Press enter after choosing selection

About "why Not?"

About "why Not?" image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Editor The Argus: - Your editorial "Why Not?" of the i8th, has the merit of frankness. You must know that it differed radically from the views of some of your subscribers as a large element of the democratie party: henee your courage is admirable. My object now is to ask you to study the silver question, and - what is more important - the general money question. Your sertions as to silver history are strangely at variance with facts. For instance: - "In all the years . . . silver cut a very small figure in the monetary affairs of this government. " I think you will find that, genererally, silver constituted about half the coin currency. "Again, granting . . . the hoary age . . . what has that to do with the question of the monetary needs ... of today?" One of the revolutionary sages thought "the lamp of experience" was pretty safe. You answer your question by showing the disastrous effects of "monometalism." Our business being adjusted to bimetalism, the effect would be about the same as if either metal were demonetized. We can not afford to ignore the fact that from 1868 to 1873 nearly half our coin was by law made worthless as money; and that thereby debts were nearly doubled in value in the hands of creditors, and the hardship of paying, doubled against debtors; henee the business distress that followed. You speak of the "natural valué of silver." Pardon me if I say there is no such thing. You probably mean commercial value. I am surprised to see you confound that value with coin value. The two are never identical. You will never get financiers to try your "only way" by "putting a dollar's worth ot silver into a silver dollar." That is claptrap talk and quite out of climate in an intelligent democratie paper. Your horror of "fiat legislation" is quite as hysterical. Our government (nor any other) never had any money but "fiat" money. Whatever the material used, the government fiat, and that alone, makes it money. The value of the material and the ratio to each other of the different materials used have nothing to do with the value, absolute or relative, of the different kinds of money. Just one thing is essential: that is the legal tender quality created by law. Is it not a little absurd that the entire trading world should be dependent on somebody finding somewhere in the ground something of just the right kind and always just enough of it, to niake their money of? Isn't that too nomadic for this brilliant age?


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News