The Instigator
Ironhead56
Con (against)
Losing
11 Points
The Contender
SportsGuru
Pro (for)
Winning
77 Points

The penny should be immediately discontinued.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/22/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,610 times Debate No: 5111
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (18)

 

Ironhead56

Con

When you think of America you think of things like the Statue of Liberty or the sunn beaches of Miami or LA. When it comes to symbols of america though, it is hard to beat the iconinc penny. it is the commenest coin in America and is therefore easy to recognize when you see a penny in the newsparer or ont the internet that it means haing to do with currency. We cannot simply get rid off the penny. That is like blowing up the Lincon Monument or toppling the Washington Monumet. It just simply isn't even thought of.
SportsGuru

Pro

Okay after a long hiatus, I am back again and ready to rumble. I must unfortunately begin with the almost obligatory request that voters vote for whom did the better debating rather than with whom you agree with. With that out of the way I will first present my case before moving on to my opponent's.

1. Direct waste of money

According to Citizens for Retiring the Penny (http://www.retirethepenny.org...) , the U.S. Mint produces about 7 billion pennies ($70 million) every year at a cost over $100 million. Thus, we directly lose at least $30 million a year producing the penny. And with the rising cost of zinc, that deficit will only grow.

2. Waste of time (= indirect waste of money)

The National Association of Convenience Stores and Walgreen's drug stores estimated that pennies waste 2 to 2.5 seconds per each cash transaction. If we estimate that each person goes through two of these transactions per day (which seems rather low) and that on average there is one person waiting in line (which once again seems low). This makes for 3 persons' time to be wasted (cashier, penny finder, person in line). We can then calculate that the presence of pennies wastes (2 transactions/day) X (2 seconds/transaction) X (3 people per transaction) = 12 seconds per day, or 1.2 hours per person per year. Of course, when you get home you still have to find something to do with your pennies, meaning that probably only about half of the wasted time is directly connected with a cash transaction (the other time is associated with counting pennies etc), giving a total of 2.4 wasted hours per person per year. The mean wage in the US is approximately $17/hour, implying that each of us is effectively "paying" $40 per year to keep pennies in circulation. Given that the US has ~ 240 million adults, using pennies is currently costing the nation $10 billion per year.

Thus, the penny costs us $10,030,000 per year. While this may seem small compared to the total national debt, every little bit helps. In fact, if no cost cutting measures were taken other than retiring the penny, the current debt would be erased in 959,619 years!

3. China dependence

The reason for influx of the price make pennies is the main ingredient: zinc. And guess who is the world's largest exporter of zinc… you guessed it: China! With every penny we make, we further increase our economic dependency on China. So retiring the penny would also make our economy more independent.

Now to my opponent:

My opponent has one argument: that the nostalgic value of the penny cannot be ignored, comparing it to various monuments in D.C. I will contend the actual nostalgic value in a second but first we must see that keeping the penny could in fact result in the end of it. As I have shown, we are losing tremendous amounts of money due to the penny. This annual loss helps push our economy helping to lead to a recession or a depression. When you have depression, countries are in danger of breaking apart. If the U.S. were to cease to exist so would the penny, so either way we lose any nostalgic value.

Now I contend that there is no value to the penny. Considering that 58% of people save pennies rather than spend them, the new penny philosophy seems to be the one found in this Ashfield comic: http://www.ashfieldonline.com... rather than the one my opponent is indicating.

As I have shown why the penny should be discontinued I bid adieu until my opponent responds.
Debate Round No. 1
Ironhead56

Con

I will attack his case first then defend mine.
1st Cont:It is a waste of money. when you think about it food is a waste of money as well. Why should we pay thousands a year to other people/countries to grow food when we can grow it ourselves? So pennies are a small waste of money, but was it a waste, once again, to build the monuments?

2nd Cont:They are a waste if time. If they are a waste of time why do we continue to make them? We make them because they help to even our money transactions. We can't just round everything to to nearest nickel, because then half of the products would be MORE expensive then before, therefore wasting cash as well. We need the penny to help keep the current prices steadier then they would be otherwise.

