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Have We Any Money In Circulation In

Have We Any Money In Circulation In image
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this country ? Will the inflationists consider and answer that question beforo grinding out another grist of groenbacks or national bank notes ? The greenback is made a " legal tender" by law, and by tbe mere forcé of law and in the face of the law's ponalties is paid out and received as money. But it is not money in the true sense of that word ; nor is it the representativo of money in any sense that will bring it within the definition of the lexicographer. Webster's unabridged says : " Bank notes or bilis of credit issued by autliority, and exchangeable for coin, or redeemable, are also oalled money." The greenback is not crdianoeaNe for coin, it has not been made rcdcemalle. It is a promise to pay, with no date of payment fixed, and no evidence apparent that the maker intends payraent - unless exchanging one groenback for another is payment. As money the greeuback is a fraud, and has been from its first inception ; as a note of hand it may be good, or would be if payment or redemption was even remotely provided for. The national bank note is redeemable not in coin but in irredeemable legal tenders, which deprives it of the main element of money. And it is these two classes of so-called money which the inflationists propose to increase, and by increasing render more worthless. Isn't it about time to ccme back to first principies? time to provide for the redemption of the greenback in coin? time to provide for the redemption of the national bank note in coin ? time to place the money of this country on a par with the money of other nations ? We have been disgraced by a depreciated currency long enough ; too long, and better monoy not more money is what is wanted. - Greenbacks and national bank notes are convenient enough currency, but let them be made the actual representative of money - that is coin. When that is done business men will know what to depend on, and the knotty problem will 'solve itself. Crisis after crisis, panic after panic, may be looked for, and that continually, until gold and silverare the recognizsd currency of the realm as they are the real measures of valué, and greenback and bank bilis only the convenient commercial substitute. Cojígressiian Williams of this State has been makingja speech on the financial question : that is on the currency branch of it. And the aforesaid Congressman waxed exceedingly wroth over the insinuation by some party to us unknown that the legal tender notes, cornmonly called greenbacks, do not represent valué, while a private note or a note given by a private individual for a house and lot does. Hear him : I had supposed that the United States Treasury notes did represent value. As surely as that flag represents, not only here but through the world, the unity of those States, just so surely, sir, do the United States Tröasury notes represent the cost oï life and blood and treasure, the priceless value of that unity of States. Do not let it be said on this floor that the United States Treasury notes do not represent a value of a far higher, far greater nature than the paltry price of a house and lot. There is no companson between the two values. We will concede that these Treasury notes do represent value, and in just the same way and to just the same extent that the notes of hand (running at thepleasure of the maker) of a wealthy individual or corporation would represent value, - good if the maker continúes good and concïudes to pay them. But representing value does not convert them into inoney. That was done by an arbitrary act of legislation. And claiming to represent money even, they are not money in the estimation of the world. Were they, Mr. Williams would not have uttered this sentence, the sentence next following the paragraph we have quoted: " I would, however, appreciate the market value of these notes (by receiving them for duties on imports).' The parenthesis - not the words inclosed - is ours. And were it so, Mr. Williams would not, in a subsequent paragraph, have charged the Government with not "treating its own promises' to pay as money," and with " making gold a commodity." And it is just there the whole legislation of Congress is at fault. It has provided for an issue of $400,000,000 of greenbacks, - notes of hand with no day of payment, - made them a legal tender, and then neglected to provide for their redemption or conversión into coin. It has also provided nearly the same aiuount of national bank currency and made it redeemable in irredeemable legal tenders. And that is the currency of the land ! - Isn't it time for Congress to turn its back upon all inflationists ? Isn't it a national disgrace that the greenbacks now incirculation are not made worth their face in coin 'í Tliat done, we shall hear little or no complaint about the volume of currency being too small. That done, a well regulated and free banking systein will do the rest. That done, the demands of business, not law, will determine the quantity. A postal card from the Detroit Tribune says : " Since mailing our last circular, offering to furnisb. supplement sheets containing the new t constitution and general laws of the recont extra session, we have learnod from au authoritative source that the Postoffice Dopartment has ruled that no paper can mail with its regular issues supplements printed in other offices." If the Tribune had read the Aegus of January 9th (last), it would not have remained in blissful ignorance so long. In th&t issue we quoted the exact text of the " ridiculous decisión," and oalled the attention of our cotemporaries to the fact that it would stop the message and other supplements so generally and beneflcially usod by the interior press. And the Tribune reporter at the recent meeting of the State Publishers' Association held at Lansing, will also, doubtless, remember that we called the aiten-, tion of the Aseociation to the " ridiculous decisión ;" but it Beeins that our f riends of the city press waited for an " authoritative source" of instruqtion. - The Lansing Jlepublican bas conimunicated directly with the Postoftice Department, and in consequonce has withdrawn its offer to furnish supplements. - A mighty man is Postmaster-General Creswell - a mighty law-maker. Ex-Tice-President Colfax is the man selected to give the oration at the Ypsilanti half-centennial celebration, the coming Fourth of July. Not the most fortúnate selection.


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Michigan Argus