The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, June 26, 1903, Image 1
,'l(l'iJlMiifcWJi)IWU.WW'WTiiiift(iiiiM . p wmwrmivJiiwwrm,mmmmvmvm,niuMmji J-"?!? vw -rjw - The Commoner WILLIAfl J. BRYAN, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR. V0I3. No. 23. Lincoln, Nebraska, June 26, 1903. Whole No. 127, It is Wrong Again The New Orleans Picayune now admits that the supporters of the Chicago and- Kansas City platforms only asked for the reinstatement of tho law which Andrew Jackson signed, but it at tempts to dodge the issue by complaining that conditions are different It says: Today silver is worth per ounce in Lon don, the greatest silver market of the world, about 50 cents, so that our silver dollar would be worth about 38 cents. . If we had tho free . coinage of silver, anybody could go into the . market and buy silver at, say 60 cent an ounce, and have it coined and pay it out at the rate of 129 cents an ounce." The position taken by thd Picayune is ab surd. It is strange that a man who has enough intelligence to occupy a position on the editorial f etaff of any paper should be guilty of so ridiculous a statement Why would any man sell his silver at 50 cents an ounce and let another man mako tho profit on it? We do not sell hogs or corn, cotton or cattlo, in that way. Tho moment the price goes up in New York it goes up all over tho country, and so when a man can go to the mint and coin an ounce, of Silver into $1.29 he will not 'sell it to the editor of the Picayune for 50 cents or for anything less than $1.29. The argument of the Picayune recalls tha story told by Ignatius Donnelly. It ran like-this: Two men were discussing the money question in a sleeping car, and as they talked others came up and asked questions. Finally one man asked the silver man if he thought it was right for the government to pass a law that would enable a person to buy silver for 50 cents and coin it into a dollar and make the difference (the same argu ment advanced by the Picayune). The silver man explained that under free coinage any man in tho world could tatfe an ounce of silver to the mint and convert it into $1.29, and then asked if, under such a law, anybody in the car would sell an ounce of silver for less than $1.29 and let some other person make the profit. There was silence for a moment, and then a voice in a remote corner said: 'I would." The silver man went to see from what source the voice came, and found that it came from a young man who was sitting by his mother, and the mother said: "Don't pay any attention to the boy. He is an idiot, and I am taking him to the asylum." If the editor of the Picayune would not sell his silver for less than its market value, why does lip suppose any one else would ;and If nobody would sell his silver for less thanllt was worth at the mint, how could anybody buy an ounce for 50 cents and coin it into $1.29. The trouble is that the editor of the Picayune, like other goldites who discuss the question with out understanding it, talks about buying silver before a free coinage law paises and then talks about coining it after the free coinage law passes, without considering the influence of a law-created demand upon the price of silver. Arguments Against Second Term. A reader of The Commoner asks whether Mr. Cleveland did not in his first campaign use lan guage condemning a secondterm. Yes; he said in his letter of 'acceptance, given to tho public August 18, 1834: "When we consider tho patronago of this great office, tho allurements of power, tho temptation to retain public place once gained, and, more than all tho availability a party finds in an incumbent whom a horde of office holders, with zeal born of benefit received and fostered by tho hope of favors yet to come, stand ready to aid with money and trained pqlitical service, wo recognize in tho eligibility of the president for re-election a most serious danger to that calm, deliberate and intelligent political action which must characterize a gov ernment by the people." It will bo ccen that Mr. Cleveland at that time fully recognized "tho serious danger" of a second term, but tho knowledge of this danger did not prevent his being a candidate for re election in 1888; neither did it prevent his ac cepting the service of a "horde of office-holders, with zeal born of benefits received and fostered by the hope of favors yet to come." Ho was not only willing to use a "horde of office-holders" for his own benefit in 1888, but ho was willing to use the ex-dffice-holdors for his own advantago in 1892, and in 1896 he used tho office-holders, as far as his influence extended, to defeat the demo cratic party. There is, however, supporting Mr. Cleveland a more dangerous horde than tho horde of office holders. It is the horde of plutocrats the pre