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INSTEAD OF A BOOK.

Greenbacker who subscribes to the platform of the Greenback party. The cardinal principle of that platform is that the government shall monopolize the manufacture of money, and that any one who, in rebellion against that sacred prerogative, may presume to issue currency on his own account shall therefor be taxed, or fined, or imprisoned, or hanged, or drawn and quartered, or submitted to any other punishment or torture which the government, in pursuit and exercise of its good pleasure, may see fit to impose upon him. Unless Mr. Benton believes in that, he is not a Greenbacker, and I am sure I am not, although, with Mr. Benton, I believe in a non-interest-bearing currency.

 

 

FREE MONEY AND THE COST PRINCIPLE.

[Liberty, December1, 1888.]

To the Editor of Liberty:

I understand that the monopoly of money should be broken, and this would leave all persons who possessed property free to issue solvent notes thereon, the competition between them so reducing the rate of interest that it would enable would-be business people to borrow on advantageous terms. Now, to my mind this would do no good unless the new order of benefited business persons adopted the "Cost principle" in production and distribution, in order to break down the present bad arrangements in society that is composed of workers on one side and idlers and unproductive or useless persons on the other side.

If the cost principle was not in view, the result to my mind of "plentiful money" would only lead to a short briskness of trade and a speedy breakdown,—much speedier than now.

Neither do I think (in the absence of applying the cost principle) that competition among bankers would bring the issue down to cost through the sheer force of competition, because people would cease to go into the banking business if it did not yield the normal rate of interest on capital.

In conclusion, I must say I believe in the "Cost principle," and yet as an Anarchist there seems something arbitrary in it. It is the reconciliation of "Cost" and competition that my mind cannot yet grasp.

Yours faithfully, {{gap}10em}}Frank A. Matthews.

The Cost principle cannot fail to seem arbitrary to one who does not see that it can only be realized through economic processes that go into operation the moment liberty is allowed in finance. To see this it is necessary to understand the principles of mutual banking, which Mr. Matthews has not attentively studied. If he had, he would know that the establishment of a mutual bank does not require the investment of

capital, inasmuch as the customers of the bank furnish all the