Something to try

To the Journal editor:

Pity the poor penny! Once the backbone of piggy-banks everywhere, it has now become diminished over time to the point of near extinction.

Seems it costs more to mint a new penny than the coin is actually worth, so is it still practical to produce them, the argument goes. And who cares nowadays anyways, they’re no good for bribing children anymore, so let ’em go, they say.

Well, I wouldn’t be writing about this if I didn’t have a solution from an economic theorist’s point of view. I say let the penny pass on to the domain of continued collectors editions, but replace them instead with a new form of currency.

The bottlecap! Yes, they’re all around your house in as much supply as the leftover pennies you forgot to spend, so why not use them instead? They’re worthless, you say? Well, it might interest you to know that more steel is used annually to produce bottlecaps than to produce automobiles, so that automatically establishes an intrinsic value.

Besides, many bottlecaps are much more different than your everyday Lincoln penny and some are downright beautiful to behold. So would the transfer period be, as people learn to redeem bottlecaps as cash much as they redeem the bottles they came on, and in the interest of recycling both.

Yes, it might seem bulky and inconvenient at first, but it will soon become a fashionable item to carry a purse full of the most stylish “crowns” – as bottlecaps are known as in the industry – to facilitate small-change transactions in the marketplace in a way that makes common “cents.”

Hey, I’m not kidding one bit here. Just wait until the national media catches on that some Yoopers are now accepting bottlecaps as well as pennies in many locations.

The fun from the fallout of that alone should make this social experiment a pleasant thing to give a try. Tell me why not!