“Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day you’ll have good luck.”
That’s what I grew up saying, and occasionally, I can’t help but pick up a penny. The penny — a dirty brown, copper coin — is the lowest denomination we own as Americans. With inflation, rising prices, and a changing, digital economy, the penny doesn’t seem to be necessary. It’s really more weight than it’s worth.
It’s an interesting question, though: What amount of money would you need to see to pick it up? Would you go for a penny? How about a nickel, dime, quarter? When does picking up some loose change seem like a reasonable use of time? For me, if I see a nickel or more, my rapacious little hands are quick to grab it.
I’m a man with nary a dime of net worth, finding a nickel feels like winning the lotto. Well, maybe I’m being a bit hyperbolic, but you get the picture. In my current economic state, the percentage that a nickel, dime, or quarter contains is worth my bending down to grab it. But it’s important to keep some perspective about wealth in the United States.
When you’re a billionaire like Bill Gates, reaching for that little coin may cost you more than it’s worth. Here’s the always amazing, talented, and funny, Neil deGrasse Tyson to explain: