The US Penny Should be Taken out of Service
Moving on, this is the debate of the topic: "The US Penny Should be Taken Out of Service."
The first round is simply for acceptance.
1) No trolling/semantics.
2) No offensive content/swearing
3) Keep arguments within the spirit of debate/no personal attacks.
In the event of a rule being broken by either side, it will result in an automatic loss.
I eagerly await an opponent.
Penny Taken Out of Service: All pennies within the United States will neither be minted nor accepted as legal tender.
As I am Con, it is not my job to address a plan, so the plan must be addressed by Pro.
Burden of Proof:
Here, I'd like to establish a 3-pronged burden of proof for Pro.
In order for Pro to win this debate, he/she must prove the following three items:
1) The harm of the penny is sufficient enough to justify its removal from the market.
2) Taking the penny out of service will minimalistically harm the economy.
3) Their plan is good enough to transition into this change smoothly with minimal harm and maximum benefit.
If any fragment of these three items is left unproved, then I, Con, will win this debate.
I would like to bring 2 major points into this debate.
Argument 1: Economical Harm
The US penny should not be taken out of service because it will harm the economy. Even though it is only one cent, the penny is extremely important in the way the US economic system works. How can we achieve the same amount of exactness in change and payments as we do with the penny? The only answer is rounding, but that is detrimental to the economy. According to pennies.org, propositions take the penny out of service and utilize the nickel as the coin of lowest value create public anxiety about higher prices and inflation. Over three-quarters of Americans (77%) are concerned that merchants would raise prices without the penny. And, most likely, they are correct. Professor of Economics at Penn State University Raymond Lombra, Ph.D. said to a Congressional committee that rounding cash sales up or down to the nearest nickel would cost consumers over $600 million annually. For example, you are a merchant who runs a clothing store. You charge $11 for a t-shirt, and the sales tax in California is 7.5%. You have a customer, and he/she pays in cash. The amount comes down to $11.86 with the sales tax. But, wait" you have no pennies! How do you get the extra cent when there are no cents? The only answer is to round the price down to $11.85, but then you're losing a cent! When the penny is taken out of service, multiply this example by millions per day, and, as Raymond Lombra puts it, $600 million is now lost per year versus when the penny was still in service. $600 million dollars being lost just from taking a coin out of service is an extremely significant amount that cannot be ignored. A whopping majority of 77% of the general public is worried about taking the penny out of service. Without the penny, the the general public will lose money and the US economic situation will worsen.
Argument 2: Charities
The US penny should not be taken out of service because charities need pennies.
There are a plethora of small charities that depend on penny drive to bring in donations. People think nothing of pouring out their old penny jars to support these drives, but they won't part with nickels so easily. Many corporations, national charities, schools, and local philanthropies have realized the worth of the penny. Through the use of point-of-sale collections, penny drives and competitive penny fundraisers, these groups have turned thousands of idle pennies into real dollars for everything from college scholarships to cancer research and housing for the homeless. One major example is Pennies for Patients, and without pennies, it would be nickels for patients, but that doesn't sound good! Pennies always have a worth to someone no matter who he/she may be. Pennies rescue people battling terrible diseases such as cancer. Pennies can save lives. College scholarships and cancer research rely on pennies. We, the opposition, want the best in the future, and the best is not to eliminate the penny.
I await a response from my opponent and wish luck to him/her!
I do not agree with your terms as they where not originally outlined. As the instigator it is normally assumed that you have the burden of proving your point. It is up to the voters to decide who wins, not you. I will address your concerns to be a good sport:
" The harm of the penny is sufficient enough to justify its removal from the market."
" Taking the penny out of service will minimalist harm the economy."
"Their plan is good enough to transition into this change smoothly with minimal harm and maximum benefit."
As of 2011, it costs 2.41¢ US (or $0.0241 US Dollars (USD)) to make a penny, making the coin's face value less than its actual value. http://www.wisegeek.org...
