Yes, I'm on a tear, but I looked all this up for you so I'm not just ranting wildly. I actually happen to KNOW what I'm talking about.
Maybe all those summers at the bank are showing, but this sooo starts me on a tangent. Obsolete, annoying money. The penny (and maybe the nickel) both could probably be discontinued and it wouldn't affect us. Inflation has changed what is "valuable" to the point that most people don't use either of these. Now that doesn't mean I don't personally keep and then roll all my change, including pennies, because I do, but it would save the government a lot of money making those coins!
As you can see, both the penny and nickel are VERY close to being almost as much to make as the face value. I actually had heard it was more expensive to make them than they were worth, so I'm glad to see that's just an urban myth. But still, do we really need them? Not that I can see.
A US Banknote (so paper money) in 2005 cost 5.7 cents to produce. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) produced 8.6 billion notes. (From the (BEP)'s Money Facts)
Okay, here's my beef with dollar bills. They have almost no lifespan (the average life span is 18 months and some last a LOT less). The average lifespan of a coin is THIRTY YEARS. So why do we print dollar bills? They have to be constantly replaced (the BEP reports that 45% of what it prints are dollar bills). So its actually a waste of governmental money to use the dollar bill - and since no one likes to pay taxes, this seems smart. Now people being the idiots they usually are tended to horde and not use dollar coins when they were produced making them pretty useless. But if the BEP stopped making dollar bills people would have to get used of it and start using them. Another complaint was that vending machines don't make dollar coins, but that's changing as well (look at the vending machine next time you are there, most will take dollar coins now). So there is no VALID reason to have a dollar bill in currency. So the government needs to get smart and quit making them. People will just have to get used to dollar coins and the world will be a better place. And Jennie will be happy.
On another note, dollar bills are DISGUSTING (this is the banker talking). People treat them like junk because they aren't worth that much and so most dollar bills are simply germ piles within weeks of printing. Money is one of the dirtiest things you can have (believe me on this one). Coins are easier to clean than dollar bills are (hence why they last longer).
Plus on the fun side, dollar coins are just cool. I love Canadian currency for this exact reason. The loonies and twoonies are so great and easy to use.
So, we need to get rid of the dollar bill! It's time to wake up and smell the stupidity and go to all dollar coins. And while we are at, I would vote for discontinuing both the penny and nickel, but I can live with those if we just quit printing the money pit that is the dollar bill!