Thursday, 26 February 2015

Just Four Pennies? Just?

(posted to Multiply July 2012)

"Four pennies change." It wasn't as statement. It was a question. She wished to know if I wanted my four pennies change. I did and I took them.

The Canadian government has decided to eliminate the penny from our pockets. After a certain point this fall they will no longer be made. Existing pennies in circulation are supposed to continue to be accepted as legal tender until such time as they just disappear.

Vendors are supposed to handle this by rounding prices up or down to the nearest five cents. If your trip to the grocery store costs $15.78 your bill will be rounded up to $15.80. If it comes to $15.77 it is supposed to be rounded down to $15.75.

In reality? In reality you and I both know some how, some way, things will always work out to where they are rounded up. This doing away with the penny may save the government money but it will cost the consumer billions. This is like the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax all over again where the same rules were to apply but where everything, in reality, rounded up. Or like when we went metric and everything was rounded up. Governments saved. Businesses saved. The consumer payed through their teeth.

When I was a kid you could take a penny to the candy store and buy 3 for a penny or even 5 for a penny candy. A penny had value. Now-a-days it it nearly worthless but I tell you what. Yesterday I saw one on the ground and I bent and picked it up as I always do.

You see, alone that penny may be worthless but together they still have value. Real value like the billions this move to eliminate it will cost the average Joe.

The bread I bought this morning was $2.96 Did I want my four cents change, she asked? You bet your ass because next month you will push the price of that bread to $3.00 not $2.95 and, more to the point, that four cents is almost a nickle. Should we do away with the nickle and round off to the nearest dime?

For some members of our society those pennies still represent real money.

I have saved my change for years. Once a year or once every two years I get it out, roll it, and take it to the bank. Most years it amounts to nearly $300 most of which is in pennies.

If you save pennies they mount up to real money. Real money that will now go into the pockets of the merchants instead of me. Make the pennies out of aluminum. Make them out of rock. I don't care. They still have value.

A Philippine Peso is worth 40 cents. There are 100 'pennies' (centavos/sentimos) in a peso. They are absolutely useless to us, I guess, but they are essential to the economy of the Philippines.

I guess my point is this. I know people who have their own car and home and are debt free because they minded the pennies that people now think are worthless and is this morning's exchange is any indication nickles are next. I wanted to tell that clerk the reason she had nothing was her attitude towards those four pennies but decided against it. There are people who just can't learn anything.

No comments:

Post a Comment