### Pennies are Money

Headline from the Arizona Republic's "Plugged In" blog on 19 June 2006.

```   Is it time for the U.S. to dump the penny?

[...]

"Kolbe argued that the 1-cent piece featuring
President Abraham Lincoln's visage has outlived
its usefulness."

[...]
```

On 22 April 2006, we created GDT::BAB:: Zinc Prices and the Value of a Penny and learned that because of rising zinc prices it cost more than a penny to make (i.e. mint) a penny. [Pennies are mostly zinc with a copper coating.]

GDT posted a penny related "comment" to the Repblic's blog and it prompted somebody else to post a comment.

```   Comment from: Gerald8100

06/19/06 @ 16:27
"There are many people who ignore pennies when
they shouldn't be ignoring pennies. Pennies are
money and they add up. I'd be more than happy if
every American gifted me a penny."

Comment from: Desert4628

06/19/06 @ 21:17
"Until early last year, I've been saving pennies for
ten years. Finally, I took them to the change machine
at my local supermarket. I had \$60 in pennies!"
```

As of around `10:17am MST` on `20 June 2006`, the U.S. population approximated `299,022,744 people`.

There was also the following penny related posting that contained some math.

```   Comment from: a1ac4

06/19/06 @ 15:22
"As for it being the 'base' of our monetary system:
Says who? We essentially consider the dollar as our
base, and the penny is only 1/100th of a dollar. If
we are going to continue to price gasoline in thousandths
of a dollar, maybe we should have a coin for it also,
just to be consistent. Ridiculous, no?"
```
##### Exercises
1. If "Gerald8100" was gifted a penny from every U.S. person (based on the population figure given on 20 June 2006), he would receive `\$_________________`.

2. It took "Desert4628" ten years to save `\$60` worth of pennies. That is `________ pennies per year`.

3. No or Yes. "alac4" was correct when they wrote "the penny is only 1/100th of a dollar." [ignore the word "only"]

##### Update::2006.07.09

The "Nation" section of the Sunday, 9 July 2006, Arizona Republic (page A22) had an article titled "A penny saved is ... just about worthless." The article included a picture of a man who "traded in `4.5 tons` of the coins recently for more than `\$13,000` in greenbacks." The man collected pennies for `four decades`.

##### Exercises
1. The penny collector collected pennies for approximately `_________ years`.

2. `\$13,000` equals `_______ x 106 pennies`

3. The penny collector's pennies weighed about `____________ pounds`.

##### Update::2006.07.13

The Arizona Republic editorialized about the penny and they advocated keeping it. The primary justification for "killing" the penny is that is cost more than a penny to make a penny, but these days it currently costs more than nickel to make a nickel.

##### Update::2006.07.19

Representative Jim Kolbe of Arizona introduced legislation that would "require all cash transactions to be rounded to the nearest five cents, effectively eliminating the penny." Kolbe's bill would "also fold the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the U.S. Mint into the Federal Reserve, mandate a study on alternative coin compositions and create a process to replace the dollar bill with a \$1 coin."

As of this update, it cost about `1.23 cents` to produce a penny. Note: the penny is 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper.

##### Update::2006.07.20

The following was copied from the Wall Street Journal and pasted into the Arizona's "Plugged In" blog.

```   "Not to be melodramatic, but eliminating the penny
would wave a symbolic white flag before the forces
of inflation. Taking coins out of circulation is an
act that one associates with nations like Argentina,
Bolivia and Mexico that periodically degrade their
peso currencies and create hyperinflation. Moreover,
the market works. If American consumers don't find
value in using pennies, they are free to conduct
their transactions without them â drop the change
in the jar for Jerry's Kids. It turns out that one
social value of pennies is that they help charities
collect millions of dollars in donations each year
- yes, one red cent at a time."
```

The Wall Street Journal agrees with the title for this BAB: "Pennies are money."

##### Update::2007.01.28

Pennies were the topic of another AzCentral.com "Plugged In" blog posting. The blogger believes pennies should go away for good. Typically, the topic of pennies means math and this blog posting was no exception.

```   "I vividly recall going to many movies with ten pennies;
pennies acquired by gathering empty milk bottles -- that's
right, milk bottles -- four bottles turned in at the grocery
store at three cents per, garnered 12 cents, a dime for the
movie and 2 cents for candy, often two Tootsie Rolls."
[source: AzCentral.com "Plugged In" by Bob Amento on 1/27/2007]
```

AzCentral.com:: A Penny Here; A Penny There---Pennies Everwhere

Creator: Gerald D. Thurman [gthurman@gmail.com]
Created: 20 June 2006