This fact alone is sufficient enough to justify removing the penny from the market, or more correctly simply stop creating them as this is the more efficient plan. The reason that this is bad, other then the obvious, is that it increases the national debt in a pretty useless way.
Removing the penny is only good for debt. Without the penny the government estimates it will save 7.6 TRILLION dollars in just ten years. http://www.enzi.senate.gov...
Argument 1: Economical Harm
I don't think you quite understand the "penny plan". As a Canadian (with a diploma in business) I have witnessed this plan first hand. The consumers worried that their $19.99 product will increased to $20.00 need not worry as it will stay at $19.99. The penny only effects Cash transactions, not electronic. all debit, gift card, credit card, cheque, etc. will be handled as if there is a penny.
As for rounding of pennies the cost of using cash normally does not change. We use a complete rounding system, not a rounding up system as you implied. This means that $1.01 and $1.02 would be rounded down to $1, while $1.03 and $1.04 would be rounded up to $1.05. If you play close enough attention to your pennies you can actually save money by only using cash when it is time to round down, but not much.
Argument 2: Charities
The penny is the most donated coin, yet it can be quickly over shadowed by the nickel (5-1). There is no evidence that suggests people who donate will simply stop donating because there is no penny. In fact donations may rise because people "have" to give more then just a couple pennies. Furthermore Charities in Canada held drives to collect the "worthless" pennies once they where discontinued.
Refutations to Refutations:
Refutation 1: Minting Cost
My esteemed colleague has stated that, as of 2011, it costs 2.41 cents to make a penny. However, I'd like to point out that they have cited a source from 2011. As of 2014, pennies only cost 1.7 cents to make, down 2.4 cents from 2011 (http://blogs.wsj.com...). Therefore, the evidence shows that the amount it costs to make the penny is actually on the decline. Soon, it will not be much of a loss for the US to make it, meaning that there is not an adequate reason to abolish its use.
Refutation 2: Debt
"Removing the penny is only good for debt" is what Pro states. I strongly disagree as we will lose $600 million/year with the rounding system as earlier showed in my first argument. The United States' debt recently hit $18 trillion, and I believe Pro and I have a common interest in lowering that debt. However, the solution is not to take the penny out of service. Also, after this statement, Pro brings up a source and says that the US will save 7.6 trillion dollars/year without the penny, yet he/she fails to provide any reasoning behind this. It's just going to happen... somehow... I don't think so. Therefore, Pro's case has one more flaw.
Refutation 3: Economical Harm Refutation
My mistaken opponent stated that the penny will only affect cash transactions in response to my argument about economic harm. However, they have ignored a chunk of the argument in saying this since the source I stated about the $600 million a year being lost is talking about cash purchases. (Here's a link: http://pennies.org...) Therefore, Pro simply danced around my argument instead of actually attacking it head-on.
Refutation 4: Charities Refutation
A contradictory statement made by Pro is "The penny is the most donated coin,yet it can be quickly overshadowed by the nickel." This is like saying "People like beef, but they'll like chicken better sooner or later." Therefore, It is a contradictory statement that cannot be proved. To expand on my charity point, pennies are better than nickels for donations since pennies are worth less, and, because of that, people donate more, which eventually becomes more money for the charities. If people donated nickels, they would be more stingy with how many they gave.
Refutation 5: Canada
"We use" and "As a Canadian" are two prime examples of phrases used by Pro that prove his/her misunderstanding of the topic. If I may reiterate, the topic is "The US Penny Should be Taken out of Service," not "The Canadian Penny Should be Taken out of Service." Pro fails to use any American examples and is under the delusion that the Canadian economy is exactly the same as the United States economy, proving another point for Con.
Refutation 6: Burden
I gave Pro a 3-pronged burden of proof and, so far, no prong has been fulfilled. Let's break them down individually.
1) The harm of the penny is sufficient enough to justify its removal from the market. Pro slightly dances around this by saying that it costs a lot to make a penny, but never follows through, and I have already taken this down earlier.
2) Taking the penny out of service will minimalistically harm the economy. Pro has not mentioned anything whatsoever about this prong.