3rd Cont:We would lessen dependence on China. Maybe we would but then we would relie more on the countries making the other ingredients for other coins, like steel(iron), nickel, and we would still need alot of zinc.

4th Cont:Penny has no value. The 58% of people who save them are saving them for a reason...to spend them! Therefore, more money into the economy in a bigger amount. and the whole germ situation, that WILL NEVER CHANGE. Dollar bills are made of linen, a very easy-to-contaminate cloth that holds even more germs then the penny, therefore if we went off hygiene, we hould eliminate currency altogether.

O.k., now i will defend my case. Argument, the U.S. would be in danger of breaking apart. The penny will not be the reason for the destruction of the U.S. The trillions of dollars of national debt will do it. Those amount grow by THOUSANDS of DOLLARS, not by pennies.
SportsGuru

Pro

For reader/voter convenience I will go in the same order my opponent does

Cont. 1- In order for this response to have a chance to hold water, my opponent first must prove that the United States indeed has the resources necessary to grow enough food for the whole nation. Until my opponent gives proof of this, the food portion of the response must be ignored. If we do not have the facilities to do so, then importing food is certainly not a waste of money as it helps ensure the continuation of the nation. As far as the monuments go, the point of having them is to commemorate the various historical heroes of our country. My point is that we are paying extra money to keep the penny when there is no reason to keep it other than your suggestion of the benefit nostalgic value which I have shown not only to be outweighed by the harm of economic down-fall but that it in-fact does not exist. And as I showed in my first contention, the penny is NOT a small waste of money.

Cont. 2- My opponent forgets that the other half of products would go down in his hypothetical situation. However, this is not a viable situation unless stores never changed pricing strategies, sales tax would be eliminated, and people never bought more than one item, all of which randomize rounding. In fact, a recent study(http://www.wfu.edu...) confirms that the effect of rounding would be neutral.

Cont. 3- Here my opponent drops that we would lessen our dependence and that that would be beneficial, thus those points stand. He goes off into an illogical point that we would become more dependent on countries making the ingredients for other coins. I ask how is it possible that lowering the need of zinc heightens the need for other metals.

Cont. 4- I am sorry, there has been some misunderstanding. When I said the penny has no value, I meant nostalgic value. The stat with 58% saving and the germ reference were simply to point out that people think so little of the penny that they not only put them away rather than keep to spend them but germs actually become a bigger part of the decision of whether or not to pick up a penny off the ground than the value of the penny, actual or nostalgic. (Besides that money "poured back" into the economy would just raise inflation.)

Last paragraph- Please note I never said that the penny would be THE reason for an economic recession, just a contributor. My opponent concludes by saying that the amount of debt grows "THOUSANDS of DOLLARS, not by pennies." Considering that I have proven that the penny costs us BILLIONS of dollars and this has remained uncontested, this only strengthens my argument.

Now, I must wait for my opponent's closing statements.
Debate Round No. 2
Ironhead56

Con

Once again, same order

1st cont: he seems to have failed to remember that the entire world used to run off the crops they themselves grew, not by other people. And when/if we start importing food, IT WILL COST MONEY, and lots of it, therefore outweighting any small amout we might be overpaying to make the iconic penny.

2nd Cont: Now onto the whole roundung situation. How many products do you see that are like 19.05 or 13.24..little, if any. Most produts are such prices like 19.95, or 14.99. in face maore then half of all products are that way, not exactly half, therefore NOT neutral.

3rd Cont: I did not drop it, i proved we would just switch our dependence from china to other countries, or possibly even stay on china. and if we get rid of all the pennies, then we are going to need to replace them with nickels and dimes. and whatabout when they get too expensive to make, do we get rid of coins until its all bills, then work our way thruogh all the bills until we are all using hundreds to buy a gallon of milk?

4th Cont: The germ issue applies even more to bills then to pennies, once again, bill are made of linen a very easy cloth to contaminate with batcteria.

