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The U.S. Should get rid of the Penny


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After 2 votes and with 2 points ahead, the winner is...

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The U.S. should remove the Penny from it's currency

Round 1
At first glance, you might wonder why the U.S. should get rid of the penny. It has been a staple of our currency system since the beginning, and it is not apparently obvious as to why it is obsolete. If you are of that mind, allow me to enlighten you. 

You may have heard that the Penny costs 2 cents to make, and just shrugged it off. If so you would be wrong to do so. Coining pennies costs the U.S. government upwards of 70 million a year subsidizing pennies. Over the last twelve years, that cost 840 million dollars. Think of what could be done with all that money. To put it in context, you could buy 8750 Hawaiian vacations, 350 heart transplants, and half the FREAKING EIFFEL TOWER! Think about that. Every two years, the United States could build another Eiffel tower if we just didn't have the penny.  

I've established that the Penny is a burden on the U.S. taxpayer, but some would argue that it still has enough of an use to justify that cost. They would be wrong. First of all, In a 2022 survey, 41% of Americans said they use cash for almost none of their purchases, and that number is going up from 24% in 2015. This is projected to continue, making a mostly cashless economy a reasonable possibility in the near future.

So lots of people don't even use cash anymore, but what of those who do you ask? The worry is that businesses will take the opportunity to round up to the nearest five cents, and that will end up costing people lots of money. But we don't need to speculate here. This has been done before in other countries, and has worked out fine. New Zealand, Australia, Finland, and The Netherlands have all gotten rid of their one cent coin, and prices did not rise. Also, this has been done before in the United States. In ye olden days, there used to be a half cent coin, but it was discontinued in 1857, for being worth too little. But at that time it was worth 14 cents in today's dollars, so maybe we need to go a little farther than the penny, but I digress. 

The point is, pennies are a needless expense on the government and taxpayers, fewer americans are using cash than ever, and all the doom and gloom scenarios that can be used to try to keep the penny, are just not going to happen. I rest my case.

Works Cited

    You are making an argument that US should stop producing penny.

    But the topic says to get rid of it all, so to even destroy the ones that exist currently, which would be a pointless effort to go out there and seek every penny to destroy it.

    So yeah.
    Round 2
    Good point, I totally should have phrased that better. Sorry for any confusion, but I meant that the U.S. should just discontinue the penny, and any pennies left would just be useless. IDK if you still want to debate just discontinuing it, but I would like to.
    I guess we can change the topic to that.

    Penny costs a lot
    It doesnt cost any more than coins usually cost, and 60% Americans still use them, so thats over 200 million people. Penny is useful for children to feel rich by collecting lots of them, or for adults to not lose money and for stores to be able to set prices such as 99 cents, or 21 cents.
    So its important for market.
    Round 3
    Your three main points are that other coins cost lots of money to make, lots of Americans still use cash, and it will cost people money. 

    First up, most other coins cost less to make than their face value. The only other coin to cost more to make that it's face value is the nickel, and I already said that maybe the Nickel should be next on the chopping block. The Dime, Quarter, and Half dollar all cost less to make than the face value, so that gives the government a little extra cash. 

    Second, yes 59% of Americans still use cash, but as I said before, that number has come up by more than 20% in the last decade, and is projected to still do that. Of course, cash will never be completely removed from our economy, but it is becoming less and less used, and is projected to do so even more in years to come.

    Thirdly, yes people would lose a little money from this, but it is almost unnoticeable. We already round up from the thousandths place, and this would barely be a bigger step than that. In fact, let's do the math here. According to the Bureau of labor statistics, Americans make about 2.5 purchases per day. there are five possibilities here. The cost of the item could be rounded up either 4,3,2,1, or 0 cents, and if we multiply each of those by 2.5, we get 10, 7.5, 5 , 2.5 , and 0. Average those numbers out and you see that on average the American consumer would lose 5 cents per day. Big whoop.

    Works Cited

      it is becoming less and less used
      But it wont be stopped being used now. Your argument is that we should take away penny from people now, while 60% of them still use it and like it. I can agree that production of penny can be reduced, but to abolish it completely seems pointless when 200 million americans still use it. If it was as useless as you claimed, we wouldnt need to even produce it. But it is useful since it makes people feel better and richer, and even helps the poor save some money, and enables prices which without penny would be impossible, such as 99 cents. It motivates people to spend more money, which is crucial for economy.

      Round 4
      So you made a bit of a misconception. The statistic is that 60% of americans still use cash, not the penny. I don't know why I used that statistic in the first place, because it doesn't really matter. Just because people still use the penny doesn't mean they still like it, people use it because they literally have no other choice, seeing as it's the smallest amount of currency we have. I'm just saying we should remove the penny, and make the nickel the new lowest currency.

      You also said businesses wouldn't be able to put prices at 99 cents anymore, which at first might be a problem, but eventually people's minds would adjust to having nickels as the new lowest currency, and the psychological trick would still work. Yes that might take a while, but in the meantime, it's not like it's the end of the world, and the economy is going to go into a depression or anything. It's a somewhat important tactic, but the fate of the economy doesn't hinge on it, and we basically know that nothing even a little bad would happen. Like I said before, other countries have done this before, and their economies did not take a hit.

      Yes, it will cost some poor people a little tiny amount of money, but that is just how money works. Realistically, you have to have a smallest amount in your currency system, and when something is valued more specific than that can go, it gets rounded up. That's just how that works, and removing the penny doesn't change anything about that.

      As to your last point about it making people feel rich, huh?

      Anyways, I had fun debating this with you, may the best argument win.
      May the best argument win!