The Evil Within - The Consequence Torrent Download [FULL] [WORK]
Thirdly, then, let us inquire how money may be rendered more plenty and easier to be obtained. And first, the surest way to render money plenty is to bear the evils of scarcity. To make it plenty (according to the desire of some) would be, as in the continental times, to make it no money at all. For when it can be obtained without labor, and found without search, it is of no use to the possessor. Those nice politicians, therefore, who try to make money so plenty that people may get it for nothing, will find that their money is good for nothing. [Page 12] The scarcity constitutes the value. And when that scarcity is such that men will do a great deal for a little, it will become plenty; for those will always have most money, who will give most for it. The complaint that money is scarce, is generally made by the idle or the unfortunate; by those who will not, or those who cannot give any thing in exchange for money, except bare promises which they cannot or will not perform. Now such men would suffer more from the want of cash in Amsterdam or London, where it is most plenty, than in any part of the state of Pennsylvania. If folks are idle they must be relieved by labor, and if poor by charity. Till this be done, the complaint that money is scarce will continue, and though very loud will not be very just. There was (for instance) a grievous complaint of the want of money at the close of the war; and yet every man who had a bushel of wheat could get eight or nine shillings for it. People in general plunged into extravagance, and laid out their coin for foreign fripperies, and the merchants (unable to remit for payment of these things in produce, except on ruinous terms) sent away the coin; so that in two years there has been more money exported from this country (in which a scarcity was then complained of) than is necessary for a circulating medium. The several states are now issuing paper, that what little specie is left may also be exported, instead of the wheat, corn, rice, tobacco, &c. Flour has long been cheaper in London than in Philadelphia. We buy fine coats, and handsome buckles, and a thousand other handsome fine things in London, and then when called on to pay, though our barns be full of wheat, we will not sell it as formerly for five shillings the bushel, but sit down and cry because money is scarce. The waggon is in the mud, and we beg Hercules to pull it out without putting our own shoulders to the wheel. The legislature must relieve us, for we will not relieve ourselves. And against what do we want to be relieved? Why against our idleness, extravagance and folly.
The Evil Within - The Consequence Torrent Download [FULL]
In this place it may be proper to notice the strange opinion, that in the present state of trade a bank is injurious. This opinion seems to have been founded on the idea, that because money is collected in the Bank it may easily be taken out of the Bank. And so indeed it might by an armed force, but those who have tried the experiment in any other way have been disappointed. The money is collected in bank 'tis true, but how is a man to get it out? Either he must sell property for the purpose, and then it is of no consequence whether the payment comes out of the Bank, or out of the Treasury, or where it comes from. The owner may dispose of it as he thinks meet; and we might as well say that David Rittenhouse, Esq. facilitates the exportation of money, when he pays for arms or clothing to a merchant who sends it to Europe, as lay that blame on the Bank. The other mode of getting at money in bank, is by borrowing for the short period of forty days, and if the borrower ships it off, he will be obliged (when the forty days expire) to hunt for it, and will sometimes pay dearly for his trick. Perhaps it will be found on examination that some of those who complain of being driven to deal with usurers, had been dabbling in this way, and proved too cunning for themselves, as cunning men generally do. So far is the Bank from being injurious to the present state of trade, that the converse of the proposition is true, viz. that the present state of trade is injurious to the Bank. And it would have been ruinous to the commonwealth, but for the seasonable checks given by the Bank, which checks are among the causes of the present complaints. They say the Bank facilitates the exportation of coin, and that therefore they complain; but in truth the Bank prevented them from exporting the coin, and therefore they complain. While a man spends more than he earns, his coin must go to pay the difference, and he will have less of it when the year ends than when it began. Just so it is with a country. We import great quantities of goods, we either cannot or will not give produce on moderate terms to pay for them, and yet we grumble that our cash runs low. We will not acknowledge our own imprudence, but accuse the Bank, which has alone resisted the general torrent; by which means Pennsylvania is better off than any of the neighbouring states.
