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Obama Pushes For Cheaper Pennies

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the new-money dept.

The Almighty Buck 825

Hugh Pickens writes "Time Magazine reports that hidden deep inside in the White House's $3.8 trillion, 2,000-page budget that was sent to Congress this week is a proposal to make pennies and nickels cheaper to produce. Why? Because it currently costs the federal government 2.4 cents to make a penny and 11.2 cents for every nickel. If passed, the budget would allow the Treasury Department to 'change the composition of coins to more cost-effective materials' resulting in changes that could save more than $100 million a year. Since 1982, our copper-looking pennies have been merely coppery. In the 1970s, the price of copper soared, so President Nixon proposed changing the penny's composition to a cheaper aluminum. Today, only 2.5% of a penny is copper (which makes up the coin's coating) while 97.5% is zinc. The mint did make steel pennies for one year — in 1943 — when copper was needed for the war effort and steel might be a cheaper alternative this time. What about the bill introduced in 2006 that the US abandon pennies altogether.? At the time, fifty-five percent of respondents considered the penny useful compared to 43 percent who agreed it should be eliminated. More telling, 76 percent of respondents said they would pick up a penny if they saw it on the ground."

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You can't eliminate them (5, Funny)

netwarerip (2221204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072905)

The vast majority if store clerks wouldn't be able to round up or down to the nearest nickel.

Re:You can't eliminate them (5, Insightful)

rioki (1328185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072933)

Oh no we can't have 9.99$! I am so confused if I see 9.95$...

Re:You can't eliminate them (2)

chromas (1085949) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073043)

Some states have sales tax, so that $9.95 becomes $10.74 (depending on the tax rate, of course).

Re:You can't eliminate them (5, Informative)

mikael_j (106439) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073101)

In other countries this is solved by laws demanding that all prices advertised to individuals (as opposed to companies) or where the target customer is clearly an individual include sales tax. So prices including the sales tax are conveniently set to nice round numbers.

Re:You can't eliminate them (5, Insightful)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073169)

other countries have nationwide sales tax regulations so that you still could use nationwide ads.

Re:You can't eliminate them (1)

alex67500 (1609333) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073259)

Damned, I wasted my mod points on another thread. Sad, because this is the first time I've heard a good argument on this side of the subject.
(I don't agree with the principle, but for once someone has something clever to say about it...)

Re:You can't eliminate them (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073183)

You're forgetting the presence of the American Retard Party. Here's their view:

"You're in Amurrica here. You think we give a crap about the sensible things done in "other countries"? I bet you're a socialist like that kenyan muzlim illegal prezidunt. Weve had our pennys forever and by god pennys are the way a god-fearin amurrican should calculate change! Nothin that kenyan muzlim illegal socialist says is anything we should support. What, you claim we supported it back when the prezidunt wuz one of us? Don't matter that kenyan muzlim illegal socializt isnt gonna make me do nething!"

Re:You can't eliminate them (2)

chromas (1085949) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073253)

We have a lot of $0.99, $1.95, $9.98 bullshit, which I guess is supposed to make the price seem lower ("$0.99? That's not even a dollar!"—I assume that works on people who set their clocks 20 minute ahead so they're on time); rounding would ruin that.

Re:You can't eliminate them (4, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073199)

In which case you pay $10.75 (if you pay with cash).

The penny is currently worth less (in terms of what it can buy) than the half-cent was when it was junked in 1857, it's worse than useless at the moment.

Re:You can't eliminate them (4, Insightful)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073227)

Not at all. You do all the math as normal, then round the final value. We already do that and have for decades. There's plenty of times where the price with sales tax doesn't come out to an even cent.

And FWIW, I won't pick up a penny off the floor. Or if I do, it's usually to throw it in the garbage because it's cluttering things up.

Re:You can't eliminate them (3, Interesting)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073125)

Actually, there's no problem with having $9.99 .

In Europe we've all but done away with the 1 and 2 eurocent coins - their monetary value vs cost involved in handling them just didn't make sense.

