It is a given that manufacturers appreciate the value of raw materials. It is their business to transform raw materials into finished products which they sell to consumers. Survival requires them to make certain the cost of the raw materials – along with labor and everything else — is reflected in the price of the products they make.
But the government lives in a different world where normal economic pressures do not apply. Consider the humble penny. (As did Post columnist Cindy Skrzycki today.) Pennies are made up mostly of zinc with a copper-plated surface. It costs the government 1.67 cents to make one. Let’s say that again. It costs the government almost two cents to make one cent. The U.S. mint lost $31 million making 6.6 billion cents in fiscal 2007.
Does this make, ahem, sense?
And while we’re on the subject, it costs Uncle Sam a dime to make a nickel.
There is a bill in the House, H.R. 3956, that would give the Secretary of the Treasury authority to stop this foolishness.
And while we’re at it, we could save more than $500 million a year by eliminating the paper dollar in favor of the beautiful new gold-colored dollar coins. Just think of all the new bridges to nowhere we could build with that much saving.
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