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out adequate price. In three years the treasury receipts fell off $80,000,000, and the principal of the public debt was increased by borrowing $262,000,000. In 1892, the average price of twenty different stocks was 75.68 per cent.; in a short time they fell to 49.10 per cent., a loss of 26.58 per cent. Exports declined rapidly, while imports increased greatly, those of woolens alone showing an increase of nearly 350 per cent. in 1894-95. Owing to removal of duty from wool, sheep decreased in number from 47,273,553 in 1893, to 33,298,783 in 1896, and the value decreased from $125,909,264 to $65,167,735, or nearly 50 per cent. in the same time.
Each year of the Cleveland administration showed a large treasury deficit, that of the first being $72,000,000, of the second, $62,000,000 and of the third $30,000,000. The per capita circulation fell off from $24.44 in 1892 to $21.35 in 1896. The best financiers estimated the country's losses between 1893 and 1896 at a greater total than the cost of the Civil war, and the question was triumphantly asked by protectionists whether it was not entirely too much to pay for a trial of free trade theory.
They educed further figures:
Loss in value of farm animals in 1895, $91,000,000. De. cline in value of farm produce in 1895, $133,603,073. Total decline in value of farm animals from 1892 to 1896, $733,829,574. Total decline in value of farm crops from 1892 to 1896, $750,000,000.
And so throughout every domain of industry and enterprise figures were educed which rendered the contrast between the free trade, or reform, and protection eras per. fectly appalling ; with the inevitable result that protectionists fell that their doctrines had been more fully vindicated by an experiment with the opposing doctrines of free trade, than by any arguments they had hitherto used. The lesson was an objective one, and so highly concentrated as to time, so immediate in its application, and so drastic in its effects, as to prove of lasting and invaluable benefit to economic science.
SILVER AND GOLD—AN HISTORIC REVIEW.
The use of metal as a medium of exchange and a measure of value has an old and interesting history. The province of money has ever been a conspicuous theme in political economy. Lately in our country all discussion of money has been given a new turn, and been rendered momentous and exciting by the fact that political parties have chosen to divide upon questions of coinage, quantities, kinds and values of our metallic circulating medium, and seek to make them issues in their campaigns.
This has given to what is popularly known as “The Silver Question," or "The Free Coinage Question," a prominence it never had before. It is within the bounds of truth to say that the “Silver Question " quite overshadowed the “Tariff Question ” in the Fifty-second Congress, and bids fair to divide honors with that question for a considerable time. Next to, and perhaps equal with, the doctrines of Free-Trade and Protection, it concerns the business interests, the life and work, the labor and property, of every man in the country, from the humblest toiler to the largest capitalist. No man who works for daily bread, no man who has a dollar saved, no man who has a house or farm, no man who has his capital in factories, stocks, mortgages, or other securities, ought to be ignorant of a question which so intimately concerns his welfare. It is, perhaps, a matter of regret that a question so purely economic should fall into political channels, but such is the fate of all these great questions under our free system of government, and our people are seemingly better satisfied with results obtained in their own popular way, than through the media of learned theories and abstruse teachings. In as much they prefer to use their own judgments and to abide by their own verdicts, the obligation is imposed on them of informing themselves as far as possible respecting the merits of this question, and all questions that similarly affect them.
WHAT IS MONEY ?
Says Laveleye: “Money is the substance or substances which custom or the law causes to be employed as the means of payment, the instrument of exchange and the common measure of values.”
The difficulty of bartering wares against wares brought into use an intermediate means of effecting the exchange. This means was money, which became an agent of circulation and a vehicle of exchange—the cart for transferring property in an object from one person to another, just as the actual cart transferred the object itself.
Again, money came to be the universal equivalent. When one sells a bushel of wheat for a dollar, the dollar is the equivalent of the wheat. One can, in turn, make the dollar the equivalent of other goods, which he needs more than the wheat or the dollar. Says Adam Smith : “A piece of gold may be considered as an agreement for a certain quantity of goods payable by the tradesmen of the neighborhood.”
Still further, money is a common measure or standard of values. Some one has called it “The yardstick of commerce.” Length, weight, value, need to be compared with something, in order to subdivide them and turn their parts to use. Hence, a foot is made a standard of long measure, and when we say a stick is twelve feet long, we know ex
actly how long it is, and all men will know. This is much more definite and satisfactory than to say, the stick is as long as twenty hand-breadths, for some hands are larger than others, and the stick would be longer or shorter, according to each measurer. So, if we say a barrel of flour weighs as much as two pigs, we get but a vague and varying idea of its weight, for pigs differ in size and weight. But when we set up the pound as a standard of weight, and say that a barrel of flour weighs 196 pounds, all men will have a common idea of its weight. It is the same with value. The value of a horse may be equal to five cows, but as cows have one price to-day and another to-morrow, you have selected a very uncertain means of finding the value of a horse. By the use of money as a common valuer, as in the foot or the pound, you get a definite idea of the value of a horse. When you say it is worth one hundred dollars, or a hundred times one dollar--the dollar being the standard or measurer of value-all men fall to the idea, know what a horse is worth.
The foot standard is exactly ascertained and rigidly fixed. The pound standard is also accurately ascertained and rigidly fixed. In attempting to fix a standard for measuring values, great difficulty is encountered, for, unfortunately, the substances used for measuring the values of articles of commerce are themselves merchandise, and subject to variation in value like all goods. The best that can be done, therefore, as to values, is to select as true and invariable a standard of measurement as possible, to watch it closely, and to correct from time to time the expansions and contractions occasioned by commercial heat and cold.
KINDS OF MONEY.