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[Liberty, November 12, 1881.]

Mr. Tucker:

In your issue of October 15, I notice a question by J. M. L. Babcock, and, although you have answered it, yet I beg to give my answer. The question is this: "Is a man who loans a plough entitled in equity to compensation for its use?" My answer is, "Yes." Now, then, what of it? Does that make something for nothing right? Let us see. We must take it for granted that the loaning of the plough was a good business transaction. Such being the case, the man who borrows the plough must give good security that he will return the plough and pay for what he wears out. He must have the wealth or the credit to make the owner of the plough whole in case he should break or lose the plough. Now, I claim that this man, having the wealth or credit to secure a borrowed plough, could transmute that same credit or security into money, without cost, and with the money buy a plough, were it not for a monopoly of money. For a monopoly of money implies a monopoly of everything that money will buy.

If the people should give to landholders, as a right, what they now give to bondholders as a special privilege—why, you might loan ploughs for a price, but the price would not include a money cost, as is inevitable under our present monetary system.

Let us remember that an individual transaction under a system of monopoly does not represent nor illustrate the truth as it would be under a natural or just system. Again, superficial ideas do not always harmonize with the central truth.

Briefly, but truly yours,





[Liberty, November 26, 1881.]

My dear Mr. Tucker:

Allow me just to say that "Apex" is in error in supposing he has answered my question. It appears by his own comment that his "Yes" means that the plough-lender is entitled to pay for the wear and tear of the plough. I asked: Is he entitled to pay for its use? I marvel that he should overlook the distinction, for I had been careful to mark it in my first statement. When the question as I put it is answered in the affirmative, I shall be ready to answer the other, "What of it?" But I am still left to the mournful impression that my question is not answered.

Yours cordially,

J. M. L. Babcock.