Penny Lame?

With trillions going out to businesses, working-no-longer folk, and a few rich dudes, somebody’s thinking about saving a cent or two. Or not. This news item outlines the basic argument against minting the one-cent coin. Minting seven billion of the copper-coated zinc pieces cost the US Mint about $140M last year. Do the math and it seems the government spent two cents to make one, on average. Conservatives might find something to criticize and laugh at in that, but they don’t seem too excited about excising the smallest denomination of coin in the monetary family.

Don’t look now, but it costs just about five cents to make a nickel these days. If we were really ruthless in government spending, Thomas Jefferson would be relegated to the $2 bill.

Speaking of which, you might be interested that it costs about 12 cents to make a dollar coin, but only 4 cents to print a dollar bill. Why is the coin more economical, and something nearly every country has opted for in their chief unit of money? The lifespan of the paper $1 is about eighteen months, and the coin will last much, much longer. It’s not a surprise to find fifty-year old dimes and quarters in change these days. They will look worn, but far from the point of being unrecognizable.

Paper money is a pork thing for Texas, as I’ve been told. They say that US folk would rebel if they had to use dollar coins, but it might be more of a where-s-our-federal-handout thing for the Lone State state. Good thing we’re not into plastic, like Australia, eh?

 

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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