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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 84 pages of information about If Not Silver, What?.

OBJECTIONS TO SILVER, AND COMMENTS THEREON.

=Silver is too bulky for use in large sums.=

That objection is obsolete.  We do not now carry coin; we carry its paper representatives, those issued by government being absolutely secured.  This combines all the advantage of coin, bank paper, and the proposed fiat money.  A silver certificate for $500 weighs less than a gold dollar.  In that denomination the Jay Gould estate could be carried by one man.

=But silver certificates would not remain at par.=

At par with what?  Everything in the universe is at par with itself.  The volume of certificates issued by the government would be exactly the amount of the metal deposited, and that amount could never be suddenly increased or diminished, for the product of the mines in any one year is very seldom more than three per cent. of the stock already on hand, and half of that is used in the arts.  It is self-evident, therefore, that such certificates would be many times more stable in value than any form of bank paper yet devised.

=Gold would go out of circulation.=

It has already gone out.  Under the present policy of the government we have all the disadvantages of both systems and the advantages of neither, with the added element of chronic uncertainty and an artificial scare gotten up for political purposes.

=And that very scare shows an important fact which you silverites ought to heed—­that nearly all the bankers and heavy moneyed men are opposed to free coinage.=

Nearly all the slaveholders were opposed to emancipation.  All the landlords in Great Britain were opposed to the abolition of the Corn Laws, and all the silversmiths of Ephesus were violently opposed to the “agitation” started by St. Paul.  And what of it?  The silversmiths were honest enough to admit the cause of their opposition (Acts xix. 24, 28), but these fellows are not.  The Ephesians got up a riot; these fellows get up panics.  “Have ye not read that when the devil goeth out of a man then it teareth him?”

=But are not bankers and other men who handle money as a business better qualified than other people to judge of the proper metal?=

Certainly not.  On the contrary, they are for many reasons much less competent, as experience has repeatedly shown.  All students of social science know, indeed all close observers know, that those who do the routine work in any vocation seldom form comprehensive views of it, and those who manage the details of a business are very rarely indeed able to master the higher philosophy thereof.  This is a general truth applicable to all vocations except those, like law, in which a mastery of the science is a necessity for conducting the details.  Experts in details often make the worst blunders in general management.  Nearly all the inventions of perpetual motion come from practical mechanics.  Nearly all the crazy designs in motors come from engineers.  The educational schemes of truly colossal absurdity come mostly from teachers; all the quack nostrums and elixirs to “restore lost manhood” are invented by doctors, and nearly all the crazy religions are started by preachers.

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