The Penny Has Got To GO

Have you heard the debate about the penny? If not, take a look here. The penny is costing us billions of dollars a year in lost time and funds.

We (or rather the U.S. Mint) have been making the penny at a loss for the past two years (it currently costs 1.7 cents to make one cent) and it’s only going to get more expensive from here as the price of metals keeps rising.

But apparently, there are still millions of people that want to keep the penny.

For the life of me, I don’t understand why…and before you start thinking of all the reason (more like myths) for not getting rid of the penny (ex. if we didn’t have it, prices would be rounded up) please take a look at this.

If you look at the facts, getting rid of the penny makes sense. It is the rational thing to do. So why aren’t we doing it? It’s mostly because the majority of people still want it and I suspect that the reason isn’t because they love Lincoln and the thought of getting rid of the penny would somehow insult his memory, or that it’s a national institution (or coin) so we should keep it.

No, I’m pretty sure that it’s because people just don’t like CHANGE (sorry for the pun!). Most people love the status quo. They get nervous at the very idea of change, even if intellectually they know that the change is for the better. Sure, looks do matter, but you won’t have any fashion trends or other looks-influencing factors without any sort of change.

So why am I writing about the penny and getting rid of it? Because it drives me nuts to keep doing something that doesn’t make any sense. It drives me nuts that Congress doesn’t do the right thing (surprise, surprise!). It makes me crazy that people are willing to embrace a symbol when all rational indications are that it is of no use anymore.

It makes me want to shout…CHANGE IS GOOD (that is change, that is not a penny!). Embrace change people! In fact, demand it! Branding and advertising efforts are often only geared toward change.

Now I’m not saying that all change is good but when you’ve done all the research and the facts are on your side, you have to take the fear out of the equation and just say yes to progress! Go out, be the entrepreneur, work toward change, and capture the online consumer.