Now, you may be wondering why I would even bring up a discussion like this. Why on earth would I want to get rid of the most recognizable units of currency from the great nation of The United States of America? Well because it is worthless and is one of the crutches to our society and our economy, and I will tell you why.
First of all, let’s go through a quick history and rundown of the penny. Reportedly first introduce in 1787 by Benjamin Franklin, the ‘penny’ featured the sun shining down at a sundial, it was known asthe Fugio cent. The first penny to show Lincoln was not introduced until 1909. Now the modern penny weighs approximately 2.5g, and is 19mm in diameter. It is 1.55mm in thickness and is only composed of 2.5% copper and 97.5% zinc, those produced before 1982 however, are composed of 98% copper and 2% zinc. And obviously enough, it holds a value of 0.01 dollars.
Now let me explain what’s wrong with it and why it is time to stop minting pennies. First of all it requires more than 1¢ to produce. Yeah that’s right, it takes a total of 1.8¢ to make a penny. Although it is only 0.8¢, after a year’s production the US lost $60 million in 2011 alone. So that’s $60 million of more, lost every year to make useless pennies. Why did I use such a strong word as useless, well because vending machines and parking meters don’t even accept them as a form of currency, because they don’t want to deal with sorting out the pennies. Not only does it waste valuable taxpayers’ money, but it often wastes a lot of time. Whenever a purchase doesn’t end with either a ‘5’ or a ‘0’, you have to whip out
Now some people may argue that removing the penny would remove Lincoln’s face from our currency, but they seem to be forgetting that he would still exist on the $5 bill, which is still useful by the way. Others say that because the penny has been with us for over 225 years that it holds dear sentimental value, but I don’t think that’s a good enough reason to be wasting millions every year on currency that wastes not only the consumer’s time, but the bank’s time, and retailer’s time and whoever has to carry pennies around as dead weight. Perhaps the only people that benefit from the penny are those change counting machines that count you money while also taking away a percentage fee.
Even with all of these facts against continued existence of the penny some still fear that removing the 1¢ coin may have unwanted side effects. Like charitable donations may drop, which doesn’t happen in countries that have abolished their ‘penny’. Or the fact that prices must not end with either a 5 or a 0, which isn’t a problem once again since all you have to do is round up or down to the nearest 5 or 0. In fact many overseas US bases already implement this rule without suffering any backlashes.
So in summary, pennies cost more to produce than they are worth, they are a waste of time and have failed in their one and only purpose and therefore should be removed.