• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

a penny costs 2 cents to make  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 22182
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Apparently, a penny costs 2 cents just to make it.  And groups are advocating that we cancel production of the penny. 

Lots of bits and bobs here ... 

A penny is a large part of our culture. 

The cost of maintaining our culture turns out to be not that much. 

If we eliminate the penny, suddenly many things will be rounded up (of course, not rounded down) - look at the price of gasoline - it is advertised as 3.339 per gallon, or 3.33 and 9/10 of a cent.  It always ends with 9/10 of a cent ....

Perhaps the time has come to keep the penny, but make it dime-sized and made of a less expensive material.    I wonder how much the cost per penny could be reduced then?

Further, as we move into the age of plastic - perhaps we can encourage more transactions with plastic?  And, our old favorite - just buy less stuff!

What do you all think?  Keep it?  Toss it?  Any "outside the box" theories?

 
MJ Solaro
Posts: 131
Location: Bellevue, WA
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In India and a few other countries I have traveled to, many of the shops have informally replaced their lower-denomination coins with little candies and sweets.

Personally, I love this system. Your change comes to $3.61? How about I give you $3.60 and a butterscotch? At least in this rounding system, I still get something happy out of it... 
 
Dave Boehnlein
Posts: 294
Location: Orcas Island, WA
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Check out this table showing what pennies have been made of at different points in U.S. history:

1793–1837 copper
1837–1857 bronze (95% copper, 5% tin and zinc)
1857–1864 87.5% copper, 12.5% nickel (also known as NS-12)
1864–1942 bronze (95% copper, 5% tin and zinc)
1943     zinc-coated steel
1944–1946 brass (95% copper, 5% zinc)
1946–1962 bronze (95% copper, 5% tin and zinc)
1962–1982 brass (95% copper, 5% zinc)
1982– present 97.5% zinc core, 2.5% copper plating

To me the question is do we have a better use for zinc? If they were still copper, I'd say heck yeah!

Dave
 
Susan Monroe
Posts: 1093
Location: Western WA
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I consider pennies to be dead weight, literally. 

I try to stick to carrying quarters, and empty my change into two small bowls by the front door:  separating "silver" and pennies.  When I need to go to a copy machine or mail my payroll paperwork, I use the "silver". 

When the Schwan's guy comes every two weeks or once a month (he has to catch me first!), I give him my pennies as a gift, just to get rid of them.  Otherwise, I have to wait until I get 50 of them to be able to put them into a paper roll.  Now, where did I leave the paper rolls?  Oh, sh*t!  I've only got 48!  Well, dump 'em out, because if I close the roll, I'll forget it's not full.

Now, where do I trade it in, assuming that I remember to take it in the first place?  And what do they want on it? My name, address, phone number?  Nothing? SS#?  Bank account #? Mother's maiden name? Dog's registered name?

By the time I have finished with all this, I've wasted more time than that roll of pennies is worth.  If minimum wage is $8 (or something) per hour, just to break even, I have to spend not more than 3.75 minutes dealing with that stupid little pile of pennies.

My time is worth more than that, PLUS the cost of the aggravation!

Besides, if everything that sells for $--.99 is rounded up to a dollar, it would be easier to figure before you get to the cashier if you've got enough money for the milk AND the DingDongs! (or vice versa...)

Dump 'em!

Sue



 
                                      
Posts: 92
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Lose the penny, it's not worth much.

I personally have no use for them and ask the question all the time.....when will they get rid of pennies?

 
Jesse Cantrell
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Canada bailed on the penny two years ago; it's all good. I'm old enough to remember the LARGE copper pennies my grand dad and parents gave me, and it's just a unit of measurement. It passes. I remember when the quarter made the move to partial, and then no silver USA. We'll survive. We'll move on.
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
58
books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Start with this guys rant and then we can plot what to do next ! ////// See Link Below :





The basic difference to the average American of eliminating the penny is that the guy in front of you in the check-out line will complete his/her transaction faster and get

out of your way sooner !

It has been my contention all along that the worthlessness of the penny is a sign of the Devaluation of our ''Coinage''. As has already been stated, Canada (and others )

has already dropped the penny !

Think about it with the penny gone the nickel becomes a 1/2 cent coin, and your dime the new penny, figured that way the coins in your pocket now actually have (Barely)

enough buying power to be worth carrying. just my two cents ! Big AL
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
58
books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
- Similar thing more closely related to the last post than you might at 1st think ! ? Two cents worth ? Big AL
 
Chadwick Holmes
Posts: 618
Location: Volant, PA
27
forest garden fungi goat trees wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
To be honest I have always thought the $?.99 prices were cheesey, just charge a dollar amount, don't pretend like we are all fooled into thinking its a dollar less.... Or charge the dollar amount less the amount of tax so that it cost ps an even dollar.
 
