Home Featured An argument against the penny on National Lucky Penny Day

An argument against the penny on National Lucky Penny Day

Good morning and happy Monday, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to a new week. You’re off to a good start to it already, as you’re here, reading this website.

Today is National Lucky Penny Day, presumably the one time of the year we’re supposed to care about pennies. What separates a lucky penny from an ordinary run-of-the-mill penny is anyone’s guess, but at Colonel William Casey Elementary School in the early ’90s, only pennies laying head-side-up were considered lucky, so do with this information what you wish. 

This writer doesn’t take too many strong stands, but I’ll stand against the penny — the only currency Americans use that is literally worth less than the materials it’s made with. I have no use for them other than to fill up the cupholders in my car, where they will stay, at least until I get a new car and start a new penny collection. And I’m fairly poor! Even at my poorest though, I cannot ever recall a time when I had to use my pennies, not because I was too good for it, but because: What are you really going to buy with a couple hundred dirty pennies? A half-pint of gasoline?

Fun fact: There used to be a halfpenny coin, but minting was discontinued in 1857 because they were practically worthless. Here we are more than a century-and-a-half later, with WAY more wealth than mid-19thcentury America could ever fathom, but we haven’t had the good sense to ditch one-cent coins. 

Here’s another testament to a penny’s worthlessness: About 20 years ago, my family took a trip to Texas, mostly to stay with family in Houston, but one day we took a drive to San Antonio. We visited the famed Riverwalk, of course, but we also visited the Alamo. Inside this historic compound, there was a machine where you could pay (I think) one dollar, slide a penny into a slot, and the machine would press the penny into a thin, flat oval with the bust of the fortress across the front. 

Even at that age, maybe 14 years old, I remember thinking, “I’m pretty sure it’s illegal to deface or alter legal tender — I guess it’s OK because it’s just a penny.” See? Even when it comes to laws about money, pennies are not considered money.

It seems like we could stop making new pennies now and never run out, since they’re used almost exclusively to make exact change following a cash payment. Better yet, remove them from circulation altogether, and round every cash transaction to the nearest nickel. Any resources spent making new pennies are a waste of time and tax dollars. 

I’ll hop off my soapbox now and turn it over to the intern for today’s weather report:

At 6:30 a.m., it’s a cool, wet, rainy 59 degrees at company headquarters in Russell Springs. Intern correspondents in Jamestown and Columbia report near identical conditions, with rain falling across The County Line coverage area and temperatures hovering right below 60. Expect the rainfall to continue until around lunchtime, with a chance of spot showers in the afternoon as well. The high today will top out in the mid-60s.

This morning’s post is dedicated to Mark Turner, who celebrates a birthday today. All of us here at The County Line wish Mark the best day imaginable despite the gloomy weather, full of friends, family, and fun. Have a good one, Mark!

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Wes Feese is one of this company's owners and founders. He has previously worked as an editor, news reporter, sportswriter, photographer, and freelance contributor for newspapers across central Kentucky. He grew up in the Egypt community of Adair County and is a graduate of Adair County High School and Lindsey Wilson College.