John Michael Green would like you to know that pennies are a waste of time, money, space, and life. In what seems like an entirely self-aware YouTube rant, he explains that "it costs the United States Mint 1.7 cents to make a penny, which means that every year 70 million dollars of federal tax money goes to subsidizing the existence of the penny." Not only that, but there's evidence that " the time Americans spend fiddling with pennies costs us money--as much as a billion dollars a year. So, every year, American taxpayers pay 70 million dollars to have the opportunity to lose a billion dollars in productivity costs," he concludes. This is when he begins to hit his stride (at points in the video, he also spins around on an office chair):
But that is not even the ultimate reason to get rid of the penny ... Money exists to facilitate the exchange of goods and services and pennies don't do that effectively! All the places we usually use coins like parking meters and vending machines don't accept pennies because they are worthless! ...
You know the only thing I hate more than pennies ..? Nickels. A nickel, which is worth 5 cents, takes more than 9 cents to produce. Imagine if you will ... a situation in which you walk into a bank and you say "I have here this nickel! Would you like to give me 9 cents for it?" and the bank says "yes." That's what's happening with the U.S. Mint.
So what does Green advocate? A system whereby we have three coins: a dime, a fifty-cent piece, and a dollar. Why won't it happen? Simple, says Green: because we are a "species of sentimentalists" seemingly incapable of getting rid of these "disgusting bacteria-ridden disks of suck that fail to facilitate commerce." Enough said. See below video for the full experience (Hat tip: Jason Kottke.).
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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