Synthesis Essay

Submitted By Malak-Allan
Words: 670
Pages: 3

Get Rid of the Penny
Much debate has spurred from the topic of eliminate the penny entirely. In our ever evolving economy, we’re always looking for ways to pinch pennies, the idea floating about in our legislature and in the public eye for the last ten years. Having drawn their own conclusions, many countries have decided to nix the coin for an emphasis on “electronic currency” with rounding systems in practice. When we see what the penny has come to represent, not just in monetary value but in its symbolic and political value, the United States can too draw conclusions that lead to the elimination of the penny.
The penny has evolved to become of little monetary value and of a great political value.
Safire, the writer in source C writes: “…you can’t buy anything with a penny anymore…It takes nearly a dime today to buy what a penny bought back in 1950.” Safire goes on to argue that workers who are employed to produce these wasteful coins could be serving a greater purpose employed elsewhere, such as tracking counterfeit currency. It is fiscally irresponsible to keep the penny in circulation. However, the penny’s existence is fiscally advantageous to zinc lobbyists.
In correspondence to Safire, Mark Weller attacks certain points made against the penny.
Weller argues that “the annual rate pennies disappear from circulation is surprisingly similar to all other forms of coinage ”and that “The fact is that the penny remains popular with the public and important to our pricing system.” The fact is that, Weller makes these claims with little or no warranted data to back himself up. Weller is executive director Americans for Common Cents, which is a lobbyist group focused on support for the penny; a group which has empirically teamed up with a number of zinc lobbyists to support their own business pursuits. Seeing that the

penny is over 97% percent zinc and 100% ineffective, the penny is in existence only for the benefit of these zinc lobbyists at the expense of taxpayers.
Aside from its political and monetary value, the penny also symbolizes historical and moral values reflected in American culture. Michael Bishop, quoted in source F, states “The penny is perhaps the most visible and tangible reminder of Lincoln’s significance in American
History.”, source F fails to express that the penny also represents a historical notion that is both unconstitutional and outdated. As source G shows, the statement “In God We Trust”, is clearly displayed on the “heads”