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But if the value of the silver money be reduced to the present market ratio of the metals, the value of the silver money in the world would be reduced from, say, $4,000,ooo,ooo to $2,000,ooo,000, and the value of the world's stock of real money would be reduced from $8,000,ooo,000 to $6,000,ooo,000. This gives some idea of the shock which the monetary affairs of the world have received from the demonetization and further threatened demonetization of silver. Even supposing that the population and trade of the world should cease to increase, and that the present production of gold and silver should be maintained, and that all of it should be coined, it would require seven years to make up this difference of $2,000,ooo,000. The population, however, must increase, and much of the present production of gold is speculative, from mines that sell shares but cannot earn dividends, and a large portion of the product of the precious metals will continue to be used in the arts, so that many times seven years would be required to make up the difference, which can be made up promptly only by the larger coinage use of silver, by which use its market value would be advanced. It is unfortunate that neither of the great parties in our country has declared for real honest hard money and against all credit money, and it is important that the people should understand this question and know what hurts them when they
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find that the proposed Democratic or Republican panacea fails to give relief. I am opposed to the coinage of silver at 16 to 1. I am opposed to it, not because I believe in gold monometallism. I am equally opposed to that. I believe there is a solution of this whole difficulty which reasonable men in time may come to ; and that is the free coinage, on substantially equal terms, of both gold and silver, in quantities of equal value, at the ratio of their market values. This would work no injury to any just interest. I would have the silver in new silver standard coins to be equal in weight to the gold in the gold standard coins ; and I would open the mint to the free coinage of both gold and silver when presented together in quantities of equal value of each metal, according to the government ratio of the time, which should be based always on the market ratio, and changed only when the market ratio changed as much as one integer, e.g., from, say, 25 to I to 24 to 1, or from 29 to I to 30 to 1. The true economic ratio would thus soon be arrived at, and would very seldom change ; and any change would not make recoinage necessary. I would have a currency so based, half on gold and half on silver, legal tender for the payments of debts contracted after a date some months later than the passage of the act. The Constitution empowers Congress “to coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and meas
ures.” These words “coin,” “regulate,” and “fix” are very significant. The total exchanges of the Clearing Houses of the United States average nearly $1,000,ooo,ooo per week; for the year ending September 30, 1894, they were $45,028,496,746; for the year ending September 30, 1895, $51,111,591,928. When we add to this the total amount of transactions that do not go through the Clearing Houses, how ridiculous it appears that we should hesitate to replace with specie our $346,ooo,0oo of fiat money (greenbacks), so dangerous a menace to all the interests of our country. The people of this great honest debtor country, when sufficiently educated by history and experience, will find that their safety requires the abolition of all credit money, and they will abolish it when they realize that credit money restricts credit, that every dollar of the miserable, dishonest greenbacks has cost the country an unnecessary loss of many dollars, and that every dollar of credit money destroys many dollars of credits. As human nature is constituted, no popular government can afford to tamper at all with so insidious and dangerous a stimulant as uncovered paper money. A Scotch doctor advised his patient to take a little whiskey in hot water. “But,” said the patient, “I am a temperance man, and would not like to have it known that I took liquor.” “Well, have a bottle of whiskey in your room, and ring for
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shaving water.” Some days later the doctor called again, and asked the servant how her master was. She replied: “He’s better physically, but he's gone clean daft, and shaves himself seven times a day.”
Americans are shaving themselves more than seven times a day.
ANSON PHELPS STOKES.
New York, September 10, 1896.