But we do still have e.g. â0.99 type prices. The way it works is that your total gets rounded at most placed and almost certainly if you decide to pay by debit card. So if you buy 3 of those â0.99 items, you get a total of â2.97, rounded to â2.95. If you buy two, it gets rounded up and you pay â2.00 instead of the â1.98.
( this is apparently called 'Swedish rounding' when specifically applied to the situation of currency: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_rounding [wikipedia.org] )

However, if you want to pay with 1 or 2 eurocent coins to match a price exactly, many places will still accept that - but if you pay 'just over' where your return would technically be 1 or 2 eurocent, you won't be getting those.

The places that accept them bring them to the bank, which bring them to bigger banks, which basically have them destroyed - and gradually the 1 and 2 eurocent coins are removed from circulation.

Re:You can't eliminate them (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073171)

geeze I got those all mixed up in my head.. if you pay by debit card you do almost certainly do not pay the rounded number.

Also, why did Slashdot kill my euro symbols? Geez.

Re:You can't eliminate them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073271)

Also, why did Slashdot kill my euro symbols? Geez.

I find it funny that people still get caught by this, does nobody even read the comments anymore?

You need the html entity € -> €

Of course, it could accept the binary input that was given to it, but there is no guarantee that the end user computer will be able to interpret slashdots interpretation of binary data as what the original submitter intended it to be..

Re:You can't eliminate them (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073197)

The 1 or 2 eurocents here in Portugal works just fine...

Re:You can't eliminate them (4, Insightful)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073247)

In Germany we pretty much get 1 and 2 Cent coins. I don't know what countries are try to get rid of them.

Re:You can't eliminate them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39072973)

Yea, this is America after all.

Re:You can't eliminate them (2)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072975)

The registers could do the math for them.

I think we should kill everything except the quarter. Everything else is just a nuisance. I can't tell you the last time I bought something that cost less than a quarter in a quantity of one.

Re:You can't eliminate them (5, Interesting)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073045)

Round here we have a toll booth with coin baskets thats: 40 cents.
That's right - you need at least a quarter, a dime AND a nickle.
Not 50 cents. Not 25 cents. FOURTY.

I'm sure a lot of out of towners just toss in two quarters and have a chuckle at the local chuckleheaded government's tricks.

Re:You can't eliminate them (2)

John3 (85454) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073205)

I think a hardware store is the only place you can actually buy something for less than a quarter. In my hardware store we sell loose fasteners, and we'll have customers buy two washers for .07 each. We've considered putting a minimum of .25 for a fastener purchase but I think customers get a kick out of buying something for so little. The standard line the customer gives at the checkout is "Guess you can go home now" after we ring up the .14 sale.

Re:You can't eliminate them (2)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072983)

They already round up or down to the nearest penny thanks to %tax and 99/100ths pennies making most transactions end with fractional penny amounts.

A nickel wouldn't require any extra though or skill.

Besides, few clerks operate without a computer that does the rounding calculations for them.

Re:You can't eliminate them (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073037)

A couple years ago I ate lunch with my coworkers at a chain restaurant. One of my coworkers and I had exactly the same meal. Ice tea and a burger. My bill was $7.92 and his was $7.91. If we are going to eliminate pennies we need to clearly define conditions of rounding. Some companies are taking liberties with their rounding software.

Re:You can't eliminate them (2)

hobarrera (2008506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073219)

In some countries (including where I live), the law says that the amount should *always* be rounded in favour of the customer. for up to $0.05 difference.

Re:You can't eliminate them (2)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073235)

The vast majority if store clerks wouldn't be able to round up or down to the nearest nickel.

Because they had such problems with that when the mill $0.001 and the half cent $0.005 were removed that we learned our lesson and are stuck with a coin worth more in scrap metal if it wasn't illegal to scrap them. As a side note when the Mill and half were taken out of circulation they had more buying power then a nickle

rid of pennies (1)

ixidor (996844) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072907)

put out as a referendum, let people vote. get rid of them. then comes the sob stories of old cat ladies who now cannot afford food because the price was rounded up 2 cents.

