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date. He claims that the true economic ratio would thus soon be determined, and would then very seldom change, and that debtors and creditors would not be affected by such change, as the actual transactions would be made in Legal-Tender Joint Certificates; and that any possible loss to the Government could be provided against by a small mintage charge.
The treatise presents a convenient plan for coinage and currency on the above basis, with standard silver coins of the same weight as standard gold coins, but takes the ground that details as to the coin to be chosen as the gold standard, the time when and the official by whom the declarations of the Government ratios shall be made, and the periods to be considered in fixing the ratio, are not essential.
The present work shows that the author is a bullionist and opposed to credit money, while believing that credit can attain its greatest just development on a bullionist basis, as it does substantially in England.
New York, March, 1895.
PREFACE TO THE THIRD
The second edition was published on the fifth of this month, and I am informed that it is out of print.
I had planned in the third edition to discuss credit and paper currency at some length. I have not time to do so now, and if I ever undertake this, it will be in a separate volume.
Since the second edition of JointMetallism went to press, the Government gold reserve has again been reduced below the minimum of one hundred million dollars, as it was evident it would be; and the President's Message and the Report of the Secretary of the Treasury have been published. I am glad to note that they do not contain any recommendation
of “coinage on Government account,” which was suggested in the Secretary's letter quoted on page 171. But these state papers and the Bill reported by the Committee on Banking and Currency propose what is, in my opinion, a dangerous and unconstitutional system of paper currency, based on general assets, etc.
It is evident that the modern exaggerated theory of credit, of which that very clever barrister and economist, Henry Dunning Macleod, is the most prominent promoter, is threatening the world with general disaster.
Adam Smith has well pointed out how a mistaken theory of wealth caused many European wars during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
Macleod says that Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, J. B. Say, etc., "had not the faintest conception of the great juridical principles of credit," and that this department of economics he has made his own. He writes: “The true function of credit is to bring into commerce the present values of future profits,” and that “Ri
varol well said, “Man conquers space by commerce, and time by credit.'”
I regret I have neither time nor space to quote further or to comment fully on this theory, but some of the results of its workings are evident on all sides in bankrupt states, railroads, and speculative companies, and further developments are fast approaching.
It is a remarkable thing in economic literature that Macleod, the apostle of credit money, should now claim to derive support from the writings of Oresme and Copernicus, who were the great champions of sound metallic money, based on the market values of the two precious metals.
If “credit is as good as money," as Macleod says it is, and if Government credit is the best credit, then fiat money is the best money, and the name of Macleod should be exalted in the gate of the Greenbackers.
Believing there is great danger to the community in the seductive theory of credit which Macleod so elaborately and so ably advocates, and which is admittedly
an attempt to discount future profits, or, as he expresses it, “to bring into commerce the present values of future profits,” I have added in Part IV. of this edition a short chapter on “ The Apotheosis of Credit.”
May I ask all readers of Part II. and Part III. to first read the Preface to the Second Edition.
A. P. S. STOKES BUILDING, New YORK,
December 22, 1894.