Friday, May 4, 2012

The Last Penny

They minted the last penny today here in Canada. 
They say it's because it currently costs 1.5 cents to make one.  Too many people keep them in jars and they have to make more.  Did you know pennies aren't made of coppery any more? They're actually made of zinc.  Whatever excuse you might believe, it's a darned shame.

We're not the first country to do it.  New Zealand, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden - they've all stopped using pennies as currency.  When I visited Australia back in 2006, they had already done away with them way back in 1992.  A gentleman I met there gave me this little copper bucket he makes out of the old pennies.

Businesses will just round prices up or down.  I'm guessing the majority will round up, what do you think?  (Apparently retailers think it's a nuisance to count out change.  Personally, I find it sad when someone can't figure out how much change to give me because the cash register didn't tell them how much.  A teenager actually pulled out a calculator the other day to figure it out - WTF??!?!)  Although it will hopefully do away with the 99 cent advertising gimmick. For years, advertising people have been pretending that $9.99 is somehow a much better deal than $10.00.  Do people actually fall for this?

It all seems rather sad to me. I can still remember buying penny candy when I was a kid.  (Bazooka bubble gum, for example.  Chewy pink gum wrapped in a plastic paper comic.)  What will happen to those little dishes beside cash registers, for when you have an extra penny or when you need one?  People say, "A penny for your thoughts" or "a penny saved is a penny earned."  What will they say now?

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