The Canadian Mint halted production of the penny yesterday in a move that announced last spring. This change (get it) will hopefully spread south to the US. (Actually that pun doesn’t work at all.) Cash purchases will be rounded up or down to the nearest five cent increment, but credit or check payments will still pay the correct amount.
The decision to phase out the penny was due to its excessive and rising cost of production relative to face value, the increased accumulation of pennies by Canadians in their households, environmental considerations, and the significant handling costs the penny imposes on retailers, financial institutions and the economy in general.
Lots of interesting details about the history of money from James Surowiecki.
Yet in tribal and other â€œprimitiveâ€ economies, money served a very different purposeâ€”less a store of value or medium of exchange, much more a social lubricant. As the anthropologist David Graeber puts it in his recent book Debt: The First 5000 Years (Melville House, 2011), money in those societies was a way â€œto arrange marriages, establish the paternity of children, head off feuds, console mourners at funerals, seek forgiveness in the case of crimes, negotiate treaties, acquire followers.â€ Money, then, was not for buying and selling stuff but for helping to define the structure of social relations.
See also The Atlantic’s The Economic History of the Last 2000 Years.
Between the new glow in the dark dinosaur quarter and getting rid of the penny, Canada money is kicking US money’s ass. Holy crap.
The quarter, being released by the Royal Canadian Mint April 16, features Pachyrhinosaurus lakustai, a large herbivore whose bone fragments were discovered by Grande Prairie, Alta., science teacher Al Lakusta in 1974… Photo-luminescent technology that wonâ€™t wear off means the regular image of the dinosaur on the quarter will transform into a glowing skeleton in the dark.
Via Stellar Interesting
Person 1: I just don’t understand it, it’s so useless, who would be against getting rid of the penny?
Person 2: We’ll never get rid of the penny because we’d have to round change to the nickle, and people don’t want to get more Nickelsback.
Person 1 [quielty]: I didn’t think the last album was that bad.
The US Government Accountability Office says we could save $5.5 billion over the next 30 years if the dollar bill was phased out in favor of a dollar coin. I don’t feel strongly one way or another, but I want Obama to propose this just so we can all see how much the Tea Party cares about our paper currency. I think the meltdown would be epic.
This article is poorly written, but it is interesting to note that Don Draper’s $45K per year salary in 1963 is equivalent to around $315K in today’s dollars. According to the article, that’s way more than creative directors make now. I’d been waiting for someone to write the article giving equivalents for all of the dollar amounts in Mad Men. Someone still should, this one could be a lot better.