Did you know that it costs 1.23 cents to produce a penny? Representative Jim Kolbe (R-Arizona) does, and he is going to introduce legislation to basically abolish the lowly currency. His proposal would result in cash transactions rounding to the nearest nickel. Overseas military bases have been using the rounding system since the 80’s, and it seems to work pretty well there according to a National Review article by Rich Lowry.
The opening of the article refers to the strongest argument for abolishing the penny: the change cup at convenience stores. The penny has become so worthless that people will toss it aside without thinking about it. Of course one could also argue that it is wasteful to produce a coin that isn’t worth the zinc and copper it’s pressed from. But the fact that people basically treat pennies as trash these days is probably reason enough to retire the coin.