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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. 04 Jul '12 10:39 / 2 edits
    The US penny and nickel (1-cent and 5-cent pieces) apparently cost more to produce than their face value.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18586854

    Surely, withdrawing the penny, or even both of these coins, from circulation is a no-brainer. Small purchases could be rounded to the nearest ten cents if paid in cash; legislation could mandate that the rounding be done up or down to the closest figure, so neither consumers nor businesses would be out of pocket (alternatively, like one business cited in the above article, shops could round in the customer's favour, since this is offset anyway by the time staff waste counting small change). If cards were used, the exact sum could still be charged.

    Alternatives: reducing the size of small coins (I was amazed to discover on a recent trip to New York that a nickel is physically bigger than a dime), or switching to cheaper metals.

    Any thoughts?
  2. 04 Jul '12 11:04
    Yeah, just get rid of 'em.
  3. 04 Jul '12 11:28
    Yes please, I hate the little copper coins.
  4. Subscriber Kewpie
    since 1-Feb-07
    04 Jul '12 14:00 / 1 edit
    The $A is approximately equal in value to the $US. We dumped our 1c and 2c 20 years ago without any problems and are currently considering getting rid of the 5c. All prices still operate exactly as they did, most Australians use cards rather than cash so aren't affected anyway. If we use cash at a store, the register rounds up or down according to the govt. rules and bookkeeping software has no problem dealing with a couple of cents worth of "rounding adjustments" when the banked amount differs from the recorded amount.

    Our current smallest coin, the 5c, is considered a nuisance by most people, we had no problems with the departure of the 1c and 2c, so why not? It won't buy anything except in multiples, even kids' lollies cost 10c these days.

    As you say, a no-brainer.
  5. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    04 Jul '12 15:28
    The real question is whether the $1 bill should be withdrawn and replaced with a $1 coin. Canada, for example, has done just that, with the $1 and $2 dollar bills being withdrawn in favor of $1 and $2 coins.
  6. 04 Jul '12 15:33
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    The US penny and nickel (1-cent and 5-cent pieces) apparently cost more to produce than their face value.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18586854

    Surely, withdrawing the penny, or even both of these coins, from circulation is a no-brainer. Small purchases could be rounded to the nearest ten cents if paid in cash; legislation could mandate that th ...[text shortened]... at a nickel is physically bigger than a dime), or switching to cheaper metals.

    Any thoughts?
    Since when is government waste a concern?
  7. 04 Jul '12 15:49 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The real question is whether the $1 bill should be withdrawn and replaced with a $1 coin. Canada, for example, has done just that, with the $1 and $2 dollar bills being withdrawn in favor of $1 and $2 coins.
    Certainly, I found it pretty incongruous handing over multiple dollar bills for cups of coffee and hot dogs! There's scarcely another developed country in the world that has notes for so low a denomination as the dollar. Here in Britain our smallest note is worth about seven dollars, and the smallest euro note is six dollars. Countries that depend on notes for low denominations are usually economic basket cases like Belarus (oops - hope the Tea Party isn't reading this - might give them campaign ammunition!).
  8. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    04 Jul '12 16:01 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    Certainly, I found it pretty incongruous handing over multiple dollar bills for cups of coffee and hot dogs! There's scarcely another developed country in the world that has notes for so low a denomination as the dollar. Here in Britain our smallest note is worth about seven dollars, and the smallest euro note is six dollars. Countries that depend on notes ...[text shortened]... Belarus (oops - hope the Tea Party isn't reading this - might give them campaign ammunition!).
    I find it much easier to carry around bills in my wallet than change in my pocket. They're lighter, take up less space and don't fall out of your pocket when you lie down on the couch for a few minutes or in between the car cushions.

    When I get loose change in a store the first thing I look for is a tip jar or charity plate to dump it (certainly for all change less than a quarter).

    They have dollar coins, but I have no interest in using them. I'd much rather use paper (or cotton, actually).

    Personally, I'd certainly get rid of the penny and the nickel... and I wouldn't recommend the dime get too comfortable either.
  9. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    04 Jul '12 16:43
    http://www.usmint.gov/downloads/about/annual_report/2011AnnualReport.pdf

    "Minting and issuing the penny and nickel denominations resulted in a loss of approximately $116.7 million in FY 2011, the sixth consecutive year the penny and nickel were produced at a loss."

