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Re: Monetary units (was: Types of numerals)

From:Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>
Date:Friday, January 6, 2006, 18:07
John Vertical wrote:
> I dunno about hostility, but I can understand the annoyance. Imagine if > you had one-thousandth coins instead; would you agree that minting those > would be a complete waste of material and effort? You'd need dozens > before you could spend them on anything. > Now, with pennies, the only difference is that you'll need a ten times > smaller pile before they're worth anything. A single penny is still > essentially government-produced scrap metal by itself... except maybe to > little children, who might be happy to find one on the ground and be > able to go buy one gummibear.
I quite agree that eventually we will have to abandon the penny, I just don't think we're quite there yet. It certainly wouldn't be a problem if we did drop them, I just don't think it's necessary. And they're still useful for charities, which often have boxes by sales registers that people can drop change in. Pennies provide a surprisingly high percentage of the money they take in. I can't remember the figure right now, but I believe it was almost 20%. A mil coin ($.001) would almost certainly be impossible to produce today for less than $.001, but they did exist in earlier times, used primarily for sales tax purposes, at a time when the dollar's purchasing power was less than 10 times its present value, making those coins less valuable than current pennies.
> Hm, here in Finland all displayed prices include the sales tax, so that > problem doesn't exist.
I imagine there's a single nationwide sales tax, though? In the US, many cities have their own sales tax, so it'd be a headache for retailers to have to have different prices in different cities to account for sales tax.