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A Free Silver Congressman's Admission

A Free Silver Congressman's Admission image
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Representativo Charles A. Towne oí Minnesota is regarded as one of the ablest advocates of free coinage in congress. It is donbtful, however, whether the fiatists and Populista in the silverita ariny will welcome him as one of their leaders, far in a recent speech in the house he distinctly repudiated the toundation principie of the cheap money theorists. After a long argument in favor of free and unliniitcd coinage at 16 to 1 he ranged hünself with the helievers in sound inouey who wish to maintain the present Standard by declaring: "The government stamp cannot créate valué. Let us hear no more cheap denunciation of 'ereating value by law. ' Nobody claims you can do so. " With all deference to Mr. Towne this is exactly what the silverites and fiat money advocates do claim. They assert that the government stamp can niake a piece of paper worth $1, $10 or $100, or raise the value of an ounce of silver not worth 68 cents to $1.29. Thewhole scheme for free coinage rests upon the assumption that, if 37134 grains of silver were stamped "One Dollar," its value would be equal to 23.23 grains of pure gold. Unless it should do so the silver dollar would be partly fiat, or resting upon the government'sability to maintain it on a par with gold. It is certainly true that value cannot be created by law. This is why the opponents of free coinage have insisted that an attempt to raise by legislation the commecrial value of silver, now 30 to 1, to 16 to 1 would be a failure and would involve the finances and business interests of the country in disaster. Law can no more increase the real value oí labor producís than it can increase the rainf all or the average temperature. But by inaking 50 cents' worth of metal a legal tender for a dollar's worth of debt, the government can defraud creditors, break contracts and upset the great commercial and industrial interests which are based on a dollar worth 100 cents. Since Congressman Towne does not believe that law can créate value, how can he consistently favor the 16 to 1 swindle, which depends entirely on the theory that the governmtait's stamp can make 16 ounces of jilver worth asmuch as 1 ounce of gold?


Ann Arbor Argus
Old News