Another rerun for you. I’m sharing this one with you largely because it’s kind of relevant today. This post was originally published in March 2007 and the penny was finally, officially declared on death row this month… February 2013. I’m guessing that the debate surrounding its demise was finally tipped in the favour of discontinuance when some important government official stumbled across my old blog post. “Steve said that he wouldn’t waste his time on the penny, so let’s abolish. But let’s be sure to secure our figures of speech. Remember, a penny a day keeps the doctor away!” Enjoy.
People complain that they are useless, you can’t buy anything with them, they cost too much to manufacture. Their value is practically worthless. You can’t even buy a candy with a penny anymore. But… intentionally omit giving someone their pennies in their coffee change and they get pissed off, I can guarantee you. A Tim’s coffee comes to $1.24 and change from a toonie is 76 cents. Not 75 cents. 76. You wanna tick someone off, keep that penny.
I don’t place much value in pennies. My litmus test for the value of a coin is whether or not I would bend to pick one up off the ground. Depending on the situation or social scenario, I might pass over a nickel or a dime, rarely a quarter, and almost never a loonie or toonie. However, I can honestly say that I would never creak my spinal cord for the sake of a penny.
This doesn’t mean, however, that I don’t care about pennies, or the value they represent. Removing pennies from circulation would effectively increase the cost of everything we buy. My paranoid mind tells me that every price would be rounded up to the nearest nickel, not down. The pennies add up. Not just for corporate profit, but for social benefit. Many charities count on the value of the collected penny to support their causes.
… not to mention the figures of speech we would have to change. A penny for your thoughts, penny wise and pound foolish, in for a penny in for a pound, in like a penny out like a lamb, lucky penny, a penny saved is a penny earned, why did the penny cross the road, pennies from heaven, two pennies to rub together, happier than a pig in pennies, lucky penny, penny lane, that costs a pretty penny, penny loafers, turn an honest penny, not one red cent, and hey mister can you spare a penny. These phrases make absolutely no sense when penny is replaced with nickel. Uhm… well… maybe some of them do.
My two cents… what do you think?