3) Their plan is good enough to transition into this change smoothly with minimal harm and maximum benefit. Pro never even brings up a clear-cut plan. Sure, they mention things like "the penny plan" and "the plan," but what is this plan? The world may never know, or at least not myself and the voters since Pro has not mentioned this.
Here is a statement made by Pro: "I do not agree with your terms as they where not originally outlined. As the instigator it is normally assumed that you have the burden of proving your point. It is up to the voters to decide who wins, not you. I will address your concerns to be a good sport." If he/she does not agree with my terms (they actually were originally outlined since the first round was for acceptance), then why didn't Pro attempt at refuting them? As an Instigator, it is assumed that I have the burden of proving my point. I already have proved my point, yet Pro has not proved his/hers since he/she has failed to meet his/her burden. I completely agree that it is up to the voters to decide, this burden is a mere aid for the voters, saying that if Pro does not have these three things, they can't win because their case is not sufficient to prove their assertions.
Because of Pro's ignoring of evidence, misunderstanding of the topic, outdated evidence, and inability to fulfill his/her burden, it is clear that Con is currently the front runner in this debate. Thank you for reading this, and I once again wish luck to my opponent approaching Round 3.
Economical Harm Refutation: Raymond Lombra, PhD and losing $600 million/year
I assumed you would understand that my reply about the complete rounding system was my reply to the first round speculation. Another reason I didn't feel the need to formally reply is you did not cite where your facts where from (in round two), or in this case when! You scrutinize me for using estimates from 2011, but your source here was from 1990. http://www.pennies.org...
This is why consumers and merchants, one average, wouldn't lose money let alone $600 million:
A merchant owns a store, A person wants to buy a few items where the total comes to $11.05 the sales tax is 7.5%. After sales tax The amount due is $11.88, making the cash due $11.90. With this scenario the merchant gains 2 pennies wow!
The same merchant owns the same store. a person buys a few items totalling $11.93 the sales tax is 7.5%. This makes the total $12.82, or cash due $12.80. Oh no, the merchant lost 2 pennies, glad he gained two before so it equals out!
Sorry about the outdated info, that was my bad. I will point out that it is still costing more to make a penny then it is worth, my point is still valid. No it is not on the decline as you have assumed your own source you deemed viable said:
"A new report shows the cost to produce a penny was 1.7 cents in the 2014 fiscal year. That’s down from 2.4 cents in 2011 but still more than face value.
And that won’t change"
The stock on zinc (not copper as pennies are primarily zinc) has risen in the last five years and is currently rising. https://www.google.com...
How do you think that the pennies usefulness outweighs its cost?
It looks like you are the one dancing to this one. First my statement can be proved and is not contradictory. The quote was:
"The penny is the most donated coin,yet it can be quickly overshadowed by the nickel (5-1)"
The meaning was clear, a nickel is worth five pennies, a donation of one nickel will always beat a donation of four pennies. (proof) You on the other hand have no proof, You again assume that people will not donate nickel's or will be stingy. As I outlined in round two assumptions like this make charitable people look bad.
Australia is another country who abolished the penny way back in 1992. The charitable donations still rose even though they has no pennies to give. http://www.jbwere.com.au...
I am Canadian
I believe that I have the right to use the international experiences of the loss of the penny in a debate. Using countries comparable to the USA is is a great way to estimate what will happen to the economy after the abolishing. I do know that the Canadian economy is not the exact same. I also know my fair share about the American economy. The reason I do not compare America to America is because no matter which America you compare it to they still have their penny. Furthermore I have only given examples of my own experiences with the penny being abolished effect on commerce (I can use other Canadian or Australian examples if you wish) and gave an idea for charities. I did use other arguments outside of Canada.
As stated I believe this burden is the instigators. You have only given ONE clear argument which was refuted twice.
In reply to your points they can be tackled quite easy to what I have said earlier and what is assumed when starting a debate:
1) Removing the penny is justified: It costs too much to make and is not worth it. What other follow through do you need?
