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The penny costs more to make than its face value, so why is it still around?

One quarter, two nickels, three dimes, zero pennies. This is what you may find in the average pocket. Most people do not carry or use pennies on a daily basis. If we see a penny on the ground, we are likely to pass right over it. So why do we need the penny? Many politicians and economists are proposing to eliminate the penny altogether. The penny currently costs more to make than it is worth, so that fact alone is reason to get rid of them. So why have we kept them around and what would happen if we got rid of them?

It may be surprising to find that pennies aren’t the only coins that cost more to make than their face value. In 2011, the nickel cost $0.1118 cents to make, while the penny cost $0.0241. From the infographic, we can see the true cost of nickels and pennies. Seigniorage is the difference between the total cost of production and the actual value. In 2011, this came out to be $60.2 million for pennies and $56.5 million for nickels.

Proponents of the penny argue that the formula for making them should change. Over the last 30 years the penny has been made with 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper. The nickel is made of 75% zinc and 25% copper. It is surprising that the nickel contains even more copper than the penny. President Obama has proposed altering the materials in the penny and nickel to decrease their cost. People opposed to keeping the penny believe this will only increase the likelihood of counterfeiting the coin.

American’s For Common Cents says that if we moved from the penny to the nickel as the lowest denomination coin it may create public anxiety over higher prices. About 77% of Americans worry that prices would be raised if the penny was abolished. Professor Raymond Lombra of Penn State found that rounding to the nearest nickel would cost consumers more than $600 million annually. About 59% of Americans worry that getting rid of the penny would cause confusion when purchasing items.

Whether you are against or for the penny, it will be interesting to see how this controversy plays out over the coming years. Next time you see a penny on the ground, pick it up and consider your thoughts on whether it should be eliminated or kept around.

12.03.29-Penny-to-Paper-How-Much-Does-It-Cost-to-Make-US-Currency

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UnknownThis statue is a symbol of America and is known throughout the world. Many visitors come to New York just to view her in person. She was a gift from the people of France in 1886. During immigration, the statue became an icon of freedom for those arriving from other countries. Here are some facts you may not know about Lady Liberty.

  • 1984-1986: The statue was closed for restoration. The torch and much of the internal structure were replaced.
  • After 9/11, it was closed for safety reasons and was reopened in 2009 for limited visitors.
  • Liberty Island fully opened July 4, 2013
  • Nobody has been able to access the balcony on the torch since 1916
  • The French paid for the statue but the US paid for the pedestal on which it stands
  • There are differing opinions in how much copper was needed for the statue. Some say 200,000 lbs while another says 128,000 lbs.
  • The cost of the donated copper was $16,000 at that time (Around $354,000 in 2014).
  • American fundraising for the statue included a young Theodore Roosevelt
  • Designer of the Eiffel tower, Gustave Eiffel, also helped on the Statue of Liberty
  • To protect the copper skin on the statue, Gustave Eiffel insulated it with asbestos
  • Many Americans at the time preferred realistic artwork rather than allegorical like the Statue of Liberty
  • The proposed height of the pedestal was 114 feet, it was reduced to 89 feet
  • Some people donated as little as 5 cents towards the pedestal
  • The tradition of the ticker-tape parade started during the parade for the Statue of Liberty when traders at the NYSE threw ticker tape from the windows
  • A fireworks display was planned for the Statue of Liberty’s arrival, but it was postponed due to bad weather
  • Replacement copper for some repairs came from a rooftop at Bell Labs

UnknownNumismatists (coin collectors) likely have a few half dollars stashed away in their collection. Since 2002, the half dollar has only been minted for collection purposes.  This was due to a large inventory and lack of demand. These coins are no accepted in vending machines, slot machines, or other coin operated machines. Once supply levels of the coin drop, more will be minted. If you were lucky enough to find one in circulation you probably held onto it. Many magicians prefer the half dollar due to the coins weight and size.

History

During their prime, half dollars were used quite often. Many casinos accepted them, especially for games requiring a 50 cent ante like blackjack. The rise of silver in the 1960s caused a problem for the US Mint. The price of silver would have exceeded the value of the coins (dimes and quarters). In 1965, the composition of the coin changed to copper and cupro-nickel. The Kennedy half dollar, though, still contained silver. The percentage of silver in this 50 cent piece dropped from 90% to 40%.

Rise of the Quarter

As silver continued to rise, many people hoarded half dollars containing 90% silver. A roll of these coins would net around 7 ounces of silver. Eventually there were so few in circulation that businesses became used to it. The quarter soon became the highest value coin. Soon enough, banks and cash drawers stopped stocking the half dollar. Coin operated machines like payphones and vending machines did not make slots big enough to accept half dollars.

