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Money of Democracy, The Democratic party, which is preeminently the party of the Constitution, has always favored the money of the Constitution. We have shown that when it elected Mr. Cleveland President in 1884 the platform on which it ran him and elected him not only defined "constitutional money" but "honest money."
Its declarations in recent platforms were as follows:
Democratic Platform of 1880. "Home rule; honest money-strict maintenance of the public faith, consisting of gold and silver, and paper convertible into coin on demand."
Democratic Platterm of 1884. “We believe in honest money, the gold and silver coinage of the Constitution, and a circulating medium convertible into such money without loss."
Democratic Platform of 1892. “Sec. 7. We denounce the Republican legislation known as the Sherman act of 1890 as a cowardly makeshift, fraught with possibilities of danger in the future which should make all of its supporters, as well as its author, anxious for its speedy repeal. We hold to the use of both gold and silver as the standard money of the country, and to the coinage of both gold and silver without discriminating against either metal or charge for mintage, but the dollar unit of coinage of both metals must be of equal intrinsic and exchangeable value, or be adjusted through international agreement or by such safeguards of legislation as shall insure the maintenance of the parity of the two metals and the equal power of every dollar at all times in the markets and in the payment of debts; and we demand that all paper currency shall be kept at par with and redeemable in such coin. We insist upon this policy as especially necessary for the protection of the farmers and laboring classes, the first and most defenceless victims of unstable money and a fluctuating currency.
NO FLOOD OF SILVER, There is, throughout the East, a widespread misunderstanding, amountin: to a delusion, in regard to the production of silver and gold, not only of the world, but particularly of the transmississippi section of the United States. It is the almost universal opinion that there has been, and is, an overproduction of silver. This opinion prevails, not only among the common people, but is entertained by those whose profession and training usually indicate that they are well posted on the public questions of the day. Even that great political leader, William C. Whitney, in an interview in the New York World, said: “If the country is not being drowned in a flood of silver it is at any rate, being scared to death by the fear of such a deluge.”
Again, Edward Atkinson, ože of the most active leaders of the so-called sound money party, attempts to brand silver as a cheap metal by contrasting it with cows. He says, in a recent article published over his name: "Cow money is older than any other kind of money. Cows, sheep, asses, and other cattle were money, and did the work of money for centuries. Why demonetize the cow ?”
These are fair specimens of the prevailing Eastern opinion of silver. The delusion probably arisesFirst. From hearing and reading so much in public speeches and editorials, during the past three years, about the "flood of silver," the alarming “overproduction of silver," the "cheap metal,” etc.
Second. From the common, but very unfair practice of contrasting the products of silver and gold for short periods such as one, five, or ten years.
Third. From the equally unfair practice of illustrating arugments by giving the statistics of products of a single nation instead of those of the whole world.
Nothing is more effective in misleading and deceiving the common people. than an apparently logical conclusion derived from a false premise. For instance, a demagogue may appear to be very. fair and logical in the follow ing statement: "Overproduction makes a cheap metal; silver is overproduced; therefore, silver is a cheap metal.” The logical conclusion is plausible and apparently correct, but as it is based on a false premise it is, therefore, untrue.
As a large portion of the stock-in-trade arguments of the advocates of the single gold standard are based upon allegations of overproduction of silver, it is of the utmost importance to ascertain the exact facts by taking the fairest possible test-the statistics of the whole world and for long periods of time.
The fundamental error of taking statistics of a single nation, or for a short period like one or ten years, lies in 'the fact that the annual products of silver and gold are but drops in the world's reservoir on precious metals which is the accumulation of centuries and from all nations.
Silver may be ahead for one year, or decade, and gold ahead for anoyher year or decade, but when we take centuries, or at least half centuries, the production of the two money metals is always nearly equal in values
According to Mulhall, the eminent statistician of Europe, the world. So total product of silver and gold for the 500 years 1380 to 1880 was in val. ue as follows:
Silver Gold ....
......... $7,435,000.00 ............... 7,240,000,000
Or 50.6 per cent. of silver and 49.4 per cent. of gold; surely no flood of silver during that period.
During the 100 years, 1792 to 1892, the world's products were, as stated in a recent official report of the Treasury Department:
................................... $5,077,529,000 Gold .........
5,663,216,000 Or 47.3 per cent. of silver and 52.7 per cent. of gold. Again, no flood of silver, as gold is slightly ahead.
