Pennies: Bane Or Benefit? Essay

995 words - 4 pages

Pennies have been part of the American currency system since 1793, thus being the oldest US coin remaining in circulation. The penny, and as supporters of the penny have pointed out, the nickel cost more money to produce than they are worth. The penny costs 1.8 cents per coin minted, and the nickel costs somewhere around 7.5 cents to make. So, in my opinion, the penny and nickel should be abolished and the dime should replace them as our lowest denomination of coin. This would be accomplished through a slow but sure reduction in the minting of both coins and allowing the coins to slowly filter out of circulation via banks. The coins should remain legal tender, so people are able to spend them if they have them, but the bank should take the coins which they receive and dispose of them by either melting them down or perhaps selling them to private collectors.
I am aware of the concerns the opposition to my belief has. The people who are in favor of keeping the penny as our lowest form of currency have many arguments against the removal of the penny from production and from circulation, including the following: prices could increase due to being forced to round all purchases to the nearest nickel, charities use penny drives to build donations, the production of nickels is even more costly, the penny has sentimental value, and 2/3rds of polled Americans support keeping it. These arguments are all well documented as being reasons for keeping the penny made by proponents. I don’t dispute that some of these arguments are valid, but I would propose that some of them are unfounded.
Many people say that they’d be disappointed to see the penny go, as they donate their change to good causes which would stop benefitting from the donations. Others claim that if pennies were removed from circulation, the rounding would overall be in the store’s favor, not theirs, causing them to spend much more money than they would have with pennies. They point to the fact that Lincoln is on the penny as a reason to keep it around. I find that these arguments have much evidence to the contrary which would invalidate them. This evidence is found in both today’s world and in America’s own past. The argument which is put forward regarding nickels being even more wasteful than pennies in production costs is something that has very concrete evidence to support it, and I agree to that argument wholeheartedly. There is a way to find common ground in almost every argument, and I believe this to be one.
Since its inception in 1793, the penny has steadily declined to the point where it is near impossible to purchase anything with them. Unless you fancy paying a $20 bill with 11 pounds of pennies, the difficulty of spending these coins is extremely high. The only feasible way to attempt to...

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