No one wants pennies. The U.S. government knows that they cost more to make than they’re worth, and two-thirds of them don’t even circulate. That’s right: We spend around $136 million per year to make $80 million in a currency no one likes.
Why is that? John Oliver broke it down on Last Week Tonight on Sunday, and it turns out that none of the reasons are all that compelling. “There are certain things we know are impossible to get rid of—terrorism, herpes, and Guy Fieri,” Oliver concluded. “But the penny is a nuisance we could actually do something about.”