The United States of America is known for its appreciation of history and tradition. It constantly encourages the remembrance and preservation of the past. The penny, despite its seemingly futile existence, is a major part of American history. It should remain in circulation not only because it is deeply rooted in society, but also because it is a constant reminder of our history.
Due to the prominence of pennies in America, it would be nearly impossible to eliminate them from society. To begin with, the federal government would have to sway a society that is primarily in favor of keeping the penny in circulation (Harris Poll). The efforts required to do this are not worth the minimal benefits of eliminating the penny. They would also require a great deal of money and campaigning for a seemingly lost cause. In addition to this, “two-thirds of pennies do not ‘immediately drop out of circulation’” (Weller). It would be nearly impossible to somehow rid society of the millions of pennies currently being used. Not only would that be unrealistic, but also a waste of time and effort that could be directed elsewhere. Because there are millions of pennies in circulation, it would be virtually impossible and extremely costly to eliminate them from society.
Aside from their abundance, pennies also have a place in society because of their history. The penny existed even in 1793, and then too was it worth one cent (Penny Visual). Although its appearance has changed slightly, the penny is one of the few things that this generation shares with those passed. Eliminating the penny would mean destroying an American symbol of history. Additionally, “’the penny is perhaps the most visible and tangible reminder of Lincoln’s significance in American history’” (Press Release). Despite its apparent ubiquity and low monetary value, the penny is an important symbol of national pride. Removing the penny from circulation would mean taking away a key part of American history.
Despite the commonality and history of the penny, some claim that it is useless and should be eliminated. For example, William Safire asserts that pennies are “literally more trouble than they are worth” and that the U.S. is “among the last of the industrialized nations to abolish the peskiest
little bits of coinage” (Safire). In spite of this bold stance, there are several logical flaws. It is evident just by looking at the most prices that pennies are “important to our pricing system”, as the absence of pennies would make some values unattainable (Weller). Furthermore, in major industrialized countries such as Great Britain, Canada, and Japan, “the penny or penny-equivalent remains in production and shares similar percentages of total coins produced in those countries” (Weller). The penny is not at all as worthless or outdated as some make it out to be.
The penny is a major part of the American society that has immeasurable worth both economically and historically. Removing it from circulation would entail an unnecessary amount of government time, money, and attention. The penny is far too valuable to both society and history to face elimination.