Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/213

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The laboring class gaining at one stroke the five thousand millions, or thereabouts, now taken in the form of interest from the ten thousand millions which it produces, plus five thousand millions which this same interest deprives it of by destroying the demand for labor, plus five thousand millions which the parasites, cut off from a living, would then be compelled to produce, the national production would be doubled and the welfare of the laborer increased fourfold. And you, sir, whom the worship of interest does not prevent from lifting your thoughts to another world,—what say you to this improvement of affairs here below? Do you see now that It is not the multiplication of capital which decreases interest, but, on the contrary, that it is the decrease of interest which multiplies capital?

Now, this reduction of the rate of discount to the bank's service, and the results therefrom as above described, are precisely what would happen if the whole business of banking should be thrown open to free competition. It behooves "Basis" to examine this argument well; for, unless he can find a fatal flaw in it, he must stand convicted, in saying that "when the accumulated wealth of the world becomes large enough, no one will pay interest," of putting the cart before the horse.

"Basis" is in error a third time in assuming that "Apex" wishes to "forbid the man of ability, but lacking means, using his credit." It is precisely because such men are now virtually prohibited from using their credit that "Apex," and Liberty with him, complains. This singular misconception on the part of "Basis" indicates that he does not yet understand what he is fighting.

The fourth error for which "Basis" assumes responsibility is found in his statement that "in the last analysis the possessor of capital has acquired it by a willingness to work harder than his fellows and to sacrifice his love of spending all he produces that he may have the aid of capital to increase his power of production." A man who thoroughly means to tell the truth here reiterates one of the most devilish of the many infernal lies for which the economists have to answer. It is indeed true that the possessor of capital may, in rare cases, have acquired it by the method stated, though even then he could not be excused for making the capital so acquired a leech upon his fellow-men. But ninety-nine times in a hundred the modern possessor of any large amount of capital has acquired it, not "by a willingness to work harder than his fellows," but by a shrewdness in getting possession of a monopoly which makes it needless for him to do any real work at all; not by a willingness "to sacrifice his love of spending

ail he produces," but by a cleverness in procuring from the