Abolish the Penny

The penny costs the US more money than it is worth to mint each year. Abolishing this useless coin would be a great benefit to the country. I have started a petition for such a cause.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/abolish-minting-1-cent-currency-united-states-known-penny/HZr4j4kY

To help support my claim here are some videos


Ah, so you've discovered CGP Gray. He is awesome.

I don't mean to discourage you because I agree, it would be in our best interests to get rid of the penny and sooner rather than later, but online petitions mean very little to anybody who's actually in a position to do something about this. Even if you get a billion signatures, that doesn't mean politicians are suddenly going to get inspired and write up a bill that changes our currency in the biggest way since dropping the gold standard. Now, sitting down with some other people who agree with you and sitting down with some politicians to get something written on paper might be more effective. These days anybody can write up an online petition, and anybody can answer one as long as you can put in a valid email address and zip code. And it's because they are so easy to spread around that makes them so...well, easy to ignore.

Also, I've just noticed that this is your petition, and I must warn you that you should take that link out of your post. The Escapist is here for discussion, not for people to spread around links for your causes and projects. If you keep the link there, you're going to get a warning for personal promotion.

So, yeah. Dump the link, and do some more research. I'm pretty sure there are already interest groups dedicated to this, you just have to find them.

Yeah, I'm all for getting rid of coins with denominations too small to be meaningful. Same with the Euro-cents, I wish 1's and 2's would just be taken out of circulation, EU-wide.

Yep, we don't have anything smaller than 5 cents and are considering getting rid of that too. It works and we have never looked back. Although from what I have seen re:yanks and outdated traditions around here, it will probably be shot down for 'decreasing people's currency independence' or disrespecting lincoln'

Lilani:
Ah, so you've discovered CGP Gray. He is awesome.

I don't mean to discourage you because I agree, it would be in our best interests to get rid of the penny and sooner rather than later, but online petitions mean very little to anybody who's actually in a position to do something about this. Even if you get a billion signatures, that doesn't mean politicians are suddenly going to get inspired and write up a bill that changes our currency in the biggest way since dropping the gold standard. Now, sitting down with some other people who agree with you and sitting down with some politicians to get something written on paper might be more effective. These days anybody can write up an online petition, and anybody can answer one as long as you can put in a valid email address and zip code. And it's because they are so easy to spread around that makes them so...well, easy to ignore.

Also, I've just noticed that this is your petition, and I must warn you that you should take that link out of your post. The Escapist is here for discussion, not for people to spread around links for your causes and projects. If you keep the link there, you're going to get a warning for personal promotion.

So, yeah. Dump the link, and do some more research. I'm pretty sure there are already interest groups dedicated to this, you just have to find them.

Consider that this is the Whitehouse's petitioning service that was set up by the current United State's administration. This isn't some random online petition, and several petitions have already received responses. Try to be a little more open-minded about the effects our voices can have. The people's voice it important in America, and belittling it does little to help its under-representation in modern politics. As for the argument about the forum rules, it's hardly just his petition anymore is it? It's also mine (Peter S) and Dana F's already.

petitions on getting rid of the penny have been made and it seems pretty useless. All current coinage should probably be replaced with some better idea or much cheaper material but as a country we fucking hate change. I mean look at our measurement system... why does standard exist anywhere in the world much less one of the most scientific countries in the world.

One thing I never understood is what about costs that cannot be divided by 5? Like if your total is $2.12 do you pay $2.15 and if so how do you get your 3 cents in change?

...I agree? Penny costs more to make than it is worth. Coins may be awesome (they last much longer than paper money) but coins in that low of denomination are silly and useless.

Xan Krieger:
One thing I never understood is what about costs that cannot be divided by 5? Like if your total is $2.12 do you pay $2.15 and if so how do you get your 3 cents in change?

You don't have prices like that anymore.

America once had HALF-PENNIES, and when they were gotten rid of the prices either went UP half a cent or DOWN half a cent.
The same thing would happen here.

I don't understand why taxes are BUILD INTO the price of a product.
None of this 'lets play a guessing game' crap.

