DATELINE CNN NATIONAL NEWS:
The Canadian govern-mint is very seriously considering doing away with the penny. The lowest common denominator will become the nickel. Their rationale is really quite simple: It costs them one and a half cents to produce their penny! Put another way – if they turned all their national wealth and debt into pennies, they would be worse off than we are. Yes – for those of you who are blissfully unaware of our pauper status, the Canadians are much more solvent financially than us.
The story continues even grimmer. It costs the United States government two and a half cents to produce our coin! And we are not seriously considering following suit – irrational and simpleton.
I got the inside scoop about 15 years ago. I was taking Adobe Photoshop I and II at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) Graphic Arts summer course offerings. It was for work at Kodak (RIP). Several of the students had flown in from the Washington, D.C. Mint for the course. I was initially perplexed, but then realized they are of course a giant printing house!
So we got talking over lunch and I asked the guy who seemed like the boss, “So why do you guys and gals keep making pennies? They seem more of a bother than significant legal tender.” And her answer was a surprisingly candid acknowledgement of just how our taxpayer-funded government “works.” Without hesitation, she replied, “That comes up every few years. We keep making them at a huge loss because otherwise we would have to lay off tens of thousands of workers.” I of course pursued a bit deeper and asked, “How about not making them and just pay the workers to hang out? You’d still be way ahead in savings on infrastructure.” That resulted in shrugs and chuckles and an obtuse reference to the annual training in Las Vegas.
We finished our shrimp and returned to class.
MORAL: It makes no sense to make cents.
FULL DISCLOSURE: The story above is completely true except my snide reference to Vegas and shrimp. They were actually very nice people and I sort of sympathized. They were caught up in a crazy system that is broken and it’s just easier to go with the flow --- even when the trickle reaches the salty ocean as a contaminated torrent. The DATELINE is FOX, not CNN. I figured libs wouldn’t read to the end if I revealed my fair and balanced source.
© 2012 Thomas Dey - 4/11/12