The commoner. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-1923, June 26, 1903, Image 1

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The Commoner
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.
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
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
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