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Old 09-28-2011, 06:16 PM
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Doug Sams Doug Sams is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Plano, TX resident since 1998.
Posts: 3,966

Originally Posted by jharding58
The objection to low denomination coins is a curiously American trait. It makes no sense to produce at taxpayer expense a currency which either holds less value than the overhead to produce, or is unusable within a period of that renders a banknote viable as the currency. Single enumerated coins work perfectly well in most countries where the single unit maintains value. Simply put the number of things whcih can be purchased with a single dollar is irrelevant - roughtly akin to fuel being quoted to a 10th of a penny. Which has always been rounded up.

Having lived through decimalisation in the UK, price points will be altered to match the availability of currency in denominations that drive to the least amount of change. Having lived when there where farthings and when certain confectionery could be purchased for a ha'penny (not a one half penny, but an old school "one a penny two a penny" ha'penny) the elimination of the denominations below a single penny, and indeed the thrupenny bit made perfect sense. In contemporary pricing the dollar coin would make more sense to produce and to use than would paper currency, and provide a more durable currency. For those concerned about the jingling of coins I recall a six pound coin carrier made available with the introduction of the Pound Sterling coin. Silicon rectangle about the size of a credit card which would retain the coins until needed.

Now to find the probic vent!
For what it's worth, the US still had mills in pre-WW2 time. According to Wikipedia, they were abondoned by the 1960's for the reasons stated above. I suspect, eventually, the US penny and some time later the nickel will go away as well.

As baby boomers and tail enders give way to gen X'ers and gen Y'ers, peoples' instincts to count out pennies at the McDonald's counter will be gone as well.

That said, I suspect sales tax is the thing keeping pennies - ie, obsolete coins - alive. Things like 8.25% sales tax invariably lead to transaction totals with lots of digits to the right of the decimal point. And we, being a culture of exactness, like the numbers to be precise. That is, we fear getting ripped off by the accumulation of rounded up amounts and thus prefer to keep pennies in circulation where we can be sure we're not leaving any money on the counter no matter how small the amount In fact, some might even like to see the mill come back


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