Press enter after choosing selection

Greenbacks The Poor Man's Curse

Greenbacks The Poor Man's Curse image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

Is is oue of the fovorite arguments of the " rag-money " men that it is the bunkers and moneyed men who want 1 specie payments, but the best interests ] of the poorer classes He in the opposite i directiou. This is a charge which is untrue and Bhould be exposed. Is the poor mau, the laborer, the inechanic, the farmer to be benefitted by a paper currency whose volume is to be flxed by Oongress Y Such a currency will necessarily fluctuate even if it does not becouie entirely wortbless. The advocates of unliinited greenbacks will not attempt to deny that their favorite nioney is all the time Hable to large fluctuations of value. It always has fluctuated, sometimos several per cent in oue day. Now with such a money, he capitalists, the money lenders and the bankers must make themselves safe by exacting a high rate of interest. Tbis is the case now. There is plenty of money in the banks, but it is held for high rafts of interest. Of course, the poor men - the borro wers - must stand the brunt of this hardship. Merchants must charge an additional percent upon the selling prioe of their stock to secure themselves against this risk of the fluctuating currency. The additioual charge for this risk can be safely estimated at 1 per cent for the wholesale and 3 per cent for the retail trade. Estimatiug the sales in the country at $11,000,000,000, the figures for 1858, reckoning the risk charged by the nierchant at 2 per cent rather thaii 3, we have $2,200,000,000 as the actual cost to the people since the war of our paper mouey system. In other words, the people have been obliged to pay this immense sum - equal to the public debt- for the privilege of using a depreciated currency. A sound curreucy would have cost that much lesss. And the people who have paid this immense sum are the poorer class and not the bloated bondholdeia by any meana. They have paid this merely in the way of enhanced prices. But it will be replied that tne wagea of workingnieu have been increased in a like proportion. Uufortunately this is a popular hallucination. Prioes always go up first and highest, wages last and We have soine accurate statistica on this point. Froni the reports of Massachusetts_ Labor Bureau it has been found that the oost of living has increased 61 per oent between 1860 and 1870, whereas the increase in wages in the game time was ouly 30 per cent. Consequently the condition of those workinguien is not so good as at the beginning of the war. Calculating the losa to laborera of all classes in the country at $5 a year, will amount to $444,000,000 yearly as ;he loss in wages to the laboring classes 'rom the use of depreciated currency. And it is the laboriug class alone which suffers this loss. The merchants make 'requent changes in their prices to meet ;he new ftuctuations. In New York :hey have been known to change their scale every day in the week. All this ;ime wages remaiu the same, or if they advance it ia by very slow and gradual stages. But when a money stringency couies, it is wagea which fall first. Men are thrown out of work by hundreds and tbousands, and the remainder are glad to accept just what their employers can afford to pay. But prices of merchandise do not fall at the sanie time. Thua it will be seen that in every change whioh effects the currency the laboring classes are the chief losers. The remedy for all this is sound money. Do the laborers and poor men want inflation 'i The Ypsllanti Sentinel of last week uttered words, the truth of whioh may be more forcibly feit a few montlis henee. It says : " There has not, for raany years, been a suminer when the complaiut of low wages and lack of employment has been so universal as the present. Nor hits thero ever been a sutumer when there was such an uninterrupted flow of expenditure, and nonproductive uses of time. Excursión after excursión, exhibition after exhibition, festivals, fairs, and every conceivable lure to draw the scanty dives froin poorly filled pockets, have been devised. This state of things will probably be wounü up Dy tne btate and county fairs, that soon begin, and the people will then be brought face to face with the rigors and realities of winter. Thousands will be poorly prepared to get through the seven or eight months of storm, rain, enow, and frost below zero. What will become of the ragged trampa ? The fruils of the earth which He oppn in fields to depredations, will be locked up in barns and cellars, and guarded by jealous owners." The election news from California shows conclusively that the Deinocrats have swept the State. They have a majority on the vote for State officers, and will unquestionably huve an overwheliming majority in the Legislature. The returns froin the Congresional district indícate sharp contests everywhere, and Democratie gains. The Independents have lost much of their strenght and will not hereafter play an import part in local politics. Though the eleotion is not considered as a very important one, as no great issue was raised during the campaign, yet it has its value, for it tells that the Democratie advance of 1874 has not been checked, land that even where the Eadicals ai e most favorably situated Democracy is aggressive and successful and Republicanism despondent and exhausted. This election decides the' political complexion of California for some years to come and insures the casting of her votes in the electoral college for the Presidency. Senator Morton, who transformed the Exeoutive Mansion of the State of Indiana into a den of prostitution, and indulged in the grossest debauchery, while tens of thousands of the Democrats of that State were risking their lives in fighting the rebellion, is traversiug Maiue howling out his denuneiatious of the "disloyal Democracy," in response to the urgent aolicitatious of Mr. Speaker Blaine.


Old News
Michigan Argus