100 to 1 (2, Funny)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072919)

Drop the minimum wage to 8 cents an hour and divide all current cash value by 100.

Think of it: 1c hamburgers, lunch for a dime and leave a 2c tip, and your average American home for $1000.

Also, any transaction dealing with a $100 bill or higher will have to be reported....

Re:100 to 1 (1)

firex726 (1188453) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073029)

Except how would that work with the rest of the world?

Prices in the UK would still remain the same as they are now, so they too would have to divide their currency in the same way.

Otherwise a leather jacket in the US might be $1, but £100 in the UK.

Re:100 to 1 (3, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073083)

Except how would that work with the rest of the world?

Prices in the UK would still remain the same as they are now, so they too would have to divide their currency in the same way.

Otherwise a leather jacket in the US might be $1, but £100 in the UK.

I don't see a problem with that, that same leather jacket is 10,000 yen in Japan.

Re:100 to 1 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073109)

Are you seriously this stupid?

Re:100 to 1 (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073261)

Why would that matter in the slightest? We already have exchange rates.

Numerous countries have removed done such things in the past - it's a sure sign that hyper-inflation has kicked in and people are getting sick of having to carry several kilograms of paper currency in order to buy lunch.

Re:100 to 1 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073081)

3rd world monetary policy is that you? Also what would happen to all the cent's I hold in my bank account right now? I would lose all 98 cents! This is unacceptable. That could have been 98 hamburgers. See, I can still do Math! AMERICA FUCK YEAH!

Fighting inflation -- one penny at a time. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39072939)

I would NOT pick one up off the ground, they're worthless little pieces of trash. I throw pennies the hell away -- that's right, in the trash bin. Yeah, it costs me a few million times the counter-inflationary "benefit" I acheive, but the rest of you benefit for free, and I benefit by NOT HAVING FUCKING PENNIES CLUTTERING UP MY GODDAMN LIFE. You can thank me by telling your congressman to GET RID OF THE MOTHERFUCKING PENNIES -- if you don't, I'll assume you're a miserly, penny-pinching (literally) asshole.

Re:Fighting inflation -- one penny at a time. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073175)

Yep, pennies go in the trash. Fuck those things.

what's wrong with rounding (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39072941)

In most Euro-countries, prices are rounded to the nearest 5-cent number, 1- and 2-cent coins are quite rare. Why even bother producing coins that are worth more as a material than as a coin?

Re:what's wrong with rounding (4, Funny)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072979)

In most Euro-countries, prices are rounded to the nearest 5-cent number, 1- and 2-cent coins are quite rare. Why even bother producing coins that are worth more as a material than as a coin?

In most Euro-countries, people don't consider mathematical ability a sign of social awkwardness, as opposed to the U.S....

Re:what's wrong with rounding (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072989)

I don't even accept change back if it's less than 5 SEK (~0.56€, ~$0.75). Too much hassle to carry around coins.

Re:what's wrong with rounding (1)

oh2 (520684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073059)

Yes, in Sweden the smallest coin is 1 SEK these days, equivalent to about 15 cents. Exactly what can you buy for less than 15 cents ?

Re:what's wrong with rounding (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073003)

Cause this is America, fucker.

Re:what's wrong with rounding (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073047)

Actually, most Eurozone countries still have prices like €1.79 or €2.98. Only the total amount due gets rounded to the nearest 5 cents. I think most countries have stopped minting the 1 and 2 cent coins, but they remain legal tender.

Re:what's wrong with rounding (1)

griffjon (14945) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073053)

That brings up another interesting alternative - don't try and get rid of pennies by having banks collect then and not provide them out as change, but simply stop producing them.

Regardless, making nickles cheaper that 11 cents per to make seems to be ... well, kinda obvious?