During the past forty-six years, 1819 to 1895, which period practically includes the whole products of the United States, as only a trifiing amount of precious metals was mined in this country prior to 1849, the world's product was as follows: Silver .........
........... $4,110,949,500) Gold ...................
......... 5,383,043,700 Or 43.3 per cent. of silver and 56.7 per cent. of gold. And still we fail to find that "flood of silver."
But perhaps it may be found by adopting what we have above termed the unfair method, and taking the record of a single nation instead of the whole world.
The total products of the United States from 1792 to 1895 were as follows in value: Silver
.......... $1,368,901,000 Gold
Or 40 per cent. of silver and 60 per cent. of gold.
These statistics may also be used to represent the products of the transmississippi States and Territories, as 9912 per cent. of the silver and gold of the whole United States are produced west of the Mississippi River.
There has, then, been no flood of silver either in the United States or the transmississippi country.
To be generous with the opponents of silver we will, for the sake of arg11ment, once more adopt the unfair method (their method), and take the record of a short period—the past ten years. It is the period during which the allegations of overproduction have been the most persistent.
The world's product from 1886 to 1895 was as follows in value:
Or 56 per cent. of silver and 44 per cent. of gold. This, certainly is not a flood of silver, as its production is but a little ahead of gold.
To counterbalance the slight excess of silver during those ten years the coming decade will, without doubt, show an excess of gold, owing to the new cyanide process of treating low-grade •gold ores and the recent discoveries of extensive gold fields in South Africa, Utah, Cripple Creek, Alaska, British Columbia, and other parts of the world.
If, now, it is unfair to take as a test either a single nation, or a short period, it is doubly unfair to take both a single nation and a short period. But to satisfy curiosity and the most critical opponent of silver, we will make the contrast in that way, viz: The single uation, the United States, for short periods of ten years.
During the past ten years, 1886 to 1895, the products in this country were as follows: Silver
$669,801,000 Gold ........
355,060,000 Or 65 per cent. of silver and 35 per cent. of gold.
To counterbalance this excess of silver we will make the contrast for the ten years 1851 to 1860: The products were: Silver .......
....... $1,100,000 Gold
... 551,000,000 Or five hundred of gold to one of silver!
This test ought to satisfy any reasonable man that there is only one fair test and that is the whole world and long periods of time.
In view of the above facts, and they are all from official or other standard sources, and have been stated in the fairest possible manner, we must conclude there is no such thing as a flood of silver, either in the world, the United States, or the transmississippi country. The allegation is simply an Eastern delusion. It has, however, been most effectively used to fool the people, and, regardless of official facts, the cry "a flood of silver," an "alarming overproduction of silver,” the “cheap metal,” “why not copper, iron, or cow money ?” will continue to be used by the advocates of the single gold standard.
But, as Abraham Lincoln said: “You can fool some of the people all the time; you can fool all of the people some of the time; but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.”
UNIFORMITY OF RATIO,
The Commercial Ratio Unaffected by the Rise and Fall of Nations,
Wars, Panics, and Fluctuations of Products, but Radically Changed by Discriminating Legislation - Statistics of the Present Century.
From 1687 to 1873, a period of 186 years, the commercial ratio of silver to gold was (omitting fractions) either 14, 15, or 16 to 1, a variation insignificant in amount when contrasted with the radical fluctuations since the demonetization of silver in 1873. For only three years, 1808, 1812, and 1813, was it as high as 16 to 1, the remaining 183 years being almost equally divided between 14 and 15 to 1.
During that long period the ratio was never materially affected by the rise and fall of nations, wars, panics, famines, or the periodical and radical fluctuations of the products of silver and gold, a uniformity truly remarkable.
But before making further comments we will let facris, compiled rom the official reports of the United States Treasury Department, speak for themselves.
The following is the official record for each year of the present century :
Commercial ratio of Silver to Gold.
World's Product of Precious Metals and per cent. of same. (Fractions omitted. )
15 to 1
1801 ........................ .........
$224,786,000 Gold.................... Or 74 of silver to 25 of gold.
Silver ............ ............... $191,441,000
........................ 15 to 1 1832.................................... 1833 1834.... 1835)..... 1836..... 1837. 1838... 1839...... 1810....
Silver............ ............ $217,930,000
134,841,000 Or 64 of silver to 35 of gold.
$324,400,000 rold ......... ................... 363,928,000 Or 47 of silver to 52 of gold.