The penny is hazardous to your wallet

Thinking inside the box can cost you money, about $50 million. Here’s the paragraph from The New Yorker article that caught my eye:

Luhrman’s experience highlights a growing conundrum for the Mint and for U.S. taxpayers. Primarily because zinc, too, has soared in value, producing a penny now costs about 1.7 cents. Since the Mint currently manufactures more than seven billion pennies a year and “sells” them to the Federal Reserve at their face value, the Treasury incurs an annual penny deficit of about fifty million dollars—a condition known in the coin world as “negative seigniorage.” The fact that the Mint loses money on penny production annoys some people, because one-cent coins no longer have much economic utility. More than a few people, upon finding pennies in their pockets at the end of the day, simply throw them away, and many don’t bother to pick them up anymore when they see them lying on the ground. (Breaking stride to pick up a penny, if it takes more than 6.15 seconds, pays less than the federal minimum wage.)

You know, maybe Elmbrook voters could work out a deal. We can sell our pennies to the mint for, say 1.3 cents and save them .4 cents. We could then all donate that money to fix the leaking pipe at Central High School. (There’s still no permission to take that picture.)


  1. Cheri M. says:

    Cindy, I laughed out loud! Love your sense of humor.