Some Aspects of the Money Question (Classic Reprint)

Some Aspects of the Money Question (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Some Aspects of the Money Question

The worst legacy of modern war is the debt which it leaves. The horrors of the stricken field are soon effaced; the wasted places bloom again; the mourners cease to mourn, and the reproductive powers of nature fill up the gaps made by the sword; but the debt is abiding. The destruction of life and property to Prussia in the seven years' war has hardly been exceeded, yet in the life of the great Frederic she became more prosperous than ever. He made no debt. The losses of our war have in great measure been repaired; even the passions which produced it and which it augmented are almost still; but the debt it caused presses upon us with increasing weight.

It is not surprising then that there is a growing desire to be relieved from it - a disposition upon the part of many to catch at any device or shift which may be suggested to lessen its weight. Men greedily avail themselves of a legal quibble to escape the obligation who would be shocked at a suggestion of open repudiation.

Soon after the close of the war it was proposed to pay off the bonded debt with greenbacks. The law of the greenback made it a legal tender for all purposes except payment of customs; therefore, it might be used in payment of the bonded debt. The absurdity that a promise to pay, with interest, may be paid by another promise of the debtor to pay, without interest, without the consent of the creditor, is apparent; yet men who consider themselves honorable advocated this wretched quibble.

Again, an indefinite further issue of greenbacks was pressed, in the hope, doubtless, that the bond would be swamped in the inevitable financial collapse that would come.

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