A penny for your yachts.

The same government that questions the $5.95 Denny’s receipt I claimed as a business expense on my tax return is tossing $60 million to the breeze. That’s the value of the pennies in circulation as this post goes to press and Liz goes into limbo. The humblest of coins is not even being honoured with a bureaucratic burial. Instead, it’s being relegated to the whimsy of retailers who see customers paying cash as new victims now that the tenth-annual ‘closing forever’ sale is over.

ES12Harper and his henchmen have decreed that local mall merchants can round up or round down at will, and an anxious world waits to see what they’ll do. With a prize of Lotto Max proportions at stake, a good guess is that the leftovers will wind up in the till.

A penny saved is a customer burned. While a cent may not seem like much, a sackful of coppers can add up to a lot.

For example, if ceramic yellow ducks hit the shelf at $3.98 and turn out to be a hot item, the astute store owner will let you walk away with one for four bucks and pocket a two-cent bonus in the bargain. Sell a thousand ducks and a twenty falls through the quacks. Sure, two cents is only point-five percent of the sale, but if you’re running a dollar store with annual sales of $500,000 the spare and un-taxable change comes to $2,500 or so.

From the consumer side and over the course of a year, a parent buying food for a family of four and shopping for groceries three times a week could easily sacrifice the price of an organic avocado and a box of Smarties.

Wow. And they say the nickel is next.

11 years ago

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