Penny for Your Thoughts

As the use of methods such as the chip reader and Apple Pay steadily become more popular, the use of the penny has come into question. Since the penny has greatly decreased in value over the years, many people feel the United States should do away with the coin altogether. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t still people fighting for the little coin.

The penny should be discontinued as currency because it has such a low value, high cost of production, and wastes time at both the bank and cash register.

One of the main reasons to discontinue the penny is its low value. During the time of the Baby Boomers, small things such as candy could be bought with the penny. Now, there is virtually no consumer products available at such a low price. In addition, vending machines and parking meters will generally not accept the coin meaning that it will likely just take up space in someone’s car or wallet.

Not only is the penny low in value, but it costs more than it’s worth to produce. According to the US Mint, the penny costs about 1.7 cents to make. This means that the government is losing money for every new penny they produce. In 2014, the US Mint shipped out more pennies than any other coin and lost about $55 million in that year alone.

The penny also wastes time for consumers. A study done by Walgreens and the National Association of Convenience Stores showed that handling pennies added about two seconds to each transaction. This may be a small amount of time, but it can cause longer lines and customer dissatisfaction.

People in support of the penny claim that the nickel is the more problematic coin. The average nickel costs about 8.1 cents to make. Despite the greater expense, the nickel is used more frequently in circulation than the penny which is often abandoned on the street or thrown into a fountain for luck. This makes the argument that the nickel is more useless less valid.

The best solution to the problem of the penny is to get rid of both the nickel and the penny. This is because the dime is one of the less expensive coins to make at 3.9 cents per coin. If the US Mint got rid of both the nickel and penny, the US Government would spend a lot less on the production of coins.

The penny should be discontinued because it is more trouble than it is actually worth. It costs too much to make, is a time suck, and is not in circulation enough to be an important form of currency.