Keep the Penny

Keep the Penny

Maddi Renolds

Although many people argue that the penny is no longer needed in America, I disagree. There are many reasons why the U.S. should continue producing the one cent coin. The penny would cost less to make, is used in charities,  and getting rid of the penny would mean consumers must pay more for everyday expenses.

One reason for keeping the penny is the nickel cost more to make than the penny. According to Kimberly Amadeo, a US economy expert for The Balance, we should get rid of the penny because it cost almost two cents to make the penny and distribute it to banks. This made sense until I read that, according to Mark Weller, the nickel costs almost nine cents to make. According to Weller, “An August 2017 study funded by the coin-cashing service Coinstar estimated $295 million in real annual cost to taxpayers if the penny is eliminated.” There are many things America could spend $295 million on, and it isn’t worth all that money just to get rid of a coin.

 Another reason we should keep the penny is that many charities receive pennies as a donation, and getting rid of the penny would mean people are less likely to donate to a charity. According to Mark Weller, executive director of Americans for Common Cents and Washington, D.C., lobbyist, “Penny drives and other innovative ideas are critical to all charities.” One charity collected 1.5 billion pennies from school students across the country, which totaled $150 million to help cure cancer. Some people who donated might not be as willing to give a nickel, the next smallest coin, instead of a penny, which would impact many fundraisers dramatically. If we want people who need help to get help, America needs to keep the penny. 

Finally, removing the penny from the U.S. currency would result in many prices rounding up and would cost consumers billions. Most store owners would round the prices up if there isn’t a way to buy a certain item without the penny. According to Mark Weller, “Research by Penn State economist Ray Lombra, and more recently by Georgetown fellow Robert Sharpiro, shows that consumers would be hit with a multibillion-dollar rounding tax without the penny.” Think about it this way. If a carton of eggs usually cost $2.02, if we take away the penny, the cost would probably be rounded up to $2.05, since some people pay with cash, and the lowest coin would now be the nickel. Three cents doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you buy just 10 things that are rounded up just three cents each week when you are grocery shopping, you would spend $15.60 more a year, and that is just one person. American consumers would spend much more than necessary if we didn’t have the penny. 

In conclusion, I am confident that America needs the penny. The penny would save money when produced, helps people in need, and consumers would spend less on everyday expenses. Getting rid of the penny wouldn’t help the U.S., but harm the economy.


The Balance,  Kimberly Amadeo

Mark Weller