But eighthly, it is said that the wealth and influence of the Bank may become dangerous to the government. It is a political monster whose property may be ten millions of dollars, whose duration is perpetual. These circumstances are so terrible, that some are for putting the poor monster to instant death, while others (in their great goodness) would only give him a hectic which should work his dissolution in a dozen years. Of each in turn, but first of those who would limit the duration of the Bank to a few years, and limit the capital to what suits their own ideas of propriety. These are really the worst of the two, for their half way conduct, would be every way wrong. Such a law would be as unjust, and have every essential circumstance of violence, with the immediate dissolution of the charter. And however they may deceive themselves into an opinion of their own lenity, not a man among them would either as juryman or judge, admit it to be a good defence against a charge of murder that the act had been performed by a slow poison. Public credit must suffer alike in both cases, for in both the rights of private property will be alike violated. What then are the advantages held out? Why it seems, that if the charter be limited to a short period, the legislature can (at the expiration) renew it on such terms and conditions as may to them seem meet. And these terms or conditions must of course be some benefit to the commonwealth, which could not otherwise have been obtained. And to prove these things, the Bank of England is quoted. But the choice of an example is rather unlucky, for that limitation of their charter which one cunning minister introduced, other cunning ministers have at different times taken advantage of, till at last all the substance of the Bank has been squeezed out. And for what purpose? Was it to open navigations? To clear new roads? To extend a lucrative commerce? No it was to support the power of the minister for the time being, and feed the expence of those ruinous wars, which the people would not otherwise have borne. Standing then on the ground of their experience, let us look forward to the probable consequence of such a limitation in Pennsylvania. Suppose the period arrived when the charter is to expire. Is it certain the state would then want aid from the Bank? If not, the object of the limitation is gone. But even supposing the state should stand in need, what temptation [Page 22] could they offer to obtain relief? Not a prolongation of the charter, because the supposition implies a breach of the contract made when the Bank was first instituted, and therefore no reliance could be placed on any subsequent contract. For if the Bank should lend to the government, then the cancelling of that debt would be an additional motive for dissolving the Bank. Nor is this suspicion injurious, for one act of moral turpitude is always the prelude of another. But admitting that the Bank would purchase a few years existence; from whom would the purchase be made, and for what price? The directors of that day, would naturally cast their eyes on the leading members in Assembly, and open the negociation with them. Men of great wealth and influence (should any such arise) would make use of the Bank to extend and increase their authority. They would watch this moment to obtain seats in Assembly. And if a majority could be prevailed on to vote with such leaders, the purchase would be made of them, and the price would be some private gain, and no the public good. In like manner, if the capital be limited, it is not the state but great men in the state would receive the benefit of an enlargement. And why should the capital be limited within narrower bounds than at present? It is notorious that if the directors had not been under compulsion they would not have extended the subscription beyond the first four hundred thousand dollars. It is notorious also, that every addition to the number of shares lessens the value of each. And therefore we have the best security in the world, (the interest of the proprietors themselves) against an increase of the capital. In like manner there is every reason to believe that the Bank will continue to afford that aid to government, which has never yet been withheld when it could with propriety be granted. And if they should extend their capital (a thing so contrary to their interest) it can only be on some trying occasion, to support the government of which they are citizens, and preserve the ship in which all are embarked. The charter being held sacred (as chartered rights ought ever to be) applications for aid by the state, will be plain and manly transactions, not dirty jobs. The Bank will candidly state their means, the extent to which they are willing to go, and the security they are willing to accept. They will perhaps (on such an occasion) point out the ill treatment they have received when funds appropriated by the Assembly to payment of a former loan, were diverted to another object: and in their quality of citizens as well as that of directors, they will perhaps go a little farther, and state with becoming firmness the dangers which must ensue if any individual shall dare to alter appropriations [Page 23] of public money made by legislative authority. But surely this can do no harm. Calm reflection will therefore convince a candid man, that the wealth and influence of the Bank can only become dangerous to the state, by laying it at the mercy of great men in the state. For it is utterly inconceivable that four or five hundred stockholders, (of all ranks, parties and denominations) should join in chusing directors who would attempt to overturn the government. On the contrary it is a truth vouched by uniform experience (from the earliest ages) that the monied interest of a country will ever oppose, check, and counteract, all changes and convulsions of government; because that interest is sure to be the victim of confusion and disorder. This last consideration applies forcibly also to the arguments of those who would now dissolve the charter. Let them further consider, that the business of banking is not (of necessity) to be carried on by public Banks alone. One or more individuals may form a banking company, whose operations will be extensive and lucrative, in proportion to the degree and extent of their credit and connections. Over such a Bank (or such Banks) there can be no controul. The citizens of Philadelphia will have no vote in chusing directors, nor will any person be particularly interested in observing their conduct. Dissolve the national Bank in March, and by the first day of May a private Bank will rise on its ruins. The merchants of Philadelphia will pour in their coin, with as much confidence as they now do into the national Bank; and experience has so clearly shewn the advantages of such an institution, that they will not, cannot, be without it. If therefore the enemies of the Bank will look round, and see who are the men that will probably set up such a private Bank, it may do more towards bringing them to a right judgment, than the most conclusive arguments. 350c69d7ab