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It may not be necessary to have more money than we now have, but it is necessary to have more security as to the future value of our currency. Business cannot prosper and labor cannot be fully employed if there is danger that a few months hence a dollar, which is the term we use in contracts, may be worth much less or that it may be worth much moře, as measured by the market values or cost of production of the precious metals together, which, in view of our Constitution and of all history, is our only fair standard. Daniel Webster said : “I am certainly of opinion that gold and silver, at rates fixed by Congress, constitute the legal standard of values in this country, and that neither Congress nor any State has authority to establish any other standard or to displace this standard.”
It is necessary to the security of the creditor that no Government money should be issued, except based on the market value of the precious metals as contemplated in the Constitution, and it is necessary for the security of the debtor that he
A Vein for Silver and a Place for Gold. 25
shall not be subject to the risk of money being made artificially scarce or dear, by laws which may restrict the metallic basis of currency to a single precious metal, the hoarding of which may be promoted by such laws, gold being a metal the production of which cannot be greatly and promptly increased by labor.
The Bible says: “Surely there is a vein for the silver and a place for gold.” From the earliest historic times there have been known veins where the supply of silver could be at any time largely and promptly increased. It has been always a question of cost of mining, milling, and smelting. But all great increases in the production of gold have come from new finds, which were generally soon worked out and are less to be expected now that the world has been more explored.
The great difficulty in solving the question of the safe, honest, and proper metallic basis of our currency comes from the want of general, adequate, and impartial study. The newspapers are best able to promote this study, and this alone can
save us from fiat money and from money panics.
It is unfortunately true that in this country of peace and freedom, of abundant land, and unrivalled resources, among a people of general education and unexampled energy, there is to-day much suffering on the part of many able and willing to labor for their daily bread. This suffering is directly traceable to unwise legislation caused by the want of adequate study of economic science.
Anson PHELPS STOKES.
New YORK, March 22, 1894.