Fight spam by donating to your favorite charity. That’s how researchers at Yahoo are hoping to convince people to put a virtual one-cent stamp on their outgoing e-mails. Sending a penny-stamped e-mail through Yahoo’s (not yet released) CentMail program would automatically mark it as “real mail” and get it past any spam filters. Read More »
While I stand by my belief that the penny is lousy as currency, someone has finally come up with a use for pennies that has made me reconsider my extinction argument: make a floor out of them! Read More »
Readers of this blog may recall Dubner’s crusade against the penny due to opportunity cost as well as the high actual cost of producing pennies. Now Slate takes a look at another currency question: is cash or credit more environmentally friendly? The article doesn’t manage to answer the question, but it does point out the […] Read More »
I have nothing against Abraham Lincoln — quite admire him, in fact — but I do think the penny has long, long, long outlived its usefulness.
Photo: Odalaigh Whenever I travel in other wealthy countries, I am a bit embarrassed about the dollar bill’s insignificance compared to other countries’ smallest bills: a 5-pound note is worth $9; a 5-euro note is worth $7; a 1,000-yen note is worth $9. At the same time, no rich country has a coin as worthless […] Read More »
In Argentina, buying a pack of gum can throw you into a standoff with the cashier, who, due to the country’s coin shortage, often lacks the correct change. Facing similar problems, nearby Paraguay has adopted a socially acceptable solution for vendors: when you don’t have change or need to round up, candy is acceptable currency. […] Read More »
Producing a penny costs about 1.7 cents, and the Treasury’s annual penny deficit is about $50 million, according to a New Yorker article by David Owen. Yet folks — and some companies — still want the penny around, in part because they fear merchants rounding up prices and increased reliance on the even more expensive […] Read More »
Treasury Secretary in favor of axing the penny. (Earlier) Free books online: the debate continues. (Earlier) Are lawsuits the next phase in the fight against global warming? (Earlier) Reducing class sizes isn’t enough to fight achievement gap. Read More »