1. Pennies are worth less than their physical value.
If you melt down pennies produced before 1982, you can net a cool profit of 1.4 cents on each one, and a bit over over their face value on modern, zinc-based ones.
2. Australia did it in the early ’90s, and Australia is cool.
After all, Melbourne just got rated the most livable city in the world, along with three other Australian cities. Clearly they must be onto something down there.
3. Less children would die.
Okay, so most of that headline was to really draw your attention in, but many young children a year do swallow them and get poisoned by clad-zinc, risking death. So think about that one every time you just casually toss a penny aside.
4. Charities would make more money for the needy.
You know when you go to McDonald’s and you spot one of those “Ronald McDonald Foundation” donation boxes and suddenly feel the urge to drop some cents in there? Well, if pennies didn’t exist, you would automatically feel even more charitable.
5. We could collect all the remaining pennies and help solve the debt crisis.
This coincides with the first point—that they’re useless—but pennies cost the US Treasury 1.79 cents each to manufacture, so why not just collect them all, melt them down, and sell the copper and zinc to fight the deficit?
6. Everyone would have more time during the day for “me time.”
Think about how many minutes a day (or hours a year) you lose waiting for math-deficient people to count out their pennies to make exact change in line. Not only is it annoying, but time is literally money here.
7. The environment would thank us.
Let’s face it—Americans are lazy. If you accidentally drop a penny, you’re probably just going to leave it there. I bet you would pick up a nickel, though. Think about all the animals that might be choking on those millions of useless pennies lying around on the street and out in the forest. Yeah.
8. US Mint workers would get more time off.
The Mint makes 20.27 million pennies a day (7.4 billion annually). Eliminating them would mean only half the work would be required, and all those workers would have some much-deserved time off. Combined with not having to wait so long in line for people to count their pennies, that’s gotta be like an extra week a year.
9. Lincoln is already on the $5 bill.
If Abe were being honest today, he would look at all these previous facts, and—being a modest dude—sacrifice his own likeness on billions of pennies so that we could all live happier, easier lives. After all, who wouldn’t take a fiver over one measly cent?