Canada Bids Its Penny Goodbye; Should The U.S.? | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Canada Bids Its Penny Goodbye; Should The U.S.?

Canada is changing its change.

The USA's northern neighbor on Monday stopped distributing pennies. Going forward, stores "up there" will be rounding prices to the nearest nickel (sometimes up!). It's all part of a plan, as Planet Money has reported, to save the government $11 million a year. No more spending 1.6 cents or so to make a coin worth just a ... penny.

In The Wall Street Journal last month, Medallic Art Company historian D. Wayne Johnson made the case for eliminating the U.S. penny as well as the nickel and quarter to save on minting costs. NPR's Scott Simon doubts any of that will happen anytime soon because politics makes it truly tough to phase out coinage that comes with presidents' profiles. And BloombergBusinessweek has pointed out that "plenty of Americans like pennies and their Honest Abe heritage. Those enthusiasts, along with industry lobbies, have rallied to support the coins when there has been movement to kill them."

So it probably won't happen. But should the U.S. penny join its Canadian cousin in the home for retired coins?

Note: That's just a question, not a scientific survey of public opinion.

For more news about Canadian currencies, see our earlier post: "Whoa Canada! New Currency Has 'Wrong' Maple Leaf?"

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Nimoy Is Gone, But Mr. Spock WIll Live Forever

Leonard Nimoy died Friday at the age of 83. NPR's Scott Simon remembers the man who was best known for his role as Spock.
NPR

When Food Is Too Good To Waste, College Kids Pick Up The Scraps

Millions of tons of food are wasted on college campuses around the country, and students are noticing. Some of them are now rescuing food to make tasty meals for the needy and compost for gardens.
NPR

Funding Homeland Security: Where Do We Go From Here?

President Obama late Friday signed a stopgap measure to keep the department running for another week, but the tussle over his executive action on immigration, linked to the funding, is not over yet.
NPR

A Neuroscientist Weighs In: Why Do We Disagree On The Color Of The Dress?

Robert Siegel speaks with Dr. Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist at Wellesley College, about the dress that has the whole Internet asking: What color is it?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.