'With a deeply self-satisfied howl of execration' P.J.ORourke reports the U.S. Mint now spends
"--almost 2 cents' to strike each " little brown item of pocket clutter...
The problem is the cost of zinc, which is what a "copper" is actually made of. For the past 25 years a penny-weight of copper has been worth considerably more than a penny. And...That would violate all of the economic thinking that has been done since the days of John Maynard Keynes... the U.S. Mint began making pennies out of less expensive zinc with a thin plating of copper for the sake of tradition and to keep Lincoln from looking like he'd been stamped out of a galvanized hog trough.
What's The Weekly Standard 's problem with galvanized hog troughs ? Even as patriotic hogs went off to Spam for Uncle Sam in World War II, the U.S. Mint spared hundreds of tons of copper to fire off at the Axis, by stamping hog troughs and other ferrous scrapple into a hundred million galvanized effigies of Honest Abe.