Half Dollars Today

Today the half dollar is virtually out of circulation. You would be hard pressed to find a place that accepted them or that issued them. It is mainly for the collector that the coin has been minted. If you have an interest in coins, the U.S. mint allows you to purchase modern day half dollars.

imagesSteel and iron are important materials in our modern society. Some people may actually interchange the two, but steel and iron are very different. Iron is an element, while steel is an alloy made up of both iron and carbon. An alloy is just a mixture of two or more elements, generally two or more metallic, or one metallic and one nonmetallic. Other elements can be added to steel to create products with different characteristics. Stainless steel is comprised of steel and chromium; this product doesn’t rust and is very durable. Other elements that can be added to steel are silicon and manganese. By adding these other elements, one can control the strength, ductility, and hardness of steel.
Steel is the main product used in construction, as it is much stronger than iron and has better compression and tension characteristics. Iron that contains more than 2% carbon is called pig iron. But iron that contains less than 2% carbon is steel. Pure iron is very soft and susceptible to rust when in contact with moist air, making it unsuitable to be used in construction or in making utensils, cookware, or many other products. Steel, in comparison, can be up to 1000 times harder than pure iron, hence its widespread use in manufacturing many products we use today.
Although steel is much stronger than iron, it is still very malleable and thus able to be manipulated to create certain shapes. Because of it’s properties, it is the most common alloy used today. It is used for manufacturing weapons, vehicles, tools, buildings, and more. One famous building, the Eiffel Tower, was constructed from puddle iron, which is an iron alloy with very low carbon levels. If it was built today though, it would likely be made of steel.
An important form of iron is that found in our bodies. It is used to carry oxygen to the body in the form of hemoglobin. Many foods we eat are rich in iron such as red meat, tofu, beans, and fish. People who are iron deficient can take iron pills, to ensure that they don’t suffer from fatigue and weakness which is common in those with low iron levels. Vegetarians are among those most at risk for iron deficiency.
As you can see, there are many differences between iron and steel. Steel is comprised of iron and carbon, it is malleable, and has a greater strength than pure iron. Iron was very common before steel production became cheap. Today steel is used in manufacturing many products and for constructing bridges, railroads, buildings, and more. So next time someone confuses steel and iron, you can explain just how different they are.
UnknownMany of us are familiar with the fizzy sound that emanates as we pull the tab on a can of beer or soda. There are so many aluminum cans out in the world that 113,000 of them are recycled every minute. According to the Aluminum Association, recycled cans can appear back on shelves in about 60 days.
Where did these cans come from? Back in 1959, Coors created the first all-aluminum beverage container. Also at this time, Coors was paying a penny for each can returned to them. In 1964, Royal Crown Cola introduced RC Cola and Diet Rite in aluminum cans.
Why use aluminum? Before aluminum, beverage makers used steel cans. Aluminum proved to be much lighter and had a better surface for applying graphics than steel. Cans today weigh less than an ounce. Aluminum cans also allow for 100% protection against contaminants, oxygen, and light, according to the Aluminum Association. These cans also do not rust, have one of the longest shelf lives of any packaging, and are tamper-resistant. Aluminum cans are so strong, four six-packs can hold up a 2 ton car! In addition to providing superior beverage packaging, aluminum cans are used for aerosol products and paint.
The problem with the first aluminum cans was their opening mechanism. They required a device called a “church key” to open the cans. It is said that the inventor of the pull tab had to use the fender of his car to open his beer can, as he forgot his church key. He owned a tool company and invented the pull tab. This tab predated the tabs we are familiar with today, the “stay-on tab” invented in 1975.
The aluminum can is still alive and thriving more than 50 years after their invention. This growth can be attributed to the continued popularity of canned soft drinks, and the booming energy drink market. Companies like Red Bull, Amp, Monster, and more are utilizing aluminum cans to house their beverages. In addition to energy drinks, many craft beer brewers are using aluminum cans as opposed to bottles. The Aluminum Association found that almost 400 brewers use these cans, as they provide superior protection from light and oxygen.

einsteinquotes

Famous quotes from Steven Job (Apple Inc.)

  • Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower [Steve Jobs]
  • But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem [Steve Jobs]
  • “Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R & D. It’s not about money. It’s about the people you have, how you’re led, and how much you get it.” [Steve Jobs]
  • “You can’t ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” [Steve Jobs]

Famous quotes from Gunter Pauli (The Blue Economy)

  • Key in life is to be able to answer the question “How much is enough?” Modern society has a desire to accumulate stuff & do nothing with it [Gunter Pauli]
  • Life is about flows not about stuff we have. Water in a tank turns bad. Water that flows gives life. Money in banks turn toxic, it must flow [Gunter Pauli]
  • Our lives are full of stress. Some meditate, some walk, some sing and dance. Nature offers us garlic, maitake and hibiscus to relieve stress [Gunter Pauli]

