One of the little annoyances of life in Chile is checking out of grocery stores where the cashiers always ask if you mind them stealing a trivial sum of tiny aluminum coins from you. It costs more to ask you the question than the coins are worth! Similarly, in the USA, cashiers give you worthless pennies to weight your wallet. It costs 1.8 cents to make a penny and the government loses money on nickels, too. This works out well for legislators who receive political campaign contributions from zinc miners, whose metal replaced copper in pennies, but badly for the rest of the country.
Here is an amusing video complete with vintage USA coinage and foreign coins that explains why the penny should be abolished. The only critique I make is that it omits mentioning that pennies are minted to please zinc miners and politicians who refuse to admit that they’ve devalued the currency.
Piñera Government Buys Notes from Failing Bank