Kenneth (kensmind) wrote in polloftheday,
Kenneth
kensmind
polloftheday

Pennies from Heaven or Hell?

This morning I saw a story on yahoo about a restaurant that declared itself a "penny-free zone." It said that it was too much hassle to deal with pennies so they were rounding off all of their prices to the nearest nickel and were discouraging the use of pennies.

Coincidentally, I heard a lecture yesterday from an economics professor who advocated for the abolition of the penny. His arguments were that it cost more to make the penny than it was worth (he estimated that the penny cost US taxpayers $600 million a year) and that if prices were rounded off to the nearest nickel, it would be a wash, and the most a consumer would lose on any transaction would be two cents.

Opponents of this position say that abolishing the penny would cause inflation because every retailer would round their prices up to the next highest nickel. They also argue that the cost of the penny is insignificant because even at $600 million a year, that amounts to (wait for it) one penny a day per US citizen.

So all this has me wondering if we'd be better off without the penny or not. What do you think?

Poll #1253166 The Penny

Should the penny be abolished?

Yes
30(32.6%)
No
51(55.4%)
I can't decide
11(12.0%)
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