Re:what's wrong with rounding (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073055)

You must not go to the same countries as me, I have a bunch of 1 and 2 euro cent coins that are utterly useless. I'd have to deliver hundreds to get one ice cream. Here in Norway our smallest coin (50 øre) is about 7 euro-cents or 9 US cents and they've considered taking that away too.

Re:what's wrong with rounding (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073213)

In the US we have machines that for a small fee (like seven or eight percent of the transaction) will take bucket loads of change, sort it, count it, and give you bills. Most people I know put all their change into a jar or vase or something and take it to the machines every few months or a year. My wife an had a huge jar of change that we'd been saving for a few years that we turned into like $200 or so when we moved last, paid for most of the ancillary expenses. Maybe if you hop across to a Euro based country they have something similar?

Re:what's wrong with rounding (1)

Ozeroc (1146595) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073121)

The Euro has 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, 1euro and 5 euro coins... Paper bills from there on up. The 1c and 2c coins are magnetic and I extract them from my change pile with a neodymium magnet... I work at a military installation and all the USD based commerce (BX/PX/Commisary) is done without pennies.

Re:what's wrong with rounding (2)

Ozeroc (1146595) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073129)

Derp... 2 euro coins and 5 euro bills.

Re:what's wrong with rounding (2)

k.a.f. (168896) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073231)

No, all countries that use the Euro have the same set of coins - including 1, 2, and 5 cent coins. IIRC, only the Netherlands and Finland have abandoned the smallest coins in practice. They mint only token amounts, but they still mint them.

Fatal flaw (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39072945)

If it costs 2 pennies to make 1 penny then you have destroyed a penny by making a penny.

Get rid of coins altogether (1)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072949)

Replace coinage with paper currency if you have to, but eliminate all the annoying pocket change.

Re:Get rid of coins altogether (1)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072977)

The "annoying pocket change" is the only real currency we still have. You'd be better off scarfing up nickels - as many as you can - while they are still composed of nickel. Think pre-1964 silver dimes/quarters for comparison.

Re:Get rid of coins altogether (3, Insightful)

pegasustonans (589396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073021)

The "annoying pocket change" is the only real currency we still have. You'd be better off scarfing up nickels - as many as you can - while they are still composed of nickel. Think pre-1964 silver dimes/quarters for comparison.

I'd rather just buy sheets of nickel or other metals with my debit card if I feel the need for it, which I don't.

I'm not much of a coin/metal collector.

Re:Get rid of coins altogether (5, Interesting)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073229)

I do this with pre-1982 pennies. [hiresteve.com] I have many rolls of them now, I drop all the pennies I get in change into a jar and every once in a while sort them, roll up the copper ones, and bring the zinc ones to the bank to get counted and deposited. It's not like it's a retirement fund or anything, but it takes just a few minutes every few weeks and my kids help me which is fun, so I figure why not?

Re:Get rid of coins altogether (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073127)

When my grandfather was young (early 1930's), a typical worker earned $2/day. That worker today earns $160-200/day. So in 1930, any transaction that was less than half a days pay was done in change, and the smallest unit was 1/200th of a days pay. Today that would be like having a smallest paper currency of $80-100 and a smallest coinage of 80cents or $1. Having coins that represent 1/20,000th of a days pay is ridiculous.

The problem with actual value of theoretical money (2)

windcask (1795642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072955)

Our money does not represent actual holdings of the treasury, rather a veritable mortgage on the holdings of the treasury. Why shouldn't our smaller units of currency be converted to paper to reflect this situation and keep costs down, rather than attempting to approximate the actual value of the materials used to produce the currency as we did during the era of the gold standard?

Re:The problem with actual value of theoretical mo (4, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073065)

Tangible money interacts with the human animal differently than abstract mathematical concepts.

Coins are the most tangible money, paper is more abstract, especially U.S. paper money that is all basically the same except for the numbers on it. Checks and credit cards are even more abstract - so much so that many people really can't handle them properly.