Lets stop with the stupid 1.99 crap and add in whatever the tax for it would be from the start.
Then either lower or raise it to the nearest 5 or 0.

We're scheduled to get rid of them here in Canada, I honestly didn't think there was much questioning to be done about the issue. Hell, I don't think I know a single person who's upset about the whole thing and most people I know are ecstatic. From what I understand the government sat down and said "okay, pros? More efficient, better for businesses, saves money, easier for people, good for tourism. Cons?.................passed unanimously!" As for the rounding issue things just get rounded up or down according to the basic math rules we learn in grade school. I feel like law of averages means there's a net price difference of roughly zero. Even if everything is always rounded up I'd say your average person makes 3-4 transactions a day, times 365 days a year, times a maximum of 4 cents lost per transaction equals....60 dollars a year. And that's a very high estimate. A third that is probably more likely. So I'd day that isn't really an issue.

Xan Krieger:
One thing I never understood is what about costs that cannot be divided by 5? Like if your total is $2.12 do you pay $2.15 and if so how do you get your 3 cents in change?

Well, in the European Union it basically works like this:

€ #.11 > .10
€ #.12 > .10
€ #.13 > .15
€ #.14 > .15
€ #.16 > .15
€ #.17 > .15
€ #.18 > .20
€ #.19 > .20

Seems quite logical to me and I imagine the US use a similar system. You can still use 1 and 2 cents but if the cost of a product isn't divideable by five it is rounded up or down as illuatrated in the above example.

Ah CGP Gray, the man who talks about Santa; and then forgets that all subsequent characters are fictionalizations of Saint Nikolai...

Yeah; currently the penny isn't a nice thing to have. Unless the US currency grows in value its better to either change the composition of the penny or do away with it altogether. Not much of a argument here.

It should also be noted that here in Australia that $1.99 stuff is generally done to either encourage bulk purchasing or pseudo 'trick' a consumer into thinking its cheaper than $2.00

EDITED thanks to thaluikhain.

Right

But, but... What'll happen to the "A penny for your thoughts" saying?

Fraser Greenfield:
It should also be noted that here in Australia that $1.99 stuff is generally done to either encourage bulk purchasing or pseudo 'trick' a consumer into thinking its cheaper than $2.99 .

You mean, cheaper than $2.00?

Yeah, I wish they'd stop doing that...mind you, prices look a bit weird when they are $50, rather than $49.99, at least to me.

They should make the penny go further, so the money you have is worth more rather than removing it. I still buy things for a penny, would they then be forcing people to pay more for items that currently cost a penny if they removed it? I just recently bought books from a yard sale for a penny each, how would we then do that if they removed it?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mindgutter/3723602135/
http://www.brilliantstore.com/1-cent-items.html

That would play right into the hands of those penny hoarders who just wait until the coin is no longer legal currency and as such can be smelted and sold for huge profits.

Anyway, not that I care for copper coins but talking about US currency I'd much rather turn the 1$ note into a coin. It's stupid, it's far more expensive because it lasts for about a tenth of a coin's life and a coin would actually psychologically improve spending behaviour.

thaluikhain:

Fraser Greenfield:
It should also be noted that here in Australia that $1.99 stuff is generally done to either encourage bulk purchasing or pseudo 'trick' a consumer into thinking its cheaper than $2.99 .

You mean, cheaper than $2.00?

Yeah, I wish they'd stop doing that...mind you, prices look a bit weird when they are $50, rather than $49.99, at least to me.

I was always led to believe that the justification for x.99 prices was so that shop assistants where forced to put it through the till in order to get the change, and that this decreased theft by employees. I was surprised when I bought something in Australia and was given no change.

I support the arguments for abolishing low denominations, but it does deprive me of my main method of trolling shop assistants by giving them 99p in 1s and 2s.

EDIT: I have remembered that penny sweets exist, and am therefore once again opposed to this ludicrous and oppressive ban. Now, if you'll excuse me I'm going to buy 278 marshmallow flumps

Quaxar:
That would play right into the hands of those penny hoarders who just wait until the coin is no longer legal currency and as such can be smelted and sold for huge profits.

