Should We End the Penny to Harvest the Zinc?

BOX SCORE: End the Penny? #Pendy

Puzzle Summary:

More pennies are minted every year, and there are already six hundred billion pennies in circulation which amounts to 1.5M metric tons of zinc at $3300/ton or $5B worth of metal but the penny costs 1.8¢ to mint. Minerals for coins are in high demand to make goods that people want but we need a way to give people change in increments of less than a nickel.

ONE PARROT mints we need pennies to pay sales tax, and to keep an economy with sufficient pocket money. THE OTHER PARROT melts most pennies just live in jars anyway, and we’re a net importer of zinc so we’ll be more zinc secure by discontinuing pennies.

There is a secondary issue of whether ending the penny might bring us closer to a digital-only currency. Both Parrots make their good points over and over and over again. What did our nonpartisan scoring system say?

BOX SCORE for Ending the Penny
Weighted-Average Forecast

:86%: ± 2% Nonpartisan Score
Sides of the Table 4/4
Wall of Information 8/8
Cultural Windows 16/16
Columns of Bias 8/8


Top Four Key Reasons in Favor of Ending the Penny

Mining zinc to put in penny jars is useless
The mint loses money on every penny
Canada ended the penny in 2012
Zinc soil supplements could save 200,000 lives

Top Four Key Reasons Against Ending the Penny

May lead to a digital currency
Some nonprofits need the change
Alaskan zinc miners could be harmed
Businesses will need rounding software

Where Can We Agree?®: Four Odd Couples IN-FAVOR

Four Odd Couples In-Favor: Gun Owners & Caregivers
Hawk Republicans & Urban Full-Time
Renewables & Utilities
Family Farms & Big Tech

Where Can We Agree?®: Four Odd Couples AGAINST

Materials & Under-represented
Urban PT & Republican Leadership
Moralist Republicans & Democratic Doves
Billionaires & Seniors

Four A-hah Moments

(Yes) A zinc glut would lower product costs
(Yes) Rounding up to the nickel helps workers

(No) Zinc mining and lithium mining are linked
(No) Rounding up to the nickel hurts consumers

Politics 4.0 DNA (ACGT) Conclusion

Other than companies and employees that directly benefit from the continued minting of the penny there is almost no support for keeping the penny. Thrift (T) types point out that the penny cost double its face value to make. Abundance (A) types want to use the zinc for useful purposes not useless purposes. Commerce (C) types want less dumb government solutions. Governance (G) types want to stop the waste to fund more important programs.

At the time of this printing Ending the Penny is the #1 Idea on the PolicyKeys™ USA National Idea Leaderboard.

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