Pennies

Question:  Does anybody really care all that much about the penny anymore?  I mean they are hardly worth anything (especially considering the diminished value of the US Dollar) and seem to take up a lot of space.  I think I also read that they cost more to produce than they are actually worth.  Also of all the US regular coin currency I think the penny is the only one to be copper colored (most of the rest being silver/steel-ish and I think the Sacajawea Dollar coin was gold looking).  When is the last time you’ve paid with a penny?  I don’t think I have for a really long time (though a big part of this may be the fact that I don’t usually carry around much loose change).  The only place where I see pennies spent regularly is at work when people need to pay for copies.  It is ten cents a page for a print and every so often somebody will pay with pennies.  The funny thing is that almost every time somebody pays with pennies they apologize for using the currency as if it is some kind of insult or something.  Is the penny shaming us?  Is the penny just a sad icon of a past economy prior to inflation and devalued US Dollar?  Do we keep the penny in circulation because of a nostalgia we just can’t quite shake off. Is the penny like our crazy old Grandpa Willie who we love but as his dotage seeps in more and more we can’t help but just feel sorry for? 

I remember as a kid always loving finding a penny on the street and thinking it was such a big deal.  Free money right?  I didn’t have to do anything more than be an observant kid to earn it (which actually is probably a lot harder than it sounds).  I wonder if kids still get excited about finding a penny nowadays or are they also aware that the coins are quite insignificant and so leave them in the dirt?  Poor, poor pennies, your day is past and yet you linger.

~ by Nathaniel on February 26, 2008.

2 Responses to “Pennies”

  1. Ah, Lord, haven’t you learned the power of wikipedia yet? There’s a whole article on this subject. I found it interesting – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efforts_to_eliminate_the_penny_in_the_United_States

    We are indeed printing them at a loss of 1.4 cents. Overall, I’m still for getting rid of them.

  2. I wonder if we still mint pennies to artificially keep copper prices low by keeping demand high.

    I vote to replace pennies with either jelly beans or m&ms – which actually have transactional value, are very delicious, and probably make more economic sense.

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