JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
My friend Jeff Donlan (who writes a fine and insightful blog, At the Library) cent (ha!) me this article on the false tyranny of the penny--rather it is about getting rid of the penny, which the author claims has run its course of usefulness, swallowed by the history of economic need for it. Maybe it takes more money to deal with the one-cent piece than it is worth, I don't know--the author of the article goes through that along with a short history of other currencies dumping their minuscule and antiquarian denominations.
What I wonder about is what happens to the number "9"?
My made-up statistical reference notes that about half of all prices on all the stuff in the U.S. use at least one nine; many use two. What happens to people excitedly advertising ",..and all your's for only three small payments of $19.99!!! And what about gasoline prices which are $2.89 and 9/10? Assuming that we keep the nickel, prices will have to re-adjust to accommodate the five-cent piece, dropping the "9" in millions of prices. No doubt tens of millions of people will think that prices have been raised across-the-board.
And what will we do with this enormous surplus of 9s?
Seriously though why not just get rid of the whole lot of less-than-a-dollar currency? I know that would be very problematic, but no doubt it there will be less time between the introduction of the penny to its demise than there will be from now to the elimination of all coin-and-paper currency, After all, in for a penny, in for a pound.