US should ditch penny

February 13, 2014 6:16 AMComments Off

Column by Adam Ebel

AdamEbel2-w2000-h2000I have been terrorized by misled penny supporters.

I have found pennies planted across my room and, in the most disturbing cases, on my person.

I think many might be confused about my particular hatred and abhorrence of the small Zinc disk known as the penny.

Although I can be terribly inefficient in how I spend my time and may carry my own independent irrational sentiments, I like to see my state and my economy operate in an efficient and sensible manner.

The penny is a symbol of American luck and nostalgia for a time when a penny was worth anything.

But, the production of the penny and its existence are worth something.

The United States produced 7,070,000,000 pennies last year costing $170,387,000. For a taxpayer, it costs  $1.15.

So you or someone you know pays a $1.15 to support the existence of the penny.

Some of you who have been following the issue may be aware of a flawed hypothetical study sponsored by the Zinc Lobby.

This study estimated increased inflation as a result of the loss of the penny, as all prices supposedly would be rounded up rather than down in order to accommodate the loss of the penny.

This simply isn’t, by actual data in countries that eliminated lower denominations of currency.

Of the 15 countries that have retired their one-cent equivalents, as a response to the healthy consistent inflation that happens within most modern countries, none have demonstrated any abnormal inflation, and average prices remain stable.

Perhaps some of you feel that the penny makes the United States unique, just like the imperial measurement system, and that it would be un-American to try to remove it.

Like the imperial measurement system, the U.S. military ceased to use pennies, citing their inefficient weight and lack of utility.

When the United States military considers the penny to be a liability and not an American staple of patriotism, we can safely make the same judgment without feeling a sense of patriotic guilt.

Some of you may be, like myself, fond of Abraham Lincoln as a president, and desire to preserve his image on the penny.

But the custom of stapling leaders onto forms of currency started as a form of endorsement by associating the value of the currency to the value of the leader.

If one was associated with a worthless currency, it could be seen as more of an insult than an endorsement.

If I were Abraham Lincoln, I would question why I was a valued to be a 2,000th of Andrew Jackson, who was questionable as a president to say the least.

Ebel is a first-year undecided major and can be reached adam.ebel@drake.edu

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