Thursday, August 16, 2007

Make a Penny by Making Pennies

The poor, lowly penny. The one-cent piece. In its day you could send some really pretty postcards to your loved ones for just one penny. They now cost 24 cents. For just five little pennies, were you subject to such an addiction, you could buy a fine cigar. Now they are more than $2 each.

The poor penny isn't even worth one cent any more. It takes 1.7 cents to manufacture every penny and a dime to make every nickel. The government makes 8 billion pennies every year. The copper penny is not made from copper (and the 5 cent nickel isn't made from nickel), the metal is just too expensive. Both coins are made from zinc which is getting damn expensive too.

Jarden Zinc is the sole supplier to the government for "penny blanks." And it is here where the opportunity for fortune lay. Rather than buying the raw zinc and forging new coins Jarden could simply buy up circulating pennies, at one cent each, strip off the engraving of Abe Lincoln, and recycle the blanks back to the government. They would save a fortune on manufacturing costs. And by consuming billions of pennies they will increase the government's need to buy still more pennies. With luck, they could sell the same penny blanks over and over a couple dozen times before they wear out.

NOTE to the law firm of Baker & Daniels: I know Jarden paid you $180,000 last year to block a law that would have given retailers the freedom to round prices to the nearest nickel. You were successful, congratulations. You must be good. In absolutely no way am I implying that Jarden Zinc would ever, ever, in a million years, do such a thing as I have suggested. I know they are far, far too ethical. It is called satire. Really. Satire. Look it up. If you still want to sue me, please contact my lawyer directly. I hate being served.


PoliShifter said...

Congress just passed a law recently too making it illegal to destroy pennies. Apparently the older pennies, back when they were still made out of copper are worth, well, more than a penny. People were melting them down and takng them to recycle yards.

This is the kind of crap that pisses me off though. That our government would succumb to the lobbying of a group that profits off of providing materials for making pennies, and rather than acting for the public good, or to save tax payer dollars, that Congress would continue business as usual simply because Jarden Zinc was able to spread enough money around to key politicians, is sickening.

It's the classic example of what is wrong with our government.

Now apply that model to body armor, uparmored humvees, fossil fuels,Katrina clean up,and meat packing and you'll see the same damn problems. Paying more for a less effective product simply because so and so knows so and so, or the lobbyists spread enough money around to in effect buy up the contract. It's bullshit.

PoliShifter said...

Here's a link to the copper melting story:

I guess we went through a similar thing when Silver coins went clad