The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, May 22, 1903, Page 2, Image 2

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"who, though Interested in a sufllclent volume of'
money, were deceived by the financiers and po
litical leaders in whom they had conlidenco. No
ono ever argued that bimetallism depended upon
any particular ratio, but all bimetallists knew
that somo ratio must be fixed before silver -could
bo restored. Thoy had found that pretonded bi
metallists had .secured election on ambiguous plat
forms and then defeated action' by objecting to
any reasonable ratio. Thoy, therefore, decided to
name the ratio so that tho advocates of bimetallism-might
have a rallying point. This ratio was
not only tho presont legal ratio of 16 to 1, but a
ratio more favorable 4 to gold than tho ratio ex
isting botween silver and gold coins of most of
the other nations.
Bimetallists planted thomsolves upon tho law
of supply and demand, which, although now unl-
ver8ally recognized, was at that time disputed.
Thoy insisted that tho value of a dollar depended
ontho number of dollars supply and demand
regulating tho price. Thoy insisted that an in
crease in tho demand for money or a decjrease in
tho supply of it, would raise the price of tho
dollar. Thoy recognized that tho law of supply
and demand also fixed the market prlco of both
goldv and silver, and that the supply remaining
tho samo an increase in tho demand would in
crease tho price. And they also insisted that the
government could create so great a demand for
silver as to fix tho bullion prlco at tho coinage
prico, just as tho government's demand for gold
fixes tho bullion price at tho coinage prico. Tho
pointed to tho fact that tho Sherman law of 1890,
by creating tho legislative demand for silver, had
raised the prico from less than a dollar an ounce
to $1.20 an ounce not only in tho United States,
but throughout the world, and they argued from
this that if tho purchase of four millions and a
half ounces a month would raise ,tho prico of
silvor to $1.20 per ounce, then tho law convert
ing Into legal tondor money not four millions
and a half, but every ounce presented, would in
crease tho bullion value to $1.29. This reasoning
was .sound, and while it was disputed, no ono ever
brought forth any facts or arguments to shako
the faith of bimetallists. Tho advocates of tha
gold standard refused to recognize tho demand
created by the gov nment as an element in fix
ing tho bullion prfce of silver, just as they re
fused to recognize tho quantitative theory of
money. Now, every republican who boasts of the
increased quantity of money and points to tin
benofits flowing therefrom admits the quantitative
theory of money tho paramount contention of
tho supporters of tho Chicago platform. And even
papers like tho Chicago Chronicle and tho Cleve
land Leader aro admitting another contention of
bimetallists, namely, that a demand created by
tho government raises the prico of silver. If the
purchase of about two million ounces a month
for use in tho Philippines raises the prico of sil
ver three to five cents an ounce, who can doubt
that tho free and unlimited coinage of silver
would raise the prlco vastly more even enough
to restore tho parity? And yet tomorrow the
Chronicle and tho Leador will renew their silly
and senseless prattle about a 50-cent dollar and
refuse to recognize the in"-ienco qf legislation
upon tho market price of tho white metal.
Events have fully and completely vindicated
tho contentions of tho advocates of froo silver.
IWhat though tho increase has como from unex
pected sources? The question at issue was
whothor wo needed more money, and no advocate
of tho gold standard would be willing today to
wipe out the unexpected increase slnco 1896 and
go back to tho volume that wo had when the
republicans said wo had enough. Tho coinage
of silver was never advocated as an end In itself,
but merely as a means to an end. No man who
advocated tho gold standard in 1896 on tho ground
that wo had onough money then can defend his
position by showing that gold, 'afterwards discov-
The Commoner
ered, supplied a need of which he previously de
nied tho existence, and yet tho men who mock and
jeer at the Chicago and Kansas City platforms
"havo been rescued from the logic of their own
position by a supply of money which thoy did not
expect a supply which has overthrown their the
ory and demonstrated the correctness of tho the
ory 'of the bimetallists.
But in spite of the fact that they have been '
saved from annihilation by an unexpected in
crease In the supply of gold, tho" financiorg refuse,
to learn anything and are now blindly calling for
more credit money while they violently protest
against any further increase in the volume, of real
money. If the mints of the United States were
open to the free and unlimited coinage of silver
on equal terms with gold at the ratio of 16 to 1,
without waiting for the aid or consent of any
other nation the price of silver would not only
be raised to $1.29 an ounce, but the quantity pf
silver thus brought into circulation would not bo
more than sufficient to keep pace with, the in
creased demand for money. It would give a sup
ply of real money instead of supply of promises
to pay money.
Bimetallists pointed out that when our coun
try camo into competition with silver-using na
tions it was at a disadvantage because of the fall
in silver. As long as England could buy silver
bullion at a low price and exchange it for India
wheat our people were, compelled to meet a sil
ver price with a gold price. The fixing of a ra
tio between gold and silver in India, while in
jurious to tho people of Ih'dia, saved our farmers
from a further fall in the. price of wheat, although
the Indian farmer even now has a 50 per cent ad
vantage over the American farmer.
Secretary Rusk in the Agricultural Report of
1890 pointed to tho Tise in the price of silver
duo to, the Sherman purchase law and declared
that tho rise in the price of silvor had been fol
lowed by a riso in the prico of farm products.
