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“Let it be enacted that for all debts, public or private, of $10 and upward, contracted after six months from the passage of the act,” etc.,
But between the monometallists and the inflationists there is a large class that will finally decide this question—the thrifty common people, who are pretty sure, in time, to get at the right of any ethical question and any ordinary business question. These plain people, the mass of the voters in our country, have no sympathy with dishonest debtors, nor have they any desire to allow creditors any unfair advantage.
They do not quickly grasp financial problems that require special study, but they would sooner understand these problems if an independent press would furnish facts and arguments in a non-partisan and non-sectional spirit, allowing both sides to be fairly heard.
Your fairness in printing views of correspondents that honestly differ from your own, is worthy of all commendation.
It is of these common people that Abra
ham Lincoln said : “ Those whom the Lord prefers, because He has made so many of them"; and to quote again from Lincoln : “You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.”
They will come to see that it is not for their advantage to have a debased currency, and at the same time they will see that if the final basis of currency be restricted to one kind of article alone, as, for example, city lots or eight-carat diamonds, or ocean steamers, or gold, then capitalists are given an unfair opportunity to monopolize such final basis, and that values of farms and products, wares and merchandise will decline, and business and employment become uncertain.
You say the supply of gold is increasing. For what considerable period of late years has there been any important increase ? Has it increased in proportion to the increase in national debts or the increase in the world's trade and population ?
See Appendix, page 90.
.......$36.81 ........ 20.02
A report issued by the Treasury about January 1, 1894, gives the per-capita stocks of money as follows: . Prance ...... Cnives States.. ........ Great Britain,.. ( many....... China...................... Will not the 400,000,000 of China require more than this now that they are getting railways? You and other eminent American monometallists, as Messrs. Sperry, Bourne, Wells, Laughlin, Atkinson, etc., etc., quote often the statements regarding the production of gold, as compiled by Dr. Soetbeer for the years 1493 to 1885, and as estimated for the years 1886 to 1892 by the Bureau of the Mint. These and other instructive tables are conveniently found at the back of the most orthodox monometallist speech of Hon. Lewis Sperry in the House of Representatives, August 21, 1893.
In 1688 the debt of Great Britain was 6,664,000. It is now £,685,000,000. That is, it is more than one thousand times as large as it was in 1688.
See Appendix, page 105, etc.
Production of Gold. 57 PRODUCTION OF GOLD IN THE WORLD.'
In 1688 the production of gold was about 346,000 ounces. It was, in 1892, 6,328,272 ounces. That is, it was in 1892 eighteen times as large as it was in 1688.
I think the sober sense of the people will decide that they don't want inflation and that they don't want monometallism, but that they do want to return to a larger use of silver, if it can be arranged for conveniently and honestly, and that this can be accomplished by making the basis of our currency both gold and silver in equal parts, based on market values, and to be legal tender for future debts.
Anson PHELPS STOKES. New York, April 6, 1894. * See Appendix, page 106.
[To make the above table of the gold increase thoroughly comprehensible and pertinent, the diminishing part played by gold in the transactions of life should also be set forth. Less than 5 per cent. of the work of exchange in London and here is now done by gold. Checks were unknown in 1688. If the Chinese or any other people want more money they will get it in the usual way. Bimetallists need not lie awake about it.-Ed. Evening Post.] 1 See page 68.