A Nineteenth of A Cent For Your Thoughts

That’s what a penny buys today, compared to 1914, which is as far back as the Bank of Canada Inflation Calculator goes. The buying power of a penny back in 1914 was equivalent to 19 pennies today and nobody saw the need for a nineteenth of a cent coin. So why do we need a penny or a even a nickel today, which was worth almost a dollar (94 cents) back then in today’s buying power. We already have the loonie so we don’t need the nickel. But I would keep the dime, even if it is, relatively speaking, the equivalent of having a half cent coin in 1914.

In fact we have acted at the other end of the coin spectrum by recognizing inflation has turned one and two dollar bills into small change, so we added two new coins, the loonie and the twonie. Now it is time to eliminate the two at the bottom, the penny and the nickel.

For those that are concerned about losing a few nineteenths of a cent in the rounding process we could require that all prices be a multiple of ten cents and that all sales taxes be rounded down to the nearest ten cents.

Pat Martin has the right idea we just need to take it to the next logical step.

And while we are at it maybe retailers can stop treating customers as idiots with their silly pricing, such as labeling an item $1.97 to try to make us think it is priced under two dollars. Does anyone really think a car buyer does not know a sticker price of $29,989 really means $30,000. But then again, anyone who watches television commercials these days knows retailers think we are idiots.

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