John Wolfram
Posts: 652
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
21
trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
allen lumley wrote:enough buying power to be worth carrying. just my two cents ! Big AL

So if we round up does your two cents more than double in value, or conversely it could become worthless? Have we fully explored how removing the penny might affect this expression?
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
58
books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
- once I had a real job at a Phone-in help desk, This was before cell phones and Telephone companies were required to supply a given number of working pay phones

per the population in that region ! We were trained various ways to detect if the caller was 'stuck' using a pay phone. and if so help the caller quickly 'get to the point'

so we could help them before they ran out of money !

" We were even encouraged to say " Its your Dime- how can I help'' or ''Its your dime, start talking !'' With todays cell phones how do you figure what a phone call costs ?

Super markets have figured out that by rounding up they can reduce the amount of time each customer spends in the check out line by 20% to 25%, The savings in

Frustration alone should make the ''change over'' ( no pun intended ) worth everyones time ! Big AL
 
Roberto pokachinni
pollinator
Posts: 1220
Location: Fraser Headwaters, B.C., Zone3, Latitude 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
78
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi hugelkultur solar trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Outside the box theory:

While a penny may cost twice as much to produce as it is worth as a penny, what was the worth in metal? In Canada, I have to wonder what became of all the pennies and if the capital gains in the metal market in de-commissioning these to ore were re-allocated to public interest, or did they amount to just another squandered fortune by the Harper Conservatives?

NO Big Deal: As a Canadian, I did not really appreciate the loss of the penny (or the plasticizing of our money... or the shift away from the gold standard... or the weird control issue the government seems to have over 'money'... or... I could go on and on) ... though on my day to day life loosing the penny hasn't made any difference.


If we eliminate the penny, suddenly many things will be rounded up (of course, not rounded down)
Maybe in the States this will be true; y'all are more capitalist, by national average.

The rounding up thing is false, at least in Canada. All the time things are rounded to the nearest (up or down) 5 cent increment. The stupid pricing of things should just be priced in 5 cent increments, but odd % taxes always messes with that.
 
Alan Loy
Posts: 66
Location: Melbourne Australia
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here in the land of Oz we got rid of the 1 and 2 cent pieces in the 1991. All cash transactions are rounded to the nearest 5 cents.

I'm betting the 5 cent will go soon
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
58
books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
_ at todays prices for a washer, its cheaper to make washers from u.s. coinage that to buy the washers ! Add in the cost of Gas and Time and you to will be reaching

into your pocket for a plumbing washer ! - yes I expect the nickel to disappear very fast after we decide to ' do away with the penny " Big AL
 
Joseph Lofthouse
garden master
Posts: 2500
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
471
bee chicken food preservation fungi greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Does society get more than 2 cents worth of utility out of the average penny during it's lifetime?

I still grow my own vegetable seeds. Even though it costs me more to do so than to buy a packet of seeds.
 
Pete Arthur
Posts: 15
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The permie view

Ya'll are lookin at the fruit and complaining it is getting smaller. Look at the roots and what you feed and water.

The penny is not liked, not because it is worth so little, but because it is "Pegged" to the dollar. 100 to 1

The symptom is worthless pennies, but the Root cause is pegging to a worth-less dollar.

If you concentrate on producing wealth, the trade units have far less impact on your life.

If only you could produce the things you need locally.
Hey, there is an idea, what if you could grow your own food?
If only the was a site on the net where you could learn to be more self sustainable.
 
Dale Hodgins
garden master
Posts: 6704
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
253
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I put everything under 25 cents into tip jars at coffee shops, restaurants etc. We did away with the penny a few years ago. They were not welcome in tip jars and cash registers. When our one and two dollar bills were replaced with coins, waitresses and taxi drivers got a raise. Suddenly, pocket change was worth more.

When Canada first produced a penny, it could buy a meal. Now it wouldn't buy a penny candy.
.....
Abraham Lincoln was not an attractive man, but his face has a certain sculptural quality. Put him on a $5 copper colored coin.
 
Ross Raven
Posts: 245
24
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I`d be fine losing the Nickel as well.
But a gold coin would still buy the same today as it did when that penny bought a meal
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
58
books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
- Any residual numismatic value of Gold coinage is the result of the fact that those gold coins were at one time more valuable for their gold content then their ''established or face value".

The fact that so many gold (and silver coinage) was melted down, -removing them from possible collection is what gives the coins a different accepted numismatic value today ! Big AL
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 8019
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
289
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I know a guy who used to drive his semi-truck to Denver several times a year to pick up a load of pennies for the west coast banks. He brought $40,000 worth each load.

 
Alan Loy
Posts: 66
Location: Melbourne Australia
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Recently some stores here have offered the option of donating the change from rounding up to the nearest dollar to charity. You don';t have a pocket full of change, they don't have to worry about the change in their till and the charities get the benefit. Everyone wins!
 
Won't you please? Please won't you be my neighbor? - Fred Rogers. Tiny ad:
FT Position Available: Affiliate Manager Who Loves Permaculture & Homesteading
https://permies.com/t/69742/FT-Position-Affiliate-Manager-Loves
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!