The Texas Miner, Volume 1, Number 11, March 31, 1894 Page: 3
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THE TEXAS MINER.
policy indicated by Mr. Robertson. This would only be possi-
ble by a concert among the leading nations of the world.'
"The fact that Germany, which only a year ago declined to
discuss the subject at Brussels, but was now examining it through
the Imperial Commission, and that two such meetings as I have
referred to above have been held in London on one day, are evi-
dences of a reaction from the gold mania, and that the silver
ideas, which a few of us believed in and professed, against pub-
lic ridicule, are acquiring an increasing credit and influence. The
proposal of the Finance Minister of India to levy a 5 per cent,
duty on the importation of silver, and the action of the Shah of
Persia, a fortnight ago, in declaring silver to be contrabrand and
subject to confiscation if any one should attempt to import it into
Persia, are the reductio ad absurdum of the crusade against a
metal that by the common consent of man has been a full
money metal since the days of Abraham, who, with silver,
bought the cave of Macpelah.
"1 think the most comical thing connected with the silver
question, next to the lamentable and ridiculous failure of the re-
peal in the United States to restore property, is the recent ac tion
of Congress in voting to coin the Seigniorage of silver in the
Treasury after having four months beiore voted to abandon sil-
ver as a money metal except for subsidiary purposes. In other
words, they first discredit silver all they can, and abandon its
use as money, and then, without reversing their action or doing
anything to restore its value or create any new demand for the
world's stock of it, they vote to us a bookkeeper's balance of it
in the Treasury. Could anything be more absurd ?
"In Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece, they would be only too
glad to have some silver currency. I still insist that the first
great bull stroke that will set the financial and industrial world
on its feet, preparatory to another race of prosperity and prod-
uctive activity, will be the restoration of silver to its former
place. This would neutralize the destructive influence on prices
of the continued rise of the value of gold. The movement
against silver began in 1873 by Germany, followed by a series
of hostile acts against it. .Careful tables of merchandise and
commodity values have been made up, and while economists dif-
fer in their explanations of the reasons, they all admit the facts.
It is thus well established that the average quantity of general
staple commodoties that in 1873 would have cost ^111 ($555)
can now be bought for about -£68 ($340). In other words, a
gold dollar will buy now 50 per cent, more than it would have
bought of staple commodities, such as wheat, coal, iron, steel,
petroleum, corn, cotton, sugar, lead, silver, etc., 20 years ago.
I)o improved processes of production of these commodoties
during that period account for this fall ? Isn't something wrong
in a system which gives such an increasing power to pieces of
yellow metal ? I am egotistic enough to think that, though the
leading editors and bankers of New York, with a few exceptions,
have, with a fine sense of superiority, ridiculed ideas of persons
like myself on this subject, and have gloated over 'the doom'
and downfall of silver, they will yet confess that they were
wrong. A high English authority, in a letter to the London
Times, said that the stock of gold held by Russia had steadily
progressed from ^40,000,000 in 1888 to ^98,000 000 sterling
January 1, 1894. That is were some of the extraordinary de-
mand has come from—Austria's demand being coincident. In-
creased demand means increased value, and therefore gold is
unstable and destructive as a meusure of other values."
THE BLAND SEIGNIORAGE BILL.