Back in the day when a quarter would actually buy something worthwhile, if you tossed a quarter to somebody, they got a different visceral reaction than if they saw a penny coming. Paper, too, caused a different reaction because it was all inherently more valuable than coin. A coin more naturally "feels" like something you can instinctively trade or equate with other tangible objects of value. It takes many years of playing "The Price is Right" before most people get that same relationship with abstract prices, and again, some never really do.

I don't think that a penny should cost $0.01 to produce, but I do think that there is real value in tangible coins that paper and credit cards lack.

Re:The problem with actual value of theoretical mo (1)

windcask (1795642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073239)

I don't think that a penny should cost $0.01 to produce, but I do think that there is real value in tangible coins that paper and credit cards lack.

Sure, I understand your point...but if your concern is holdings that won't wax and wane with the money markets, why not purchase commodities like gold or silver?

Re:The problem with actual value of theoretical mo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073189)

Because the paper costs more over the life of the currency. Paper money has to be re-printed every couple years. Coins stay in circulation for decades.

Pick up a penny, of course! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39072957)

Who wouldn't pick up money on the ground? Sure it might only be one cent, but it's still money.
Anyway, Australia did away with one cent and two cent pieces ages (like 20 years) ago. The coins are still legal tender, and prices are still given in cents. But at the till, when paying with cash, prices are rounded up or down (to the nearest 0 or 5).

I can't think of a single thing you could actually buy with one cent any more. I used to be able to buy certain lollies for a cent, but they've all gone up to five cents or more. Damned inflation.

Also, BITCOINS! BITCOINS BITCOINS! Deflation for the win.

Fuck the government, shoot the filth (police), and I've got a bullet with the president's name on it.

Re:Pick up a penny, of course! (1)

chromas (1085949) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073015)

I thought lollies were illegal in Australia.

Re:Pick up a penny, of course! (1)

griffjon (14945) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073095)

Way to drive home the stereotype that the only value for bitcoins is for anarchists and terrorists. Some of us would actually like to see a functional, non-fiat currency that doesn't raise the ire of governments such that they seek to shut it down.

Re:Pick up a penny, of course! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073237)

Bitcoins are a fiat currency. They only have value because people think they do.

Re:Pick up a penny, of course! (1)

Troyusrex (2446430) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073117)

I'd pick up a penny on the ground just like I often pick up any other trash, not for the monetary value but because it's litter. Non-biodegradable liter at that.

Monetary insanity (2, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072965)

Other great civilizations have done this and it always leads to ruin. The more you debase your currency, the less valuable the actual coins and other forms of currency become, the worse the devaluation gets. The only sane thing here to do is begin discussing plans to fundamentally bolster the foundation of the US dollar, not find ways to make producing it cheaper.

It's not like they're doing the common man any favors. Inflation hits the poor first and hits them hardest. It's a backdoor flat tax.

Re:Monetary insanity (4, Informative)

VMaN (164134) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073013)

That's only a valid point if the currency isn't a fiat currency.

A cent isn't worth a cent because of the copper content...

Re:Monetary insanity (1)

Joehonkie (665142) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073017)

What? In most of those societies, the value of the money was based on its metal content. That's not true of modern money in even the wildest fantasy.

Re:Monetary insanity (1)

Troyusrex (2446430) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073157)

Other great civilizations have done this and it always leads to ruin.

A thousand years from now the text books (or ebooks or brain implants or whatever they have then) will all point to 2012 and the changing of the metal content of pennies as root cause of the fall of the USA. Having learned their lesson they'll have golden pennies with a bullion value of $5 and a nominal value of $.01. Utopia will be achieved.

Get rid of them (5, Interesting)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072969)

Australia got rid of 1 and 2c pieces years ago and that didn't kill us at all.

That doesn't mean you people don't advertise things at 99 cents, just that you total up the bill and then round to the nearest 5 cents. Sometimes you win (all of 2 cents on a single bill) and sometimes you lose (again, all of 2 cents on a single bill).

