How long shall we allow our leaders, spiritual and political, to pretend that they see nothing, hear nothing, and know nothing ? How long shall we tolerate organs of education and information, public and private, commercial and religious, which are drugged ? How much longer shall we silently consent to have the strong kept in a trap, the wise surrounded by fog, and the sincere millions caused to suffer needlessly ?
There can be no Liberty without Economic Freedom America can have no Economic Freedom without an honest money system one removed from the controls of the socially irresponsible private Money Creators.
The problem facing us today is not the formation of a new political party. It is to inform the constituents of every Congressional District so that they may put such pressure upon our Congressmen and Senators as to leave them no alternative but to do the will of the people. The people must demand of them an honest money system. The illicit political machines and numerous rackets will pass into oblivion when an honest money system is set in operation. The controllers of our money system are the controllers of our illicit political machines.
Do you want money made honest for you by the National Government; or kept sound for the Money Creators by mis-government ?
Do you want U.S. dollars in sufficient number to keep the wolves of depression from your door; or do you want dollars in such overwhelming num bers as to deprive them of all value, as the Money Creators have done in other countries ?
The reader will ask : Why have not business leaders known that our money system is dishonest ? They are intelligent, aggressive people who seem equal to anything. The answer is found in the fact that with few exceptions business men are honest, and, as honest men, believe that few men are dishonest.
The situation resulting from this concept has set the stage for any confidence game, large or small. The Money Creators have truly operated a confidence game.
Our home town and city bankers are, with few exceptions, honest men. Through intrigue and manipulations of gold and government debts they have become mere pawns in the world monetary confidence game.
They and their predecessors inherited a system which, because it is, they believe always was. If they would look into the origin of the system, and examine its nature, originated sub-rosa and only through centuries of legislative trickery congealed into Law, they would demand that the system be demystified, made non-collapsible, and honest in essence; for they would see that the near-by destiny of the system is ruin for them as well as for others.
January 29, 1935
It gives me special pleasure to have the opportunity to explain the principles and purposes of this book, written by Miss Gertrude M. Coogan of Chicago.
The facts that Miss Coogan was awarded a Masters Degree in Economics and Finance by Northwestern University; was for eight years a Security Analyst for The Northern Trust Company of Chicago; that from the beginning she had a deep desire to understand the fancied enigma of money, have given her a great insight into monetary science.
The basic principles of monetary science are simple. It is a sound axiom of monetary science that the value of money depends upon the available supply of money in relation to the goods to be exchanged with it. Knowledge of the science has been made difficult by those who have converted these simple principles into an enigma. They have done so with ponderous volumes written on prices and on the processes of production, transportation, distribution and allied topics; weaving into the subject matter deceptive terms so that the public has been grossly misled by the use of words which contain accepted false premises.
The intentional use of deceptive terms has made monetary science obscure. For example; the so-called monetary experts and financial writers use the word Inflation to stigmatize justified expansion in the volume of money, when Inflation actually means unjustified expansion. They use Deflation, which means justified contraction of a previous unjust expansion; that is, contraction of previous inflation, as synonymous with unjustified contraction, in order to commend that unjust contraction.
They use the word Money as meaning gold and currency alone, when the word Money really means, as Websters dictionary truly says : anything having a conventional use as a medium of exchange and a measurement of value. That is, Money means bank checks and bank demand deposits principally. It is through this deceptive use of the word Money that they say there is no relation between the volume of money and our domestic price levels. It is with this false use of the word Money that they deny the quantitative facts of money.
They use the term Gold Standard deceptively because the weight of the gold exchangeable for a currency dollar has no standard measure of value, and cannot have. The value of a fixed number of grains of gold exchangeable for a dollar, fluctuates directly with the expansion or contraction of bank credit money. It was easy to fix the currency price of gold, but the creators and controllers of bank credit money fixed the goods price of gold.
The number of grains of gold exchangeable for a currency dollar is of very minor importance from a domestic standpoint. It is only in the purchase of foreign exchange, the currencies of other countries, that the number of grains of gold exchangeable for a dollar is of vital importance. When other countries change the grains of gold exchangeable for their currency units, it is necessary that the United States do likewise, if we wish to enter export markets.
In a really scientific money system, gold should not have a fixed price. The number of grains of gold exchangeable for a unit of currency, in reality, should fluctuate as the purchasing power of the dollars themselves change. Fixing the weight of gold exchangeable for a unit of currency has been the means by which the price levels of each country have been altered at the pleasure of foreign Bankers.
