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  • The story of the penny starts in the first US Mint founded in 1792 which produced these


  • one-cent pieces along with other coins including the Quarter, Dime, Half Dime and a mystery


  • coin that we'll get back to later.


  • These pennies of the new republic were born of 100% pure copper.


  • But, two forces conspired to ensure this wouldn't remain the case for long. The value of copper


  • went up and, because of inflation, the buying power of the penny went down.


  • This caused The Mint to reduce the amount of copper in pennies, first from 100% to 95%,

    這導致鑄幣廠不得不減少美分硬幣的含銅量 先是從原本的100%降到了95%

  • and then to only 5% copper and 95% zinc.


  • Despite this debasement, in 2006 the value of the metal in older pennies rose over 1

    儘管用料上一再的貶值 在2006年 用於鑄造一美分的金屬價值仍然超過了一美分

  • cent and suddenly they were worth more dead than alive so people melted them to sell the

    突然之間 美分作為硬幣的價值反而不如其原料的價值

  • raw copper for profit.

    人們開始鎔掉一美分硬幣 出售提煉出的銅來賺取利潤

  • In a rational, efficient world, the story of the penny would have ended here with the

    在一個理性的 追求效率的世界裡 政府會理解到不值得採礦鑄造出一美分的事實

  • Government realizing that they weren't worth Minting and happy that its citizens were removing


  • them from circulation.


  • But, instead the Government made melting U. S. coins illegal and continues to manufacture

    然而政府卻倒行逆施 讓擅自鎔解美國硬幣成為違法行為

  • 4 million pennies each year.


  • Which is idiotic as it costs the US Mint about 1.8 cents to make a each 1 cent penny.

    在鑄造一枚美分硬幣需要花1.8美分的情況下 這種政策簡直是愚不可及

  • But, even if pennies were minted from something more representative of their true value -- like

    但是就算使用更能體現一美分價值的材料 像是用塑膠或是棉絮來製造一美分硬幣

  • plastic or lint -- it wouldn't fix the fundamental problem that pennies are bad for people and


  • the economy.


  • Here's why:


  • The purpose of physical, cash money is to make it easy to transact the everyday business

    實體現金貨幣的目的在於 滿足日常生活交易之所需

  • of buying stuff.


  • A shopkeeper has stuff and you want that stuff. Rather than bartering like savages for it,

    店主有商品 你想要那個商品 與其像個野蠻人般以物易物

  • you use cash as a medium of exchange.


  • To get the price just right the cash must be divisible into pieces so that you don't

    為了付對正確的金額 現金要能夠被分割

  • overpay.


  • But it isn't divided forever, because at some point the value it represents is too small

    但又不須無盡地分割 因為當現金被分割到一個地步之後

  • to buy anything or bother with. Which brings us back to the penny.

    所代表的價值會小到不能買任何東西 這又帶我們回到了便士的問題了

  • In the olden days, pennies could actually buy stuff, no more. Now, if you want to spend

    在古早時候 一美分真的可以買東西 但好景不常

  • pennies, you're going to have to put in some effort.

    現在你若想要用美分來付錢 你可得花上一番功夫

  • For example, try to pay for 20 bucks worth of groceries with 2,000 pennies weighing 11

    打個比方 你可以試試看去超市消費20美元的食品雜貨 再用2000枚重約5公斤的美分硬幣來付款

  • pounds and see how that works out.


  • So you have to get rid of them by using exact change.


  • But, because the United States doesn't include sales tax in prices -- unlike more civilized

    但是由於美國不像其他文明開化的國家一樣 將消費稅包含在價格內

  • countries -- and you can't multiply by 8.875% in your head, you can't get your change ready


  • before you reach the register like a good Samaritan would.

    結果就是你沒辦法像個好撒馬利亞人般 在輪到你之前就準備好零錢

  • The pennies you inevitably fiddle with after discovering the true cost of your goods add


  • two seconds to each cash transaction on average which is less than the value of your time,


  • and the time of everyone behind you, which is why most normal people don't bother messing


  • with change and the usual penny-counting culprits are those with nothing better to occupy their


  • day.