datory rich, the beneficiaries of class legislation, the exploiters of the public. These havo found in Mr. Cleveland a man who can be trusted to do their bidding. JJJ HISTORY DISTORTED A Kansas reader of The Commoner quotes a magazine writer as saying that tho gold standard was adopted by the United States in 1834 under the leadership of Andrew Jackson and Thoma9 Benton. It is strange that any one could be so ignorant of history or so devoid of conscience as to mako such an assertion. The law of 1834 mere ly reduced the size of the gold dollar, so as to make It weigh one-sixteenth as much as tho silver dollar, it having weighed one-fifteenth aa much from 1792 down to that year. Free and unlimited coinage at the ratio of 16 to 1 continued to 1873, and every holder of gold or silver bullion could have his bullion converted into unlimited legal tender money at the estab lished ratio. Prior to 1834 tho gold dollar was undervalued at the mint, and was therefore at a premium. Between 1834 and t3 the silver dol lar was undervalued at the mint, and therefore at a premium. When in 1896 and 1900 the gold standard ad vocates declared that the gold standard was adopted in 1834 'the advocates of bimetallism an swered them conclusively by offering to accept as a settlement of the question, the very law which Jackson signed, but as that law provided for the free and unlimited coinage of gold and silver at the ratio of 16 to 1, without waiting for the aid or consent of any other nation, it was of course not acceptable to the gold-bugs.' All that bimetalllsts ask for today is the re-enactment of the very law of 1834 to which Andrew Jackson affixed his signature. ' . More Money Needed Who would havo thought it? Harper's Weekly, that thick and thin exponent of scarce monoy, dear dollars, cheap goods and plutocracy in gen eral, has at last recognized that wo need mora monoy! It says: Tho vision of financial reform and of a much-needed elasticity of currency, held out before American business raon, has passed in a political wraLglo in which jealousy and tho spite of factions havo infortunatcly figured. It was hardly to bo expected that a short session of congress could havo passed a meas ure of so much moment and ono so radical In comparison with our own antiquated sys tem. But tho crisis of last fall demanded that legislative precedent bo set aside in tho universal clamor for ways and means of con ducting tho business of a constantly expand ing nation. Financial reform Is needed end an elastic currency! There Is a "universal ctemor" for ways and means of conducting tho business of a "con stantly expanding nation." What are the meas ures advocated by Harper's Weekly? First, an asset currency. This Is defended on tho ground that we need an elastic currency, ono that the banks can let out and draw irialileasure, a cur rency that will put tho people still more at tha mercy of the financiers than thoy aro today. If an elastic currency Is needed why do they not provide that any person having a government bond shall bo permitted to deposit it and draw the money, foregoing the interest while he uses the money? This would givo Instant relief In case of stringency. It would simply c- nvert an interest-bearing non-legal tender obligation Into a non-interest-bearlng legal tender obligation. Nobody would depocit the bond unless the money was needed worse than the bond, and he would withdraw tho bond as soon as money became easy. According to tho republican plan the banks are to issue the monoy w,"n money gets scarce and then thoy loan It out to t'.e people at the high interest rate which a money stringency makes. The democratic plan allows a person having a government bond to obtain relief without the aid or consent of any banker. No advocate of asset currency will clalin that an astet currency is a3 safe as greenbacks, or as convenient or as certain in Its automatic action. Why, 1 n, is an asset currency favored? Because the bankers want it Harper's Weekly also wants the Aldrlch bill, which provides for the loaning of government money to the banks. Why? Because we need the money in circulation, is the rerly. It is less than seven years since we were told, in the campaign of 1896, that we had plenty of money In the coun try and did not need any more. m Since that time the volume of money has been increased over five hundred millions, and yet money is still so scarce that the financiers insist upon the loaning of all surplus money to the banks in order to keep business going this, in addition to the asset cur rency defended by the sann arguments. If we need more money, as we certain,! do in spite of the enormous Increase since '96, why not use good money instead of bad money? A Nebraska banker who went over to the republican party in 1896 to u V .jLkA6.iJlifcIULM,i .