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If Not Silver, What?   By:

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IF NOT SILVER, WHAT?

by

JOHN W. BOOKWALTER

SPRINGFIELD, OHIO

1896

"If you will show me a system which gives absolute permanence, I will take it in preference to any other. But of all conceivable systems of currency, that system is assuredly the worst which gives you a standard steadily, continuously, indefinitely appreciating, and which, by that very fact, throws a burden upon every man of enterprise, upon every man who desires to promote the agricultural or the industrial resources of the country, and benefits no human being whatever but the owner of fixed debts in gold." Speech of the RIGHT HON. A. J. BALFOUR, at Manchester, England, October 27, 1892.

As a manufacturer and somewhat extensive land owner I have a great personal interest in the money question. As a traveller I have studied the situation in other nations, and thus, I may modestly say, have enjoyed the great advantage of getting a view in no wise disturbed by partisan politics. As one whose prosperity depends almost entirely upon that of the farmers, I have naturally thought most of the effect monometallism has had, and will continue to have, upon them. I have, in a sense, been compelled to think much on this great issue. These facts are my apology, if any apology is needed, for giving my thoughts to the public. But is any apology needed? Providence has granted to a few the leisure and the opportunity to study these economic problems, on the correct solution of which the welfare of millions, whose toil leaves them little leisure for study, depends. Is it not the supreme moral duty of those few to give their conclusions to the public? I have always thought so, and in that spirit I present this little work, and ask the laboring producers to give a candid consideration to the views herein presented. It may be that some of these views will be successfully controverted, but the duty remains the same. If they should aid in arriving at a correct solution of the great problem, though the solution be different from that I have indicated, I shall be many times repaid for my labor.

JOHN W. BOOKWALTER.

SPRINGFIELD, OHIO, August 5, 1896.

CONTENTS.

OBJECTIONS TO SILVER, AND COMMENTS THEREON

DEMONETIZATION OF GOLD

RELATIVE PRODUCTION OF GOLD AND SILVER

IS BIMETALLISM PRACTICABLE?

BIMETALLISM ABROAD

THE "DUMP" OF SILVER

ASIA'S DEMAND FOR THE PRECIOUS METALS

IF NOT SILVER, WHAT?

OBJECTIONS TO SILVER, AND COMMENTS THEREON.

=Silver is too bulky for use in large sums.=

That objection is obsolete. We do not now carry coin; we carry its paper representatives, those issued by government being absolutely secured. This combines all the advantage of coin, bank paper, and the proposed fiat money. A silver certificate for $500 weighs less than a gold dollar. In that denomination the Jay Gould estate could be carried by one man.

=But silver certificates would not remain at par.=

At par with what? Everything in the universe is at par with itself. The volume of certificates issued by the government would be exactly the amount of the metal deposited, and that amount could never be suddenly increased or diminished, for the product of the mines in any one year is very seldom more than three per cent. of the stock already on hand, and half of that is used in the arts. It is self evident, therefore, that such certificates would be many times more stable in value than any form of bank paper yet devised.

=Gold would go out of circulation.=

It has already gone out. Under the present policy of the government we have all the disadvantages of both systems and the advantages of neither, with the added element of chronic uncertainty and an artificial scare gotten up for political purposes.

=And that very scare shows an important fact which you silverites ought to heed that nearly all the bankers and heavy moneyed men are opposed to free coinage.=

Nearly all the slaveholders were opposed to emancipation. All the landlords in Great Britain were opposed to the abolition of the Corn Laws, and all the silversmiths of Ephesus were violently opposed to the "agitation" started by St... Continue reading book >>




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