The Penny: For Our Government, For Our People | Teen Ink

The Penny: For Our Government, For Our People

January 24, 2019
By _willB_ BRONZE, Decatur, Georgia
_willB_ BRONZE, Decatur, Georgia
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Pennies, a British foundation, have raised over 20 million dollars for more than 400 charities since their program started in 2010. All the donations were small amounts of pennies that added up and made a difference. The one cent coin has many vital purposes that many do not consider when they argue against the penny. The United States has minted the penny since 1793, and the coin is a token of remembrance. It showcases the face of Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States. The penny should stay in circulation; it is profits all Americans and the government.

    Chiefly, eliminating the penny would create a five cent rounding tax that would negatively affect consumers. The nickel would be the lowest-value coin, causing any transactions not divisible by five to be impossible. The rounding tax would, on a yearly basis, cost consumers more than $600 million dollars in total ( Because consumers would be charged a maximum of five cents extra on their purchases, they would be affected negatively. The tax would specifically affect low-income families, who, according to the US Federal Reserve, are more likely to choose cash over credit ( This decision causes those low-income families to spend extra on every purchase when money might be an issue. As stated by Raymond Lombra, professor of economics at Pennsylvania State University, the rounding tax would “be regressive, affecting the poor and other disadvantaged people groups disproportionately.” The rounding would not fairly affect all people; and for the poor, every cent is valuable. Others may not value five cents quite as much as another. If the penny were taken out of circulation, it would unjustly affect the poor. The penny profits all Americans.

    Secondly, pennies are beneficial to charities and their research. Over 15 billion pennies were collected through donation by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in 2009. The pennies funded $150 million dollars of blood cancer research and treatment ( The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society was benefited greatly by the donation of pennies. They were able to conduct ground-breaking research that helped save lives. Penny donation also benefits other charities and non-profit groups such as Salvation Army and the Ronald McDonald House. In 2017, the Ms. Cheap Penny Drive raised over $79 thousand dollars through penny donation for hungry families and individuals across Middle Tennessee. Since 2009, the penny drive has raised almost $400,000 dollars (Hance).  The collection of pennies is vital to the success of charities and their efforts to save lives.

    Some may say that pennies cost more to make than they are worth, which is true. The one cent coin costs about 1.43 cents to make and ship (Donahue). Nevertheless, if pennies were eliminated the nickel (which costs 8 cents to make) would need to be produced almost double the normal amount. The costs for the new production rate of the nickel would add up to about $10.9 billion dollars, much more than it costs to produce the penny ( The argument that the penny is economically harmful is groundless. In addition, the Mint has a fifty percent profit margin on penny and other coin shipment (Zagorsky). Therefore, the government makes money through penny production. The government would lose money if nickel production was increased. If the government lost money, tax amount would be raised, negatively affecting all americans.

    As proved, the penny should stay in circulation. It benefits all Americans and profits the government, making it a need for society. The one cent coin is beneficial to non-profit groups, charities, and their fundraising. One may think the penny is too small to make a difference, but it can raise billions of dollars and create profit. The penny should stay in circulation.

The author's comments:

This argumenative essay explains why the penny is vital to the success of government and the profit of America's consumers.

Works Cited: “Should the Penny Stay in Circulation? - Top 3 Pros and Cons.”, 2 July 2018,

    Zagorsky, Jay. “Should We Get Rid of the Penny?” Jay Zagorsky's Research and Blog, 19 Mar. 2018,

    Donahue, Michelle Z. “How Much Does It Really Cost (the Planet) to Make a Penny?”, Smithsonian Institution, 18 May 2016,

    Hance, Mary. “Penny Drive Sets Record in Raising Money for Second Harvest.” The Tennessean, The Tennessean, 17 Feb. 2017,

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