The Useless Penny
By Tonya Jackson
Speech Topic: The Useless Penny
Speech Title: No More Brownies
Category: Questions of Policy
Organizational Pattern: Monroe’s Motivated Sequence
General Purpose Statement: To persuade.
Specific Purpose Statement: To persuade my audience that the United States government should eliminate the penny from the economy.
Central Idea Statement: To persuade my audience that the United States government should eliminate the penny from the economy by first explaining that the United States needs to stop the production of pennies, secondly by explaining that stopping the production of pennies in the United States would be very feasible, and then finally discussing the benefits of life without the penny in the United States.
What is the least valuable thing in America? No it is not your ex! We see them everywhere on the ground, on public transportation, in restaurants, even on the floor in our own homes, but how many of us stoop down to pick one up. We throw them in the piggy bank because of their low value, not much you can buy with it these days. Many old sayings about them, a penny for your thoughts, turn up like a bad penny or this is a good one, Find a penny, pick it up and all day you’ll have good luck. Yeah right! How many of us believed that one? We go into the store pull out a pocket full of change and what do we see brownies, the only coin in your pocket that is brown. The useless penny! I see them all the time walking down the street and try to pick them up, but what do I do with them try to get rid of them as fast as I can who wants pennies. Now I know some of you might be sitting here today saying hum, give them to me I will cash them in, but guess what the machine takes about 9 cents for every dollar you cash in. So tonight I will persuade you that pennies are useless by first explaining that the United States government needs to stop the production of pennies, secondly by explaining that stopping the production of pennies in the United States would be very feasible, and then finally by discussing the benefits of life without the penny in the United States.
I. The United States needs to stop the production of pennies.
A. Mollica, Marlier said in her April 2006 article entitled “Keeping the penny in U. S. market makes no cents” states that she hates pennies and that they should be taken out of circulation.
1. According to the August 5, 2004 USA Today article entitled “Americans say keep the penny” when asked if they wanted to keep the penny 59% said no and 23% said yes and 18% said not sure.
2. In the article entitled “Pennies Don’t Pay Off” Dennis Cauchon of USA Today stated in his November 16, 2004 article that pennies are an annoyance to carry around and to use and they cost more to make than they are worth.
B. Personally I find pennies a nuisance.
1. The penny is a part of our history but it no longer has practical value says Jack James in his July 15, 2006 USA Today article entitles “Pennies lack practical worth”.
2. As stated in the previous April 2006 article, Mollica Marlier goes on to further state that she refuses to go fishing another dollar out of her purse because the total came to $20.01.
C. Several other nations have eliminated their small-denomination coins without going to wrack and ruin in the process.
1. In the June 2006 issue of the American Spectator, John Fund makes the case for getting rid of the penny by stating that when the half-cent was abolished in 1857 people afterward had no problem living and conducting business, and no major problems with transactions were reported, and banks did business as usual.
2. In the July 20, 2006 edition of the Daily News of the Edge it reports from Economist Robert M. Whaples in his article entitled “We should get rid of pennies” that it is estimated that the US loses about $900 million a year on penny production and handling.
3. Mr. Whaples goes on to further state that this cost is mainly due to the rising cost of zinc, the metal that makes up 97.5% of the penny, as well as to the costs of minting and transportation.
Transition: Now that I have explained that the United States government needs to stop the production of pennies, I will now explain that stopping the production of pennies in the United States would be very feasible.
II. Stopping the production of pennies in the United States would be very feasible.
A. Too many pennies make little sense.
1. Barbara Hagen Baugh in her USA Today article of May 10, 2006 entitled “Coins cost more to make than face value”, states that it costs 1.23 cents per penny!
a. The May 10, 2006 USA Today article further states that higher zinc and copper prices are raising the production costs.
b. Barbara Hagen Baugh author of the previously cited article goes on to say that the Federal Reserve pays only face value for coins. So if a coin costs more to make the makers are losing profits.
2. The aforementioned June 2006 American Spectator article states that prices of metals have been steadily rising this year, zinc is up 76% and copper is up 68%.
