I do apologize for the ignorance that I'm sure is imbedded in this question, but I'd like to understand the exact point at which the following argument goes wrong:
1) A battery (let's say an ordinary flashlight battery) maintains a voltage between its positive and negative terminals.
2) The only way to maintain a voltage is by maintaining a charge distribution. Therefore, at least one of the terminals on that battery carries a non-zero net charge.
3) If a terminal carries a non-zero net charge, I ought to be able to use it to pick up a paper clip.
Nevertheless, my flashlight batteries do not pick up paper clips. Is this because the charge is too small or because (at least) one of my three points is dreadfully wrong?