How to Save the Penny
His argument has merit, but is eliminating the penny an answer?
To employ a musical metaphor, our economy was composed in a much lower key. Unfortunately, over time we've moved to a higher register, and now we're stretched to a ridiculous falsetto. Maybe we could solve this problem by chopping off the high notes, but wouldn't it make more sense to move down a few octaves?
It wouldn't be difficult. If Alexander Hamilton composed the American economy, then why not opt for the key of his original composition?
According to the consumer price index, one cent in 1796 would be worth 14 cents today. That means our currency is in a key 14 times too high.
The advantages of "re-tuning" our currency by a factor of 14 are not easy to explain, and even more difficult to calculate. So what if we revalued our currency by a factor of 10, and simply dropped a digit from the value of everything. The net effect would transform a $35,000 salary into a $3,500 salary, and a $300 car payment into a $30 car payment.
All debts, all wages, and all prices would remain equivalent while our currency assumed a value more consistent with its original design. Imagine how nice it would be to put one thin dime in a Coke machine, and how easy it would be to bend over and pick up a discarded penny.
If everyone's convinced, maybe we could move on to more important priorities like the metric system, the Dvorak keyboard and Esperanto.
George Pence III
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