Get Rid of All Pennies: Why Should We?


Mia Lin

The penny is absolutely useless. There is no need for it to be around. So it is time for them to be extinct.

Jacob Davidson, Staff Writer

The penny is absolutely useless. There is no need for it to be around. So it is time for them to be extinct.

Let’s start with the history of the penny. The penny was made as an exact currency in 1787. According to CGP Grey, the copper penny started losing value as copper became more high-priced. From that, people started melting pennies and hardening the copper and selling it for profit. That made a law where destroying US currency is illegal in 1989. 

Now for some math. According to CGP Grey: the penny is 5 percent copper and 95 percent zinc metal. This makes the penny a zinc coin with a copper shell, so it is actually more appropriate to call it a zinc coin. According to Wikipedia, a penny weighs 2.5 grams. There is about 0.2 grams of copper on a single penny. That means most of the penny, or 2.3 grams, is zinc metal. It may seem cheap to produce a penny, but you are wrong. By the 2010s, it took more than two cents to make one penny.  For every penny the U.S. mint produces, the government is losing money and more going towards copper and zinc mines. It is the people who are paying for this with higher taxes.

Finally, it is time for basic economic knowledge. According to CGP Greys penny video, back in the 1800s, everything, including food, water, and basic necessities were less expensive and some items only cost a few cents. As prices rose, you needed pennies for exact change. According to numerous articles, currently, businesses like McDonalds or Walmart round every price to the nearest 5 cents. That means that nickels have replaced pennies.

Now you might be convinced that pennies are useless and if we stop making pennies there will be more money for the government and less tax prices. So that means getting rid of pennies means it is a benefit for everybody. So that means you should stop using pennies.