We also ditched $1 and $2 paper currency for $1 and $2 coins. That was also a good move in getting rid of those ratty dollar bills. The US cold easily do the same thing as you already have $1 coins in circulation. About the only people who will notice a change are the strippers who will now have use their coin slots.

Re:Get rid of them (2)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073147)

Replying to my own post.

I forgot to say that the US informally has the mindset to ditch pennies. All those trays of pennies next to the cash registers in shops that allow you to "place a penny/take a penny" are grass roots effort to implement rounding of bills to the closest number.

You don't need to sell the public on this idea, they already do it!

Re:Get rid of them (2)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073223)

America has also got rid of pennies insofar as they are not accepted by coin-operated machines such as vending machines and parking meters. This has been true as far as I can remember (into the 1970s). It makes pennies especially useless. Dollar coins have never caught on for the same reason.

Get rid of pennies, nickels and quarters (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072971)

Get rid of pennies and nickels, and replace quarters with half dollar coins. All prices would then have one decimal place instead of two. There would be a lot less useless change floating around; many people discard anything smaller than a dime (or sometimes a quarter) anyway.

This would also make coin-based 3rd grade arithmetic problems much easier.

Re:Get rid of pennies, nickels and quarters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073033)

If you think through all of the human nature issues, tax issues, the rounding issue, and all of the corner cases, dropping the hundredths and eliminating the penny, nickle and quarter makes tremendous sense. We would probably have 10, 20 and 50 cent coins (1, 2 and 5 disme?). All of the difficulty comes from accounting for hundredths in units of five hundredths .

In Denmark (4, Informative)

VMaN (164134) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072985)

.. we got rid of the 25 øre in 2008. So now the lowest denomination is 50 øre (around 9 cents). Swedens lowest coin is 1 krone (around 15 cents).

We've been rounding since 1972, and it omes very natural.

Re:In Denmark (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073099)

We've been rounding since 1972, and it omes very natural.

I se wat u di ther.

"found" money (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39072993)

Actually, this could be a boon to sellers at brick-and-mortar sites. How? Because they could report the sale in terms of pennies to tax authorities, yet round up to the nearest nickel when asking for payment. And if the nickel was also eliminated, then it would be to a dime. As has been proven in the past on a number of occasions, if you take a few pennies here, and a few there, if this happens enough times, it adds up to real $$.

We did it in Holland (5, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39072995)

The Dutch Guilder (Gulden) had its cent removed years ago and when the Euro was introduced it wasn't long before it was agreed the Euro cent would no longer be used either. The latter is a bit more of a hassle since other countries haven't joined but in Holland it works pretty well.

Prices are till in cents but the deal is that if you pay in cash, it is rounded off. On the whole it balances out although if you are REALLY cheap, you pay eletronically when the rounding is in the shops favor and cash when it is in your favor. Items that you tend to buy on their own are already at a 5 center round off. So a cola would cost 95 instead of 99 cents.

It just makes sense, inflation makes prices go up but currency stays the same. So why keep amounts around that just don't make sense anymore? When the euro cent was briefly used everyone here quickly saw how fucking annoying they were, you soon ended up with a huge pile of worthless coins. You have to go pretty far back in time to remember being able to buy anything for a cent. I can barely remember being able to buy a single piece of gum for a nickle. Yes, that meant if you saved up 5 cents you had a piece of gum... but those days are gone. Move on.

It will be intresting to read the reactions on this subject from Americans. Americans are after all paying for these expensive pennies with their taxes and if there is anything an American hates it is paying taxes. So, what excuses will those people come up with to keep cent/penny around? Nostalgia?

In a way this shows the failure of democracy. This kind of move should be left to wise men, not people who feel nostalgic for a by gone era when you got a shiny penny from your granddad to buy candy. Maybe if democracy wasn't secret, then those 55% could be made to pay for the costs of making the pennies directly out of their own pocket. Wonder how many would still be nostalgic then?

