Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Penny Problems

Last weekend, I went home. While there, my sister told me that, unlike me, she likes the penny. I didn't think to ask her why. While this disappoints me, it does provide me with a solution to two problems. First, I know what to get her for her birthday. Second, I know what to do with all of my pennies.

Since my most recent post on the matter, I've read a few more things here and there about the potential discontinuation of the penny. I don't feel like looking them up, so there will be many links. There may be no facts as well. In any case, here we go. CTV did one of their online polls, and there was a majority in favour getting rid of it. Some bank type group thinks we should have gotten rid of it long time ago. They suggest we get consider ditching the nickel too (though, according to them, that would mean ditching the quarter and adding a 20 cent coin (a quinter?)). Colby Cosh seems to advocate getting doing away with it, but thinks the reverse of the coin is a fine piece of art (though not botanically correct). I visited Pat Martin's website just now to see what progress the legislation has made. Here's the latest on the topic. It says nothing about the progress, and little about the details.

It's seems pretty clear that, based on the information available, the penny is not all that useful. There are only a couple of reasons for keeping, aside from tradition, which shouldn't have much currency when making decisions about something whose only purpose is to serve as a tangible symbol for how much money you have. Firstly, I agree with Cosh that it would be a shame to throw the artwork out with the coin. Not only that, but the penny does do the most to add some colour to a pile of change. The yellowish colour of loonie and the centre of the toonie just doesn't cut through the silvery colour of the more common coins like the copper of the penny. Now it's unlikely that we'll do away with the nickel just yet, even though that is advocated by the banky types. But let's face it. The beaver's not all it's cracked up to be. Supposedly the beaver is a national symbol in Canada because of it's industriousness, or some such thing. I think if you dig deeper, you'll find that's a crock (it might be the case the the beaver is particularly industrious, but the reason it became a national symbol is not quite so noble if Will Ferguson can be trusted). In truth it's just a rather large smelly buck toothed rodent with only one marketable skill. The beaver's right behind the pig in the make-up line, and ugly or not, at least we can eat the pig. When's the last time you needed a dam built at the level of sophistication that a beaver can provide? Never. That's when. So I propose that we stop embarrassing ourselves by lionizing the glorified rat, ditch the penny, make the nickel out of copper, and replace the beaver with the maple leaf that currently adorns the penny. Problem solved.

1 comment:

Dr. J. said...

$612. Amount in a rolled pennies bank account my grandfather had upon his death, May 4, 2008. Thus, one person's 'trash' becomes another's treasure, and a month's rent for his widow.