B. Don't pass any laws phasing out the penny just quit producing them!
1. Fortune magazine cited Rep. John Kolbe in an article on July 18, 2006 entitled “Kill-the-Penny Bill Introduced” that pennies minted in the final year should have a special "Farewell" design on the front and an eagle flying away on the back that would someday become valuable.
2. Susan Snyder of the Philadelphia Daily news said in her article entitled “Debating the fate of the lowly penny” dated August 20, 2006 claims that it is no longer an effective use of currency. Some stores do not even like to accept pennies.
Transition and Internal Review: Now that I have discussed that stopping the production of pennies in the United States would be very feasible first by talking about the cost of the penny, and secondly by telling how to stop producing them, I will now discuss with you the benefits of life without the penny in the United States.
III. Benefits of life without the penny in the United States!
A. The Penny Stops Here.
1. Sebastian Mallaby cites in his Washington Post article of September 25, 2006 that the penny stops here.
a. The Washington Post article goes on the further state that all stores should round off everything to the nearest nickel.
b. As previously stated in the Fortune magazine article Rep. John Kolbe states that there is too much time wasted on pennies.
2. In her June 5, 2006 USA Today article entitled “Now can we get rid of the penny”, Suzanne Heffner states that a man dumps many pennies on a sidewalk disgusted that the bank told him they would not redeem them.
3. Pennies barely qualify as currency, according to the USA Today article of July 28, 2006 entitled “A penny saved…pointless” states that vending machines and parking meters won’t take them, and further states that many stores will not take more than ten at a time.
B. Life without pennies would be different.
1. As in the aforementioned September 25, 2006 article Sebastian Mallaby declares that abolishing the penny is 12 times better than putting money in the S & P 500.
2. Why not change the value of all coins.
a. As previously mentioned Dennis Cauchon of USA Today further states that the nickel could be worth ten cents, the dime could be worth twenty five cents, the quarter would be worth one dollar and retire the dollar bill.
b. As mentioned in the August 2006 Philadelphia Daily News article, Susan Snyder says people love the idea of the silver dollar coin and do away with paper money totally to use cheaper metals to make money and save money at the same time.
Now image yourself walking down the street and you see a penny, first thing you will think about is what, that it is not even worth my time to bend over and pick that up. They are useless and make our streets look trashy. Go out and try it for yourself, you have to get a hundred of them just to make a dollar and don’t forget, nine more if you are going to use the machine to cash them in. How long will it take you to do that? Today I have persuaded you that the United States government should eliminate the penny from the economy by first explaining that the United States needs to stop the production of pennies, secondly by explaining that the production of pennies in the United States would be very feasible, and then finally discussing the benefits of life without the penny in the United States. Guess what even your opinion is worth more than a penny, ever heard of “putting my 2 cents in it? As Can Teach would say: Four bright coins shining at me, the first one said, "I'm a penny you see." The second one said, "How do you do? I'm called a nickel, and I'm bigger than you!" The third one said, "You're both small stuff, if you want to buy something, you're not enough! But look at me, I'm small, and I shine, I can buy something cuz I'm a dime." The last coin looked at them all and laughed, "All of you together don't measure up to me, Cuz I'm a quarter, can't you see?"
Cauchon, D. (November 16, 2004). Pennies Don’t Pay Off. USA Today.
Fund, J. (June 2006). American Spectator.
Hagen Baugh, B. (May 10, 2006). “Coins cost more to make than face value”. USA Today.
Heffner, S. (June 5, 2006). “Now can we get rid of the penny”. USA Today.
Iram Khan & James Hörner CanTeach.Com. retrieved November 20, 2006 from the can teach website: http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/songspoems70
John K. (July 18, 2006). “Kill-the-Penny Bill Introduced”. Fortune Magazine.
Mallaby, S. (September 25, 2006). “The Penny Stops Here”. The Washington Post.
Marlier, M. (2002). “Keeping the penny in U.S. market makes no cents”.
Snyder, S. (August 20, 2006). “Debating the fate of the lowly Penny”. Philadelphia Daily News.
Strieber, W. (July 20, 2006). “We should get rid of pennies”. Daily News of the Edge”.
Strolling, R.(December 2000). “Coins for a new Country”. Civil War Times Illustrated.
(August 5, 2004). “Americans say keep the penny”. USA Today