Next time someone offers to pay a penny for your thoughts you can tell them to lump it because by this fall the penny will be out of circulation here in Canada. It has lost 95% of its value and it costs 1.5 cents to make the copper coin …!
U.S. advocacy group called Citizens for Retiring the Penny has called Canada a trailblazer for taking the bold step of eliminating the coin. The same praise came from David Owen who wrote a piece in 2008 in the New Yorker, “Why do pennies exist?” Owen says Canada has come out early on a number of fronts including doing away with the bothersome one-dollar and two-dollar currency notes.
In the US several attempts to do away with the penny have been unsuccessful – one, because Americans have an inordinate passion for historical artifacts and two, they are sentimentally attached to the penny. Oh, and the zinc and nickel lobbies in America have fought hard to save the penny along with an advocacy group, Americans for Common Cents. All in all, doing away with the penny is a political hot potato in the US.
In recent years, Canada’s Royal Mint has been forced to increase production of the penny as most Canadians prefer not to “jingle”. Australia and New Zealand are already two penniless… errr, penny-free countries and it seems to be working out fine for them!
Will you be sorry to see the penny go? I’ll give a nickel for your thoughts …