Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/247

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MONEY AND INTEREST.

create debt is one of the greatest blessings. It is not erroneous to label evidence of debt as money. As Col. Wm. B. Greene well said: "That is money which does the work of the tool money." When evidence of debt circulates as a medium of exchange, to all intents and purposes it is money. But this is of small consequence. The Anarchists do not insist on the word "money." Suppose we call such evidence of debt currency (and surely it is currency), what then? How does this change of name affect the conclusions of the "currency-faddists"? Not in the least, as far as I can see. By the way, it is not becoming in a man who has, not simply one bee in his bonnet, but a whole swarm of them, to talk flippantly of the "fads" of men whose lives afford unquestionable evidence of their earnestness.

(4) Mr. Fisher seems to think it inherently impossible to use one's property and at the same time pledge it. But what else happens when a man, after mortgaging his house, continues to live in it? This is an actual every-day occurrence, and mutual banking only seeks to make it possible on easier terms,—the terms that will prevail under competition instead of the terms that do prevail under monopoly. The man who calls this reality an ignis fatuus must be either impudent or ignorant. Unfortunately it is true that some believers in mutual banking do " dream of symbolical money of indefinite value," but none of the standard expositions of the subject offer any such fallacy; and it is with these that Mr. Fisher must deal if he desires to overthrow the mutual banking idea.

(5) Mr. Westrup's method, if I understand it, would not "enable every one to get into debt and keep there," but rather to get into debt and out again, greatly to the advantage of the borrower and of society generally. Mr. Westrup does not contemplate the issue of bank-notes against individual notes that never mature.

(6) Mr. Fisher, in his remark that "no attempt is made to show how displacing gold from currency would reduce the price as long as its cost and utility remain what they now are," is no less absurd than he would be if he were to say that no attempt is made to show how displacing flour as an ingredient of bread would reduce the price of flour as long as its cost and utility remain what they now are. The utility of flour consists in the fact that it is an ingredient of bread, and the main utility of gold consists in the fact that it is used as currency. To talk of displacing these utilities and at the same time keeping them what they now are is a contradiction in terms, of

which Mr. Fisher is guilty. But Mr. Westrup is guilty of no