Re:We did it in Holland (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073195)

This kind of move should be left to wise men

The kind of wise men that got us into this euro disaster, you mean?

But the penny continues being a penny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39072997)

many many times.

Read "Making Money" by Pterry.

Get rid of change altogether. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39072999)

Just get rid of change altogether. EUROS AND DOLLARS AND YEN ONLY.

penny (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073011)

Obama has reduced the value of the dollar. Might as well reduce the value of a penny...

How about 100 pennies = 1 dollar? (1, Funny)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073025)

True it's not a gold standard, but it is some kind of standard that locks the dollar into some real value, rather than have some bureaucrats in Washington be able to devalue the dollar for their financial agendas.

Its rather embarrassing when you think about it.

On the subject (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073039)

Would someone please back up my claim that when I came back from Tenerife once, having decided to blow all my spending money, all that remained in my pocket was:

1 single coin - One half of one cent of one Euro.

Everyone I've spoken to who's familiar with the Euro says that it never existed. Wish I'd kept the damn thing now. It was so worthless but I kept it until I'd got back to the UK (because it was funny to say, when my parents asked, that I had come back with money - and show them the most pathetically small denomination of Euro coin I could ever have found) and eventually threw it away.

Re:On the subject (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073089)

A half-cent euro coin never existed. Yours, a European

Re:On the subject (3, Informative)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073203)

You probably got a coin from some other currency, either by mistake because it looked similar to a cent coin, or just because it looked similar. Maybe it was a US half cent coin [wikipedia.org] . The Euro never had such a coin [wikipedia.org] .

Before all this - Arrest the Banksters (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073063)

Before any of this - Arrest the Banksters!!

fractions of a cent (2)

aztrailerpunk (1971174) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073075)

cash register software engineer to Mgmt:
"It's pretty brilliant. What it does is where there's a cash transaction, and the rounding are computed in the thousands a day in fractions of a dollar, which it usually rounds off. What this does is it takes those remainders and puts it into your account."
Mgmt to Goverment:
"Um, I'm gonna need you go ahead and come in tomorrow and pass this law. So if you could be here around nine, that would be great."

The Change of Change (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073079)

I suspect 53 percent of respondents simply have difficulty adjusting to things being different.

If it costs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073105)

2.4 cents to make a penny, would it make sense for me to go to my bank, empty out my bank account, convert all of my money into pennies, and then sell them for a 140% profit?

So instead of having, say, $20,000 in the bank, I could have $48,000. And then I could just keep repeating the process until I was filthy rich. Thank God that I failed all of my math classes, just like the people that are running the American government.

Baquack Obamailure is just the latest in a long stream of failures. It isn't his fault, though. When you elect someone JUST because they are black, not because they are qualified for the job, what do you expect to happen? Americans are dumb.

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073113)

The only reason we haven't done this yet is that the rounds used to produce pennies/nickels are made in the US. Meaning they are made in some Congressman's home district. So it comes up, the Congressman kills the bill, and then goes back home and gets to tell everyone that he saved their jobs.

Same thing will happen this time. Multiply this waste of money times every Representative/Senator, and you'll see a big reason why the total debt (publicly held and privately held) of the US now exceeds annual GDP.

In other words, Congress is stupid, the electorate is stupid for electing them, and there is no hope of any of this ever changing. We're doomed.

Other numismatic history... (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073115)

While fishing around in my pile of change a while back, I came across a quarter that didn't sound quite right. The sound of it clattering on the table seemed a little weird, and my ear picked up on it right away. On closer inspection I saw that it was stamped 1964. Some research revealed that the reason it sounded different was because it was actually 90% silver [wikipedia.org] . 1964 was the last year they did that. The following year they switched to a nickel-copper-nickel sandwich construction still in use today (visible when you look at the edge). By 1964 one quarter used more than $0.25 worth of silver. Today the silver content of that quarter is a bit more than $30 (prices fluctuate, but they are presently very high). I gather that these older silver quarters are a favorite of hobby jewelers, because it is fun to make jewelry from money. And, as Make magazine tells us [makezine.com] , sometimes it's cheaper to make something out of real money than it is to buy.