2) Will not harm the economy: I have stated that it will help the economy by decreasing debt and will not do any harm with a complete rounding system.
3) The plan to phase out pennies: oh I assumed you knew, it is your argument. Getting rid of pennies will be done the only way that makes sense, phasing them out from circulation. Here is the normal process used by Australia and Canada (Yes, most likely USA): Stop minting the penny (the process of making the penny), merchants will stop giving out pennies as change but will accept them for a period of time, (if you have exact change as a customer you don't round up or down), the banks end up with the pennies and then they are re-purposed by the government. The only other way to take pennies out of the system is to make pennies worthless, not legal tender. This wont happen for obvious reasons.
Other arguments to refute:
Pennies are a waste of time and time is money.
Many people don't bother to take their pennies as change let alone spend them in stores. The people that do spend pennies end up wasting everyone time.
"National Association of Convenience Stores and the Walgreen's drugstore chain have estimated that handling pennies adds 2 to 2.5 seconds per cash transaction. Assume that the average citizen makes one such transaction every day, and so wastes (to be conservative) 730 seconds a year. The median worker earns just over $36,000 a year, or about 0.5 cents per second, so futzing with pennies costs him $3.65 annually." http://www.washingtonpost.com...
This estimate does not include the time wasted from picking up found pennies, the cashier or business time wasted by customers counting pennies, the cashiers time wasted by counting pennies at end of shift, rolling your pennies because you have so many, and taking pennies to the bank to be changed.
Pennies are not accepted for all purchases.
Electronic transactions are becoming more and more common and the penny is becoming less useful in that respect. Vending machines, phone booths, toll booths, and parking meters are some examples of electronic merchants that do not accept pennies.
Pennies are bad for the environment.
It is no secret that many pennies end up just dropped, you can find them on the streets and in the sewers. Unlike that banana peel rotting on someone's lawn pennies do not biodegrade efficiently. What is worse for the environment are the mines, Specifically zinc mines (Pennies are made of very little copper)
"Red Dog Mine, which is the largest zinc mine in the U.S. is by far the #1 polluter on the EPA's list, because of large quantities of heavy-metal and lead rich mining tailing's. The process of refining both metals can release sulfur dioxide (SO2), lead and zinc into the environment."
In conclusion, It is obvious that taking out the penny will result in a better future for the USA, financial and otherwise. Because of Con's constant assumptions, a single outdated, uneducated argument, and inability to create a rebuttal it is clear that Pro is the front runner in this debate. Thank you for reading this and Con, Good Luck.
Refutations to Refutations:
Refutation 1: Rounding
My opponent has brought up in their refutation to my argument about economic harm that she did not feel the need to formally reply to my argument because I "did not cite where" my "facts are where from" (This grammatically should be "were from") . That is a sorry excuse for what is truly a lack of a refutation for my argument. He/she moves on to saying that my source is from 1990, and then because of that completely rejects my argument. There are better ways to refute this than just pointing out an outdated source (which has no relevance whatsoever and doesn't disprove anything). He/she then moves on to give examples of a merchant saving and losing 2 pennies. However, the example that my opponent provides is what I like to call a utopian example. It's perfect, and it just seems to work out. However, not everything will perfectly balance out like this. Here's a counterexample: A merchant owns a store. The price, after tax, comes down to $11.88 and it gets rounded to $11.90 since it is a cash purchase; the merchant gains 2 pennies. However, the next person buys an item that totals to $11.91, and it gets rounded to $11.90; the merchant loses one penny. When simple math is done, it can be shown that, in this example, 1 penny is obviously lost. Not every transactions will perfectly counteract each other as my opponent suggestions, therefore, multiply this imperfect transaction by hundreds of thousands occurrences a day, and you will lose, more or less, $600 million a year, as Raymand Lombra puts it.
Refutation 2: Minting Cost
In this refutation, my opponent responds my point by stating that my point is invalid because the minting price is worth more than the face value, even though it is lower than what he/she originally said.
