If Not Silver, What? eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 84 pages of information about If Not Silver, What?.
a minute fraction less than 2 of silver to 1 of gold; for the next twenty 2-1/2 of gold for 1 of silver; and for the next twenty nearly 2 of gold for 1 of silver, while during these awful years since 1873, in which there has been so much said about the “flood of silver,” its production has never once been twice that of gold, and for the entire period has exceeded it by the merest trifle.  Is it any wonder that Dr. Eduard Suess, the great German authority on the metals, and Professor of Geology at the University of Vienna, concluded his recent work with these strong statements: 

“Present legislative institutions are at variance with the conditions established by nature.  Even now agriculture and in part industry in Europe are sorely at a disadvantage against silver countries such as India and Mexico.  The advantage of this situation accrues in England to the holders of interest-bearing notes, the productive value of which increases with the growing scarcity of gold....  As soon as the figure 23.75 shall have been reached, all gold obligations will have increased in value one-half; but nothing prevents that figure from rising to 31. [It has since risen even above that.] ...  You say a regulation cannot be international, but you overlook how long the ratio of 1 to 15-1/2 was upheld and worked beneficently.  We wish, say the London bankers, to receive our interest in gold and not in depreciated silver; but silver would not be depreciated the moment an agreement went into effect.  Why, you ask, shall we cast such profit into the hands of the owners of silver mines?  Remember that you are now casting the same profit into the hands of the owners of gold mines and washings.  No man would lose by rehabilitation, and the whole world would be richer....  Europe is laboring under a grave delusion.  The economy of the world cannot be arbitrarily carried on in the hope that somewhere a new California, and at the same time a new Australia, will be found whose alluvial lands will give relief for a decade. ...  The question is no longer whether silver will again become a full value coinage metal over the whole earth, but what are to be the trials through which Europe is to reach that point.”

At this point it seems to me well to present the figures of relative production for the last century in a more compact shape, with a view to bringing out the contrast: 

Silver produced 1792-1850............  $1,690,217,000
Gold produced........................     848,186,000
Excess of silver production..........     842,031,000
Gold produced 1850-73................  $2,724,825,000
Silver produced......................   1,150,025,000
Excess of gold.......................   1,574,800,000
Gold produced 1873-92, inclusive.....  $2,060,897,000
Silver produced......................   2,264,419,000
Excess of silver.....................     203,522,000
Gold produced 1850-92, inclusive.....  $4,785,722,000


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If Not Silver, What? from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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