4 Reasons to Get Rid of the Penny

What's Hot


5 Reasons to Shop for a Home in DecemberFamily

Shoppers Boycott Businesses Selling Trump-Branded ProductsBusiness

15 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar StoreMore

Giving Thanks: Why Foreigners Find America AmazingAround The House

New Email Phishing Scam Targets Amazon ShoppersMore

50 Best Gifts Under $25 for Everyone on Your ListFamily

Why Washing Your Turkey Can Make You IllFamily

Pay $2 and Get Unlimited Wendy’s Frosty Treats in 2017Family

The 7 Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar StoreMore

What the Richest 1 Percent Earns in Every StateFamily

10 Ways to Retire Earlier Than Friends on the Same SalaryGrow

The 10 Best Ways to Blow Your MoneyCredit & Debt

The 50 Hottest Toys of the Past 50 YearsFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

The United States would save money - and we'd all save a lot of headaches - if Congress would finally kill the penny.

A while back, I moved into a new office at work. When I looked in the desk, I found 162 pennies in a drawer. I can only assume the previous owner used the desk as a repository for all the pennies he received in change whenever he went out for lunch.

I can’t really blame the guy. In fact, I think pennies need to be removed from circulation. Here are several reasons, some admittedly better than others…

1. Inflation has made the penny irrelevant.

In 1857, Congress stopped minting the half cent piece. Back then, one half cent had the purchasing power of 11 cents in 2007 dollars. Basically, when the half cent was discontinued, the penny had more than 20 times the purchasing power it does today. If the Congress of 1857 were still in power today, not only would the penny be discontinued, so would the nickel.

2. Pennies are expensive to produce.

By the end of 2010, it cost the U.S. Mint almost 1.79 cents to make a penny. That means that the Mint is increasing the national debt with every penny it produces.

3. You can’t use them in vending machines.

Well, I’ve never seen a vending machine that accepts them.

4. They slow down transactions at retail establishments.

While not as bad as the time I got stuck behind a lady who paid for her groceries with only quarters, I hate it whenever I wait for folks who dig into their lint-filled pockets for pennies – so they can get rid of their change.

I know what you’re thinking: Won’t eliminating the penny increase consumer costs?

Well, that’s the story being spouted by Americans for Common Cents, a pro-penny group that’s backed by the zinc industry. (Pennies are almost 98-percent zinc.) Let’s look at their two big arguments for keeping the penny…

– Rounding prices up to the nearest nickel would mean higher prices.

Evidence shows this claim is baseless. If this were true, inflation would’ve occurred in the years immediately following the abolition of the half cent in 1857. In fact, the opposite effect occurred: The United States actually suffered from deflation the following year.

Here are the rates of inflation between 1858 and 1861…

  • 1858: -7.1 percent (deflation)
  • 1859: 3.8 percent
  • 1860: 0 percent
  • 1861: 0 percent

– Many charities are totally dependent on pennies for their donations.

Preposterous! To make such an argument presupposes that Americans, the most charitable people on Earth, would suddenly stop putting money in the Salvation Army kettle or giving their change to other charities simply because the smallest coin in their pocket would now be a nickel instead of a penny.

It actually makes more sense that charities would see an increase in their contributions – because although a nickel is worth five times as much as a penny, it does have one big thing in common with its copper cousin. You simply can’t buy anything with it.

Congress is responsible for regulating the national currency. What do you think? Should Congress abolish the penny? If you’ve got a moment to spare, please share your thoughts on this because I really want to know.

In the meantime, I’m going to the grocery store to find something I can buy for $1.62 – all in pennies, of course. Hopefully, you won’t be the person that gets stuck behind me at the checkout counter.

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 10 Strategies to Save Big Bucks on Amazon

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,768 more deals!