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Secretary Carlisle's Opinion. 171 " To the Editor of The Tribune :
Sir: In a late letter addressed to Mr. Shreve, of Virginia, and published to-day, the Secretary of the Treasury says:
“My opinion is that whenever the coinage value of a metal, whether it be gold or silver, is greater than the intrinsic or commercial value of the bullion contained in it, the coinage of that metal, if it is coined at all, should be on Government account only. This is the only way in which the coinage of the depreciated metal can be restrained within safe limits, so as to maintain equality in the purchasing power of the two kinds of coins.”
Coinage on Government account was a favorite method of defrauding and oppressing the peoples of Europe for many centuries. That the Government should make a considerable profit on coinage is the worst of all monetary fallacies. Its iniquity was exposed by Cassiodorus in the sixth century, by Oresme in the fourteenth century, and by Copernicus in the sixteenth century, and later by Locke, Newton, Turgot, Adam Smith, Say, and many other great philosophical writers on money and coinage.
These great authorities saw clearly that coin is only a convenient merchandise, the weight and fineness of which is guaranteed by authority: Oresme, the founder of the modern science of money, asks how a prince can punish forgers if he cheats by making a profit on coinage.
Coinage of silver dollars on Government account would to-day pay a profit of 100 per cent. Some of the French kings made it pay a profit of several hundred per cent. Such profits, howerer, always come out of the people, and cannot be tolerated in any free country.
In my book on joint-metallism, I have shown that gold and silver coins should always bear substantially the same ratio to each other as their bullion values, and that this ratio can be maintained conveniently by having a standard silver coin the same weight as a standard gold coin, and simply changing when necessary the. Gov't Bonds and Legal Tender Money. 173
number of these silver coins to be the just and legal equivalent of the gold coin, and that thus silver can be used equally with gold by making both together the metallic basis of a sound, honest, selfregulating and permanent currency, redeemable always half in gold coins and half in silver coins, and always at the relative market values of the precious metals.
It is stated in the newspapers generally that they have received intimations from Washington that the Treasury Department will discriminate against those who try to make payment in Government demand notes for the new bonds.
The history of the science of money shows that it is as impossible for a government to be benefited by discriminating against its own legal tender money as it is for prosperity to be produced by increasing the public debt in time of peace.
ANSON PHELPS STOKES. New York, Nov. 20, 1894."
This, so far as I know, is the first time
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on the trening of the same day on wtich my letter had been printed in that morning's Triune, Voreriser 21st, 1894, the Evening Post said editorials :
" It is good to read Prof. Hadiey's protest in the Yale Review against making an occult science of political economy. He most justly says of some recent tendencies in economic literature that they may be part of a science intended to warm the hearts of antiquarians, dialecticians, or sentimentalists, but are only so much weariness of the flesh for statesmen and business men. They take some psychologic speculation and beat it up
Nineteenth Century Review. 175 into a world-lather, as Carlyle would say, stating conclusions in such language that, as Prof. Hadley says, 'nobody could ever find out, by observation of prices, whether they were right or wrong.""
One would naturally expect to find the Evening Post encouraging most thorough study and research. It was by years of historical study that Locke and Adam Smith, etc., were able to accomplish what they did for the science of economics. In another article on the same page the Post referred to Macleod as follows:
“We reprint to-day in full, from the Nineteenth Century Magazine, the most crushing reply to the bimetallists in brief compass which, in our opinion, the controversy has called forth, from Mr. Dunning Macleod, the well-known economical writer. A more trenchant exposure of the bimetallic fallacies we have never read, and it is none the less trenchant for being mainly historical.”
Macleod's article fills three and one half columns of the Post, and is chiefly a