An Honest Dollar in 1892

Sep 15, 2022 | Fiat Currency, Financial Literacy, Monetary Education

An Honest Dollar in 1892

Article from Kansas Agitator., August 11, 1892 (Link Here)

The G. O. P. papers are continually harping about an “honest dollar”; but, from any standard that party has given this country through its legislative acts, it would be hard to determine what an honest dollar is. The greenback was not an honest dollar, because it would not pay duties on imports, nor interest on the public debt. The national bank note is not an honest dollar, because, as John Sherman says, “it has no legal-tender quality whatever.”

The silver dollar is not an honest dollar, nor is a silver certificate, because either kind of money is not receivable in payment of debt, if otherwise stipulated in the contract. The gold dollar is not an honest dollar, because all other values are measured by the gold standard, thereby greatly enhancing the value of a comparatively scarce article of earth’s products enriching a few men at the expense of the many men.

As a matter of fact, the Republican party has only given the people about sixty million -honest dollars all told, and for its press and politicians to presume to prate about “honest dollars” is on a par with the Devil preaching the beauties of truth. The Republican leaders never wanted an honest dollar, for, if they had, they would not have discontinued the issue of that kind of dollar that circulated at par with gold and which bore no interest with which to burden the tax-payer. But, we recur to the question of what an honest dollar is; and, from the standpoint of justice, and from the dictates of reason, there can be but one kind of honest dollars, just as there can be but one kind of honest yard-sticks, of 36 inches.

An honest dollar should contain 100 cents, at all times, in the payment of all dues, both public and private no matter whether the material used is paper, silver or gold; and if congress has power to decree. That a certain quantity of gold constitutes 100 cents in the payment of all dues, it certainly has an equal right to decree that a certain quantity of paper, with certain devices engraved thereon, is 100 cents in the payment of all dues, and such a dollar is as honest as the gold dollar, for the simple reason that it will perform all the offices of money as well as, and more cheaply than, will the gold dollar.

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