Matter of Laugh or Death
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
THROWING IN MY TWO CENTS
It is time to outlaw the penny. Maybe pennies were worth something 50 or 100 years ago, but today they are nothing but a nuisance and a waste of time.
I got into an argument the other day over pennies. I went into a convenience store with my daughter to buy a few knick-knacks. When I got my change at the cash register, I put the quarter and the dime in my pocket and I chucked the three pennies into a trash can on the way out of the store.
My daughter looked at me with surprise and said, “What are you doing? You just threw away money!”
“No I didn’t,” I replied. “I threw away pennies. They’re not money—they’re a pain in the butt.”
“But they have value,” she said. “It’s crazy to throw them in the trash.”
And so I got into a big argument with her over meaningless, stupid pennies. She insisted they are U.S. legal tender and actually worth something, while I insisted they are totally obsolete in the 21st century and should be abolished.
Years ago pennies had value. In the days when you could buy a steak dinner for 70 cents and a suit for nine bucks, pennies were worth having around. They were probably similar in value to today’s quarter. But after decades of inflation, pennies have been devalued to the point where there is absolutely no difference between a handful of pennies and a handful of dirt.
The only function pennies have in today’s society is to appease our irrational obsession with financial accuracy. That’s what happens when you let accountants run the world. God forbid a thousand-dollar transaction is off by a few cents. The bean counters would have a stroke.
All of our monetary dealings are done in two decimal places. How stupid. If I remember correctly from my high school classes, the appropriate term is “significant digits.” That one one-hundredth of a dollar column is about as significant as a lumberjack measuring a log to one one-hundredth of an inch before buzzing it in half with a chainsaw.
It’s time to drop a digit and do all of our finances with one decimal place. Are you trying to tell me if we rounded every monetary transaction to the nearest dime it would ruin the economy? Of course not. It would streamline things. Or at least we wouldn’t have to wait in line while the lady in front of us rummaged through her purse after putting two dollars on the counter for her $2.02 purchase because she just knows she has a couple of pennies in there—somewhere!
Then within a few decades, we drop the one digit and do everything in whole dollars. It’s got to be better than the present system.
My daughter’s main argument in support of pennies went something like this: “Yeah, but if you had a barrel full of pennies, you’d have a lot of money.”
My answer was: “No, I wouldn’t. I’d have a hernia-in-the-making taking up valuable space in my house.”
Look at it this way: if you had, say, $300 worth of pennies in a barrel, it would probably cost you $400 just to hire a forklift and a truck to drag it to the bank. But when you got it to the bank, then what do you do? They don’t want it.
When someone walks into a bank with a gun and yells, “This is a stick up!” the bank teller smiles, hands over the cash, and says, “Have a nice day” as the robber runs out. When someone walks into a bank with a barrel of pennies, the teller gets hysterical, calls the police, and files a worker’s comp claim based on emotional duress.
Pennies have no value, even in bulk, because you can’t use them in bulk. Go into a store and buy a candy bar by pouring 100 pennies on the counter. Again, you’ll have hysterics, a phone call to the cops, and a worker’s comp claim.
What we need is a national campaign to phase out the penny, kind of like Nancy Reagan’s “Just say no” program. (What exactly was she saying no to, anyway? Off-the-rack clothing?) For example, when you buy something that costs $3.43, hand over $3.50 or even four bucks and just walk away. If the cashier tries to give you back change, say, “No thanks, I’m trying to quit.”
There is one sure-fire way to get pennies outlawed: start paying our taxes with them. If every penny-laden coffee can and mayonnaise jar in this nation (and you know there are literally millions of them) were sent to Washington, D.C. to pay taxes, the politicians, up to their eyeballs in copper coins, would quickly outlaw the penny.
Either that, or declare that they are now worth five bucks apiece.
|Home||Current Faith||Current Funnies||Faith Archive||Funnies Archive||Contact Bill|