My own interest in this matter arose when I was a boy of 17 in the Panic of 1873. Then, the value of my fathers property was completely destroyed and my mother, from a life of abundance, was suddenly compelled to earn her living by teaching music.
I determined to solve that question and have continued to give it consideration throughout my whole life.
Opportunity favored me. In 1877, I was graduated in six languages; was awarded the Degree of Master of Arts; was Valedictorian of my class; received the Debaters Medal; and later had conferred upon me the Degree of LL.D. and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. During my entire life I have been a serious student.
In 1890, I had the opportunity of establishing the first national bank chartered in Oklahoma; was its President ten years, and have been elected a Director for 45 successive years. I knew the causes of the Panic of 1893 and conducted that bank through that panic.
I was a delegate to the National Democratic Convention in 1896 and made a resolute fight to commit the Democratic Party in its platform to a pledge to protect the people of the United States against panics and depressions. An attempt was made to remonetize silver. Hon. William Jennings Bryan himself strenuously demanded the establishment of an honest money systemmoney whose purchasing power should remain the same. Bryan was defeated solely by a studied and expressive campaign of deception and ridicule, the threat of panic and the use of money.
In 1898 I went to Europe and studied the methods by which Europe stabilized credit and the value of money. After having studied at first hand the Bank of England through its Governors; the Bank of France through its Governor and expert advisers, and the Reichsbank through its Directors, I wrote many articles describing how the purchasing power of money could be stabilized in America.
Many articles were written by me at that time to show what principles could be applied to an American system.
In 1900 I devised a plan to protect this country against the evils of monetary panics by providing for the issuance of United States legal tender money when national production necessitated an increase in the supply of money.
In December 1907, I entered the United States Senate and served there for 18 years. Within ninety days after I entered the Senate, on the 25th day of February 1908, I analyzed completely the Panic of 1907; showed its causes, how it could be cured, and how depressions could be prevented in the future. My text was stability in the value of money.
I was made Chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency of the United States Senate on March 5, 1913, and immediately drafted a Bill called the Federal Reserve Bill. In drafting this Bill I was greatly assisted by the results of four years work done by the National Monetary Commission. That Commissions report consisted of 32 volumes, and an auxiliary library of 2500 volumes. It had been established on my request from the floor of the United States Senate.
In July 1913, Hon. Carter Glass joined me in presenting to the Senate and to the House the so-called Federal Reserve Bill which had been prepared by me the previous March, but which had been expanded, and contained provisions with which I was not entirely content. My Committee was immediately called together to take testimony on this Senate Bill, and after 3,000 pages of printed testimony had been taken, my colleagues in the Senate authorized me to write another Bill. I thereupon had the Senate strike out the Bill that had been prepared in the House and substitute the Bill which I had originally prepared. The Senate adopted the Bill written by me without a change of word. In the Bill introduced in July, in which the Hon. Carter Glass joined me, I had inserted a provision requiring that the powers of the Reserve System be employed in the service of commerce and to promote a stable price level. The meaning of this, of course, was to establish and maintain the stable value of money under mandate. This mandatory provision was stricken out in the House under the leadership of Hon. Carter Glass. I was unable to keep this mandatory provision in the Bill because of the secret hostilities developed against it, the origin of which at that time I did not fully understand.
Under the administrations of Wilson, Harding, Coolidge and Hoover, this Act was diverted from its proper purpose on the advice of some who controlled the policies of a number of the largest banks.
In the campaign of 1920, under the pretext of lowering the cost of living, those in charge of some of the largest banks demanded the contraction of credit and currency. This was done in spite of nine protests I had made on the floor of the Senate between January and June of 1920. Policies pursued by those in charge of the Central Federal Reserve Banks resulted in raising the value of money 80%, from an index of 60 in May 1920 to an index of 107 in June 1921.
Again, under President Hoover, the contraction of credit took place on such a colossal scale as to force the dollar index (purchasing power) to 166. The consequence was universal bankruptcy, every bank in the United States being forced to suspend operations at the close of Hoovers services.
The purpose of this book is to bring before the American people the knowledge that they must have regarding the nature and manipulations of their money system. In my opinion, America faces a crisis which may result in the loss of our Representative Constitutional Government unless every man and woman, rich or poor, young or old; doctor, lawyer, merchant, laborer, educator, clergyman, social worker, society leader; will bestir himself or herself toward the problem of bringing the fundamental truths of monetary science to every fireside.
