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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 7, February 17, 2008, Article 31

NEW YORK TIMES 'ELIMINATE THE CENT' ARTICLE

[Arthur Shippee forwarded this article from the New York
Times favoring the elimination of the cent.  -Editor]

But generally speaking, New Yorkers have little use for the
one-cent coin.

Many reject it as change, tossing it instead into the tip
baskets that sit on many store counters. Few stoop to pick
up a penny on the sidewalk. In the not-so-distant days of
the subway token, signs instructed riders to “avoid using
pennies” as payment. Some in New York, a city not blessed
with vast reservoirs of patience, find it a torment to be
stuck on a checkout line while a customer up ahead fumbles
for a penny or two.

One bit of change that many New Yorkers definitely do not
believe in is the penny.

They would just as soon see it disappear, with business
transactions rounded to the nearest nickel. A few European
countries have blazed the trail, abolishing their smallest
coins as a waste.

In the last federal fiscal year, it cost the Mint 1.67 cents
to make each of the roughly eight billion pennies it churned
out. In other words, taxpayers paid more than $130 million
for coins valued at only $80 million. Looked at another way,
even your opinions have become more expensive. It costs about
3 cents to put in your 2 cents.

That sort of change makes sense to Representative Michael N.
Castle, a Delaware Republican with a longstanding interest
in this issue. “Obviously, we need to get the costs in line,”
Mr. Castle said. “The other alternative is to get rid of it
altogether,” he said, referring to the penny, but the reality
is that “there’s still a great deal of political opposition”
to going that route.

Too bad, says Beth Deisher, the editor of Coin World, a
magazine for collectors that believes the penny’s demise
is overdue. With the 100th anniversary in sight, Ms. Deisher
said, “we think it would be a good idea to bring the Lincoln
cent to a close.”

“Name the things you can buy for a penny,” she said.

Except for thoughts, not a single thing. If you’re the
government, you can’t even buy a penny for a penny.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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