  • If you want to spend pennies without being an inconsiderate jerk who wastes other peoples'

    如果想消耗零錢 卻又不想成為浪費他人時間 不為別人找想的渾蛋

  • time perhaps you can find a machine that will accept them.


  • Good luck with that. Vending machines won't take pennies, neither laundry machines or

    找的到你就試試看啊 販賣機不會收一美分 不僅是販賣機不收一美分

  • toll booths or parking meters or anything else -- because pennies aren't worth the time

    洗衣機 收費站 停車收費機 和各種其他的機器 通通都不收一美分硬幣

  • and effort to count, store and transport them.

    因為一美分硬幣不值得去點數 儲藏 跟運輸

  • In fact there is only one machine that takes pennies: Coinstar -- a leach on the economy

    不過實際上有一種機器收一美分硬幣 那就是硬幣之星

  • that eats 10% of your money while providing nothing in return except the ability to spend


  • cash that was already yours.


  • The difficulty of spending pennies is why they end up in jars, dead to the economy after


  • a short, useless life where they failed at their only job, to facilitate exchange and

    經過一段短暫而無用的生命週期 這些美分無法達到它們唯一的任務 ─ 促進交易流通

  • instead did the exact opposite by being a literal dead weight on every cash transaction.


  • They must be eliminated.

    因此 它們必須被移除於現金流動圈之外

  • But, you might think, won't prices rise and charities lose money without the penny?

    但你可能會想 如果美分移除之後 會不會導致價格上升 慈善機構也失去它們的善款來源之一?

  • No.


  • New Zealand got rid of their 1 cent coin, as did Oz. Finland and the Netherlands ditched


  • the 1 euro cent coin as well. Though that might have been because of how absurdly small


  • and frustrating 1 euro cent is.


  • These countries round to the nearest 5 cents for cash transactions and none of them saw


  • prices rise or charitable donations drop.


  • And anyway, the United States has already gone through this process before without trouble.


  • Remember the mystery coin from the beginning? That was the half-cent. Seen one lately? Of

    還記得影片一開始我提到的神祕硬幣嗎? 我指的就是半分錢

  • course you haven't. It was discontinued in 1857 for being worth too little.

    你最近有看過半分硬幣嗎? 當然不可能 因為半美分硬幣在1857年就因為幣值過小而停產

  • But when the half-cent met its fate, it had more buying power than today's dime so perhaps

    但是當半分硬幣除役時 它擁有比一角錢更高的購買力

  • the list of modern coins to kill could even be larger.


  • There is one last, irrational problem with getting rid of the penny.

    若要拋棄一美分硬幣 還有一項不理性的問題需要解決

  • Everybody loves Lincoln -- well almost everyone. After booting off Lady Liberty and the Chief,


  • the US sure has Lincoln-ified the penny within an inch of its life.


  • But ditching the penny won't erase him from history.


  • Lincoln, and his monument, are still on the 5 dollar bill which isn't going away.

    林肯與他的紀念堂 仍常駐於五塊錢鈔票上 哪兒也跑不了

  • And, even if you think it's unpatriotic or disrespectful to retire Presidential coinage,

    倘若你認為停止使用上面有總統的硬幣 是不愛國或是不敬的行為

  • allow me to direct you to a little organization known as the United States Military.

    請容我告訴你 有一個小小的單位稱作美軍

  • Where, in overseas bases, they've already abolished the penny by automatically rounding


  • to the nearest five cents.


  • Sooner or later even the most ardent Lincoln lovers will have to give up the penny: they


  • cost more to make than they're worth, they waste peoples' time, they don't work as money,


  • and because of inflation they're less valuable every year making all the other problems worse.

    而且由於通貨膨脹 一美分硬幣的價值是每況愈下 上述的問題只會越來越嚴重

  • Sorry Abe, but it's time to kill the penny.

    抱歉了林肯 不過該是我們與便士說再見的時刻了

The story of the penny starts in the first US Mint founded in 1792 which produced these



影片操作 你可以在這邊進行「影片」的調整,以及「字幕」的顯示

B1 中級 中文 美分 硬幣 零錢 林肯 現金 價值

便士之死(Death to Pennies)

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    Why Why 發佈於 2013 年 04 月 06 日