Famous quotes from Albert Einstein

  • If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got. [Albert Einstein]
  • We cannot solve a problem by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. [A. Einstein]
  • If at first the idea is not absurd, then there will be no hope for it. [A. Einstein]
  • “If at first an idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it.” [Albert Einstein]
  • Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. [A. Einstein]
  • We cannot solve a problem by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. [A. Einstein]

Famous quotes from Henry Ford (Ford)

  • Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. [Henry Ford]
  • “Most people spend more time and energy going around problems than in trying to solve them.” [Henry Ford]
  • “You can’t build a reputation on what you’re going to do.” [Henry Ford]
  • “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” [Henry Ford]

Other Famous quotes

  • It’s tough when markets change and your people within the company don’t. [Harvard Business Review]
  • They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. [Andy Warhol]
  • Necessity is the mother of invention. [Anonymous]
  • Minds are like parachutes; they work best when open. [T. Dewar]
  • The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. [George Bernard Shaw]
  • There are no old roads to new directions. [The Boston Consulting Group]
  • You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore. [Andre Gide]
  • Innovation is anything, but business as usual. [Anonymous]
  • The best way to predict the future is to invent it. [Alan Kay]
  • The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards. [Arthur Koestler]
  • A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind. [A. von Szent-Gyorgyi]
  • Innovation is the ability to convert ideas into invoices. [L. Duncan]
  • Small opportunities are often the beginning of great enterprises. [Demosthenes]
  • Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference. [Robert Frost]
  • The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible. [A. Clarke]
  • The key to success is for you to make a habit throughout your life of doing the things you fear. [Vincent Van Gogh]
  • The impossible is often the untried. [J. Goodwin]
  • An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all. [Oscar Wilde]
  • Ideas are useless unless used. [T. Levitt]
  • It is not how many ideas you have. It’s how many you make happen. [Advertisement of Accenture]
  • The best ideas lose their owners and take on lives of their own. [N. Bushnell]
  • Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing new things. [Ted Levitt].
  • “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. [Jim Rohn]
  • Ambition without knowledge is like a boat on dry land [movie – Karate kid]“What is the calculus of innovation?” “The calculus of innovation is really quite simple: knowledge drives innovation, innovation drives productivity, productivity drives our economic growth.” [William Brody]
  • In brainstorm, defer judgment without criticism. It requires four instances of praise for every instance of criticism to promote change. [Anonymous]
  • Nothing is stronger than habit. [Ovid]
  • Just do it.. [Nike]
  • When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters, one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity. [Saul David Alinsky]
  • Innovation is creativity commercialised. [Dr Cherylene de Jager]
  • “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” [Mark Twain]
  • “The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little longer. [Anonymous]
  • You must do the things you think you cannot do. [Eleanor Roosevelt]
  • Statistically speaking, 100% of the shots you don’t take, don’t go in. [Wayne Gretzk]
  • “A life without risk is a life wasted” “I don’t know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future” [Anonymous]
  • “Change” is the only constant in life. So, learn to embrace amd enjoy change [Anonymous]
  • yesterday is history, tomorrow is the future, today is a gift, thats why they call it Present [Anonymous]
  • “It’s easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out of date.” [Roger von Oech]
  • The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. [Eleanor Roosevelt]
  • Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow. [William Pollard]
  • “Discovery is the journey; insight is the destination.” [Gary Hamel]
  • always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you’ll have to eat them, you can swallow it well. [Oprah Winfrey]
Andrew_Carnegie,_three-quarter_length_portrait,_seated,_facing_slightly_left,_1913-cropAndrew Carnegie was one of the first in the steel industry to realize how important chemistry was to the process. He is best known nowadays for the many buildings bearing his name. These include Carnegie Mellon University, Carnegie Hall, and the Carnegie Hero Fund. He gave away 94% of his fortune to charity and foundations before his death in 1919. His net worth in 2007 dollars was $298.3 billion.
He came to the US as a child of poor Scottish immigrants. His journey from immigrant to one of the most well-known and successful businessmen in history is covered in textbooks across the US. As a teen, he was secretary/ telegraph operator and from this job he learned about management and cost control. Soon Carnegie was investing and dealmaking.
He realized the growing need for steel when an investment in a farm yielded over $1 million for the petroleum in it’s oil wells. Luckily for him, he had invested in the iron industry before the war. His great success in the iron and steel industry was by adapting the Bessemer Process.
After growing Carnegie Steel he felt it was time for retirement at age 66. He created a joint venture with JP Morgan and created the United States Steel Corporation. This company was the first in the world with a market cap over $1 billion.
For all his philanthropy though, he was very tough on the workers at his steel mills. They worked 12 hours a day, all year except for the Fourth of July. Safety and worker happiness were not paramount of Carnegie’s focus on efficiency and productivity.
Some may see him as a rags to riches story, others as a demanding capitalist figure. Either way he helped shape the iron and steel industry as we know it.