This past weekend was the 18th anniversary of my father, Ray Geiger’s passing. He left us with a smile on his face on April 1st. A the “King of Cornography,” he couldn’t have picked a more appropriate send off. Late last week I was reminded of my dad when I read that the Canadian government announced it is joining New Zealand, Finland, Norway, Netherlands, and Sweden, among others, in discontinuing the penny and rounding up on purchases.
Ray Geiger, as Farmers’ Almanac editor, took on a number of issues, including several dealing with US currency. In the 1990 edition we talked about creating a dollar coin (gold and larger than the Susan B. Anthony dollar), and eliminating the dollar bill and the penny. The argument was a coin would last 20 years at a production cost of 3 cents, while a bill cost 2 6/10th to make and lasts 18 months. At the time hundreds of millions of dollars would have been saved.
Today, it costs more to make a penny than it is worth. My question is how much do you value a penny? If one is on the ground would you pick it up? Do you save pennies or toss them out? In a day where there is more plastic being used than actual coinage, does it even matter? I was supportive of our campaign years ago, and would still be happy to eliminate pennies and round up on purchases, but in a new era, how do you feel about it?
As an aside, I will be in Port au Prince, Haiti next week — my third trip since the 2010 earthquake. I hope I can return with positive news about positive change. Stay tuned.
Image by Roman Oleinik