That was when you could mail a postcard for a penny. It seems ridiculously inexpensive now, but I remember the one cent stamps used for postcards. And the post office delivered mail twice a day, so that postcard might arrive to its destination in the morning or afternoon mail arrival. Anyone remember checking the mail twice a day?
When I was a boy, almost all soft drinks came in glass bottles. Each time you bought one, you paid two cents for the bottle deposit. And when anyone returned a bottle to a store, they could redeem the two cent per bottle deposit. Two cents might not seem like much, but you could walk along the highway and find several discarded cola bottles. Cleaned up and taken to the store, five bottles would bring you a whole ten cents, which would buy two nickel candy bars. Or a small box of bb's. A few pennies had real buying power in the 1950s and early 1960s.
These days, a penny will not buy anything. About the only thing pennies are good for is paying the sales tax, or at least part of the sales tax. If it were not for sales tax, I'm convinced we wouldn't even be using pennies. Businesses would simply round every sale to the nearest nickel, and the penny would be a fading memory. Thank your sales tax for all those pennies you have sitting in a jar at your house. If you're like many of us, you offload those pennies every time you come in the house, then cash them in for folding money some time down the road.
There is simply no telling how much time, effort and money are consumed keeping track of pennies in our society. No telling how much productivity in our society is wasted keeping track of pennies. A penny saved is no longer a penny earned. It's something you wouldn't even require if you didn't have to pay a sales tax.
Did you know it costs the government more than a penny to make a penny? Yes, your government pays two cents for every penny it makes. That's one good reason we need to end the use of the penny throughout society. It costs twice as much to make as it has in buying power. As a sports commentator is fond of saying "come on, son!" We need to cash in all the pennies and stop using them. How about no sales tax on anything under a dollar? Or the sales tax rounded up to the nearest nickel?
Did you know it is illegal to sell pennies for their value as a metal? They have a value and that value is one penny. And the buying power of that penny gets less every year. In for a penny? In for a pound. Think about how much time and energy are lost in this country every day keeping track of pennies, counting out pennies, opening rolls of pennies, distributing pennies. We would not even use pennies if we had a way to round all sales to the nearest nickel. Maybe that is a way we would escape the pitiful penny, which has no utility beyond making change for purchases which include a sales tax.
© 2013, Jim “Pappy” Moore, All Rights Reserved.