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A penny waived is a penny spurned [Canada ditches it]
Edmonton Journal. ^ | 5/5/2012 | Paula Simons

Posted on 05/05/2012 9:57:30 PM PDT by bruinbirdman

From now on, thoughts will cost a nickel


A box full of shiny pennies at Northgate Stamp and Coin in Edmonton, May 4, 2012. The last penny was struck Friday
at the Canadian Mint because it is being eliminated. Pennies aren't worth much. Even a 1859 one only goes for a few
dollars. The exception is a 1936 Canadian penny with a raised dot under the date fetches around $360,000 to $400,000.

All lovely things will have an ending,

All lovely things will fade and die;

And youth, that’s now so bravely spending,

Will beg a penny by and by.

Conrad Aiken

---

In the wake of the Harper government’s recent budget cuts, we’ve heard from a lot of union leaders who are concerned about job losses.

But it occurred to me this week that we hadn’t heard from the largest group of public sector employees to be eliminated by Conservative cost-cutting: the pennies.

The very last Canadian penny piece was minted this Friday.

And so, I asked a penny for her thoughts.

I turned up Penelope Copper-Coyne Lane, the president of COIN, the Canadian Organization of Integrated Numismatics, who represents the nation’s soon-to-be-rendered-redundant one cent coins.

A rubicund redhead, Penny Lane roundly denounces the elimination of her fellow COINS.

“They’ve just minted the last penny? Dreadful!” she exclaims.

“We aren’t a bunch of penny loafers, you know. We have served the Canadian public for more than 100 years, as highly effective change agents. People talk about value for money? We’ve always provided 100 cents on the dollars.”

Lane says she and her fellow pennies worked without pensions or benefits, for very low wages.

“We’ve been acting like chump change,” she huffs, “working 24/7 for penny-ante compensation. Do you want my two cents worth? I think that when the penny drops, Canadians will realize dropping the penny impoverishes them in ways they’ve not yet begun to calculate.”

Lane argues the elimination of the penny will encourage merchants to round up prices, and spur national inflation. More importantly, she says, the coin’s disappearance will erode Canadian cultural traditions, especially those dear to children.

“No more penny candy. No more penny carnivals. No more penny relays. What will Canadian kids toss into wishing wells and fountains? What will they slip into their piggy banks? And what happens every time it rains? Will it rain dimes from heaven? As if! Those skinny, stuck-up Bluenoses. Well, don’t come running to me when you don’t have two cents to rub together.”

There are, of course, many sound fiscal reasons to eliminate the penny. It costs more to mint the coins than they are currently worth. They clutter up change purses and wallets and cash register drawers. Few, if any, vending machines accept them. And in an era when so many people use debit and credit cards for daily transactions, it’s hard to rationalize spending money on minting coins many people consider a nuisance, hardly worth stooping to pick up.

But Lane insists such penny-pinching arguments represent false economy.

“It’s typical Stephen Harper penny-wise, pound-foolish logic,” she says. “I can’t make heads or tails of that kind of thinking. A penny saved is a penny earned — and if you save your pennies, Canada, you might just be able to afford Bev Oda’s orange juice budget. Or the overtime you pay to Rona Ambrose’s private driver. Take care of your pennies, and your dollars will take care of themselves. Because goodness knows, this government won’t — they can’t buy an airplane without losing track of a few billion.”

Lane knows fighting the Harper government won’t be easy — not with all of her union members about to be taken out of circulation. It’s time, she says, for some penny stock-taking.

“We’re having a bit of a meltdown,” she says. “We’ve thought about taking to the streets, like those students in Montreal — in for a penny, in for a pound, as my great-grandmother, the famous cyclist Penny Farthing, used to say. But I’m not sure that’s the best strategy. Please don’t think I’m two-faced. I’m an old-fashioned activist. That’s why they call me the Last Red Cent. But every time we try to roll out a protest, we get picked up — not by the coppers, but by these superstitious ‘loonies’ who think that if they find us, then all the day they’ll have good luck. It’s very frustrating.”

Still, pretty Penny hopes some Canadians, the nostalgic, romantic ones, the ones who value literature, language and history, might yet cherish her doomed members, might yet protect the from being rounded up, might yet keep these “bad” pennies turning up, for a little while longer.

“Without your love, life’s a melody played in a penny arcade,” she says wistfully. “I’m biased, of course. But to me, a Canada that makes no cents, makes no sense at all.”


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Canada; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: canada

1 posted on 05/05/2012 9:57:36 PM PDT by bruinbirdman
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To: bruinbirdman

As a coin collector, you’d be surprised how many European countries (prior to the Euro) had already ditched all “cents” in their currencies. Italian Lira and Spanish Pesetas had already shed their fractional counterparts decades earlier; the smallest coins were simply lower denominations of the “dollar” unit.


2 posted on 05/05/2012 10:03:16 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: bruinbirdman

We need to do the same thing. Drop the penny, nickel, and dollar bill. Start printing $500, $1000, and $10000 bills while they are at it.


3 posted on 05/05/2012 10:17:41 PM PDT by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: kearnyirish2
". . . . surprised how many European countries (prior to the Euro) had already ditched all “cents” in their currencies . . ."