5th Cont: If it cost BILLIONs of dollar to make pennies, then that must mean the same if not even more with nickels, dimes, quarters, ect.

So, in conclusion, i beg you, don;t get rid of the penny, it would be just as unpatriotic as ripping up the Lincon monument, or toppling th eStatue of Liberty.
SportsGuru

Pro

I will follow my opponents order, and then give my conclusion.

Contention 1: My opponent attempts to prove that the United States can grow all of its own food by saying it has been done before. Not only does he give no evidence of this, but this is not relevant to the debate. Within the last few decades, the population has exploded within the United States, creating not only a higher demand for food, but less space to grow it. As this portion of the attack falls (and as I have shown, this portion must hold up for the attack to hold up), this attack falls and my contention 1 stands through the final round.

Contention 2: My opponent claims that since more than half of the prices are marked to be rounded up to the nearest nickel, people would have to pay more. However, as he ignores the three factors I mentioned that randomize rounding (multiple item purchases, sales tax, and stores changing pricing strategies), this attack fails and my second contention stands.

Contention 3: My opponent attempts to prove that our dependencies would simply shift because the supply of other coins would increase. However, he gives no logical reasoning or proof that this would happen. In fact, this scenario seems very illogical. He then goes on to a red herring asking about a slippery slope leading to "using 100 dollars to buy a gallon of milk." Hence all of this attack must be ignored and my 3rd contention stands.

Contention 4: My opponent STILL misunderstands this attack. The point of the germs reference is simply showing that the penny has so little nostalgic value that people are worried about the germs. As this attack remains unblocked, it stands through the final round.

Contention 5: My opponent assumes that since it costs billions extra to make pennies it must cost at least as much if not more to make other coins. However, this is only possible if there is a bigger difference in the price to make vs. actual value in the other coins. As he has given no proof of this, the assumption must be ignored.

As all of my contentions and attacks stand at the end of this debate, I must strongly urge a vote in affirmation of today's resolution.
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
The penny SHOULD be discontinued. Along with the nickel, dime, quarter, and dollar.
Posted by Corycogley77479 8 years ago
Corycogley77479
I do think Con wins the dependency arguement: without pennies the other resources will become more valuable and nessary for our economy. As this is about the only arguement you're really winning, you should of done some sick impact calculus (which Sports doesn't even offer an impact to depencey, so even though you turn the arguement you still have to explain/state an impact) saying dependency is the worst thing for America's Economy, lifestyle ect.

Again - it would really help to explain your original points in your final speeches. If I can't remember the agruement, how can I vote on it? just to help ya'll out.
Posted by Corycogley77479 8 years ago
Corycogley77479
On the food arguement - Ironhead: I believe (even if it seems odd) that America does actually grow most of the food that we eat/consume and do not depend on imports that much. I know for a fact all the food we give to Africa has to be home grown in the USA. Also - Sports, you mention this arguement is irrelvent (which is fine) but you might want to say it's incorrect to; also even though you win that it is irrelvent, you don't explain what your original arguement is in your final post (both debaters failed to do this on most of the issues where the debate got more complicated)

Ironhead - I think you mishandled most of the arguements and that is why you didn't win them;
Posted by Derek.Gunn 8 years ago
Derek.Gunn
Here in New Zealand we got rid of our 1 cent piece a few years ago (along with our 2 cent piece).
We introduced 1 and 2 dollar coins to replace the notes (which wear out faster)
and just last year we also did away with our 5 cent pieces.

Inflation eventually makes the wee bits of shrapnel irrelevant.

Still spare a thought for the Zimbabweans who recently introduced their 100 billion dollar note.
You get that when your inflation is running at 2,000,000% http://news.bbc.co.uk... ;-)
Posted by Ironhead56 8 years ago
Ironhead56
ha, i picked this res for you seeing as how i dont think u ever really got to really talk on it
Posted by SportsGuru 8 years ago
SportsGuru
Dang it! right after I tossed out that resolution. I will accept just give me a little time.
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Vigrant
Ironhead56SportsGuruTied
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