Sunday, May 07, 2017

Pennies Really Grind My Gears

[Author's note: I ripped this from kiplinger.com. So please, hold your plagiarism accusations.]

I like Abraham Lincoln as much as anybody but sweet-FRIGGING-jesus-
A penny for your thoughts isn’t much of a bargain these days. Not only is a penny worth less than ever thanks to inflation, but the cost of minting each Lincoln has been more than its face value for almost a decade.
Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries have deep-sixed their smallest coin, but the U.S. penny endures, as the U.S. Mint continues to churn out millions per year to replace the coins vanishing into change jars, vacuum cleaner bags and your car's floorboards.
Noted economists and the editorial pages of major national newspapers and journals continue to call for the penny’s retirement. But it has been years since anyone in Congress made a bid to kill the penny. One reason: While penny opponents are a diverse bunch, one group that’s deeply interested in its continuance is the zinc industry (a penny is actually 97.5% zinc and only 2.5% copper). And yes, Washington has a penny lobby, in the form of Americans for Common Cents (which is largely funded by zinc manufacturers).
But it's not just lobbyists. As an article in the Harvard Political Review put it, Americans' "general apathy and resistance to change" is also keeping the penny around.
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{As a smoker I find it offensive that tobacco lobbyists can't keep cigarette prices below larcenous levels but the all too powerful Zinc Lobby can keep this worthless coin afloat. It costs more to mint a penny than they're actually worth. Its obscurity is long overdue.}
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