You can already do that right now. It's probably going to violate some law, but if you show up wth a shapeless block of metal, who's going to know?

Vegosiux:
Yeah, I'm all for getting rid of coins with denominations too small to be meaningful. Same with the Euro-cents, I wish 1's and 2's would just be taken out of circulation, EU-wide.

Don't know how it is elsewhere, but in the Netherlands, stores starting to give change only accurate to five cents, so € 2,13 change becomes € 2,15, and € 1,12 change becomes € 1,10 and mostly stopped accepting 1 and 2 cent coins.

They're still around in theory, but just no longer used.

The poorer euro countries where prices are lower still use them on a meaningfull level though.

Blablahb:

Quaxar:
That would play right into the hands of those penny hoarders who just wait until the coin is no longer legal currency and as such can be smelted and sold for huge profits.

You can already do that right now. It's probably going to violate some law, but if you show up wth a shapeless block of metal, who's going to know?

Of course you can. It's not even that severely punished. But still, you gotta find a smelter willing to risk half a year of prison for destroying valid currency.

Quaxar:

Blablahb:

Quaxar:
That would play right into the hands of those penny hoarders who just wait until the coin is no longer legal currency and as such can be smelted and sold for huge profits.

You can already do that right now. It's probably going to violate some law, but if you show up wth a shapeless block of metal, who's going to know?

Of course you can. It's not even that severely punished. But still, you gotta find a smelter willing to risk half a year of prison for destroying valid currency.

So then all the kids that put pennies on railroad tracks should go to jail? That would imprison almost every kid I knew growing up. HA!HA!

I also remember seeing awesome furniture made from bullet proof glass and pennies in ELLE Decor years ago. So that guy should be imprisoned as well? LOL!

I'd say a better solution than just getting rid of pennies would be to legislate so that every decade or so, the use of lower value coins is evaluated. Pennies used to be worth a fair amount and have only become useless thanks to inflation - in time other coins such as the 50p coin or even the pound will become a hindrance.

Quaxar:
That would play right into the hands of those penny hoarders who just wait until the coin is no longer legal currency and as such can be smelted and sold for huge profits.

Pennies are made of very little copper these days, they are mostly zinc. The reason of course being cost--they began reducing the amount of copper in pennies as the price of copper began to make each penny cost more than 1. Pennies still cost more than 1 to make, but it's not nearly what it would be if they were 100% copper.

If/when (because I feel like this is definitely a matter of "when") pennies do get eliminated, of course there won't be a way to completely circumvent the melting down/hoarding of them, but as long as the benefit to turning in your pennies is reasonable enough I don't think it will be a huge deal. Plus it's a felony to melt down currency, so that right there will get a lot of people to steer clear of the idea. Unless you are extremely against it or have a LOT of pennies (I'm talking in the 10,000s-100,000s), melting down the pennies will not be worth the risk. Plus you know during that time they'll be looking even harder than usual for illicit smelters.

vgmaster831:
[quote="Lilani" post="528.398725.16319762"]Consider that this is the Whitehouse's petitioning service that was set up by the current United State's administration. This isn't some random online petition, and several petitions have already received responses. Try to be a little more open-minded about the effects our voices can have. The people's voice it important in America, and belittling it does little to help its under-representation in modern politics. As for the argument about the forum rules, it's hardly just his petition anymore is it? It's also mine (Peter S) and Dana F's already.

I agree that putting forth effort is never a bad thing, but what I am saying is there are more effective ways to do it that politicians respect a lot more than Internet petitions (even if it is the White House's petitioning service, which as far as I know has never gotten anything this significant passed, if anything at all).

As I said, I'm fairly certain there are already official groups formed that are pushing for getting rid of the penny, so teaming up with them and adding more to their roster would be more effective. A petition is fleeting, but a group will stick around and keep the pressure on until the job is completed. It is easy for politicians to ignore a petition, which is essentially a bunch of people who put in a few minutes worth of effort at most. But it's harder for them to ignore a group of people who keep informed and updated on the issue, and who use their numbers to put a different kind of pressure on the issue. Plus, a group has a much greater pool of information and tools to rely on, so they are in a much better position to help draft the bill they seek so much and get it to where they need to go.

