April 6, 2012

Every day, there’s always something that I see or do, that I feel would warrant writing about.  Other days, it seems the mind goes blank.  And yet on other days, it seems too many ideas come to mind.

Today was one of those over-stimulated days.  I find at times, I use this blog as a complaint site.  I don’t want that to happen.  Sure, there are going to be issues that I feel need to be commented on, but I don’t want it to turn into a bitch session.  So I found myself trying to find something interesting to write about.

So, other than the fact that today is Friday, it was a typical day.  Work, lesson planning, watching episodes of American Idol Season 11, do a couple loads of laundry between classes… nothing out of the ordinary.  About the only other thing that seemed a bit out of the ordinary, is the insane numbers of comments I have received for my March 13, 2012 entry.

A few things are a bit perplexing about this.  First, it was the day I started to continue writing my blog, after almost a year’s hiatus.  Second, the comments are all basically the same.  The writer comments on how great the blog is, then how slow it is when they access the site, then the error messages they are getting.  Third, the sites that these comments are coming from don’t seem to exist.  Oh, and the comments are not being registered as blog hits.  Today alone, almost 30 ‘spam’ messages.  Highlight all, delete all.

So I now I resort to looking through ‘plinky.com’ for ideas.  ‘Plinky.com’ is a site devoted to asking questions.  Once you sign up as a [free] user, you can provide your answers on their site.  Alternately, as I do at times, use these questions as springboards to a blog entry.

So, let’s see what interesting tidbits they have today?  Well, here’s one that I can comment on.  “Should the U.S. get rid of the penny?”  How about we change that to, “Should Canada get rid of the penny?”  As a collector of currency, the proper term is “one cent piece”, but I’m not arguing semantics here.

I am not a member of the Canadian government in any form.  I used to be, but no longer.  I don’t have a say when it comes to whether or not the Canadian government should abolish or change any of its currency.

There was an article on ‘Yahoo.ca’ a few days ago about that very item.  Apparently, Canada will phase out the one cent piece.  It costs the government a few million dollars a year to produce these little pieces of copper mix.  Billions of the little creatures are still in existence across the country.  People (like me) save them in jars.  They are probably the easiest piece of currency to get younger people started on coin collections.  Other than that, nowadays, really what does the ‘penny’ buy?

Here I go, regaling stories of my childhood.  When I was younger, way back in the 70’s, there were three variety stores within walking distance from school and home.  At each of these places, we could purchase ‘penny candy’.  Yes, we could buy one caramel, or one green leaf, or a variety of other sugary treats for 1¢ ($0.01).  I must say that green leaves were my all-time favourite.  They still are.  Every once in a while, I can find green leaves.  The minty sugary softness of these candies… When I do munch on these delectable pieces of sugar, I get hit with waves of memories of my childhood.  Even talking about it, I’m getting memories of childhood.

I remember when these little morsels suddenly became 2¢ each.  Granted, they were a little bigger, but still had all the delicious qualities of their younger cousins.  Then it seemed they went up in price to 5¢!  Eventually, it just seemed that I kind of got out of buying candy.  Now, here I am [ahem] years old, and I’m finding I have a penchant for the sugary little morsels again!

So what else is the one cent piece good for?  Well, if it wasn’t for our odd sales tax percentage, and GST percentage, ‘pennies’ would not be necessary.  If there was a way to convince people that the difference between $4.99 and $5.00 is not $1.00, but $0.01, then retailers could stop pricing items with a ‘0.99’ at the end.

When businesses such as the electric companies and telephone companies figure out our billing for the billing period, many times the amounts will actually be in the smaller decimal region, such as $0.005.  What happens then?  The amount is rounded up to the nearest $0.01.  We all learned about rounding up and rounding down in school, so this is not a new thing for anyone.

In today’s world, is it really worth worrying whether our electrical bill is $45.81 or $45.85?  Would it really break the electric company if they charged us $45.80 instead of $45.86?  Perhaps if the various utility and retail business took the initiative and rounded DOWN to the nearest $0.05 or $0.10, more people would have favourable opinions of these businesses…  Yes, it may only be a few ‘cents’.  Many of these business report earnings each year in the millions of dollars… what difference would it make if each customer received a discount on their bill?  Well, let’s give an example.

There are 31,000,000 people in Canada (approximately).  Conservatively, 1/2 of these people are actually paying bills – the rest are either too young or co-habitating.  15,500,000.  Let’s just say, for argument, that each of these 15,500,000 places of residence has their monthly bill rounded down to the nearest $0.05.  The most that the ‘discount’ would be is $0.04.  That equates to $620,000.  Okay, so that is the big blow to a company that provides the service to ALL 15,500,000 residences.

Think about it…  how many business provide service to every single residence in the country?  0!  There is no ONE company, of any sort, that provides exclusive service to each and every residence in the country.  Oh, sorry.  I may have jumped the gun here.  The only ‘business’ I can think of that has a monopoly over every single residence in Canada is the Federal Government!

Part II tomorrow…

That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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