Now the euro has "cents"?

yitbos

4 posted on 05/05/2012 10:17:55 PM PDT by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds." -- Ayn Rand)
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To: zeugma

Looks like inflation is set to rise based on that.


5 posted on 05/05/2012 10:25:33 PM PDT by Republican1795.
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To: bruinbirdman

The Euro always had cents.


6 posted on 05/05/2012 10:32:19 PM PDT by kearnyirish2
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To: bruinbirdman
You know, a penny is a whole lot cheaper than a washer and it don't take much to punch a whole through the penny.

Don't use where a washer is critical but for most uses it works fine.


7 posted on 05/05/2012 10:56:31 PM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: zeugma

Round all prices to ten cent granularity?

That would also mean no more quarters.


8 posted on 05/06/2012 1:24:41 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Mitt! You're going to have to try harder than that to be "severely conservative" my friend.)
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To: gunsequalfreedom

They will work, but I bet in many (most) applications there would be a corrosion problem. Zinc pennies (since 1982), and the prior copper pennies will form a crude kind of battery due to dissimilar metals in contact with each other in the presence of water.


9 posted on 05/06/2012 4:31:35 AM PDT by Freedom4US
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To: zeugma
Start printing $500, $1000, and $10000 bills while they are at it.

That would make life easier for the drug cartels, the only people I know of who have to deal regularly with multi millions in cash on a daily basis.

10 posted on 05/06/2012 5:39:35 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Romney vs. Obama? One of them has to lose, rejoice in that fact, whichever it is.)
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To: bruinbirdman

I’m not worried. We Americans have a lifetime supply of Canadian pennies, stored away in the cash drawers of all the supermarkets across the country.


11 posted on 05/06/2012 5:46:48 AM PDT by lowbridge (Joe Biden: "Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy.")
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To: bruinbirdman

I’m not worried. We Americans have a lifetime supply of Canadian pennies, stored away in the cash drawers of all the supermarkets across the country.


12 posted on 05/06/2012 5:47:50 AM PDT by lowbridge (Joe Biden: "Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy.")
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To: Graybeard58
That would make life easier for the drug cartels, the only people I know of who have to deal regularly with multi millions in cash on a daily basis.

 Yeah, That's the standard propaganda line pf FedGov, so they can more easily track our spending. The drug war has so many useful properties for government, that it's little wonder that even committed marxists like obama won't do anything about it once they get a taste of how much power it grants them.

In 1935, a person could walk into a Ford dealership and purchase an automobile with a single bill that represented far more than the average person made in a year.  Given the inflation the government's spending policies have caused over the years, the largest denomination bill should probably be a $100,000.

Plenty of people use large amounts of cash for perfectly legitimate transactions.  The nanny state doesn't like it so much though, because it makes it harder for them to track our assets.

13 posted on 05/06/2012 7:36:50 AM PDT by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

The reason I think we should drop the nickel as well, is that according to federal minimum wage laws, a minute’s worth of work is worth at least a dime. Why should we have currency that is less than that?


14 posted on 05/06/2012 7:38:32 AM PDT by zeugma (Those of us who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living.)
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To: zeugma
The reason I think we should drop the nickel as well, is that according to federal minimum wage laws, a minute’s worth of work is worth at least a dime. Why should we have currency that is less than that?

Thanks for a good example of the "does not follow" fallacy.
15 posted on 05/06/2012 7:51:09 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: Freedom4US
It all depends on the application requirements. The corrosion problem you rightly warn about is only a problem if the product being repaired will last longer than the negative effects of using a penny for a washer instead of a washer.

For example, in the case of a repair to a General Motors car, the penny will certainly outlast the car.


Chevy Vega

16 posted on 05/06/2012 11:37:56 AM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: gunsequalfreedom

The Vega wasn’t a bad car, once you put a real engine in it.


17 posted on 05/06/2012 11:40:03 AM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate Republicans Freed the Slaves Month.)
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To: ROCKLOBSTER
The Vega wasn’t a bad car, once you put a real engine in it.

...Or at least did the fix to put steel sleeves in the cylinder walls. But a penny, even today's bi metal ones, would certainly last longer than a quart of oil in the Vega engine (what was it, 50 miles to a quart of oil?).

The fix for the engine was a Chevy 350 or 327, by the way.

18 posted on 05/06/2012 4:08:29 PM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: gunsequalfreedom
The fix for the engine was a Chevy 350 or 327, by the way.

Yeah, that ought to cover it. The "towing package" right?

19 posted on 05/06/2012 4:31:12 PM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate Republicans Freed the Slaves Month.)
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To: ROCKLOBSTER
Actually, I think all that is left is the body after you drop the V8 in under the hood. Well, sort of, not all of the hood is left afterwards.


20 posted on 05/06/2012 7:59:53 PM PDT by gunsequalfreedom (Conservative is not a label of convenience. It is a guide to your actions.)
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To: gunsequalfreedom

Kind of a good looking, self propelled engine stand. But it’s all Chevy.


21 posted on 05/06/2012 8:05:08 PM PDT by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate Republicans Freed the Slaves Month.)
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