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Death to the Penny: My Opinion in Penny Debate

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The penny should be abolished, and no longer be accepted as currency, because it costs more to produce the penny than what it is actually worth, and its value is too low.

The value of the penny is too small to be useful. When people start leaving a unit of cash at the register for the next person, the cash value is too low. Some people see pennies just lying on the ground and don’t even pick it up because it’s worth too little. It’s hard to find something even worth a dollar these days and that’s one-hundred pennies. “The purpose of the monetary system is to facilitate exchange. The penny no longer serves that purpose… It is just wasting peoples’ time — the economy’s most valuable resource…” (Mankiw). No one, besides little kids, express joy when they find a penny on the ground. Some people don’t even bother to pick it up. No machine accepts pennies anymore, either. Vending machines, parking meters, arcade games, and many more no longer accept the penny, except Coinstar. The only thing people still use pennies for is to throw them into fountains.Pennies are also a huge waste of time. Whenever we are paying for something in cash, the total amount almost never ends in a multiple of five cents. It’s costing us more to produce the pennies than what they’re actually worth. If there is one thing that every political party can agree with, it’s that we need to save money. Although the penny is now only five percent copper and 95 percent zinc, “The value of copper rose to more than the value of the penny, meaning they were worth more dead than alive…” (Mankiw). The cost to produce one penny is 1.8 cents. It may not seem like much, but when you also consider that the U.S. produces four billion pennies a year, that adds up to the government spending about eight million dollars more than pennies are even worth. Even though the value of the penny is next to nothing, they still cost money to produce and consume huge quantities of natural resources. Instead, we could put that money towards something that will improve our country, instead of using it to make something that people just throw away.

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Most other countries have gotten rid of their lowest value form of currency. Canada, Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Britain, Finland, Hungary, Israel, and many more have already gotten rid of their versions of the penny. Contrary to popular belief, the penny does not keep prices low. If that was true, then the penny would still be able to be used for something, even just for buying a ball of gum at the very least. The biggest group that is fighting to keep the penny, Americans for Common Cents, represents Jarden Zinc, the very company that makes zinc and copper blanks from which pennies are produced. Some believe it is unpatriotic to get rid of the penny, but the U.S. military has already done it. At U.S. military camps, the penny is no longer accepted as currency. Others don’t want to get rid of the penny because Abraham Lincoln is on it, but Lincoln and his memorial will still be on the five dollar bill. Although the penny is a part of our history, its usefulness has passed and it’s time to let it go and move forward. This isn’t rocket science, it’s Common Cents.

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