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The Silver Danger

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In a populus towu there wns once placed a cage of wild bensts, ana in the very beginning the frailty of the bars gave timid people considerable alarm; but the mere fact that the creatures il:d not get out oonvinced passers-by, in the course of ".", mat tüere was really no danger, after all, and men hurrled past the ïini.'imlij. hearing the sounds of their baffled ferocity, but gave theui no great attention. Therefore, wheu, on an uncoinfortable day in late winter, an atteudant of the beasts casually remarked Umi the bara of the cage were almost gnawed through (he was sorry lie could not help it), ai'd asked the bystanders what they thought of it, it Is not to be wondered at tkat a sudden paroxysm of alarm seized even sensible men, and that there ensued a general attempt to put a banier between tliem and possible harm. When, in 1878, the owners of silver, supported by the class who in former yoarg hnd been in favor of dishonest repudiation and depreciated paper money, induced Congress to pass au act by which au ainount of sil ver puichasab,le forabout ighty-six centa was to receive t!ie familiar name of dollar, and the goverument was to give it out as an equivalent for mie li ii ml red cents in gold, ko that the treaury should tliereby gain fourteen cents on every dollar it issued, it looked very much as rf the state had descended to help the silver owuers tu a questiouable attempt to raiso the tuarket value of tlieir commodity, and in return to receive a proflt of fourU-en cents on each dollar colned. It waa one method of üicrsiisitig the reveiiues of the state, to be aure; but a very stupid way, of course, when the Secretary of the Treasury, knowtng all alout governineiit movemeuts, might have t;iken the idle balances lying in the vaultí, speculated in stocks on Wall Street, "builing" and "hearing" the market iu a way to niake the oldest operator frreen with envy, and "niake the fortune" of the United States! The difflculty with tuis nnholy partnership between the state and the "bulls" of the silver market waa thüt when the bill passed the House and reached the öenate thefriendsof business prosperity and a sound currency in that of the act. By this provisión any pnvaie person could have brought eighty-six cents' worth of silver to the United States mint, and liad it Ohaüged (at no expense for seignorage) into a coin which should be of legal valué with one hundred cents in gold, and have equal power iu payin off debts. This would have been a boon indeed to bankrupt anddishonestdebtors, ior it would have reduced their debta by fourteen per cent, and cheated their creditors of that aniount oí tiieir loans. This is the reasou why the blll was supported by those who had formerly advo CMted a depreciated paper dollar as an easier means of paying off exlsting indebtness. It was an attractive thing to men of a weak conscience. Ilumine the ..:-_ .. ; ÏAii if thi rntrllPS wilO llild i ice aiiusiiicuuu ui tut ivL- .. .." )roken-down wagons wortli eighty-six dollars, on being told by Congress that tliey had been too often overlooked by egMation, and that if any of them owed another man one hundred dollars he might take one of hisdepreciated wagons settle the whole debt, and let bis creditor los the otlier fourtoen dollars! Tliat is what, iu effect, Ongress would have said to owiieis of silver, had not the "free coinage" clause. been stricken out. The senate, however, permitted itself to consent to what was nothing less than class leg'islation, by saying, "We will stand by your silver owneis, but only to the extent of taking $3,tiOO,0U0 of your commodity a moiitli:ind if no one will ffive m one linndred centa fu exchange for tlie eigluysix cents of silver (whicli shall be a legal tender to any ainouut), we will store it away, draw that amount from the market, and help you to that extent Ín raUing the _ , ¦ .,„..,.. .i.rwí'itttpíl Hrticlt;.0 So the ireasury lg enjoyed tliat miser's pleasure of seeing briglit. new dollars tllling up ts own vaults without gettinjf into circuliition; nor did this legisUtion ruibe the value of Bllver. So tar ihu Mtuatio.i reseml)le.l the caa;eof wild animáis placed in the busy streets of our quondam city. They Wf re shut iu now, but the conviction thtïU blender bars would uot always keep thein In rendered cautious penple .„¦M.pnsive. Whafif the silver dolUrs got


Ann Arbor Courier
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