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/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Sept. 30

An artist plays with symbols in a series of paintings. Art sheds light on Palestine and its people in an upcoming festival.
NPR

'Human Flesh' Burger Is A Treat To Tempt The Walking Dead

In a stunt to promote the next season of the hit zombie show The Walking Dead, London chefs have concocted a burger inspired by human flesh. They're giving them away Tuesday at a pop-up restaurant.
NPR

Napolitano: ISIS Was One Of Many Similar Threats We Were Tracking

The former homeland security secretary and Arizona governor also talks about security improvements since the Sept. 11 attacks and the frustrations and potential solutions to the immigration debate.
NPR

Kids And Screen Time: Cutting Through The Static

One Los Angeles school is working technology into the learning process while avoiding traditional screen-time pitfalls.

Leave a Comment

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