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# Should the US Mint retire the Penny?

Tue 1 Dec, 2009 10:30 am
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120358186
Quote:
Not Even One Red Cent

Alko Office Supply in downtown Berkeley is an average-looking store, with one exception. Hanging above the cash register, a sign reads: "We are a penny free store."

Cashier Andrew Allen says that with so many people using credit and debit cards, he only has to explain the no-penny rule about once a day.

EnlargeAndrew Stelzer/NPR
ALKO Office Supply cashier Andrew Allen says most customers laugh at the penny-free policy.
I purchased a 2010 planner. Total: \$15.53. Allen asked for \$15.50. I proffered \$15.53, pennies and all, and Allen didn't accept the superfluous cents.

"I won't take them," Allen said. "I refuse to take them."

But Is It Legal?

While all U.S. currency is legal tender for paying debts, public charges, taxes and dues, the Treasury Department says private business can decide, as a matter of policy, whether to accept currency as payment, and if so, in which denominations. About a year ago, Gary Shows, the owner of Alko Office Supply, felt pennies were no longer worth the hassle for customers and cashiers.
...
[S]ince 2006, producing a penny has cost more than one cent due to the rising price of zinc....

Quote:
Pennies By The Numbers
2.5: Weight of one penny, in grams.
0.75: Diameter in inches of one penny.
1.55: A penny’s thickness, in millimeters.
7,401,200,000: One cent coins produced for circulation by the U.S. Mint in 2007.
5,419,200,000: Pennies produced for circulation by the U.S. Mint in 2008.
2,292,400,000: One cent coins produced for circulation by the U.S. Mint, January-October 2009.
2.5: Percentage of a penny that is copper.
97.5: Percentage of a penny that is zinc.
1793: Year the U.S. Mint began producing one cent coins.
2: Number of U.S. Mint facilities that manufacture coins for circulation. They are located in Denver and Philadelphia.
25: Life span of the average coin, in years.

Source: U.S. Mint
" Rose Raymond/NPR

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120358186
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Type: Discussion • Score: 5 • Views: 4,371 • Replies: 7
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Merry Andrew

2
Tue 1 Dec, 2009 11:22 am
@tsarstepan,
Quote:
Should the US Mint retire the Penny?

This is hardly a new idea. Somebody suggests this every few months or so and has been doing so for about 40 or 50 years now, ever since the time when you could no longer actually buy anything for a cent. When you consider that it actually costs the Treasury something like 3.5 cents to manufacture each "penny" (that word in American English is slang, btw: we don't have pence like the British do, we have 'cents'), it seems like a no-brainer.
tsarstepan

1
Tue 1 Dec, 2009 11:36 am
@Merry Andrew,
I remember reading an editorial by George Will in the mind 90's in the Boston Globe about this. Part an extra credit assignment of my introduction politics class at Framingham State College was to bring in a political article and talk about it at the beginning of the class.

Out of a class of 13 to 15 students, I believe I was the only one to bring in an article for every class. Most didn't bring in a single article at all. Sign of the times that newspapers were slowly dying even back then?
0 Replies

hawkeye10

1
Sat 6 Mar, 2010 12:39 am
@tsarstepan,
YES!

I throw into the garbage all pennies that come my way, unless my kids want them. I view this as an act of civil disobedience, which is necessary because by government refuses to do the right thing.

Strangely, there used to often be penny jars at registers which I did use and would consider using again, but they seem to have mostly gone away.
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aidan

2
Sat 6 Mar, 2010 01:36 am
@tsarstepan,
Quote:
While all U.S. currency is legal tender for paying debts, public charges, taxes and dues, the Treasury Department says private business can decide, as a matter of policy, whether to accept currency as payment, and if so, in which denominations.

I wonder how they get away with saying you can't use them to pay tolls. I was on some toll road between Maine and New Jersey - and I saw a sign that said- 'we do not accept pennies'. I could see why if you were going through the exact change lane - but I thought to myself- how can they not accept a legal tender of currency to pay the toll otherwise?
This was years ago now.
0 Replies

tsarstepan

1
Mon 30 Nov, 2015 11:54 am
0 Replies

InfraBlue

1
Mon 30 Nov, 2015 02:03 pm
mark
0 Replies

ehBeth

2
Mon 30 Nov, 2015 02:35 pm
Canada dumped the penny in 2013. I thought I'd hate the concept. I'm good with it now.
0 Replies

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