I want to talk about Canada who this week
made my reason-to-like her list one item longer
by deciding to abolish the penny.
Since I previously made a video called 'Death
to Pennies' it should come as no surprise
that this move gets a big 'Go Canada!' from
So lets take a moment to cheer Canada for
her economic rationalism, look at how getting
rid of a coin works in practice, and remind
her sister to the South why she might want
to do the same.
Canada's plan is pretty simple: in a couple
months the Royal Canadian Mint will switch
the penny making machine from on, to off.
Pretty much nothing else in the world is going
to change. Pennies will still be be legal
tender in Canada, so that jar of several hundred
that you'll never bother to count will always
be worth just as much as it is today.
And In shops there will still be that person
who pays with exact change.
But after they've tediously counted out their
precious (worthless) pennies the shop will
send them to back to the Royal Canadian Mint
to be melted down. Thus the supply of pennies
will slowly decrease over time in pleasant
But, while the penny will functionally go
away, prices listed in one-cent intervals
Your coffee and TimBits will still cost the
same and when you get to the cash register
the total amount after tax will still have
And if you pay by card, that exact amount
will be deducted from your account.
The only difference is if you pay in cash,
not card, *and* you don't have any pennies
with which to waste everyone else's time then
the price will be rounded to the nearest five
And yes, in rounding sometimes you win and
sometimes you lose but -- and this is the
rather salient point -- either way a one or
two cent difference isn't worth caring about.
Which is why Canada can safely jettison the
penny in the first place.
Inevitably, thought, this is the point in
the discussion when pro-penny people propose
that ditching the worthless coin will make
prices go up and your savings go down.
But the evidence for this claim is nonexistent
because many countries have done this before
with no ill effect.
Sure, coin collectors and inefficiency fans
will be sad to see the penny go but overall
it's a big win for Canada because printing
money isn't free. The cost to make a one-cent
penny is 1.6 cents.
So every year when Canada visited the mint
she spent 29 million dollars to buy 18 million
dollars worth of pennies -- effectively throwing
away 11 million dollars a year.
Now, obviously ditching pennies won't single-handedly
balance the budget but it's the easiest most
rational place to start.
Congratulations Canada! May others follow
in your path.
If you want to know more about why the United
States in particular should get rid of pennies
you can either watch my video on the topic
or listen to fellow penny-hater John Green
get arm-wavingly angry about not only pennies,
but also nickels, which are even worse.
Also There should be a new main video up in
the next week or two but if you want to help
me make them faster you go here on my website
to help out with the fact-checking for upcoming
Thanks for watching.