Thursday, June 7, 2007


Kirsten Gebauer

Works Cited

“A Penny Saved … Pointless; [FINAL Edition].” USA Today. 28 July 2006.

ProQuest. 23 April 2007

Some people pennies worthless. Because of inflation the worth of the penny has dropped greatly. Today it takes seven cents to buy what a penny bought in 1956. The marketplace made the statement that pennies can’t be used in parking meters, payphones, vending machines and toll booths. It currently costs the United States Mint 1.23 cents to make a penny. Because of the high prices of metal such as zinc, the Mint keeps losing money. In 2006 the Mint made 7.7 billion pennies. Fans of the penny disagree with those who think it’s a nuisance. Arizona Representative, Jim Kolbe proposed a bill to get rid of the penny and just round to the nearest five cents. The bill states that any amount that ends in a 1,2,6, or 7 will be rounded down and any amount that ends in a 3,4,8, or 9 will be rounded up. However credit and debt cards will still be rounded to the nearest cent. Kolbe hopes the House Financial Services Committee
will hold a hearing for his bill.

“A Penny Unsaved.” The Wall Street Journal. 20 July 2006. ProQuest. 23 April


Actions have been made to start getting rid of the penny. Rising prices for metal (zinc and copper) have contributed to these actions. It costs the U.S. Mint more to make the penny than it’s worth. Pennies are worth only one-eighth of what they were worth in 1950. Many Americans think the penny is irrelevant. Arizona Representative Jim Kolbe proposed a bill to rid America of the penny. The bill stated that prices would be rounded to the nearest nickel. There are some businesses who have already tried the rounding to the nickel idea. Pennies help charities, when people don’t want a penny they drop it in a charity bank. The penny has not retained its value over the years.

Donn, Jeff. “Making Cents / Penny likely not worth your thoughts / A penniless

America – an idea gaining currency or not worth a wooden nickel?.”

Houston Chronicle. 3 July 2006. ProQuest. 23 April 2007

Many people today think the penny has no value. Many try to get rid of them as soon as possible. The U.S. Mint stated pennies cost more than one cent to produce due to inflation. A poll shows that two-thirds of Americans opt to keep the penny. The US Representative of Arizona, Jim Kolbe has previously tried to get rid of the penny but failed. The idea of and America without the penny first started in 1989. A poll in 2002 stated 58% of U.S. citizens just leave pennies lying around. A man From Flomaton, Alabama saved pennies for years and he ended up with 1.3 million of them, $13084.58. The penny is mostly make of zinc however zinc prices have been rising substantially recently. Others feel America should keep the penny because it honors Abraham Lincoln. By 2009 there will be four new tails designs to honor Lincoln’s 200th birthday. Those who prefer cash transactions, are penny suppliers and fear the rise of prices because of rounding want to keep the penny around. Others argue that the penny helps charities.

Haddock, Vicki. “Pretty Penny is in a pickle / It costs 1.23 cents to make – a dime

costs less than a nickel; [FINAL Edition].” San Francisco Chronicle. 21

May 2006. ProQuest. 23 April 2007

It costs more to produce a penny than it’s worth. The penny has been around since Benjamin Franklin. The Mint has informed the nation that the penny costs 1.23 cents to make because of rising metal prices. The Mint loses twenty million dollars each year producing the penny. Nothing cost a penny anymore, like it used to, many years ago. Inflation has caused other coins to become in danger, such as the nickel. The National Association of Convenience Stores says using pennies wastes two to three seconds. This wasted tome causes lines at cash registers. It has been found that pennies don’t circulate and usually end up in jars or drawers. The production of pennies pays a toll on tax payers. In 1857 the U.S. got rid of the half cent. Other nations have also gotten rid of useless coins. Most people who want to keep the penny want to keep it for sentimental a nostalgic reasons. Coinstar polled 1000 Americans and found one-fourth of Americans want the penny gone and two-thirds want to keep it. Generally older people prefer keeping the penny.