There is no doubt that a permanent increase in
the price of silver bullion to ,$1,29 an ounce would
be followed by a material increase in .the price
of all farm products wherein we compete with .
silver-using countries, and this increase would
enable us to increase the balance of trade in our
favor and thus increase our gold supply rather
than diminish it
There is a scarcity of money through
out the world and silver is needed today.
Bimetallism has behind it the history of thou
sands of years. It rests upon a substantial basis,
and is supported by arguments that are clear
and conclusive, and while tho silver question has
been temporarily subordinated, first by an ex
traordinary increase in the supply of gold; and,
sqcond, by the importance of other questions, there
is no reason to believe that the world has reached
a point where it can do without silver as money. "
There is no reason, therefore, why the advocates
of bimetallism should abandon their faith or con
sent to the leadership of men who advocated tho
gold standard when tho dollar was rising in
value and who will, if intrusted with power, leg
islate entirely in tho Interest of financiers who
would rob the people of tho benefits that have
accrued from an onlarged production of gold.
The abovo relates to the, silver part of the
money question, but aside from. the question of
metallic money there is the question of paper
money which must be considered, even if there
wero no need of silver, The gold standard plan
includes the further degradation of silver, tha
withdrawal of full legal tender qualities from it
and its final retirement Tho plan also Includes
tho retirement of all government paper and the
substitution of bank paper, and with the decrease
in tho public debt tho financiers will insist upon
an asset currency resting upon an unsubstantial
foundation of bank credits.
It is impossible to retire the money question
until the owners of money cease to love it or,
' . VOLUME 3, NUMBER 18.
loving it, cease to use legislation to enhance its
value, but it js gratifying to those who have been
fighting for a larger volume : of - money to know
that the gold papers will, in lucid moments, ad
mit the principles for which bimetallists havo
The Administration's Position
(Interview given New York Commercial.)
The government's' attitude upon the trust
question, as disclosed by the conduct and words
of the president, together with th.evacUon of the
house and senate, seems to be this: That a pri
vate monopoly is not in. itself a bad thing, but
.that it may become injurious; and that if a pri
vate monopoly becomes injurious an, effort should
be madeto curb it, but that this effort should bo
so cautious and conservative as not to risk th
destruction of those aggregations of wealth which
do not come within the condemnation of the ad
ministration. The administration seems to thinK
that it is better that ninety-nino guilty trust3
should escape than that one innocent one should
be injured. . There are two fallacies it seems to
me, in the administration's position first, that
any private monopoly can be good, and, second,
that It is more Important t6 protect a benevolent
private monopoly from unjust attack than to pro
tect the public from the evils of monopoly. No
progress can be made until the administration
recognizes that a private monopoly ,no matter where
it is found, or how it is conducted, 'is indefensible
and intolerable. Even if it were possible to con
ceive of a private monopoly so administered as to
be .beneficial to the public, it could not be de
fended, both because a monopoly goo'ci today may,'
become bad tomorrow tinder a different manage
ment, and also because the principle once ad
mitted wpuld do infinitely more harm than good.
The spqond fallacy is one tq which the supreme
court has lent "some encouragement in the deci-,A
sions which protect4 what are0called "innocerif
purchasers" qf railroad bonds, In some 'instanced
bonds have been held good which were issued
corruptly and through frauds which might, upon
reasonable inquiry, "have been ascertained. Ttia
sacredness of an obligation, honestly entered into,
would be increased rather than lessened if the
purchaser of the bonds of u corporation was com
pelled to make some Investigation before enter
ing the Eleysian fields set apart for "the inno-
cent" arid "unsuspecting." The attempt to pro
tect the holders of watered stocks and bonds of
railroads has been carried so far that the rights
of the speculator upon the market are sometimes
declared paramount to the rights of the patrons
of the road to have the services of the roads fop
reasonable compensation.
And so with ttie monopolies that are scatter
ing their watered stocks and watered bonds '
broadcast We are hearing a great deal more of
the "poor widow and orphan" who "innocently
and unsuspectingly" purchase stock than of the
victims of the extortion practiced by the mo
nopolies. There is every reason why the legislative and -executive
departments of the government should
give more heed to the people generally and less to
men and women who invest in securities which,
as they could learn upon slight investigation, must '
derive their principal value from a violation of
rights human and divine. The administration, so
tar, has failed to show that sympathy with the
rights and interests of the masses that is neces
sary to any effective legislation upon the trust
question or to any effective execution of present
laws. Not only has the administration failed to
enforce the criminal clause of the anti-trust law
(save in one case, recently decided), but it ha5
given its approval to, and even boasted of, a law
2SSS 4 Y le coPraons themselves and' in
tended to relieve the trust magnates of the rigors
or the criminal law.
iAs t0 tht? e?ect of the stoclc market on'gen
Mi?Mrity !t is dimcult t0 sPea accurately-
flnS fm U?on the stock marlet were con
tRtSni J?5 lnfa Purchases and sales, tho quo
portion? ifi1?9, thG Prosperity ot the cor
for tho Lin?' Hu, When cmpanies are promoted
tho in nf a thQ Promoter and wrecked for
be fnrm ? ?e e(er; when conspiracies caa
be formed to boost one kind of stock or to de-
enableon'otn11? mictuatins of the stock marl et
moral aZbvnrm ? ?etter estimato of the
SSenil Siwfn tmnng .Stick manP"lators and the -general
public than of the state of business.