In 2011, the production cost of a penny was 2.4 cents per coin. With nearly 5 billion pennies minted that year, the U.S. spent almost $120 million to produce less than $50 million of circulating currency.
In addition, inflation has eaten away at the value of the penny to such a degree that it no longer facilitates commerce. In other words, the penny cannot buy anything (not even a penny)!
The Department of Defense abolished the use of pennies at overseas military bases more than 30 years ago. If the military deemed the coins "too heavy and not cost-effective to ship," the same logic could be used in the States, as five pennies weigh 12.5 grams compared to a 5-gram nickel.
The U.S. has already phased out a coin with no ill effects. The Mint stopped producing the half cent in 1857, when it was worth what a dime is worth today, and there was no public outrage or damaging economic effects.
For those concerned that Abraham Lincoln will be forgotten, he and his memorial are firmly ensconced on the $5 bill, which is not going anywhere. At a cost of 8.5 cents per note, the $5 bill is both conducive to commerce and cost-effective.
The penny served us well for a while, but it is time to retire this obsolete unit of currency.
This petition closed over 1 year ago
The indirect cost to all Americans of the penny adds up. Aside from the hundreds of millions of tax dollars wasted producing them, handling them costs stores further hundreds of millions of...
The indirect cost to all Americans of the penny adds up. Aside from the hundreds of millions of tax dollars wasted producing them, handling them costs stores further hundreds of millions of dollars (pushing up prices), and their handling increases wait times inside stores.
... and they're just a hassle to deal with. Countries that have abolished them saw no inflationary effect; the '$1.99' psychological effect actually means that many goods are re-priced cheaper when pennies are abolished ($1.99 goods drop to $1.95).