Hagenbaugh, Barbara. “A Penny Saved could become a penny spurned ; As the

cost of making the 1-cent coin rises, some lobby to discontinue it; [FINAL

Edition].” USA TODAY. 7 July 2006. ProQuest. 23 April 2007

The penny is thought of as an irritating piece of metal. It costs more to make a penny than it’s worth. Many think making the penny is pointless because many Americans hold it in little value. Abolishing the penny would upset some people who use their spare pennies in charity drives. Other countries such as Finland have stopped making pointless coins. 55% of Americans want the penny. 63% of women said the penny should stay and 46% of men. Sylvester Neal wants to keep the penny because of its history. Neal collects pennies in his garage. Most Americans try to get rid of a penny as soon as they receive one. The US Mint made 7.7 billion pennies in 2005 and continues to make more. The penny is not worth as much as it used to be. Many people say pennies just waste their time. There is a group that wants to keep the penny around called Americans for Common Cents. This group says that getting rid of the penny will raise prices or hurt the poor. Again many people say keeping the penny would help charities and companies. Lincoln’s 200th birthday will be celebrated in 2009 with four new tails designs.

Hirsch, Arthur. “Do Pennies Still Make Sense?” Baltimore Sun. 5 May 1996.

SIRS. 23 April 2007
According to Michael White of the U.S. Mint, many people say the penny is inconvenient but banks still need the penny. George Vary says the government makes pennies for a reason. However many people think keeping the penny is debatable. The penny has lost its worth. In 1817 a penny could buy a loaf of bread, and a draft of beer. Toll booths will no longer accept pennies and neither will parking meters. Plumbers have been known to use pennies as washers and landfill workers find loads of pennies each year. The problem with pennies is that they don’t cirrcualte they only accumulate.

Malleby, Sebastian. “The Penny Stops Here; [FINAL Edition].” The Washington

Post. 25 Sept. 2006. ProQuest. 23 April 2007

A representative from Arizona; Jim Kolbe; introduced a bill to abolish the penny. It currently cost more than a cent to make the penny which has caused tax payers to suffer. Pennies waste time in businesses and banks. Without the penny shops would round their prices to the nearest nickel. Robert M. Whaples conducted a study of 200,000 transactions and found that consumers wouldn’t be hindered by the penny’s absence. William Sharpe and Nobel Prize winner proposed a ratio that relates to the dispute of getting rid of the penny. Other coins in circulation are also starting to lose their value, this includes the nickel.

Runnells, Charles. “Pennies Don’t Make Sense to Many Americans.” The News-

Press. 29 Aug. 1999. SIRS. 23 April 2007
article-display?id=SMN0290-0-3294 >
Some people in Fort Meyers think the penny is useless and others think otherwise. Generally the older age group wants to keep the penny while the younger age group finds it irrelevant. Pennies today can’t buy what they used to. The House of Representatives claims that the penny won’t be around for much longer. Nearly 73% of adults want to keep the penny. Penny supporters say that getting rid of the penny would hurt consumers. The word penny comes from the word “pence.” Lincoln was first on the penny in 1909. Pennies can be found just lying around in drawers and jars. Bankers usually opt for keeping the penny. Many charities have been successful because of the penny. Many people continue to say “pennies add up.” Others want to keep the penny around because it gives meaning to the famous sayings.

Weller, Mark W. “America needs the Penny.” USA Today. 27 July 2006. 23 April

The individuals and groups who want the penny gone fail the understand that without it the American economy would fail. Every two in three Americans want to keep the penny (poll by Coinstar National Currency, Feb.). The reason for keeping the penny is less of a personal connection but rather more of an economy issue. Eliminating the penny would raise prices and cost America billions of dollars. A 2001 study by Pennsylvania State University states that without the penny the rounding tax will be three billion dollars in five years and that rounding to the nickel can’t be done fairly. The rounding tax will mainly burden those who have low income rates.

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