The responses above regarding the cost of producing pennies have merit – it costs more than 1 cent to mint a penny, so therefore it seems like the U.S. government is literally throwing money away by making its own currency.
But consider an economy without pennies. Would you prefer to round up to the nearest nickel on every cash transaction you make? Businesses certainly won’t help you out by lowering prices such that they are evenly divided by five cents – if anything, prices will be adjusted upwards, or you’ll just have to make up the difference by rounding up. This all may seem silly to individual consumers, because it’s only a couple of cents a day. But eliminating the lowest denomination of our currency, which has stood as such for 150 years, could end up being a nightmare for businesses trying to balance the thousands and millions of annual transactions in their accounts.
Eliminating the penny may make sense because it would save energy and materials at the U.S. mint. But as long as many consumers still handle pennies in their daily lives, eliminating the coin before it truly loses its use is not healthy for the economy.
I think we could stand to live without actual pennies. However, it may cause problems with the economy. Therefore, it’s hard to say. Just getting rid of pennies may cause way too many economic problems, but for practical purposes, they should probably go.
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