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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 30

What is the True Cause

What is the True Cause.

Now, the general reading public, snatch at these tempting theories, perhaps rightly, perhaps wrongly, like drowning men at straws, and agitate on the strength of them with fierceness and determination. But so far, they have not succeeded in extricating themselves from the sea of trouble which threatens to submerge them, and indeed have rather dragged down the straws than raised themselves to the surface.

While we may admit that it is necessary for some persons to enquire into such questions as bimetallism Ac., still I feel sure that there is a cause a terrible and rapidly increasing cause, that is quite as much to blame for all the troubles and miseries of depression as the present false and artificial relations of gold to silver, although the adjustment of values in the latter respect may be a necessary reform at an early date. I refer to the system of giving long credit; the system that encourages men to put off the "evil day" to the utmost possible extent in their power; and I believe it can be shewn that to that long credit system is due a large proportion of the unsound financial position of many traders; the poverty and distress of the workers; the miserable condition of perpetual indebtedness which so many find themselves in;—in a word the depression of the day. My readers will understand that I quite recognise the necessity of adjusting the currency and of bringing about many other reforms; but I bring this question of long-credit prominently to the front and place upon it the utmost importance, because it affects the personal interests and transactions of every man and women, and reforms, to be effectual and lasting, must begin at home.