The gold bugs are afraid the President will sign the Bland
Seigniorage bill, and talk thusly:
What will President Cleveland do with the Bland Seigniorage
bill ? The answer to this question is so much involved in doubt
that his most faithful followers in Congress and the most servile
of the journals that support him appear ro have no basis even
for reasonable conjecture. That the Democratic journals which
opposed the bill incline to the opinion that the President will
sign it or permit it to become a law without his signature is indi-
cated by the extreme cautiousness of their utterances with res-
pect to the matter. Some of them that were very bold and
fierce in denouncing the measure a few weeks ago are now either
expressing their hostility in phrases of the mildest character or
are openly declaring that the bill is not so very scandalous, after
all. Less than one year ago the President was so resolutely de-
termined to have the Sherman act repealed that he precipitated
a panic upon the country with an intention to force public opin-
ion to support his purpose. He attempted to place upon the
Sherman bill the whole of the blame for the industrial depression
produced by his proposal to assail the protective system. He
summoned Congress to extra session to rescue the nation from
the proclaimed perils of the Sherman act. He was in such hot
haste to have the deed done that he exerted enormous pressure
upon Congressmen to induce them to vote for repeal, and all his
organs denounced and rivaled every public man who even de-
manded that the subject should have suitable discussion. But
the purchase and coinage of a small amount of silver every
month surely did not imperil the public credit or menace the
business interests of the country any more than they would be
imperiled and menaced by what Mr. Hewitt called "coinage of
a vacuum." Mr. Cleveland's own followers in Congress and in
the press have roundly denounced both acts. If one was bad
the other is bad. And now that a President who was eager, to
the point of desperation, to repeal one silver law should, in less
than a year, be supposed to hesitate to veto another and no bet-
ter silver law, is remarkable indeed. Why is the President's ac-
tion doubtful ?—[New York Press.
We hope that the President will veto the Seigniorage bill.
That bill is opposed to his single-standard, gold-bug ideas, and if
he signs that bill it will only be done because he hopes that by
giving the people this sop he can stave off free coinage of silver
that the people demand.
Mr. F. A. Walker, the celebrated writer on political economy,
writes an article from which we quote, and which all thoughtful
men she uld read carefully:
There is a class of political economists, steadily diminishing in
numbers and influence, who attribute very little consequence to
the status, and who deem the structure of industrial society of
the smallest possible account. These are economists of the
a priori school, who treat all things industrial as if they were in a
state of flux, ready to be poured indifferently into any kind of
mold or pattern. If it is urged that such and such a course will
disturb and distort industrial relations, lower prices, break down
wages, or what not, these economists are always on hand with
the answer that industrial society will "readjust" itself to the new
conditions. These are the economists who say that what one
loses another will gain. They are the same economists who
used to assert that it would not matter if wages were at any-
time unduly depressed by combinations of employers, inasmuch
as the excess of profits resulting would infallibly become capital,
and, as such, constitute an additional demand for labor; and so
the wrong would tend to right itself. It has been the teaching
of the economists of this sort which lias so deeply discredited po-
litical economy with the laboring men, on the one hand, and
with practical business men on the other. The political economy
of to-day recognizes the industrial structure as of the highest
importance; it teaches that industrial injuries remain, deepen and
tend to become permanent; that sudden and violent changes are
always to the prejudice of the least fortunate members of society
—the poor, the ignorant and the inert, those who have little
capital, those who are distant from the market, those who are at
a disadvantage in the economic struggle, from whatever cause.
It is with industrial society as it is with the human body.
The political economy which treats industrial society as
in a state of flux, which regards undeserved losses as
amply compensated by unearned gains of an unequal amount,
which declares that, whatever happens in the field of industry,
readjustment will promptly and surely take place, is exactly on
a par with the physiology which should assume that a tall, lank
man could, by the pressure of a certain number of "atmos-
pheres," be made over, at will, into a short, stout man of the
same weight, without loss of life or energy.
To any political economist who regards the industrial struct-
ure as important, the steady shrinking of prices continued
through a term of years, due to the increasing scarcity of the
money supply, constitutes a tremendous force for evil. It is not
alone that tens of thousands of millions of public, private and
corporate debts require a continually increasing amount of com-
modoties to discharge the interest and principal of such obliga-
tions; it is not alone that the weight of the dead-hand is contin-
ually growing heavier upon the living and active forces of the
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McAdams, Walter B. The Texas Miner, Volume 1, Number 11, March 31, 1894, newspaper, January 27, 1894; Thurber, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth200458/m1/3/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Tarleton State University.