I have 2 responses for this.
1) I strongly disagree as this does not disprove my point whatsoever since the manufacturing value has declined since 2011. It has been on the decline, and since it is 1.7 cents, it is only a loss of .7 cents per each penny. Why should we get rid of the penny if we lose 3 cents on each nickel as they cost 8 cents to mint (http://blogs.wsj.com...)? My opponent's logic is to get abolish its creation and circulation because it costs more to manufacture than its actual value, so why not get rid of the nickel as well since it is more of a loss than the penny?
2) "Thus what we have with the penny and the nickel is the last, residual restraint that the government actually faces when it manufactures money. This money, this petty change, actually costs something to make. Which would be precisely why we should insist that the United States keep making it. It can remind the country of how properly to conduct monetary policy. When market signals say you are pushing too hard, stop it. The real economy will respond by getting back to what it does best, which is roaring." -http://www.forbes.com... If you don't want to read the article, it basically says that pennies are good for the economy, especially since they are made out of a semi-precious metal, because it will not get overproduced, thereby meaning that having a higher manufacturing value is actually a good thing, turning and capturing my opponent's point.
Refutation 3: Charities
Pro brings up that I am the actual one dancing on this one, however fails to back that statement as well as simply asserting that his/her quote is not contradictory without an explanation. He/she also misunderstood my logic. As I said, since pennies are worth less, people will donate more of them, totalling to a greater amount of money for charities. Sure, this is an assumption, but it's a logical one unlike the assumption made by Pro, who becomes a hypocrite by stating that I have no proof, hounding me for a source from 1990, and then using a source from 1992. Therefore, my charities point should get through.
Refutation 4: Canadian
Pro definitely does have the right to use international experience anywhere he/she pleases, however, as proved and agreed with by him/her, Canada and America definitely do have completely different economies (http://www.thestar.com...). The same goes for Australia. Therefore, Pro has conceded to this point.
Refutations to Arguments:
Refutation 1: Waste of Time
Pennies are not a waste of time. No matter who, they always have a meaning, whether it is an emotional connection between father and son, mother and daughter, the ability to save someone's life from cancer when being donated to charity, or being lucky when picked up from the street. Also, see my refutation 2 above for a further refutation that applies to this as well. Saying that pennies are a waste of time is like saying that an abused dog is not worth saving.
Refutation 2: Not Accepted for all Purchases
My opponent's second argument is that pennies are not accepted for all purposes. I completely agree, in fact this is common sense. But this argument was just a waste of time in that it is not tied in and plays no role in the scheme of things.
Refutation 3: Bad for the Environment
Saying that pennies are bad for the environment is a bold, overreaching statement. Sure, pennies are bad for the environment when dropped, but the number of pennies laying around on someone's lawn is so insignificant that this portion of the argument does not help prove anything. I, as well, agree that zinc mines harm the environment, but don't take the penny out of service to fix this. They're still going to make zinc for other purposes, it is not the penny that is causing the harm, it is the zinc mines. Pennies are innocent.
Economical Harm vs. Waste of Time (Con 1 vs. Pro 1):
In this situation, my argument is clearly stronger do to the fallacious logic and overarching bold statements presented by Pro. The impact of losing ~$600 million/year and the other chaos that will potentially break loose is more significant than a few cents being wasted here and there. To put this in simpler terms, $600,000,000 > $3.65.
Charities vs. Environment (Con 2 vs. Pro 3):
With Pro's argument focusing on such an insignificant scope/area and my argument logically demonstrating harm to charities, it's no wonder my point is stronger in this instance as well.
Pro had three prongs to prove, yet he/she said that it does not have to be proved as I am the instigator. I strongly disagree as Pro is the side trying to change the status quo, and with that, you need to prove how your plan is going to be effective, which has not been done. These are the three unproved prongs:
1) I have clearly refuted this, disproving what my opponent attempted to say, therefore leaving this prong unproved.
2) Somewhat proved, but not all the way.
