MT: The Passing of the Penny

MT: The Passing of the Penny

Post by AN » Fri, 25 Jun 1999 04:00:00



                                                      Transcript No. 1756
                                                      June 28, 1999

                         THE PASSING OF THE PENNY
                              By Ken Bressett

    Government mints keep cranking out between nine and fif*** billion
one-cent coins each year.  And the public somehow manages to hoard, lose or
destroy most of them.

    There is a serious group of people who want pennies retired to history,
just like the half cent that went out of existence in 1857.  Rounding
prices off to the nearest five cents, they believe, would eventually even
out the few cents' difference.

    Those who argue to retain the cent say that purchasers will be cheated
out of hundreds of dollars when merchants raise their prices to the nearest
even amount.  While the debate goes on, the government is conducting
studies.

    Proof of a growing acceptance of the elimination of one-cent coins is
seen every day at cash registers.  Cents are left in a dish on the sales
counter for customers to use or leave as they wish without having to carry
a pocket full of coppers to make change.

    Are pennies really on their way out in this country?  The most accurate
answer may not be in the government poll, but in a recent study of people's
habits in picking up stray cents they find on the street.  Here is what a
recent survey had to say:

    Seventy-five percent of all Americans will stop and pick up a penny on
the street.  There is a difference between age groups, however; 90 percent
of those surveyed over the age of 65 said they would pick one up.  Among
18-34 year-olds, the percentage dropped to 67 percent.

    There is no question about people having firm opinions about the lowly
cent.  If the majority opinion has its way we will continue to have pennies
in our pockets for many years to come.

    This has been "Money Talks."  Today's program was written by Kenneth
Bressett.  "Money Talks" is produced and underwritten by the American
Numismatic Association in Colorado Springs, America's coin club for over a
century.  Take a tour of ANA's virtual Money Museum on the web at
www.money.org. Copyright 1999 ANA

 
 
 

MT: The Passing of the Penny

Post by Joe Fisch » Sat, 26 Jun 1999 04:00:00


:                                                       Transcript No. 1756
:                                                       June 28, 1999

:                          THE PASSING OF THE PENNY
:                               By Ken Bressett

:     Government mints keep cranking out between nine and fif*** billion
: one-cent coins each year.  And the public somehow manages to hoard, lose or
: destroy most of them.

:     There is a serious group of people who want pennies retired to history,

       If  anybody  knows any of this group of people,
call the guys in the white jackets.

Joe Fischer

 
 
 

MT: The Passing of the Penny

Post by Padraic Bro » Sun, 27 Jun 1999 04:00:00


: :                                                       Transcript No. 1756
: :                                                       June 28, 1999

: :                          THE PASSING OF THE PENNY
: :                               By Ken Bressett

: :     Government mints keep cranking out between nine and fif*** billion
: : one-cent coins each year.  And the public somehow manages to hoard, lose or
: : destroy most of them.

: :     There is a serious group of people who want pennies retired to history,

:        If  anybody  knows any of this group of people,
: call the guys in the white jackets.

Well, several well thought out threads of this sort have been posted to
this group in the past.  So send the funny-farm coppers right here to RCC.
:)

Padraic Brown.

: Joe Fischer

 
 
 

MT: The Passing of the Penny

Post by Carl Ta » Tue, 29 Jun 1999 04:00:00


Quote:

>                                                      Transcript No. 1756
>                                                      June 28, 1999

>                         THE PASSING OF THE PENNY
>                              By Ken Bressett

>    Government mints keep cranking out between nine and fif*** billion
>one-cent coins each year.  And the public somehow manages to hoard, lose or
>destroy most of them.

Evidence that they don't circulate and are treated basically as
pocket-clogging junk; tossed in a jar somewhere for later conversion
to "real" money when enough of them have accumulated.

Quote:
>    There is a serious group of people who want pennies retired to history,
>just like the half cent that went out of existence in 1857.  Rounding
>prices off to the nearest five cents, they believe, would eventually even
>out the few cents' difference.

Not *prices* but *totals* would be rounded.  Gasoline is already priced
in tenths of a cent; NYC sales tax is 8.25%.  No one is screaming for
1/10-cent or quarter-cent pieces -- though if they already existed,
you can bet there would be people claiming they were invaluable and
protesting their elimination.

Quote:
>    Those who argue to retain the cent say that purchasers will be cheated
>out of hundreds of dollars when merchants raise their prices to the nearest
>even amount.

Nonsense; see the paragraphs above and below.  Any merchant who tried
such a tactic would be laughed out of business since there's no need
to change prices at all.

Quote:
>    Proof of a growing acceptance of the elimination of one-cent coins is
>seen every day at cash registers.  Cents are left in a dish on the sales
>counter for customers to use or leave as they wish without having to carry
>a pocket full of coppers to make change.

Exactly. The one-cent coin has already met a de facto death, and
without merchants raising all their prices to the next-higher nickel.

Quote:
>    Are pennies really on their way out in this country?  The most accurate
>answer may not be in the government poll, but in a recent study of people's
>habits in picking up stray cents they find on the street.  

... and equally compelling majorities undoubtedly want to keep the
paper one-dollar bill.  Many of these same people believe that the
horoscope they read in the morning paper accurately predicts their
future, and a good portion of them (about a third, last I read) are
unsure of whether the earth revolves around the sun or vice versa.

In short, deciding the fate of the penny based on the opinions of
people in the street is a painfully misguided idea.

Quote:
>    There is no question about people having firm opinions about the lowly
>cent.  If the majority opinion has its way we will continue to have pennies
>in our pockets for many years to come.

Not me -- I essentially stopped using them a couple of years ago.
I estimate this costs me (perhaps) $10 a year -- and that's with
all rounding done in the merchant's favor.

--
Carl Tait                 IBM T. J. Watson Research Center