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About The Currency

About The Currency image
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The Allegan Journal, the home organ of Congressman Williams, goes for the Akgus in right lively style ; and just because we ventured to criticise the following highfaluting, spread-eagle, Plymouth Rock, Bunker Hill Monument, Fourth-ofJuly, Hail Columbia, Yankee Doodle paragraph from that gentleman1 so-called financial speech, or speech on tbo financcs: " I bad supposed that the United States Treasury iiotea did represent value. As surely as that flag represente, not only here but through the world, the nnity of these States, just so surely, sir, do the United States Treasury notes represent the oost of life and blood and treasure, the priceless value of that uuity 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 g-reuter nature than the paltry price of a house and lot. There is 110 companson betweon the two values." It opened by saying : " The Ann Arbor Argus wants to return to the old State bank syslem of currency and pronounces greenbacks a ' fraud.' " Will the Journal please inform us and its readers when the AröUS has expressed a desire to return to the " old State Bank system 'e' We have no recollection of expressing any such desire. As to pronouncing greenbacks a " fraud," the ArgüS did say and reiterates : " As money the greenback 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." A bank bill issued by a State or nationnl bank is not money and never was money in this or any other country, but nothing more or leas than a promise to pay money, and when there is a failure of a bank to redeem its promises its bilis do not circuíate as the representativo of money. The greenback is neither money nor redeemable in money, but is made by arbitrary law and power a legal tender. It goes al its face price by compulsión, but when the holder wants money for it, to use either at the custom house or in a foreign country, he must submit to a grinding shave - now 11 1-2 per cent., for when gold is quoted at 113 a greenback dollar is worth but 88 1-2 cents, or a small fraction less That is the fact in a nut shell, and all the " bluster" of the patent-patriot organs or of " bird o'freedom" Congressmen oannoi change it. - In discussing this currency question tne recognuion oí two or inree common sense principies would save a vast deal o trouble and confusión, clearaway a grea bank of fog. And first, it is sheer folly utter impossibility in fact, for a legisla lative body to fix by law or assume to fix the volume of eurrency to be issued anc circulated, -whethet by banking corpora tions or the nation. The inexorable law of demand and supply, the laws of trade can alone determine thebounds. If $S00 000,000 are wanted or needed this year $750,000,000 or $600,000,000 may suffice next year, and $1,000,000,000 may be de inanded the third year. Congressmen, or at least the average members, are not om niscient and cannot fix the limit for a single month. Neither is it safe to dele gate the power of expansión or contraction to a Secretary of the Treasnry or any other officer: the controlling of prices anc promoting of speculations. Therefore Congress must fix absolutely the amoun of government eurrency (greenbacks i the reader chooses), which is at the outse' a violation of the principie we have declared. Again : it is an equal folly for Congress to attempt to control the distribution o: eurrency among the States. Banks will lócate themselves or be located in business or commercial centers and where capitalists can see money in thein. If banks of issue, their bilis will speedily find their way where money is wanted and can be used to advantage. If not a bank of issue is located in the West or South, eurrency will flow from the seaboard cities to the West and South to move all the wheat and corn and cotton and cattle that can be produced or grown, and at the same or as good prices as i: there was a bank in every southern or western hamlet, issuing promises to pay and scattering them broadcast, - that is i: their promises are made the real representatives of money by providing coin redemption. These two principies being recognizec as correct, it follows that Congress shoult provide either for the withdrawal of the greenbacks or for their redeinption or convertí bility into coin - the only standard or measure of values throughout the civilized world. This done and an irredeemable currency no longer made a legal tender the procesa is easy. It is free banking with circulation secured as now beyond contingency. Then the banks will contract or expand their issues to meet the uemands of tiade, and the volume of currency will be self regulating. The government can easily return to specie payments by hoarding its gold and retiring its ovordue and dishonored greenbacks instead of by the purchase of bonds due years henee. Aud as the greonbacks are retired national bank notes or coin will flow in or out to supplement or replace them. We know no other method to reach that flexibility of the currency so much prated about, or to restore the breaches made in the fixed and immutable laws of trade or finance. The Regents of Michigan University have adopted a resolution requiring every student, before entering the University, to pay Y10 if a resident of Michigan, and $25 if from any other State, as a matriculation fee ; and$15 'and f20 respectively annually while in attendance at the institution. Heretofore instruction in the University has been free to all. - Hearth and Home. The figures of our qotetnporary are correct, but the concluding sentence of the quoted paragraph is calculated - perhaps not designed - to convey a wrong impressiou. " lleretofore " the charge have boen for matriculation t'ee as stated above : $10 to resident or State students and $25 to students f oming from other States,- with annual dues in the sum of $10 to each and every student. The change consists in adding $5 a year to the annuul rlnna nf Statp Rtmlfints and $10 to the uual dues of non-residents ; or in other words the course of four years will oost State students % 20 and nou-resident students $40 more than " heretofore." To students in the professional schools the increase is $10 or $20 each for the course - as they are resident or non-resident students. And these charges were not and are not for tuition ; but for apparatus, libraries, fuel, and all, " incidental expenses." They are certainly moderate, and the sinall discrimiuation against non-resident students is no more than justioe to the tax-payers of the State.


Old News
Michigan Argus