It is time for intelligent Americans to examine their money system and learn how to make simple but fundamental changes. Those who own insurance policies and savings accounts must bestir themselves to protect those accumulations. It is an obvious fact that the value of savings accounts and insurance policies will be destroyed unless correct measures are taken to restore property values, employment, and equitable raw material price levels. Instead of allowing our entire social order to be changed, we should examine the fundamental cause of our economic chaos. Making a few intelligent and scientific changes in the operation of our money system will eliminate the dangers of our being afflicted by false principles.
It is hopeless to think that a few public-spirited citizens in some of the key cities of the United States can accomplish this enormous benefit. They cannot; their handicaps are many. The truths themselves are very simple, but many of the newspapers and publishing companies allow themselves to be used to carry misinformation to the American public, while neglecting to print the truths. Honest money principles are understandable to every one when the money subject is presented in its true light. America will remain in a deplorable condition only so long as the Let George do it attitude continues. Americans must bestir themselves to eliminate the causes of this business depression and social disorder, and restore prosperity and opportunities to the American people. Loyal Americans realize that the possession of knowledge carries with it the responsibility of dissemination.
It required the assistance of every loyal American to help win the World War. In my opinion, the American people have more at stake today than they had at the time of the World War, not that I at all deprecate the glorious services rendered by men in uniform. But I believe the future of our nation and the principles for which it has stood, were less in jeopardy then than they are today. It is not necessary that you make the sacrifices you made at the time of the World War, but the cooperation of every one in this important educational program is absolutely necessary.
The solution of the problem to protect our homes does not rest with a few leaders in a distant city. It is necessary that every man and woman appoint himself and herself a leader. Honest Money Groups must be formed in every block, in every precinct throughout the United States, and in every rural community. The rural community centers and schoolhouses can be most profitably employed this winter in showing the American farmers how simply they can solve all of their own problems. Their grave troubles have been caused not by overproduction, but by money manipulations frequently executed upon foreign advice and to harmonize with foreign policies. The result has been the extraction of dollars of a distorted purchasing power from the American farmer. Collecting dollars of such unfair purchasing power has deprived many American farmers of their homes, and all farmers of their share in the industrial products which this nation is so well equipped to manufacture and distribute.
The principal reason for endorsing this book is that I feel it is an intelligent vehicle for the dissemination of the truths which must be understood in every home and crystallized into legislation as quickly as possible.
While I was considering practical plans to reach the American people, Miss Coogan brought the manuscript to me. It was read to me and its purpose and intent explained. I found that this young American woman had a masterful knowledge of the so-called money enigma. She asked me to recite my means of knowledge and experience in connection with the subject matter, and to write a word of explanation.
I am glad to commend it; to give the book my blessings in its principles and purposes to restore and maintain honest money through the powers of the Congress of the United States. This book is worthy of careful study by American citizens who wish to understand the principles that govern the value and the volume of money in the United States and in other countries. It contains scientific truthsnot quackery.
This book can be used as a text book to enlighten the American people as to the simple principles of monetary science which have been befogged by the learned economists. The learned economists, in my opinion, fulfill a description I once heard of a gentleman who was an encyclopedia of undigested misinformation.
This writer is informed. The information is sound. It has been digested. It is written in an attractive way with an engaging style, and it conveys to the American people truths of the very first magnitude.
When these truths are known, and the American people demand their constitutional right of an honest money system, this country will enter upon an era of material and physical prosperity; of opportunity, and spiritual and cultural advancement that will not only charm and delight its own people but will become a model for the rest of the human race.
ROBERT L. OWEN,
New York City,
October 29, 1934.
Why This Book Was Written
With adequate knowledge of the physical realities that dominate the economic affairs of peoples, the road is clear for unlimited progress and the attainment of universal peace and prosperity. The evils that in the past have paralyzed the very heart of nations lie patent and beyond concealment. So they pass beyond the power of further harm. Only that rarest kind of courageintellectual fearlessness and honesty to face things as they are and not as they appearis required to abolish poverty and economic degradation from our midst. ...
Wealth, Virtual Wealth and Debt, by Frederick Soddy.
A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men ... We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men.
Woodrow Wilson, 1916.
Democrats were ousted; Republicans came and went. Democrats are backwhat has been done to destroy this illicit power so clearly defined by a President who was later forced to follow its dictates ?
What are the points to be taken into consideration ? First and foremost, that Congress should assume the responsibility laid on it by the Constitution of regulating the value of money. We now know that a given weight of gold is not an unchanging standard of value. That fact is dawning slowly on the most conservative and obstinate minds.
Frank A. Vanderlip, 1935. Former Pres. National City Bank, of New York.