Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Penny For Your...

#432 A Penny For Your....

If you've been to Canada in the past few years, you see a lot of guys listing to port or to starboard. That's because they're carrying a bunch of one dollar coins in their pockets. See, Canada is a monetary dictatorship. (You didn't know that, did you?)

One day the Powers That Be decided "hey, we're not going to print one dollar bills anymore." And they stopped. Now, they have one dollar coins -- pocket rippers. And they do NOT have one dollar bills.

It's a little different, here in the Land of The Free. Here, the mint doesn't make decisions about whether to print bills. They use the free market approach. They put out dollar coins and let the market decide. So far, the market has decided at least twice. We don't want dollar coins because we're Americans and we don't like listing to port or to starboard.

The one dollar US coins have been a colossal flop, no matter which historic woman you get with it. We don't use them. The only place you get them in change is in the subway and in the park-and-lock lots. And the only place you can spend them is the Wal-Mart self-checkouts.

We don't like people fooling with our money.

Which brings us to the latest effort to ban the penny. People who make change for a living don't like the thing. They say it has outlived its usefulness.


As long as there are prices that end in ".99" or sales taxes that demand a price of, say $.18, the penny will be an important part of our lives.

And if you use them in combination with other currency, they're still useful. Say something costs $1.25. You can still use a dollar bill, two dimes, and five pennies to pay. Most checkout clerks can count to five.

Not only that, but pennies are weapons.

Say you're walking along Skillman Avenue at 2 am, and some wiseguy comes up and demands your wallet. Well, if you have a roll of pennies clutched in your fist, you can knock this Bozo into the next century, keep you wallet and still have your pennies. And unlike brass knuckles, the cops can't get you for carrying an illegal weapon.

And if you have an especially annoying creditor, another weapon: pay your bill in pennies. It'll drive the guy nuts.

You'll pay off your debt and you'll feel good about it.


--Anyone want to cheer for the Olympics? (Silence) That's what I thought, and sorry to awaken you.

--They're now making "wrinkle free" pants of linen. Brilliant. If they don't wrinkle and rumple, what's the point of having them?

--The voice commands on the new cellphone work wonderfully. They also are very consistent. All you have to do is say anything -- anything at all -- and you'll get the reply "unrecognized command, please try again."

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2008

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