Penny Debate

penny by chris chuckry

leave a penny

A debate exists within the United States government, and American society at large, over whether the one-cent coin, commonly known as the penny, should be eliminated as a unit of currency in the United States. Two bills introduced in the U.S. Congress would have ceased production of pennies, but neither bill was approved. Such a bill would leave the nickel, at five cents, as the lowest-value coin. The chief argument for its elimination is the fact that pennies are produced at a loss. In 2012, it costs about 2.4 cents to mint a penny. By 2007, even the price of the raw materials it is made of exceeded the face value, so there is a risk that coins are illegally melted down for raw materials.

Additionally, pennies are of limited utility; they are not accepted by all vending machines or many toll booths, and pennies are generally not accepted in bulk. In addition, people often do not use cents to pay at all; they may simply use larger denominations and get pennies in return. Pennies end up sitting in jars or are thrown away and are not in circulation. The purpose of the monetary system is to facilitate exchange, but… the penny no longer serves that purpose. Many countries outside the United States have chosen to remove low-value coins from circulation including Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, and Australia.

2 Comments to “Penny Debate”

  1. I was anti-penny before it was cool. They don’t use one cent coins here in South Korea either, and everyone gets along just fine.

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