| Hi Taylor:
The penny is coming to an end, I hear. Does that… matter? It's not
like I do a lot of paying for things in pennies, but some people seem
to think it's a big deal. - Freddi
Hi Freddie: You're right, the one-cent version of Honest Abe will
cease production in 2023. This has been a long-time coming, as the
value of a penny has dropped and people generally use of physical
currency less. Still, it's gotta matter in a couple of ways, right?
woes. While we're saying goodbye to a tiny copper circle,
it's also one of the very first coins that was created by the
U.S. Mint. The penny is 230-years-old, and this is the first time
in over 160 years that a coin has been phased out. This could
really bum out the people who long for the way things used to
be when a movie cost a nickel and candy cost one or two cents.
2. Positive news. There's been chatter for years about how
a penny costs more to make than it's worth, so striking it from
our list of coins will save money at the federal level. For the
coin enthusiast, the final batch of pennies will be limited and
auctioned off, creating immediate collector's items and investment
opportunities for someone with their sights set waaaaay down the
line. My guess is that we'll also see a bump in the value of other
old pennies and coins, so this move will generate money in a couple
of different ways. When you look at it from all angles, the decision
makes a lot of sense.
3. What about $.99 cent stores? The biggest question mark
might actually be the millions of goods sold for a dollar minus
one. Theoretically, everything will be one cent more expensive.
Inflation already has the price of most things going up so the
anti-penny price hike isn't the most terrifying thing. Taxes push
most of those prices into the next dollar threshold anyway; it's
hard to imagine anyone feeling the impact of losing $.99 items.
I'd worry less about that and more about what will happen to sales
taxes to accommodate the loss of the singular-cent piece.
| For those of
us who have grown up with change dishes full of pennies, this could
feel like a big shift. In practice, the impact will be pretty minimal.
Like the half penny before it, our pennies have seen their best days
and it's time to let them retire.
© Taylor Kovar
February 17, 2022
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