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“There can hardly be a better rule in any country for the legal than the market proportion, if this can be supposed to have been produced by the free and steady course of commercial principles.”—ALExANDER HAMILTON, “Report on the Establishment of a Mint.”
“The proportion between the values of gold and silver is a mercantile problem altogether.”—THOMAS JEFFERSON," On the Establishment of a Money Unit and of a Coinage for the United States.”
“Labor" itself is the real standard of value to which the prices of all the products of labor must adjust themselves.”— D. A. WELLS, Practica/Aconomics, p. 35.
“Viewing a long period dynamically, it is beyond all question that commodities are comparatively steady and only the money changes.”—ROBERT GIFFEN.
“I venture to ask your publication of this short letter, because it is the great using nations which is destroying England's exports to 700,000,000 of those who were formerly her best customers, and it is for this reason, and this only, that the terrible fall in the Eastern rates of exchange since last July has converted London by wholesale to bimetallism, grudgingly and unwillingly, I admit. . . . Yours faithfully, MoRETON FREwBN, New York, April 24, 1894.”—From a letter to the New York Trzbuzze.
depreciation of the currencies of silver* “Labor is the universal and accurate measure of value.”— ADAM SMITH.
The Tabular Standard on Massachusetts.
“BOSTON, January 1, 1780.-In behalf of the State of Massachusetts Bay, I, the subscriber, do hereby promise and oblige myself and successors in the office of Treasurer of said State, to pay unto Asa Kider or to his order, the sum of £239.I 1.3 on or before the first day of March, in the year of our Lord 1781, with interest at 6 per cent. per annum; both principal and interest to be paid in the then current money of said State in a greater or less sum, according as five bushels of corn, sixty-eight pounds and four-sevenths parts
of a pound of beef, ten pounds of sheep's wool, and sixteen pounds of sole leather, shall then cost more or less than one hundred and thirty pounds current money, at the then current prices of said articles. This sum being thirty-two times and a half what the same quantities of the same articles would cost at the prices affixed to them in a law of this State made in 1777 entitled, “An act to prevent monopoly and oppression.’”—A. GARDNER, Treasurer of the State of Massachusetts Bay. “Between 1851 and 1870 the new supply of gold available for currency averaged $92,000,000. Between 1871 and 1881 it had fallen to $24,000,000.”— A. SoetBEER. “About two thirds of the gold annually produced is taken for the arts; and if the consumption of India is included, as being either for simple hoarding or for the arts, and in no case for the purpose of circulating money, then the demand for gold for non-monetary purposes appears almost equal to the entire annual production.”— Robert GIFFEN.
Since the discovery of America the world's total production of the precious metals has been in weight about five per cent, gold and ninety-five per cent, silver.
The extremes have been :
It is instructive to note how very much more these proportions have varied than have the relative market prices of gold and silver.
For one hundred and eighty-six years (1687 to 1873) the commercial ratio of gold to silver was never less than 14. 14, and never more than 15.95, except*
In 1808, when it was... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I6. O8
See Soetbeer's tables, and Pixley & Abell's tables.
“It is quite conceivable that if gold were to increase in quantity and its cost of pro
duction to diminish, as other commodities * See note, page 132.
increase in quantity and have their cost of production diminished, there would be no change of any kind in gold prices. Commodities would be more abundant, but the abundance would make itself felt in a rise of money wages, salaries, rents, and profits, and not in lower prices. That it is felt in lower prices now appears to be absolute proof that the relation between gold and commodities has changed, that they have not increased in quantity and had their cost of production diminished pari passu. In addition, however, while not denying that there has been a change on the commodities side of the balance, I would go farther and maintain that what has happened to gold in the way of diminished production and increased demands upon it, arising from other causes than the multiplication of commodities, must have had great effect.”—ROBERT
“But the result of carrying on larger and larger transactions on a narrow basis of coin or bullion is to magnify the rela