Saturday, May 13, 2006

Maybe we should put those pennies back in circulation

I am one of those folks who will stoop down to pick up a penny on the sidewalk. For the most part, I am also the type who empties his pockets of change. Well, recently, Ruchira Paul, of the blog Accidental Blogger, had a little piece reminding us that we probably should put those pennies back in circulation. You see, making a penny is not just worth a penny. It actually costs the U.S. Mint more than a penny to make one. Not to mention that although they are copper pennies, the actual copper content in them is pretty low. It is a brief post, but it makes for interesting reading and food for thought. For one, I have heard the argument that we should just get rid of pennies. I mean, what the heck can you buy with a penny? Pretty much nothing. However, here is the catch. Those businesses who use the gimmick of .99 pricing. You know the ones. Instead of $10.00, they price it at $9.99 to try to fool you into thinking it's under ten bucks. Are you fooled? I am not. Add to this the fact of sales taxes that usually make for an uneven price total anyways, and you need those pennies, or at least businesses do in order to make change when you pay with a $20 dollar bill for that $9.99 plus tax item.

As for my change, I usually keep it in a piggy bank (along with other coins), and after a while I will empty the little piggy, roll them up, and take them to my bank and deposit them. It's kind of a silly little ritual in a way, but it does put a little away now and then. I would never use one of those counting machines; you lose money on that. My wife usually keeps her change, until she gets short on cash and then the coins come out. I will admit, I may cringe a little when she goes to pay for something in change, but hey, cash is cash. I like the idea of taking mine to the bank because I know they will eventually circulate. So folks, some food for thought. What are you doing with your pennies?

On an aside note, Ruchira Paul linked to an article out of the Houston Chronicle, but the article has gone to the archive by now. I tried finding it on Lexis-Nexis (I have access via my campus), but I don't think I got it. However, there is one article on Lexis-Nexis dated for April 30, 2006 that deals with the story, which makes me wonder if the date got changed along the way somehow (known to happen from edition to edition). If interested, the article's title is "Heavy Thoughts on Metals" by Loren Steffy. It does make for good reading and adds to the discussion. To get it, always remember you can ask for help at your local public library.


Ruchira Paul said...

Hi Angel,
Thanks for the link!

Midway through blogging I realized that Houston Chronicle "drops" its stories from the website after a certain amount of time. The link then does not open to the relevant story. After discovering that I started copying most of the story within the post. It is a bit of a drag but better than a disappearing link. On the penny post, what you see in my article was mostly what was in the paper.

Thanks for reading.

Angel, librarian and educator said...

Ruchira: Thanks for stopping by. Yes, newspapers tend to that, drop the story after a while, which boils to putting it behind their archival wall. I have been reluctant to copy parts of stories when I post concerned over how much can be fair use. However, I have seen other bloggers do it, and it seems to work. May be food for thought. Best, and keep on blogging.