Comment: Gold Bugs for dummies

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Gold Bugs for dummies

http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/labadie/2916966.0001.001/3?rgn=f...

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Bills of exchange, bank checks, and negotiable paper of all sorts add just so much to the body of the currency; and this issue is unlimited by law, and unlimited in fact, except by the exigencies of trade. They are just as really currency as the specie dollar, the greenback, or the bank bill. A field which has no fence up one of its sides is not fenced in, no matter how high and strong its fences may be on the other sides. So, the volume of currency is not, in any true sense, limited by prohibitions of free banking, by a return to specie basis, or by any other means, so long as negotiable paper can be freely issued by individuals; and this free issue of negotiable paper is too useful, and too well entrenched in necessity, ever hereafter to be interfered with. Commerce can be hindered and trammeled to some extent—by statute arrangements claiming to regulate the currency, whether by restrictive measures, or by flooding the community with over-issues; but the volume of the currency can no longer be adjusted by such means.
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http://praxeology.net/BT-SSA.htm

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First in the importance of its evil influence they considered the money monopoly, which consists of the privilege given by the government to certain individuals, or to individuals holding certain kinds of property, of issuing the circulating medium, a privilege which is now enforced in this country by a national tax of ten per cent., upon all other persons who attempt to furnish a circulating medium, and by State laws making it a criminal offense to issue notes as currency. It is claimed that the holders of this privilege control the rate of interest, the rate of rent of houses and buildings, and the prices of goods, – the first directly, and the second and third indirectly. For, say Proudhon and Warren, if the business of banking were made free to all, more and more persons would enter into it until the competition should become sharp enough to reduce the price of lending money to the labor cost, which statistics show to be less than three-fourths of once per cent. In that case the thousands of people who are now deterred from going into business by the ruinously high rates which they must pay for capital with which to start and carry on business will find their difficulties removed. If they have property which they do not desire to convert into money by sale, a bank will take it as collateral for a loan of a certain proportion of its market value at less than one per cent. discount. If they have no property, but are industrious, honest, and capable, they will generally be able to get their individual notes endorsed by a sufficient number of known and solvent parties; and on such business paper they will be able to get a loan at a bank on similarly favorable terms. Thus interest will fall at a blow. The banks will really not be lending capital at all, but will be doing business on the capital of their customers, the business consisting in an exchange of the known and widely available credits of the banks for the unknown and unavailable, but equality good, credits of the customers and a charge therefor of less than one per cent., not as interest for the use of capital, but as pay for the labor of running the banks. This facility of acquiring capital will give an unheard of impetus to business, and consequently create an unprecedented demand for labor, – a demand which will always be in excess of the supply, directly to the contrary of the present condition of the labor market. Then will be seen an exemplification of the words of Richard Cobden that, when two laborers are after one employer, wages fall, but when two employers are after one laborer, wages rise. Labor will then be in a position to dictate its wages, and will thus secure its natural wage, its entire product. Thus the same blow that strikes interest down will send wages up. But this is not all. Down will go profits also. For merchants, instead of buying at high prices on credit, will borrow money of the banks at less than one per cent., buy at low prices for cash, and correspondingly reduce the prices of their goods to their customers. And with the rest will go house-rent. For no one who can borrow capital at one per cent. with which to build a house of his own will consent to pay rent to a landlord at a higher rate than that. Such is the vast claim made by Proudhon and Warren as to the results of the simple abolition of the money monopoly.
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The form that the ONE money takes is incidental to the fact that a Monopoly can only exist when competition does not exist.

Joe