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Saturday, August 14, 2010

A penny abolished is a penny earned

A new survey shows that 60% of Canadians support the abolishment of the penny, and for good reason. Getting rid of the penny would be a benefit to the economy. David Watt, the VP for RBC Capital Markets, explains the reason why in this Ottawa Citizen Article:

Production costs for the penny would be saved and, more importantly, it would put more money back into circulation.

Watt explained that many people hoard pennies, keeping them in jars at home or in a box in the basement.

If the government decided to give people cash in exchange for their old pennies, that money might be spent or put in a bank account. Either way, the money is back in the economy, he said. 

Sometimes I don’t wait for change if all that I’m going to get back is a penny. If I see a penny on the ground I rarely bother to bend down to pick it up. 1 cent is often not worth the effort of waiting half a second or bending my knees.

There was a time that a penny was worth something. You could buy candy with a penny or leave a penny as a small but respectable tip. Now a penny is useless. Pop machines don’t accept them and there is literally nothing you can buy with a penny. All that a penny is good for is taking up room in your pocket and infantile drinking games. Thanks to inflation the penny has become a thing of annoyance rather than value.

So I am among the 60% who say that we should get rid of the penny.

Posted by Hugh MacIntyre on August 14, 2010 | Permalink


I’m not sure if every cent costs us a cent and a half to make, but if nothing else it would greatly simplify cash transactions. It’s an attractive little coin but it really is time it was retired.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-14 11:25:29 AM

I agree in general, but there is also a flip side that I have witnessed in other countries following this path. It becomes a boost to inflating prices with the nickel simply replacing the penny.

Posted by: Alain | 2010-08-14 1:52:16 PM

Unless there’s something I’m not seeing, Alain, the most that the price of anything could rise is four cents. Next to the HST, that is nothing.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-14 1:55:38 PM

As a now infrequent reader and poster to this "blog" it really is pathetic to see what concerns "libertarians". While another 500 terrorists try to weasel their way into Canada, I suppose "no borders Brock" is happy about this, the "libertarian bloggers " on the WS write about getting rid of the penny, raw milk in France, mixed martial arts. Pathetic.

Posted by: The Stig | 2010-08-14 4:43:12 PM

Shane, I do not disagree that it would only constitute a small increase, but an increase nevertheless. As for the HST I wager that it spelled the end for Campbell's Liberals. Too bad the only alternative in my riding is the NDP or the Green Party.

The Stig, I have also found it interesting that the boatload of terrorists has been ignored. They are already being processed in Victoria, which means they are here to stay unless they manage to get into the USA from here. They do not meet the definition of refugees but unlike other countries we allow them to dock and enter the country. Furthermore our judges have decided that once landed they are entitled to the same rights as citizens. Since to register as a voter does not require proof of citizenship, it only gets worse.

Posted by: Alain | 2010-08-14 7:24:03 PM

I think we should abolish the penny simple because it is no longer a useful piece of money, with so little value that even things of negligible value cannot be purchased. Example a pound of pennies will not even buy a single adult bus ticket.

Besides most people don't spend pennies anyway. in America 13 BILLION pennies are minted each year and half of those pennies are removed from circulation by people saving them up in jars, and 2/3 of all American pennies in existence of been removed from circulation in a similar manner.


Posted by: sheldon | 2010-08-15 12:48:58 AM

I solved my penny problem some years ago by refusing to take any. If there's no penny jar I leave them on the counter. Haven't had a penny in my pocket or in the house for quite some time. Problem solved.

Posted by: BillBC | 2010-08-15 8:21:38 AM

But even if you don't use pennies, your tax dollars are still being used to make more of these worthless coins. I want the government to start making pennies altogether.

Posted by: sheldon | 2010-08-15 10:27:19 AM

Who is going tp lose the penny?

Not me, I want my proper change back!

Posted by: Joe Tight | 2010-08-15 12:07:58 PM

We have enough panhandlers and conmen coming in here already trying to re-distribute our money to so called third world countries!

United Nations, Conmen,IMF, Global Elite, Off-Shore Banksters!
Who is going to stand up to these thieving criminal Eugenicists and start kicking some weasel butt?

These days I sure as hell am not in a generous mood and I will stand up and fight for what is mine! I have not been dumbed down yet!

Posted by: Joe Tight | 2010-08-15 12:13:27 PM

It takes 154 pennies to make one lb. of copper. Copper is presently $3.25 US a lb.
Here is a profitable job opportunity for someone.

Posted by: peterj | 2010-08-15 10:35:02 PM

Excuse me, Peter, that is not correct. Each penny (2000 and newer) weighs 2.35 grams, so 154 makes only 361 grams, and there are 454 grams in a pound. Moreover, pennies are not pure copper, but 94 percent steel, 1.5 percent nickel, and 4.5 percent copper plating. So in truth 154 late-issue pennies will yield only 16.25 grams of copper, which is worth around 11 cents.

Even if you could lay in enough pre-1997 pennies to make the project worthwhile, though, you’d still need a smelter with an operator or operators who doesn’t know (or doesn’t care) that it's a criminal offence to destroy Canadian currency.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-08-15 11:20:15 PM

True I was wrong. My information was on much older coins. Sorting through them would certaily not be worth the effort.


Posted by: peterj | 2010-08-16 7:45:37 PM

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