Society

Pennies Should Be Kept As A Form Of Currency

| by Shani Shahmoon

The clanging of change in your pockets may drive you crazy, but these coins keep our economy going and our charities flowing.

On March 29, Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Senate Budget Committee Chairman from Wyoming, Mike Enzi, proposed a new bill titled The Currency Optimization, Innovation, and National Savings (COINS) Act of 2017, WKYT reported.

(Sometimes I think policymakers put more effort into the acrostic poems that front the name of their bills rather than focus on the actual content of the bill. Just sayin'.)

The COINS Act would eliminate the dollar bill, implement a dollar coin, reduce the cost of nickel production and suspend the production of pennies. Its press release claims such changes "could generate up to $16 billion in taxpayer savings," without addressing how long this would take.

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The debate about the one-cent coin has been going on for decades -- and throughout it all, the majority of Americans insist on keeping the copper penny for plenty of reasons.

A current poll on Debate.org states that, as of right now, 63 percent of voters believe that America should keep the penny.

Americans for Common Cents, an organization aimed to lobby and educate for the continuation of the use of the penny, states that eliminating the coin implies negative results for the American economy.

With the penny no longer in existence, sellers would have to round their costs up to the nearest nickel, and economic interest indicates that they would round up.

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"If prices rise, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rises which, in turn, triggers further rises in many public and private sector costs which are tied formally or informally to the CPI," the organization explains.

A penny is 97.5 percent zinc, with a thin copper lining surrounded the coin to give its color.

The Association for Mature Americans shares its views with ACC: "The two component metals in the coin, who would lose contracts worth tens of millions of dollars every year if pennies were abolished."

Broken contracts and non-renewed contracts will result in the loss of jobs.

Let's be honest though: Most of that petty penny change gets put into a junk drawer in your house and the only time they leave there is when organizations put on fundraisers.

Kids are then sent to school with plastic bags filled with coins that have been in hibernation since the last time mom and dad got sick of their bulging wallets and emptied them to start fresh.

"Indeed on Lincoln's birthday in 2009, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society celebrated the 15 billionth ($150 million) penny collected by school students across the country for their 'Pennies for Patients' program," ACC reports.

As the saying goes, "Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves."

Or in more basic terms: Small actions amount big changes.

A penny for your thoughts, lawmakers. 

Click here for the opposing view on this topic.

Sources: WKYT, ACC (2), Association for Mature Americans, Debate.org / Photo credit: Pixabay

Should America keep the penny as a form of currency?
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