msnbc | February 09, 2013
>>> you know those one-cent coins that were fun to play with as a kid and weigh you down as an adult this week? canada dropped pennies from its currency. the canadians did it first and they said the things are basically too expensive to make. will we follow suit here in the united states ? joining me now with his two cents, "time" magazine writer, we couldn't resist. you studied this topic and other numbers from the u.s. mint . how much money do we lose on the production of pennies?
>> the thing with the penny is it costs two cents to make each one of of them. we're losing about $50 million making the penny every year.
>> is there a lobby out there that's protecting the penny ?
>> there is a lobby and that's one of the main renes that we still have the penny . the zinc industry, the penny is actually made out of mostly zinc, a little bit of copper and the zinc industry funds americans for common sense and it's a lobby group in washington that is fairly powerful and keeping the status quo and keeping the penny around. are there other coins besides the penny that are expensive to produce, as well.
>> that's the one argument that acc makes, americans for common sense . it resonates. if we do get rid of the penny we could be more reliant on the nickel and use the nickel more and with the nickel it costs ten cents to make each nickel. so if we get rid of the penny it almost seems logical, why wouldn't we get rid of the nickel.
>> how would we pay for things that are oddly priced?
>> well, we can still use the penny as a price point.
>> okay. and so the thing is if we use credit and debit cards which most people are doing anyway and mobile payment , costs would still be to the penny , but if we were using cash, it would round up or down, depending on how close it was to the nickel and the five cents.