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Lyman E De Wolf.

Money; its uses and abuses, coinage, national bonds, curency, and banking, illustrated and explained online

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bonds and money. Here is a nation with annual revenues for a
series of years, amounting to between four and five hundred
millions of dollars, with the most fertile soil, unbounded
resources, and the most intelligent and active population in the
world. Yet her paper, bearing six per cent, gold interest, pay-
able semi-annually, is mere trash in the hands of the gold
speculators and gambling stock jobbers to be hawked about in
every market of the world, at thirty per cent, discount.

What are our statesmen doing to remedy the evil, and remove
this national stigma. We answer conciliating kings, courts, and
capitalists — our foreign ministers are interesting European
aristocrats with high wrought eulogies on the greatness of the
model Republic, and the grandeur of her overshadowing power,
and by graciously assuring them that we are following in their
wake.

The toiling millions toil day and night, and count well their
scanty supplies to meet their largely increased burthens. While
statesmen at home ignoring aUke the great lessons of history
and the sober dictates of common sense, are groping their dark
way through the mazes of English financiering, vainly trying to
find the specific gravity of a gold base. Thus its annual
accumulation of over four hundred million dollars of revenue,
instead of being used in a way to aid the productive industry of
the country in developing its resources, schemes ai-e devised to
aid the capitalist through a gold bond and specie laws, to con-
trol the price of labor and its products — thus to convert their
paper currency which they have furnished the Government into
gold, and to make the people pay an annual gold interest until
this conversion into gold actually takes place.

But we here venture to remind these gold theorist statesmen
and financiers also, that there are other objects, and other com-
modities too, more essential to the welfare of the nation than
gold, and the day will come, when the people will discover, that
all these gold bond, and gold base theories, mean a perpetual
robbery of them, for the benefit of the capitalist, without any
corresponding benefit to the people themselves. We venture



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further to remind them, that if the Government of Venice could
devise a plan by which the government debt, at four per cent,
could for five hundred yeai-s be made a medium of exchange
bearing a premium of over twenty per cent, during that whole
period — it does not speak well for the intelligence and virtue, of
statesmen and savans, living in the full blaze of the light, intel-
lifrence, improvement and christian virtue of the nineteenth
century, to have the debt of the greatest, most enterprising and
intelligent nation in the world at thirty per cent, discount — even
though these statesmen and savans succeed in settling the
important preliminaries of proving the specific gravity of a gold
base to the bottom.

We, therefore, offer for their serious consideration a system,
that will reduce the cost of a circulating medium to three per
cent., destroy a discount of thirty per cent., and if there is to be
a premium of twenty per cent, like that of the Venetian debt,
have shown them the reason for it, and we kindly ask them to
save that premium for the benefit of the people.



CHAPTER VL



BANK OF GENOA— HOUSE OF ST. GEORGE.



The Genoese system of finance was one of the most com-
plicated and extraordinary of which history gives any account.
For ages, the nobles of Genoa kept the state in a continual fer-
ment almost amounting to civil war. Out of this troublous
condition originated its financial system. Its history is principally
useful for the purpose of illustrating the fxct : First, that paper
money has from the first dawn of civilization been far more
efiective as a medium of exchange than coin, second that the
origin of banking is an usurpation of the sovereign power which
ought not, and will not be longer tolerated by a people who are
free and independent.

It has been shown that the Bank of Venice had its origin in a
forced loan, and that the public debt thus created was made the
principal medium of exchange at four per cent, interest, and
bearing a premium for five centuries, averaging over twenty per
cent, over coin — that the debt was kept at that amount, which
preserved its value, while it fui'nished a reliable cnrrency for all
the purposes of trade. The Government without any pledges of
gold or silver, or of any other guarranties, except an evidence of
the debt entered npon the books of the bank, and enfor


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Online LibraryLyman E De WolfMoney; its uses and abuses, coinage, national bonds, curency, and banking, illustrated and explained → online text (page 8 of 19)