circulation, compared with the amount existing in 1790, reference being made to the respective incomes of the two periods, has been compensated by many œconomical practices, and new modes of currency. And whence do these practices and shifts arise? Is it not from our currency being too scanty for the demands of the market, which forces trade to compensate the deficiency of that currency by ingenious substitutes?
It would be very entertaining in any other case, but it is lamentable in the present, to find many very sensible and intelligent men in other respects, puzzling themselves and their readers about the necessity of an invariable Standard and the steadiness of prices, which Would arise were the value of Bank Notes, Coin and Bullion identified: and attributing all our embarrassments to the fluctuation of prices arising from the excess of Paper Issue.
If we ask, supposing this object obtained, may not the demand for Gold vary? they will say, that if the demand varies, the price will be kept the same by contracting or expanding the issues of paper.—But I reply, will not the quantity of the paper still vary in the market, and will not prices be affected by the contraction or increase of that quantity? will not there still be a fluctuation of currency and price as before? and which is most agreeable to the nature of things, which most conducive to productive employment and prosperity, to adapt a currency to the demands of the whole exchangeable value of a country, or to the variations of price in a single commodity?—And to this reply I never have seen any answer.—After all the whole turns upon this question—which is best for the country?—a variable price in Gold Bullion according to the demand of the Market,—or a fixt price of Gold Bullion purchased by alternate restrictions and augmentations ofcurrency?