Thursday, July 06, 2006

On pennies and yuppie food stamps

A recent acknowledgement from the U.S. Mint that rising metal costs now mean it's more expensive to make a penny (manufacturing cost: about 1.2 cents) that to buy one have sparked a fresh wave of news articles about the imperiled penny and editorials calling for its death.

I don't have strong feelings either way on the fate of the penny. I do actually drag them around in my wallet and spend them, and don't see much about the weight of my wallet or my spending habits changing if they get exterminated. On a practical note, my Aussie partner David notes that when Australia off'd its pennies, no one really felt the loss. Cash transactions are rounded to the nearest five cents, and credit transactions continued to be calculated as they are now.

In other money matters, the recent wave of massive storms in the Northeast has rendered the $20 artistically inaccurate. The Washington Post reports that one of the storms' fatalities was one of the two elm trees pictured on the back of the bill, framing the White House. Frame your $20s and pennies now -- they're becomming historical artifacts!