MAY 6, 2012
Change is(n't) good
Nickel for your thoughts?

That’s right, the new generation of kids growing up will have no idea what you’re talking about when you mention a penny. Pretty soon we will have to put that in quotation marks: Do you remember “the penny”?

Like most Canadians I was/am one of the people who discards the gross-smelling coin as soon as I am handed one. I have a jar in my house that I throw all the pennies in – the ones that I keep, anyway.

A lot of times the not-quite-copper coin was left on the counter at the store, thrown into the “have a penny” container or tossed in the garbage. Throwing away money, how crazy, right?

Some people are saying this has happened to us before. We’ve changed money and it hasn’t been a problem. That is true, when Canada introduced the loonie there was an outcry, but this is removing a denomination for a number that we are now pretending doesn’t exist.

We will no longer recognize one, two, three, four, six, seven, eight or nine in math – at least when it comes to cents. What are teachers going to tell kids when learning math? All the other numbers are real but when it comes to money, these ones don’t count.

Don’t get me wrong, pennies annoy me. But from the standpoint that we now round up or down when it comes to making a purchase, it just seems like we need to have an exact number for this type of thing.

What exactly is my argument here? I’m not sure. I am not a supporter of the penny, though I am a supporter of math and the way basic numbers work. Maybe my acceptance will come over time like it did with the one-dollar and two-dollar coins. For now, I just can’t get over the fact we are eliminating a denomination altogether.
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