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Should we get rid of Abe : Swingers Discussion 217392
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TOPIC: Should we get rid of Abe
Created by: Nkenswing
Original Starting post for this thread:
President Barack Obama finally broke his silence on an issue of national importance Friday – he thinks it’s time to retire the penny.

The possible extinction of the one-cent coin was a featured economic question in a Google+ Hangout with the Commander in Chief last week as John Green, the co-creator of a popular YouTube channel, applied a little presidential peer pressure.

“Australia, Canada, New Zealand, many other countries have gotten rid of their pennies,” Green said. “Why haven’t we done it?”

“I gotta tell you, John, I don’t know,” Obama responded, adding, “Anytime we’re spending money on something people don’t actually use, that’s an example of things we should probably change.”

They’re pennies. Aren’t there more valuable things to worry about?

First, pennies actually cost more to make than they’re worth. In 2012, every penny cost 2.41 cents to make – more than twice their face value.

And as zinc and copper – materials used in minting the penny – have become costlier due, in part, to manufacturing shifts in China, which are likely to raise costs further.

Granted, the total cost of minting pennies was only $58 million last year – less than one-tenth of a percent of total federal spending in 2012 – but groups like Citizens to Retire the U.S. Penny have long been making the economic case for getting rid of the penny (plus, the group adds, fishing for pennies adds about 2 seconds to each cash transaction per day).

And the U.S. military has already decided they’re essentially useless; all Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores on bases round all cash purchases up or down to the nearest nickel.

With both parties looking for ways to cut government spending, it seems as though cutting penny production could be a relatively painless, if insignificant, place to start. But in the Google+ Hangout, Obama ceded that Washington has bigger fiscal fish to fry.

But the president doesn’t need Congress to explore other, cheaper alternatives to zinc – the main metal in pennies. In fact, the administration’s 2013 budget encourages the Treasury to “explore, analyze, and approve new, less-expensive metals for all circulating coins like aluminum, iron and lead.”

It wouldn’t be the first time Abe Lincoln’s coin got a makeover. Back in 1982, the penny changed from 95 percent copper and 5 percent zinc to 97.5 percent zinc and 2.5 percent copper.

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Don't blame the retailer. Consumers drive such things. It annoys me too, but it is what it is.

Business-to-business i.e. wholesalers etc operate entirely differently. Prices like $1.6415 per pound or $301.58 per unit are common because they are an entirely different type of customer.

Washington DC
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If we insist on using bronze age technology and continue to use coins and bills, (Which I predict won't be the case by the year 2100) lets kill two birds with one stone and replace income and sales taxes with a Production to Resale VAT. The price is the price, all taxes are included, and for all you Tax rebels out there, you get to keep your whole pre FICA paycheck

Rosemont IL
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I hate shopping, but the worst is at a store where the salespeople are forced to say "ninety nine ninety nine" all day. Like when I ask about the freezer that's $300, and they say, "We have one for 299.99"

Flat Rock NC
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Businesses have experimented with that - displaying prices that include all taxes.

Unfortunately, consumers will still prefer the $1.89 item + tax to the $2.00 item, tax included. As to why, I leave that to psychologists. People SAY they prefer to see after-tax prices, but when given a choice (whether they realize it or not), they choose the pre-tax version.

Washington DC
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Meanwhile -- wouldn't it be nice if businesses would price things so that, after tax is added, the actual cost is an even amount.

Bought a .75 liter Fosters the other day for some odd price like $1.86, and with tax it was $2.01 Life has enough trouble without making more.

Flat Rock NC
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Actually, I try to refuse all pennies in transactions. Put them in the penny cup or, if automated, leave them in the dispenser. I figure the more customers who state their disinterest in pennies, the more businesses will be happy to abandon them.

Flat Rock NC
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btw I might point out...

If it wasn't clear, the rounding only occurs with cash transactions. All transactions conducted with credit/debit cards, checks, or other financial instruments still get rounded to the nearest penny.

When you think about it, we already have a situation where people can save fractions of a cent by making strategically designed purchases which round in your favor. Over a few dozen transactions you can save a few cents - enough to channel your inner Richard Pryor and build a big ass evil computer.

Washington DC
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Go for it.

99 cents + 5.75% sales tax = $1.05 - even 1.99 + 5.75% = $2.10 - even 2.99 + 5.75% = $3.16 - you win 1 cent 3.99 + 5.75% = $4.22 - you win 2 cents 4.99 + 5.75% = $5.28 - you lose 2 cents 5.99 + 5.75% = $6.33 - you lose 2 cents 6.99 + 5.75% = $7.39 - you lose 1 cent 7.99 + 5.75% = $8.45 - even 8.99 + 5.75% = $9.51 - you win 1 cent 9.99 + 5.75% = $10.56 - you win 1 cent

The pattern will vary with local differences in sales tax.

Are you really going to strategically shop and go through all that work to come out 1 or 2 cents ahead? Just go to Wal Mart and save a couple of dollars.

Washington DC
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VB, what if I insist on buying one item at a time?

Flat Rock NC
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It's time to do away with bearer currency...it's completely unnecessary, and the technology to eliminate it exists as we speak

Rosemont IL
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TOPIC: Should we get rid of Abe