Out of Luck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073123)

Where would I find my luck if pennies go away. Nickels, dimes and quarters are not lucky. In this day and age of the wolrd comming to an end I need all the luck I can find!

A side note: If you had an endless line of pennies to pick up; you would make $60/hour bending down to pick up each one. So pick up that pennie even if it has it's Rear End pointing up in your face!

Signed
Pennie Pincher

PLASTIC (1)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073131)

PLASTIC!!!!!

USE PLASTIC!!!!!! Or find a way to metal coat plastic.

Hollow the coin out- like some countries do to use less metal.
There are lots of ways to lower the cost of making "useless" coins. If we even need them. I'd be fine with doing away with 1cent coins, 5cent coins, etc.

For those worried about rounding- it already happens? Your gallon of "Gas" is not $3.44 it is $3.4499 - and your total bill never comes to an even penny. Your sales tax rarely calculates out to an even penny. You've been rounding what you spend for years and didn't even know it. Rounding up and down for the 5cents will help you sometimes- hurt you other times. It'll even out fair overall though.

Re:PLASTIC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073267)

Finally, a use for all those spare buttons I get with clothing.

Historical precedent (3, Informative)

nicomede (1228020) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073137)

Along the history of the Roman Empire, the amount of gold in the Aureus coin consistently decreased as the need for more (cheap) money increased, to fund the military campaigns and buy peace from the barbarians. It could only last so long. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aureus [wikipedia.org]

Oh Slashdot, you disappointed me! (3, Funny)

dmbasso (1052166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073163)

I came here only for the penis jokes, but none so far!

Re:Oh Slashdot, you disappointed me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073277)

well thats for your 2 cents... LOL there I am now on the board!

Sounder Money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39073201)

The problem is not that the pennies are so expensive to make. The problem is that they are tied to a dollar that is so cheap. Cut spending and quit allowing the Federal Reserve to print so many of them. This causes the dollar to be worth less and less. And since they are defined to be 100 to a dollar, it's no wonder that eventually the dollar is NOT worth enough to equal 100 pennies anymore. Make the dollar worth something by not printing so many of them.

Money Issues (1)

lcam (848192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073221)

We could just eliminate coin and paper currency all together. We can get by just fine with plastic, checks and other promissory type notes.

new weight new meters (1)

sziring (2245650) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073245)

If the weight changes, it will only screw with the vending machines and parking meters. This of course will jack up the prices, as someone will incur the cost to modify the machines (the end users)! But hey, there will be more jobs created as a result.

I want my change back (1)

ebh (116526) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073269)

...from my purchase of *exactly* one gallon of gas.

And fractional cent gas (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073273)

When gas was in double digits it made sense to have a fractional cent. Now that's it's triple digits, why do we need 4 digits of precision to pump gas? I'm sure it can be shown that a gas pump cannot measure that accurately. It's always like $3.699. $3.70 is only .027% different.
Of course it's just fool the customer - most people will drive 5 miles to get $3.699 gas instead of $3.70 because "it's a penny cheaper!".

let's go a bit farther (1)

Cmdr-Absurd (780125) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073279)

Get rid of the penny and the one dollar bill.
We save money on printing the dollar bill and make room in cash register for a one dollar coin.
And the 2 dollar bill.

Little coins, a hassle (1)

mapuche (41699) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073281)

Every time I travel to the US, return with a bunch little coins. I can't even trade then at the airport. You need a lot to get a dollar. Just round to the nearest dime.

It's been done before here in the US (3, Informative)

Covalent (1001277) | more than 2 years ago | (#39073283)

We used to have half-penny coins (and others). They were done away with for the same reason the penny (and probably nickels and dimes, too) should be: they became essentially worthless.

But, since this process makes sense, it probably won't happen. This IS America, after all. We have a reputation to maintain.
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