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# The Silversnake

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Excerpt from The Silversnake: A Temptation

What is meant by "16 to 1 ?"

Sixteen ounces of silver for one of gold.

Why do the silver men demand one ounce of gold for sixteen ounces of silver?

Because they now have to give 32 ounces of silver to get 1 of gold, and they would like to get twice as much gold for that much silver. If they could get an ounce of gold for half that amount of silver, or for only 16 ounces, they would clear 100 percent net profit in addition to what they already make on their metal, as they would get twice as much gold for their silver, weight for weight, as they do now.

Why do silver miners now have to give 32 ounces of silver to get 1 ounce of gold?

Because gold is worth 32 times its weight in silver in any part of the world, and they can't get any more for their silver than one-thirty second of its weight in gold.

If the silver men must now give 32 ounces of silver to get one ounce of gold in any of the markets of the world, their proposition to get one ounce of gold for but 16 ounces of silver is really a proposition to have their product doubled in value all at once, is it not?

Yes, it is a proposition to have the value of their product doubled all at once by law.

Why do they ask the government to double the price of their silver?

Because no other purchaser would for a moment think of giving them any more for their product than it is worth in the markets. They know they cant fool the markets, but they hope to fool the government.

Is it the government's business to raise prices for people who wish to make more money?