The other day on the way to work, I stopped and picked up a penny. A little further along in my ride, I stopped and picked up a nickel. I made more than thirteen cents. I know plenty of people who won't bend over to grab a penny sitting on the sidewalk, but if you knew that coin is worth two point four cents, wouldn't it be worth it? The next time you pass up a nickel sitting in the gutter, keep in mind that it is worth eleven point two cents.
Okay, the truth is that the valuation of our currency has not changed. I would not be able to turn these random bits of coinage into twice the agreed upon designation. The U.S. Mint puts their cost at just under two and a half cents to make one penny in 2011 and just above eleven cents for each nickel. They are spending about one hundred million dollars making each of those coins. That metal you're lugging around in your pocket or sticking in a jar on your dresser is costing the government about fifty million dollars a year. As stuffed those coins down to nestle with the lint, I felt a twinge of guilt for adding to the national debt.
Pile on the cost of scientists trying to discover newer and cheaper mixes of metal to make pennies and you can see how it all begins to add up. Even with all that research, nobody believes that they will be able to get the cost of minting a penny under one cent. Steel pennies might solve the problem, but not minting pennies would save even more money.
And I would probably get to work on time.