Penny for your thoughts

So I'm sitting at work, reading the April 21st issue of MacLean's.

And the "from the editors" blurb (which is quickly becoming my favourite section of the magazine... generally quite well-written, current and witty*)

This one is about the penny... and it's slow descent into worthlessness.

I'm not sure how I feel about abolishing the penny. I believe I read on CBC.ca that there's something like 600 pennies in existence for every person in Canada.

That's a lot.

But the jury's out on if the penny is actually costing us time/money to keep in circulation. Maclean's says each penny costs approximately four pennies to make... but the mint says it only costs 0.8 cents per one-cent-piece.

And Desjardins says we'd save about $130 million a year if we scrapped the coin.

Here's my take. If MacLean's is right, and it costs 4 cents to make one penny... and if CBC is right, and there are something like 20 billion pennies floating around the country.... why can't they just STOP MAKING THEM FOR AWHILE.

Surely we're not going to run out of pennies in the immediate future, given these stats. Am I missing something here? Or do I have a promising future in economics?

*unlike the article I read before this one, written by Megan's favourite mommy columnist... (I've gotten the impression typing her name will only further encourage self-indulgent googling on behalf of "the columnist-who-must-not-be-named"). Check out the Bizarre section of May 12th's Maclean's to see what I mean.