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Should We Eliminate The Penny?

Is it time to get rid of the penny once and for all.

Should we eliminate the penny?

If his ghost could communicate with us even Lincoln would tell us to get rid of the penny. Many people argue that we need to keep the penny because it honors President Lincoln, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. First of all he has the five-dollar bill, which does him more than enough justice. The penny fails to honor him simply because most people don’t care about the penny, some even going so far as to throw them away. If Lincoln could see the way people treat his coin I think he would feel disgraced. This wouldn’t be the only reason he would want to get rid of it either.

Back in 1857 the U.S. got rid of the half penny because it was deemed too nugatory to be worth carrying. If you were to estimate its purchasing power in current terms it would be 11 cents. If we look to the past once again you can see that today’s nickel has the same purchasing power that a penny had in 1971. We never had a smaller denomination than a penny then, so why do we need a denomination smaller than a nickel. At the end of 2007, it costs the U.S. Mint 1.67 cents to make a penny. So every time the U.S. Mint produces a penny they are increasing the national debt for no reason at all. A penny hasn’t been worth the metal it’s made from for over six years at least.

Once we do finally succeed in abolishing the unwanted penny all we will have to do is round up or down. While I was stationed in Korea the penny was not used on base. The way they handled business without a penny is a model for the rest of us. Instead of using pennies cash transactions ending in 1, 2, 6, or 7 cents were rounded down to the nearest five cents, while transactions ending in 3, 4, 8, or 9 cents would be rounded up. This never seemed to be an issue with people and you even end up forgetting about the penny entirely. There were also a lot of people who didn’t like the idea of rounding up or down and thought it was the stupidest thing, but after they experienced it they wound up liking it. They didn’t want pennies to come back even though they were reluctant at first.

These are just a few facts for you, and there are tons of others. Suffice to say, it is definitely time for us to eliminate the penny once and for all.

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