If Not Silver, What? eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 96 pages of information about If Not Silver, What?.

One answers that it will come from Spanish America.  But we have already shown that all nations from the Rio Grande to Cape Horn have but $100,000,000 for their 60,000,000 people.  The South Americans have but 83 cents apiece.  The Mexicans have $4.54.  The Central Americans have $2.14.  And the South Americans have $550,000,000 in paper money, to bring which to par and maintain it there will require at least $300,000,000 more in silver than they now have.  No “dump” from there.

From France, says another.  Well, France has $487,000,000 in silver coin, and some bullion; only $12.94 per capita in coin, and valued at 15-1/2 to 1 of gold.  At her ratio an ounce is worth $1.3336; at ours $1.2929.  Will she rob herself of coin, when she has none too much for business, and sell it to us at a loss of 4 cents on the dollar and freight charges?  Germany has but $215,000,000 in silver coin, less than half as much as France, though having 13,000,000 more people, and Great Britain has but half as much as Germany.  All the other Europeans together have much less than these three nations, and used at a higher valuation than ours.  How then can they “dump” any on us?

From India, say a few.  Well, India has a deal of silver—­$950,000,000, according to our Director of the Mint.  But she has 296,000,000 people, so it is but $3.21 apiece.  And the best evidence that she has not too much is found in the fact that she is importing more.  China has but $2.08 per capita; Japan has but $4, and is importing heavily; Australia but $1.49, and the black and brown races still less.  In short, all the world outside of the United States has but $3,444,900,000 in silver coin, or $2.46 per capita.  It is a plain case that there will be no “dump” from the coined silver.

But the bullion, the old silver, the scrap heap, will they not ship that to us by billions?  Well, how much is there, and where is it?  Will the nobility and gentry of Europe melt down their family plate, the plain people everywhere their silver ornaments, and the Hindoos their household gods, to send us the silver?  If so, why did they not do it when a cup, a watch, or a silver god would buy twice as much gold as now?  But the supposition is absurd.  The manufactured articles are worth very much more than the metal in them, to say nothing of the sentimental value.  A prize silver cup, for instance, won in a great race or regatta, could not be bought for ten times its weight in gold.  There remain, then, only the scrap heap and the stored bullion, and nobody has been able to locate any great mass of it.  Is it reasonable to suppose that moneyed men have been storing away silver for years, making no profit on it and losing the interest, and doing it in the face of a falling market?  No, the timid may be reassured; there will be no “dump.”

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