Kathryn Lindsay
November 23, 2015 7:39 am

In this past Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver brings up something you probably haven’t thought about in a while: the penny. You know, that piece of currency that rattles around in your pockets and wallet, but that you never use? For the most part, pennies end up in couch cushions and vacuum cleaners, which begs the question, why do we still have them?

John Oliver explored this question and made some really good points. Let’s start with the kicker: it costs more to make a penny than pennies are actually worth. We’re losing money by manufacturing money that doesn’t even really circulate anymore. Private businesses can legally prohibit customers from paying in pennies, and other stores have taken measures like rounding down to the nearest nickel so they don’t have to deal with the pesky things.

It’s not just stores who hate pennies. Customers don’t seem to care either. A news station conducted an experiment in which they left pennies on the ground to see if anyone would pick them up. Nobody did. That’s because a couple pennies isn’t going to buy you anything, and even if you had a ton of pennies, you likely wouldn’t be able to use them at a store anyways.

Watch the full clip below!

(Image via YouTube)

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