If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may know that I am devoutly anti-penny. This includes a rant on 60 Minutes in which I argue that the penny should be killed off, as inflation has rendered it worse than worthless.
The U.S. government remains unpersuaded, but our good neighbors to the north are about to take the leap (following the lead, it should be said, of several other countries). Read More »
It pleases me to no longer be the only guy complaining about the penny.
This anti-penny rant was quite good.
But this one is even better: Read More »
A reader named John Neumann writes:
Guys, I had a thought today as I was walking to work in the sweltering D.C. morning heat: As the U.S. has increasingly become a cashless society with the rise of debit- and credit-card use, has there been a decrease in panhandling, busking, and homelessness? Obviously, fewer people carrying cash or change means panhandlers, buskers, and the homeless will have fewer and fewer people giving them money on the street. Would busking and panhandling become extinct if we do eventually become a completely cashless society? Is that already happening?
Great questions, John!
I don’t know the answers, but I might now seek them out. If we do ever get truly cashless, presumably you could transfer money from your digital wallet to a panhandler’s digital wallet. Might it be hard for a panhandler in possession of a digital wallet to appear needy? Probably not: if they are ubiquitous, the cost of a digital wallet itself would likely be near (or even below?) zero.
John’s questions raise two other thoughts:
+ I wonder if the appeal of going cashless might wane in light of so much high-profile financial hacking going on.
+ If/as we do get more cashless, what are the other unseen ramifications? Personally, I’d be happy to do away with the stuff. It’s dirty, inefficient, and produces a lot of troublesome by-products.
One Dunkin’ Donuts store is taking a stand against the penny. Read More »
I’ve already used up too much of your bandwidth complaining about the uselessness of pennies, but allow me to share with you a wonderful vlog rant by John Green on the many, many reasons why the penny (and the nickel, too) should be abolished. Read More »
A young economist I know, Patrick DeJarnette, believes a much more radical change in currency is warranted. Here is what Patrick writes:
Late one night I was curious how efficient the “penny, nickel, dime, quarter” system was, so I wrote a little script to compare all possible 4-coin systems, with the following stipulations: Read More »