While picking up some provisions for the long weekend last Friday, we stopped in at Pasta G on Wellington Street. This little Italian grocer is legendary, not only because of their fresh pasta and pizza dough, but also because they are a cash-only operation. Typically I don’t carry real currency, unless I’m making a Pasta G run, or getting my ears lowered; that’s Grandpa speak for getting a haircut. While I was counting out pennies and holding up the line last Friday afternoon, I got thinking about the ultimate value of our one-cent coin. Let’s face it, not much can be purchased for a cent nowadays, while most people prefer to store their pennies in pickle jars. Accordingly, this week’s poll asks:
When I sat down to research what others were saying about the penny, I was surprised to discover that a Senate committee recently recommended that the Canadian government do away with our one-cent piece. The committee’s report states:
Canada’s one-cent coin has lost 95% of its purchasing power since it was first produced in 1908. What used to cost a penny now costs twenty cents. This loss of value is a key point in the debate on the costs and benefits of the one-cent coin. Pennies today have little utility, as they are no longer accepted in vending machines, have virtually no purchasing power individually, and cannot legally be used more than twenty-five at a time to pay debts, including to retailers and service providers. Many consumers no longer use pennies at all, preferring to hoard them, give them away, or even discard them.
Do you think it’s high time we moved to retire the germ-ridden penny, and as the report recommends, round purchases to the nearest five cents? Should we consider taking it one step further, and do away with the nickle as well? Penny for your thoughts, please drop off your valuable comments below.
Thanks to Steveleenow for today’s photo.