The Horror of Pennies | Teen Ink

The Horror of Pennies

October 22, 2012
By Airic SILVER, Prinecton Junction, New Jersey
Airic SILVER, Prinecton Junction, New Jersey
5 articles 0 photos 1 comment

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To most people, the penny is just a useless coin. Forever collecting dust in jars or boxes without much use. Yet the American Mint is still producing 4,000,000,000 of them each year. In fact, the penny is the most minted coin in the US even though nobody uses them! Now, most sensible people would look at such a fact and ask themselves, “Why in the world would anyone do such a thing?” Well, the answer is simple. Americans don’t want to get rid of the penny because of their sentimentality. They don’t want to throw away all their “Honest Abe” coins in fear of disrespect to him.

But one thing is clear. If Abraham Lincoln were alive today, he would definitely not want pennies around to soil his name. Why? This is because a penny, instead of doing what currency is supposed to do... which is to make the everyday purpose of buying and exchanging of commodities easier instead of trading like savages does quite the opposite. Imagine walking into a store and buying 50 dollars worth on groceries and then paying with pennies. In a real world, this would never happen because that would be 5000 pennies which averages about to 28 pounds of coins. Imagine that… no you couldn’t because no rational person would attempt that.
In addition, most of the small value coins can actually buy things and when I mean most, I am excluding the penny. Pennies aren’t accepted in vending machines, parking meters, laundromats, toll booths or even newspaper stands, whereas all other coins are accepted. This is because pennies, the useless things that they are, actually cost more to count, sort and transport then their actual value.
So, we’ve established the fact that pennies are utterly useless. But what if I told you that on top of being dead weight, pennies actually negatively impact our country. These days, prices of everything are rising and this includes our friend (not really) the penny. As of this year, the U.S mint has reported that it costs a whooping 2.5 cents to make one penny. Now, there is a 1.5 cent loss on each penny made but if you account for all 4 billion pennies that the U.S mint is manufacturing, seven billion dollars a year is being lost. If you ask me, cutting that spending would be a no-brainer for America to get rid of some of it’s debt but, that’s just me and my logic.

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