Sarasota News Leader

03/01/2013

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Sarasota News Leader March 1, 2013 OPINION Page 91 A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS By Rodger Skidmore Contributing Writer COMMENTARY With the U.S. knee-deep in bad news, from the debt crisis to sequestration, it was great to receive some good financial news this past week: too bad it did not come from Washington. getting slightly used pennies at one quarter of the amount it takes to mint a new one: a win/ win situation for both countries. Now comes the tricky part: We need to get Congress to pass a law (and these days getting Congress to pass any law has been a real problem). The law would simply be to authoNo, the really good news of the year is from rize the Department of the Treasury to make that country far to the north ��� maybe not far the Canadian penny legal tender in the U.S. to the north of Maine, but certainly far to the of A. north of Washington D.C. and Florida. Yes, The only other problem is that the U.S. penCanada is retiring its penny. ny is made of zinc. The reason that we have For years penny-pinchers in America have not dropped the use of our 1-cent piece years been talking about doing the same thing here. ago is that zinc industry lobbyists have been Besides the fact that penny candy now costs a making payments to our congressmen ��� and dime, it is costing us 2 cents to make each U.S. those payments have not just been in pennies 1-cent piece. When economists start talking ��� to keep the zinc mines open and the profits about needing to mint a trillion dollar coin to of one particular company high. get us past the debt crisis, you know that the But perhaps, with all the talk about saving penny really is insignificant. money without increasing taxes, this plan just Why is Canada���s move good for us? Because, might work. % once Canadian banks stop distributing Canadian pennies, that country will be, so to speak, awash in them. Just think: millions of Canadian pennies that no Canadian will want. And what happens in the free market when there is no demand for a product? The value drops. And to what level does the value drop, if the highest value it ever had was 1 cent? How about zero? If the U.S. government buys all the Canadian pennies for a half a cent each, Canada will have no storage costs and will recoup some of its original investment. And America will be LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Sarasota News Leader welcomes letters to the editor from its readers. Letters should be no more than 300 words in length, and include the name, street address and telephone number of the writer. Letters should be emailed to L e t t e r s @ S a r a s o t a N e w s L e a d e r. c o m , w i t h ���Letter to the Editor��� in the subject line. Letters actually printed will be selected based on space available, subject matter and other factors. We reserve the right to edit any letters submitted for length, grammar, spelling, etc. All letters submitted become the property of The Sarasota News Leader.

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