Death Of The Penny Essay

3784 words - 16 pages


The United States has experienced several problems with the use of the one cent coin, the penny. A small value coin almost worthless to the world of goods, but rings up a price when producing one. It costs twice as much as itself to make, and four billion of them are created a year. The US government dances around this problem and should have eliminate them back in 2006 when people were melting the copper and selling it for profit. This paper states several topics of why the penny only causes harm to US citizens and the economy. The obvious solution to fix a problem like this, simply abolish the penny as US currency, and round all cash transactions to the nearest fifth cent.

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The US uses the one cent coin as a system of exchanging goods for money, but today one cent is a small portion of what a good could cost. America has gone through inflation for the past couple of years, even more so since the penny was a useful coin, the US Should eliminate the penny as legal tender and round all prices of goods to the nearest fifth cent.

The penny itself has come a long way since the time of its birth. The one cent coin we know of today isn’t much like the ones from years ago. The first pennies to be pressed were in 1787 only eleven years after America declared independence on Britain. Ben Franklin established the first design for the United States one cent coin, in 1793, made of one-hundred percent pure copper. Fifty years later the old penny design got tossed for a new one the, Indian cent, also made of one-hundred percent copper until; 1864 when the price of copper started to rise, a touch of zinc, about five percent of the total weight, earned its place in the little coin. (History of the Penny). The Lincoln penny we see today wasn’t pressed until 1909 still using zinc and copper to produce it. The US entered World War II in 1942 after the bombing at Pearl Harbor. Much of the equipment used for the war needed copper, in able to obtain more copper for the weapons and machines, Mints started to press steel pennies in 1943 to save more copper. After the war the copper and zinc penny was brought back, but not until 1959 the penny we know of today with Lincoln on the front and the memorial on the back. The penny hasn’t changed its features besides the ones honoring the birth date of Abe Lincoln and the union shield penny of 2010. In the 80’s the US noticed the price of copper was growing, becoming more valuable, a penny only costs one cent but soon it started to cost more than a cent to make. In 1983 the penny’s copper and zinc was change from ninety-five percent copper and five percent zinc to, ninety seven and a half percent zinc and two and half percent copper, only a thin coat copper to cover the zinc body. Zinc is also used because of its extremely cheap price, but copper isn’t that way, the price of copper is rising and increases a small amount every day (Zinc Prices). About five years ago the price to make one penny was a little over one cent, but based on the US Mint report for 2011 it costs over two cents to make a penny that only has a value of one cent (2011 Annual United States Mint Report). The US Mint also states that around 2.3 billion pennies were pressed last year at a price of almost 2.5 cents. The government doesn’t just make or magically have money, they earn money from us, the tax payers, and all are money from paying taxes goes into the cycle of making money for, us again, but when we pay and extra cent and a half for the money we are going to receive, doesn’t seem like a deal, sounds like we the tax payers are being ripped off. The US has been wasting money minting pennies for decades; there...

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