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Should We Follow Canada And Abandon The Penny?

OPB | March 4, 2013 12:06 p.m. | Updated: Sept. 11, 2013 12:33 a.m.

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OPB/Allison Frost

It’s been a month since Canada officially stopped putting pennies into circulation. Shortly thereafter, President Obama called the U.S. penny obsolete and said minting them was something “we should probably change.”

Portland author David Wolman has written extensively about cash, including the penny — and the nickel for that matter. In his book, The End of Money, he points out that the penny takes up an amazing amount of our time. 

According to one estimate, Americans forfeit $1 billion a year due to the time spent dealing with pennies at cash registers and in wallets, when we could be doing something else, like generating income or thinking up the next Facebook. 

Would you dispense with pennies if you could? What, if anything, do you appreciate about the penny? Would you miss it if the U.S. phased them out?

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