thoughtsPicking up pennies

I always pick up pennies off the sidewalk. You'd be surprised, I actually find quite a few. At least one a week. Sometimes I average one a day.

The thing is, I make a point of recommending to other people that they also pick up pennies. Because, as you know, many people feel it is a waste of their time. I can not understand this.

I only require a second to pick up a single penny. The actual physical effort and social stigma involved are virtually nil. Therefore, I'm only really giving up a single second of my time in order to gain a cent of money.

$0.01/sec = $0.60/min = $36.00/hr

The weird thing is, when I point this out to people, they always say "Yeah, but only if you find a penny every second for an hour."


If a cop pulls you over for speeding, and tells you you were doing two hundred kilometres an hour, do you say "That's impossible officer, I've only been driving for ten minutes!"? No. Because it's the rate we're talking about here. The rate of financial acquisition when picking up pennies is thirty-six bucks an hour. Would you take a job that paid thirty-six bucks an hour if there were no strings, no wardrobe restrictions, no resumés to write, and (most importantly) no taxes to pay? I sure as heck would.

Some people will argue that the penny is essentially worthless in our economy. That is manifestly untrue. A penny, legally, is worth a hundreth of a dollar. If, like me, you drop your change in a piggy bank at the end of the day, you can roll your coins every few months or so and deposit them at the bank. The bank knows that a hundred pennies make a dollar, and they will give you a dollar for a hundred pennies. If nothing else, you can just keep the penny in your pocket in case you run across a fuse that needs bypassing or a train that needs derailing.

Pennies. Pick them up, you slobs!

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