In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 31, 2006 / 6 Menachem-Av, 5766

Discriminating against the ‘brown coin’

By Julia Gorin

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (Author's note: To be read with Sharpton-like inflection)

In the renewed debate over whether to rid our currency of the penny, it's awfully conspicuous that the coin being targeted for elimination is the one coin that's a different color from the rest. More precisely, it's the coin that's "copper" amid a sea of "silver" ones — that is, the brown coin amid a sea of white coins. It also happens to be the coin paying tribute to the president who freed the brown people, in contrast to the white coins, which sport presidents who were slaveholders.

It was insulting enough when the "copper" coin with the "copper"-friendly president was designated to represent the lowest monetary denomination, but now they want to be rid of it altogether. Even penny slots in Las Vegas won't take pennies. They take either bills — or bills and white coins only.

In his article advocating for the extermination of the penny, National Review editor Rich Lowry writes, with emphasis added, "The poor pathetic penny has become clutter in the nation's pockets," and he describes the cumbersome process of collecting pennies to exchange them for "useful" money. Accusing "penny defenders" of being nothing more than "nostalgic," Mr. Lowry points out that it costs 1.23 cents to make one cent, and that this translates into a subsidy of four billion dollars this fiscal year. Further, "more than $10 billion worth of pennies and other coins sit idle."

Now we're getting somewhere! Although there are other coins that are "idle," it's the brown coin that's being singled out. Obvious analogies to stereotypes of black folks on welfare subsidies aside, I resent Mr. Lowry's implication that the penny — which he calls "worthless," "nettlesome," and not "worth the bother" — shouldn't be considered money at all. This is racism, pure and simple.

It appears that on U.S. military bases overseas, the penny has been gone since the 80s. Had I heard about this then, I surely would have made a stink. After all, what kind of message does this send to our fighting men and women, in particular our disproportionately black fighting men and women?

These bases round all transactions to 0 or 5, and that is what the penny-lynchers suggest the rest of us do. Of course, "rounding" means rounding up. And rounding up means making poor folks poorer. Now, obviously, if you remove all transactions ending in 1-4 and 6-9, a penny might seem "useless." However, if you were to remove all transactions ending in 0 or 5, then all those white coins would seem pretty useless, wouldn't they? In fact, wouldn't it make more sense to do that, since transactions not ending in 0 or 5 outnumber those that do?

Indeed, with white people fast becoming a minority in this country, why should white coins outnumber coins of color? Isn't it time for our currency to reflect the ever-changing society that it serves? We need a rainbow coinucopia. White coins are the ones that should be considered "nostalgic." Meanwhile, if it's too burdensome to continue minting and using the penny, assign it a higher value — and give it a makeover. Why not make a black coin? I'm not talking about a coin calling itself "copper" or "bronze" — that's what Latinos trying to hijack our civil rights movement call themselves. I'm talking about an unapologetically black coin, stamped with the closest thing to a black president this country has seen, William Jefferson Clinton.

Economists cite $300 million a year to be the value in "time lost" using pennies. But think about the confusion and inefficiency that will be caused if we abort the penny. A person could no longer describe himself as "penniless," since we all would be. He'd have to say, "I'm nickelless," and then it sounds like he's saying his name is Nicholas — which has the potential to create as much inefficiency as that $300 million.

And what would happen to expressions like "a penny for your thoughts?" Most people's thoughts aren't worth a whole nickel.

If pennies have no value, why is it that you meet people named Penny, but never anyone named Quarter or Dime? Because Penny's parents believed their daughter to have no value? I don't think so. In fact, when we want to say someone is being cheated or not valued, we say they're being "nickel and dimed" — not pennied.

We're often told that race relations have come a long way in this country. I say prove it. Fair-minded people everywhere: it's time to mobilize; the penny requires our affirmative action. Let's keep our cents and our sense about us.

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JWR contributor Julia Gorin is a widely published op-ed writer and comedian who blogs at www.JuliaGorin.com. Comment on by clicking here.

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