The Penny Drops

It appears that, to save money, we are going to stop producing pennies. It is claimed that rounding of prices will average out to no effect. So, the first dumb question is, how many prices have you seen that end in .99 or .98, as opposed to .96 or .97? The latter two will round down, and the more common first two will round up. The second dumb question is, why would any sensible government communication hack make such a clearly incorrect statement?

The third dumb question is, why do this now? Here’s my cynical answer.

This issue is one we can all understand. The USA still has a small coin, as do other economies. There will be a lot of heat and light over this. In the end, the government may retreat, or not, but their real (imho) purpose will have been achieved: distraction.

We are supposed to forget (which the Toronto Star is making as hard as possible) that the F-35 decision is a crock, was made either incompetently or near-illegally, and is a bad and expensive idea. We are supposed to forget that the procurement of what is for sure a weapon has been taken away from the defense ministry. And we are supposed to forget that Peter MacKay was involved. (For some reason Stephen Harper keeps giving MacKay new jobs, despite a lack of shining achievement in previous ones.)

So, in short, are we dumb enough to fall for this? This is the Harper version of panem et circenses (bread and circuses) that was used to distract the populace of Rome as its decadence was eroding its ability to sustain itself. We get mean-minded distractions, instead of food and entertainment. Onward to austerity!

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