3) Once again, there has been no clear explanation as to how Pro's plan will "transition into this change smoothly with minimal harm and maximum benefit."
As the burden is left unproved, Pro does not have a case sufficient to win this debate, therefore resulting in a clear reason to vote for me, Con. The decision is up to the voters now.
I'd like to thank my opponent for this great debate from which I have learned a lot and all future voters for exercising judgment as to who won. As a 13 year-old, it is hard to debate an economic topic against someone with a business diploma. I wish luck to my opponent as the debate comes to a close. As I like to say, e verbis victoria.
As this is the last round I will keep this as short and to the point as I can.
My opponent continually states that I am reaching wile clinging to an outdated argument that is not even factual. For the $600 million that my opponent said will be lost will also be gained by both citizens and merchants (Please see my previous statement on complete rounding). Yes I did admit that some would come out on top and some would come out on bottom, but by only a few cents each, nothing that would amount to 600 million in deficit even if people tried to save money this way. (see cbc link)
Another issue we have bumped heads on is the use of outdated information. Any high school will tell you a report made by someone can be outdated if it is opinion based and if it is older then 10 years. My source from "1992" is not from 1992 as my opponent stated, It is from 2012 based off charity trends that existed since before 1992 till 2013. Their Source is an opinion based report published in 1990.
My opponent brought up that the cost of a nickel is also higher then the cost of a penny. He/she assumes that if I say "we should be getting rid of pennies" I must make a case to get rid of nickels too. The simple fact is that nickels do not round the same as pennies, and we would have to do something about quarters too. It simply is not feasible to get rid of the nickel (yet). This does not undermine the savings that loosing the penny would would create. America would still be gaining back the cost of creating pennies wile not losing any more then planned on nickels.
My opponent did not tackle the subject of a penny will never equal its cost to make, but simply said it decreased from 2011-2013.
"This money, this petty change, actually costs something to make"
The cost to make pennies each year is much, much more then petty change:
"This year, the Mint has spent more than $114 million to make pennies, compared with $83.7 million for nickels, $72.3 million for dimes and $133 million for quarters."
It is an expensive coin! Overshadowing nickels and dimes all for what? To end up on the street.
My opponents Forbes site does not say "higher manufacturing value is actually a good thing" it said it "used" to be a good thing. Today the government has standards and laws that prohibit the creation of money for no reason. We also have a harder time counterfeiting currency now then they used to during the original years of the country.
"fails to back that statement as well as simply asserting that his/her quote is not contradictory without an explanation". I did explain this one. Once again I said that a nickel will quickly over shadow a penny (5-1). Nickels are worth five times more, therefore the will overshadow a penny five times to one. My opponent then preceded to call me names (hypocrite) by saying my 2012 source was from 1992 and again forces the assumption that people will stop donating if there are no pennies.
Canadian: we are in agreement.
Waste of Time
Collecting: I am sure the mother and daughter, father and son who collect pennies will be much happier when their collection goes up in value due to the abolished of the penny in stores.
Donations: The cancer patient has a good chance of survival due to other non penny donations.
Your comparison is not correct, saying pennies are a waste of time is like saying a dog only has so many years, go play with him instead of rolling virtually useless coins
My opponent did not refute the actual dollar amount that every American will lose per year due to time wasted on pennies.
Not Accepted for all Purchases. My opponent agrees with me but tries to make my point less valuable then a penny by saying it is a waste of time. I would like to explain with the example:wile you have to fumble in a change purse around 50 pennies (not accepted at a vending machine), you could have had two quarters in change (or ten nickels) and you could have gotten that bag of chips you wanted but now you are hungry and in a rush with pennies weighing you down. Vending machines are only getting better and more convenient, who knows when you will get your next snack craving.
Bad for the Environment: "Pennies are innocent." 18,000 metric tons of zinc are used per year to create pennies. Supply and demand dictates how much zinc they will dig up and therefore how much pollutants they will put out. Reducing the demand will reduce this environmental catastrophe that pennies are indeed guilty of helping to create.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for debating. Please consider me for the win!
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