    ___

    Yes, the penny and the nickel should go. I'm not as sold on the dollar coin, but I lean towards substituting it in for the dollar bill.
  10. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    04 Jul '12 16:49
    Originally posted by sh76
    I find it much easier to carry around bills in my wallet than change in my pocket. They're lighter, take up less space and don't fall out of your pocket when you lie down on the couch for a few minutes or in between the car cushions.

    When I get loose change in a store the first thing I look for is a tip jar or charity plate to dump it (certainly for all chan ...[text shortened]... f the penny and the nickel... and I wouldn't recommend the dime get too comfortable either.
    Paper seems to be on the way out as well, with more and more countries adopting polymer banknotes.
  11. Standard member telerion
    True X X Xian
    04 Jul '12 18:10
    Originally posted by whodey
    Since when is government waste a concern?
    The government has looked into it, but it hasn't made it to enactment.

    A long time ago, I worked as a bank teller. About that time, the Sacajawea dollar coins were circulating. I don't know how many times I heard customers complain about them.

    "They're ugly."
    "They look like quarters."
    "Is this real money?"

    Eventually, I just stopped using them unless people asked for them specifically (usually collectors).

    As for the OP, yeah, I think it would make sense to eliminate nickels and pennies. Dollar bills (for coins) as well.
  12. 04 Jul '12 18:44
    The melt value of coins through the years is a good example of how the Federal Reserve System has eroded the value of USA currency. I would be against eliminating coins if the metal value was not being changed to less valuable metals.

    http://www.coinflation.com/

    I suggest that all coins made with less valuable metals have the difference in value printed on them since the change in metal content. That way people can see how much they are being ripped off by the FRS through the years.

    I own junk silver coins (quarters). If you offered to buy them at 25 cents apiece I would laugh at you.
    http://junksilvercoins.com/
  13. 04 Jul '12 19:04
    Originally posted by telerion
    The government has looked into it, but it hasn't made it to enactment.

    A long time ago, I worked as a bank teller. About that time, the Sacajawea dollar coins were circulating. I don't know how many times I heard customers complain about them.

    "They're ugly."
    "They look like quarters."
    "Is this real money?"

    Eventually, I just stopped using th ...[text shortened]... t would make sense to eliminate nickels and pennies. Dollar bills (for coins) as well.
    The government has looked into a lot of things, but as usual, is too busy doing other important things other than cutting costs.
  14. 04 Jul '12 19:17
    Originally posted by Teinosuke
    The US penny and nickel (1-cent and 5-cent pieces) apparently cost more to produce than their face value.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18586854

    Surely, withdrawing the penny, or even both of these coins, from circulation is a no-brainer. Small purchases could be rounded to the nearest ten cents if paid in cash; legislation could mandate that th ...[text shortened]... at a nickel is physically bigger than a dime), or switching to cheaper metals.

    Any thoughts?
    It occurs to me that this issue is directly related to inflation, at least, I remember 5 cent chocolate bars. Future (US and similarly denominated) generations will talk about getting rid of the quarter, the half-dollar (who sees them now?) the dollar, etc. Are there any viable alternatives or at least, ways to slow the process? Or is it just fine?
  15. 04 Jul '12 22:39
    Originally posted by telerion
    A long time ago, I worked as a bank teller. About that time, the Sacajawea dollar coins were circulating. I don't know how many times I heard customers complain about them.

    As for the OP, yeah, I think it would make sense to eliminate nickels and pennies. Dollar bills (for coins) as well.
    I once tried to spend a dollar coin in Palau, an independent country, but one where US currency is the only legal tender. No one there had ever seen one before. It proved quite difficult get rid of it.

    Of course, if the US government was actually to phase out the dollar bill, within a few years most people would get used to the replacement, just as we did when our once-treasured pound note gave way to coins.

    There would again be substantial savings involved:

    http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-281

    "According to GAO's analysis, replacing the $1 note with a $1 coin could save the government approximately $5.5 billion over 30 years. This would amount to an average yearly discounted net benefit--that is, the present value of future net benefits--of about $184 million."