In the United States, it cost more to make a penny than it’s work!
“It costs almost 1.7 cents to make a penny,” said U.S. Mint director Ed Moy. See original 2008 article here: Penny Problem.
Since it cost more to make a penny, why not start to make the pennies out of recycled plastic?
Think of the environmental benefits, those alone would be huge and since we would use recycled plastics, it wouldn’t add to the current supply of plastic in landfills and dumps, not to mention the amount dumped into the ocean like it was some type of huge liquid landfill (See Invisible war against our oceans).
Oh sure, such a program would cost more than making the penny out of plastic directly, but using recycled plastic would still be a huge decrease in the cost of the creation of pennies vs using metal, if we are smart about it…
In ways, I think it’s sad that inflation has been so rampant in past years that it has decreased the value of a penny so that it’s practically an inconvenience to have instead of an item that is considered valuable. I often wish there was a way to make a penny more valuable again, without incurring some type of drastic natural deflationary process that would hurt our economy instead of helping it. Too bad there wasn’t a way that the government could do a strategic deflationary process… Such a process would decrease the cost of items bought while giving everybody a boost by enabling the current currency that they own to be worth more.
Perhaps the strategic deflationary process would happen every 50 years? It would have to be rare because it would be disruptive overall.
I wonder if I’ll live to see that time when eventually the 1 dollar bill falls to inflation to the point where it’s considered an inconvenience to carry? Probably by that point all US coins (be it metal or plastic) would be considered to expensive to create… But in the current time, I think the creation of plastic coins is something to be considered (although hated I’m sure, perhaps if it’s done right the color could make it look like copper).
Interesting times we live in…