There has been some recent news about the US proposing to alter the composition of the penny, to make it cheaper to produce. The US has minted the Lincoln penny coin since 1909, a little over a hundred years. This is at least a decade too long. The penny is absolutely useless, save for being able to subdivide the nickel, another coin whose utility is somewhat in question. I can’t stand them – they they are often green and smelly from copper oxidization, and they add bulk to your pockets for no real gain. They are inefficient to produce. They don’t interact with anything – you can’t put them into vending machines or parking meters. People don’t value them – very often, they go into the charity jar or ‘take-a-penny’ tray next to a cash register, better left behind than carried along. Rounding prices to the nearest nickel is, on average, going to net you approximately the same amount of money in your pocket, so eliminating the penny is essentially zero-sum.
Worried about Abraham Lincoln losing relevancy in the US if the penny goes away (Illinois)? First, that’s probably not going to happen given that he’s one of the most revered presidents, but even more so, that sounds like a problem worth solving. Take a fraction of the savings from getting rid of the penny and build (another) monument to Lincoln, or transfer his image onto the dollar coin. We send a lot of things into outer space that need names. There certainly is a solution here.
In summary, hate on the penny, and get rid of it.