In other words, a petition is shoving an issue in front of politicians and saying "HERE, DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS," whereas a dedicated interest group is being an active presence working with the politicians through an active dialog saying, "This is what we want, communicate with us about how you feel and what we can do to make you want to do something about this." And sometimes that thing is drafting a bill, sometimes it's staying in contact with their office and lobbyists, and sometimes it's seeking out and opening a dialog with even more politicians on the issue.

Petitions show fleeting concern, but being in a group and keeping the pressure on shows persistence. Even if it's something that is to their benefit, politicians will often not take interest in something unless the person who wants it keeps bothering them and won't let them walk away until they get a definitive answer. Again, petitions are easy to ignore, but groups and constant communication will force them to act. Even if that act is rejection, it's better than nothing.

Lil devils x:

So then all the kids that put pennies on railroad tracks should go to jail? That would imprison almost every kid I knew growing up. HA!HA!

I also remember seeing awesome furniture made from bullet proof glass and pennies in ELLE Decor years ago. So that guy should be imprisoned as well? LOL!

It actually goes on about drawing on dollar bills and such. And it's not forbidden to use pennies in your furniture, you're not destroying them, just making them harder to access. If you melted them down for it or used cut-up bills to fill the cushions then that's something different.

Lilani:

Quaxar:
That would play right into the hands of those penny hoarders who just wait until the coin is no longer legal currency and as such can be smelted and sold for huge profits.

Pennies are made of very little copper these days, they are mostly zinc. The reason of course being cost--they began reducing the amount of copper in pennies as the price of copper began to make each penny cost more than 1. Pennies still cost more than 1 to make, but it's not nearly what it would be if they were 100% copper.

If/when (because I feel like this is definitely a matter of "when") pennies do get eliminated, of course there won't be a way to completely circumvent the melting down/hoarding of them, but as long as the benefit to turning in your pennies is reasonable enough I don't think it will be a huge deal. Plus it's a felony to melt down currency, so that right there will get a lot of people to steer clear of the idea. Unless you are extremely against it or have a LOT of pennies (I'm talking in the 10,000s-100,000s), melting down the pennies will not be worth the risk. Plus you know during that time they'll be looking even harder than usual for illicit smelters.

When pennies get eliminated they are no longer considered currency and as such it's not illegal to alter them in any way. You just have to hoard them until they are completely faded out of active coinage and you can smelt them in the Secret Service's own oven if they had one.
I don't know why we even have to make coins out of material that's worth more than the face value. What's the problem with iron coins or something?

If I remember correctly Argentinia is currently suffering from an immense coin shortage because apparently hoarders count on their small change being abolished soon and as a result there are almost no coins in circulation although the banks keep producing new ones on a record high. Merchants will actually refuse a sell if it means giving out coins as change.
Just an amusing thing on the side.

ClockworkPenguin:

thaluikhain:

Fraser Greenfield:
It should also be noted that here in Australia that $1.99 stuff is generally done to either encourage bulk purchasing or pseudo 'trick' a consumer into thinking its cheaper than $2.99 .

You mean, cheaper than $2.00?

Yeah, I wish they'd stop doing that...mind you, prices look a bit weird when they are $50, rather than $49.99, at least to me.

I was always led to believe that the justification for x.99 prices was so that shop assistants where forced to put it through the till in order to get the change, and that this decreased theft by employees. I was surprised when I bought something in Australia and was given no change.

I support the arguments for abolishing low denominations, but it does deprive me of my main method of trolling shop assistants by giving them 99p in 1s and 2s.

EDIT: I have remembered that penny sweets exist, and am therefore once again opposed to this ludicrous and oppressive ban. Now, if you'll excuse me I'm going to buy 278 marshmallow flumps

Flumps are, and never have been a penny sweet. Get your facts right.

I like the penny, makes sure the shop workers are working and also allows me to collect something. What I do hate is when the shop says "Oh sorry we've not got any pennies" when the price is something.99. Oh right, so you the big business can't give me an extra penny back rather than me giving you an extra penny? It's absolute daylight robbery.

 

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