Dick Johnson submitted these thoughts on a survey done by Numismatic news.
Numismatic News editor David Harper posed a question December 23 for their e-newsletter readers: Should U.S cents be abolished rather than made of steel?
Dave posted twenty replies on his web site, and published 15 responses in the January 17th issue of Numismatic News. The 15 were most representative, the 20 were evenly split ten to abolish to 10 to retain.
It is interesting that a group of coin collectors would elect to abolish with that high a percentage. I would have assumed coin collectors would have voted higher to retain. Perhaps they realized the U.S. Mint is going to make more than enough U.S. coins for collectors irrespective of the denominations available.
Here were some of the reasons to Retain:
o Simon Faj (Panama) Retain cents because they circulated in Panama. (Sorry, Simon, we cannot loose $42million or more a year to supply cents to Panama. Strike your own coins!)
o Donnie Davis (Danville Il) He wants to continue to sort through cents from change.
o An unemployed person (North Syracuse NY) Gets 6 cents for returned beverage bottles and cans and fears he would lose that 1-cent advantage. (Did you think of redeeming them in multiples of five? Or were you pulling our leg on this one?)
o Mercury Reuben Williams (Seattle WA) Believes the cent supports the economic value of the dollar. (Didn't work for the Mill at the end of the 18th century or the Half Cent in the 19th century, did it?)
o Jerry Stuart (Keller TX) Make them of stainless steel so they won't rust. (That'll cost even more than one cent apiece!)
o Peter Gaspar (St. Louis MO I would like good friend and college professor to defend his position: "Retain the cent. Abolishing the denomination will fuel inflation." (I fail to see how the lowly cent will have that much effect on inflation. A college professor in Pennsylvania made a study to learn the average family has about 400 small-cash transactions a year. If every one of those was rounded up to say five cents the yearly cost would be less than $100.
Here are some of the concepts To Abolish:
o Jerry Christensen (Binghamton NY) Abolish the cent and change the nickel composition. (He had the best response.)
o Malcolm Johnson (Oceanside CA) Abolish the cent as a circulating coin but keep it as a NCLT in mint and proof sets.
o Richard Adlof (Peoria IL) Abolish the cent, steel cents will rust. (Two others mentioned rusting.)
o Stephen Bonelli (Webster NY) Don't strike steel cents -- they will rust -- but keep existing cents in circulation.
o Two respondents chimed in from Australia where their government was farsighted enough to abolish multiple low-denomination coins. Rounding up is not the problem most Americans perceive based on the experience in Australia (and five other countries)..
o Dave Ross (New South Wales) said it best: "There was a lot of hot air being blown, especially from the press down here about shops making a killing from rounding out. In fact, it balances out both for consumers and sellers, as sometimes they pay a little more, and other times they pay a little less. The argument died out a long time ago."
Despite a split in existing opinions, reflected in this survey, the intelligent decision falls heavier on the abolish side to delete the cent.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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