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Fiat Money

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Col. Robert G. Ingersoll, in a recent address before the County Fair Association, at Malone, N. Y., spokfi as follows npon the financial issue : "I say here to-day that cvery farmer ought to know that he can't mako sometliing out of nothing. The United States Government cu-n't niake money. It can mako what it calis money. It has not the power to make it; it has the power to make you take it. In other words, it has the power to make every creditor take it, and nobody else. If you go to buy a bufihel of wheat, and you liave got ' fiat ' money, the man can say, 'I wül take SI in gold for that wheat, but I want $5 if you pay in ' fiat ' money.' How are you going to prevent him ? The money you have got is good simply bccause it promises to pay. Now it is proposed to have money that we will promise not to pay. If nonsense can go beyond that, I cannot conceive the route or path that it will take. Then, if Congress says you must take it, Cougress must fix the price of everything. It must fix the price of wheat ; it must iix the price of making a speech in a lawsuit ; it must fix the prico of every article, or else it cannot make its money good. " But some gentlemen say that Congress has the power to make money. and I want to ask them one question ; 1 want you to think about it : If this Government has the power to make money, why should it colleet taxes from us? If this Government can make a dollar or a thonsand dollar bill just that quick [slapping his hands together], why shonld they make us labor day and night, and make us pay taxes to support them? If the Government eau make money, let them make it and let us alone. But, instead of that, this great Government comes up here into this country with the bayonet and compela you to pay taxes. It is like the ocean rotting around to borrow a little salt water, or like the sun trying to get the loan of a candle from some poor devil that lias worked weeks to make that candle. So I say to them, if they can do it, let them do it. "Very well, if the Government can mako money, how mucli can itmake? How will I get my shareV How mucli is it going to issue? Some say, 'Enótlgh to produce prosperity.' But how much they can't teil. Some say they are going to pay up the bonds and brin{ money in that way into cireulation, am then business will be prosperous. Bui I say business will be prosperous when the country is prosperóos. But if you get too much paper and it goes down who loses it ? The man who has carnet it and happens to have it in bis possession - thiit is the man who loses it. Yon need not be afraid but what the smar peoile - the pèople on Wall street - wil takc care of themselves. They require their toll froin every man that goes bj thsirway. But the farmer - the labor ing man that lias worked, and has been given some of that money - he loses hla labor unless that money is worth as mueh as it was the day he received it But, they say, there is not monej enough. I say there is plenty - plenty I wish I could get it. We dorrt lack money. The banks have got plenty o money ; a certain portion of the peoplc have money. We are lacking colluterals - that is what we are lacking. You can get all you want on cali in New York a 1 i and 2 per cent. ; and do you know why you don't go and get it? Beeause you haven 't got the collaterals ; and, i we are going to pass a law on this sub ject, I would like to have Congress pass a law furnishing us collaterals. But it will not do ; there is no foundation to it. When that money gets out it has all got to be paid. "Cali it 'fiat ' money - cali it what you please ; the reason that a gold dollar is worth a dollar is beeause you can buy the results of the same amount of labor that it took to dig that gold dollar and to mint it, including all the fellows that hunted and didn't find it. If you take a piece of paper and say that it represents $5 or $10 - it only represents it beeause there is a promise to pay that money - it is only good when you believe that the man or Government that made the promise is good, and you can't go beyond it. Suppose you could blot from your mind that there was such a thing as gold and silver - what is a dollar, just leaving gold md silver entirely out? You have got a 'fiat' bill that says it is $10, and is valuable beeause it never will be redeemed. Gold and silver is valuable of itself. When I take a S10 gold piece and go to England, I have to sell it the same as I would a bushei of corn, and all that spread-eagle nonsense doesn't add one solitary fnrthing to its valué. And when a sovereign comes here from England, we don't care anything about the beautiful picture of Queen Victoria, or any other girl. It is worth so much and no more. But they say that it is the stamp of the Governïiu-nt that makes it valuable. Why not stamp them tens, thousands, or millionst and let tis all be millionaires? It won', do! Wc will never get prosperity in that way. Blowly, steadily, and surely our money has advanced, slowly, steadily and surely the world bas had moro md more confidence in the industry, th honesty, and the integrity of the American prople, and to that extenf our nioiirv has advanced until it has finally claspcd hands upon an equálity with the precious metáis. We are just inside of port. Wc came in tempest-tossed, evéry sail torn and reilt, and every mast by the sido ; and these wreckers stand on the shore and say if you want prosperity put out to sea once more. We don't want to - we want honest methods. No man lires in a country whose money is onder par, that he does not fee] a little onder himself. I never took out a bill that was at 2 or 8 per cent. discount that I did not feel a little that way, too. This great and spleudid republic, witli the most intelligent and the best people in the world - and I say the most honest - I want its promise to be as good in every part of Ihe world as the promise of any other nation. I I want the greenback to be preserved ; want to have gold and silver bchind it ; I want it so that if I should go into the furthest isle of the Pacific and shonld take out a greenback a savage would look it it and his eyes would glitter as if he looked at gold. Then you feel like you are somebody; like you had a great and splendid nation, and even that old flag would look better if every prornise of the United States had been redeemed. And you never know how mach you feel like that until you go to a foreign country. When I was there a few days ago, T just happened to see that old flag ; it looked to me as if the air liad just blossomed out. I want to feel that way all my life. I want to teel that man is capable of governing himself, and that a republican Government is the very acme and licight of national honor." On the north side of St. Gothard tunnel 1,000 men aré employed underground, and áÜO in the open air. Ihj$e hundred wagon-loads of earth are excivated every day, and in the daily blastings 600 pounds of dynamite are used. The energy shown on the Italian side is said to be equ&lly great.


Old News
Michigan Argus