Tag: Pennies

The Penny Plan

When the Penny first came about, its original value was still 1 cent and they still had the authentic bronze tone. The reason for the above-stated tone was because, well they were made of copper. When the latter metals became too expensive, the US switched over to 95% Zinc and 5% copper.

The reason I bring this to you today is because of the foregone conclusion I have made that pennies need to be abolished. A century or more ago, people would melt the pennies to sell the materials profit, because they cost more to make than their value. Even to this date, (February 22nd, 2017) pennies are still worth more to make than their street value in which they are used to buy goods and services.

According to a 2015 article by the “Coin News” the US printed just over 13.2 billion pennies in 2014. For the sake of over and under’s, let us put the approximate pennies made per year over the last decade at 10 billion. According to the Wall Street Journal in an article written by Jefferey Sparshot in December of 2016, it costs 1.5 cents to make a penny. That is an obvious uptake from how much they are worth.

Using our previous number of 10 billion, the United States spends about fifteen billion dollars on pennies per fiscal year, more than the actual value of the pennies they print. All of that money wasted.

Money was invited to make buying things easier, well they actually make things harder. Think about how many pennies you use and lose per day, the amount of excess time you waste counting them at registers and such. About 50 years ago you could actually purchase things with pennies, but thanks to good ol’ inflation, that is no longer such a thing. Vending machines do not take pennies, laundry machines do not, toll booths do not and neither do parking meters. So with the latter said, what are they useful for? Mathematically, it actually equates to you spending more money via time counting pennies than their value.

The next thing you might say is, what happens in exchanges that involve indivisible amounts. The solution is simple, round to the nearest 5 cents. If an item cost $19.97, round to $20.00. If an item costs $19.94, round to $19.90. Sometimes you may be on the short end of the stick, sometimes you might get lucky. It will even out eventually, but if you are really that fussed about the couple cents, having the extra money from abolishing the penny will allow the cutting of income taxes by about 0.03 %, so that is where you can recoup. Prices will not rise nor will charitable donations drop.

The United States has also gone through this before when they abolished the half cent. Everything turned out just fine, and when the half-cent was abolished, it actually had more buying power inflation adjusted than the modern dime.