By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – The folks at the Farmer’s Almanac of Maine are out with their long-range forecast for the coming winter, and I won’t spoil your nice summer Monday by repeating what they’re predicting.

But their media blitz comes with a reminder worth noting, of a long-range project the Almanac’s editor has been pushing for decades – doing away with the penny, on the grounds that they are rarely used and often discarded.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

I never pictured myself joining the currency police, but this is the second time in the last year or so I’ve felt called on to defend the status quo. The last time involved a push to replace dollar bills with coins, thus making some great slang terms, like bankroll and lettuce, obsolete, not to mention the time-honored practice of palming a wad to a sleazy politician.

Slipping him or her 300 coins is going to be much too noisy.

And taking away the penny would also leave us impoverished.

The recession may have forced some improvement in our savings habits, but I still say we need all the encouragement we can get to plan ahead. That cause is not served if the notion that “a penny saved is a penny earned” becomes archaic.

In fact, pennies help teach us our earliest lessons about saving and the value of money, when we realize that while they may not be worth much individually, put enough of them together and they form “a pretty penny.”

And don’t forget, pennies still do have value.

How many TV talking heads or internet commenters do you see who deserve a penny for their thoughts?

No, don’t do away with the penny.

That would be – you guessed it – penny-wise and pound-foolish.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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