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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69

Johnny Was Pondering

Johnny Was Pondering

over his copy-book sentence "Honesty is the best policy," and submitted to his money-lending father whether it was so? "Yes, sonny, the senior affectionately replied—"if people had not been honest, how should I have got on as I have done?" The contention of the near future is between page 16 the reign of utter dishonesty in finance, disguised though it may be as an angel of mercy, and of common fair play. In my opinion the establishment of a State Bank of Issue somewhat upon the lines of the Bill carried in the Upper House of New Zealand by the late Mr. Macandrew, is the thing to be done. Then, moneta, the minted money of the usurer, will give place to the counted volume of the numerata under the regulated control as to its emission by the Government of the people who have to get their living under its potent influence. But this being so, how is it that the vast edifice of progress has been reared during little more than a century? Certainly by means of co-operation, of which up to now money, i.e., capital, has been the only efficient agent. The despotism of a single mind could build a pyramid or found an empire. This power having passed away, on its ruins has arisen capitalism, that is, the concentration of the results of other men's labor in the hands of a few. This oligarchy by the use of the lever of wages has exacted from the laborer a large proportion of the reward of his work. Then, if capital ceases to be the bond for co-operation of labor, some power must take its place. Economists look to the combined action of a State Bank of Issue and the organization of labor to replace the iron hand of the taskmasters' wage-power. The progress will be slow, but the reason why a Government which is said to be of the people, for the people, and by the people, should not begin to be welded into a great cooperative power, by the aid of a State Bank of Issue, it is difficult to pronounce. Because the management of State finance falls into the power of money-forgers like the late President Celman of Argentina, the robbery perpetrated, or the financial ruin brought about, though not peculiar to paper money, is laid at its door. The supposed reserve of