Page:Instead of a Book, Tucker.djvu/267

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

him. He says that under free banking the condition of a secure basis for money would be "enforced by the business law of self-preservation," exactly the opposite of his original charge that free money would be unsafe.

But he is not yet done with this twaddle about "compulsory conditions." Read again:

Mr. Tucker cannot see that there is any difference in principle between a law which absolutely prohibits the sale of an article, and a law which taxes the seller of that article. The tax is a "compulsory condition" which prohibits till it is complied with. The possession of property is another compulsory condition which prohibits free banking till it is complied with. Therefore there is no difference between absolute prohibition of free banking and the monopolistic condition that practically prohibits a man from being a free banker unless he can put up the security.

Utter confusion again! Mr. Pinney seems unable to distinguish between disabilities created by human meddlesomeness and those that are not. The law which prohibits a sale and the law which taxes the seller both belong to the former class; the lack of property belongs to the latter, or rather, it belongs to the latter when conditions are normal. It is true that the lack of property which at present prevails arises in most cases out of this very denial of free banking, but I cannot believe that even Mr. Pinney would cap the climax of his absurdity by assigning as a reason for the further denial of free banking a condition of affairs which has grown out of its denial in the past. The number of people who now own property, and the amount of property which they own, are sufficient to insure us an abundance of money as soon as soon as its issue shall be allowed, and from the time this issue begins the total amount of property and the number of property-owners will steadily increase.

To my objection to his government money monopoly that it would be Communistic robbery to mortgage all the wealth of the nation to secure all the money of the nation, Mr. Pinney can only make answer that the possibility that the government would foreclose the mortgage—that is, increase taxation—would be very remote. As if any possibility could be considered remote which is within the power and for the interest of lawmakers to achieve, and as if it were not the end and aim of government to tax the people all that it possibly can!