Mint more to manufacture and distribute a penny than it’s worth. A lot more. Every penny minted in the U.S. this year will cost 2.41 cents. That hardly makes sense.

Starting this fall Canada will stop producing pennies, saving our neighbors to the north 11 million dollars a year. Last year the U.S. Mint produced 4.9 billion pennies. That’s $118 million dollars spent to make 49 million dollars worth of pennies. Where’s the logic in that?

There’s now a movement to do away with pennies here in the U.S. Of course the zinc industry is opposed and lobbying against such a proposal. Pennies are mostly made from zinc these days. Another group in opposition to dumping the penny is the Lincoln Library which stated it would fight for the penny down to the last cent.

How long will we continue to waste money on the lowly penny? It’s not like you can buy anything for a penny any more. What are your feeling about doing away with the penny to save tax dollars? A penny for your thoughts?


Kathy said...

The problem with doing away with the penny, is that businesses will have to figure out how to price things to allow for taxes so that the final price rounds out to nickel increments. Even worse, the casinos will have to get rid of all their penny slot machines and senior citizens will cause a riot. :)

Jane R said...

And what about all those traditional sayings like "a penny saved is a penny earned" and "a penny for your thoughts". They won't make sense anymore. Children won't know what a penny is and that will make the rest of us feel even older. And piggy banks won't have that delightful sound that just a few pennies can make. But things change. We just won't be able to use pennies to make change!


Kathy, are there really still penny slots at some casinos? I thought nickel slots were the lowest denomination these days.

Jane, we have lots of old sayings that make no sense these days. It doesn't look like our government is going to follow Canada's lead any time soon, but it irks me that we're wasting so many millions of dollars each year to make something that costs more to make than it's worth.

Liz said...

Perhaps, instead of reinventing thw wheel, it would be cheaper to revalue the dollar?