The Royal Canadian Mint will no longer distribute pennies as of today. I say good riddance. It’s been decades since a penny was worth enough to matter.
It seems that one of the most convincing arguments for getting rid of the penny is that they cost more than a penny to make. I don’t see why this has anything to do with it. If the government could make $1 million worth of pennies for $800,000 in costs, should we say that they have made a $200,000 profit? They could just as easily make $1 million worth of $100 bills for far less than $800,000 in costs. For that matter, they could just create money that only exists in bank computers for next to no cost.
Suppose the government could make coins out of a very cheap metal with face value 1/10 of a cent at a cost of 1/20 of a cent each. Should they do this to make a 50% profit? The answer is obviously no. What is the point of a coin worth only 1/10 of a cent? Whether the coin is “profitable” is irrelevant. What matters is the usefulness of the coin. Pennies are almost completely useless for practical purposes.
The real test for getting rid of the smallest denomination coin is whether it represents an amount of money that makes a difference in a physical money transaction. Based on this test, we could certainly live without nickels and dimes as well. I’d be happy if retailers just rounded my change to the nearest quarter.