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Currency And Debt

Currency And Debt image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

The aggregate indebtedness of the country is appalling. To the national debt. we must add not only the obligations of State, counties, cities, . tuwns, and villages, but the burdens' wbfaih oppre8S corporations of every character, uiany business enterprises, and nearly every individual. Even religious and benevolent societies are not exenipt from debt. If this indebtedness were all paid, and particularly if the accounts with foreign countries were all closed, it is doubtiul if the country, as a whole, would be any richer than it was in 1800. The South is certainly niuch poorer ; millions of wealth have been wiped out, and its vast trade with the north bas been materially affected. The impoverished condition of the country is now seriously feit, and as individuals and interests are seeking to clear theinselves from debt, the begin to realize the destructive effects of civil war. The need of more cash has led many to think that if the country had more cuirency times would be easier. This is a great mistake. There is already more currenoy in the country than-it can abBorb. The great need of a credit system is confidence ; but the era of speculation carne to a close amid the destruction of confídence. Henee, no man can to-day obtain curreney except on good security ; he must have that which is really convertible intó cash, or he cannot obtain the circulating medium he desires. If the federal government would today print $100,000,000 of greenbacks no one could obtaiu thein without an equivalent convertible into cash. Such an issue would add to the national debt $100,000,000, and it would represent individual indebtedness to an equal amount, if taken by any who have not now the cash. The greenbacks inust be redeemed in gold souie day, or the government must repudíate. And business men and interests must some day meet their obligations or become bankrupt. The cry for more currency, therefore, is a confession of impending bankruptcy. The federal government has aroided bankruptcy for 15 years, merely by issuing notes payableon deniand, and it has repudiated lts obligations every day since. If the government was a corporation which could be put into a court of bankruptcy, it would have been placed there long ago ; but as it cannot be, it is merely a moral bankrupt, and must remain so for an indeliuite period. It would be folly to increase the government debt by swelling the volume of currency. Such a course would avail noting. If any one needs more cash - which is all that is meant when he says he needs more curreucy - he can secure it by obtaining good security, and he can obtain it in no other way. Money can be borrowed at easy rates of interest, on good security. If these printed bits of paper which we cali money were indefinitely increased, their purchasing power would decrease until they became as valueless as continental or confedérate currency. In such an event interest on a single "dollar" might well decrease also; but the decrease would be of no benefit to the borrower. Curiency should be adapted to the wants of trade ; but who eau teil what the needs of trade are r" There are many forms of business paper, and a government currency is but one. Other classes of paper enter into the medium of exchange, but all classes alike preserve a basis of value given and of value received on the part of giver and receiver alike. It is impossible for a man to receive a dollar in currency without giving an equivalent in value for it, or pledgiug an equivalent, in case he does not return it when his note is due. If those who clamor for more currency, therefore, would address themselves to the necessity of providing a basis of value for it, they would be wiser. -


Old News
Michigan Argus