The A B C of Finance
By Simon Newcomb
A part of these “lessons” appeared some time since in
Harper’s Weekly. The unexpected favor with which they were received, by being reprinted, in whole or in part, by newspapers in various sections of the country, has suggested their reproduction in a more permanent form. They are now completed, by the addition of several chapters bearing on the labor questions of the present day.
First Pub. Date
New York: Harper & Brothers
The text of this edition is in the public domain.
- Lesson I. What Society Does for the Laborer
- Lesson II. Capital and Labor
- Lesson III. Starvation Wages
- Lesson IV. One Dollar
- Lesson V. Value Cannot Be Given By Government
- Lesson VI. The Value of Paper Money
- Lesson VII. Why Has the Greenback Any Value
- Lesson VIII. The 3.65-Bond Plan
- Lesson IX. The Mystery of Money
- Lesson X. The Evil of a Depreciating Currency
- Lesson XI. A Few Facts
- Lesson XII. The Lessons of History
- Lesson XIII. The Public Faith
- Lesson XIV. The Cause and the Remedy
- Lesson XV. Some General Thoughts
No doubt the reader thinks he knows nothing about the money and labor questions, and that they are quite beyond his understanding. If he has ever tried to learn anything, he has been so bewildered by opposing theories and opposing assertion as to feel that he knew less than he did before. He is, therefore, quite ready to leave these questions to the politicians, and to vote on them as they think best.
This ought not to be. Of course there are many profound financial principles which cannot be fully seen through without careful study, but in the issues now before the people only the A B C of the subject is involved. To understand them one only needs arithmetic enough to keep an account of the money he receives and spends, and common-sense enough not to buy a lottery ticket because just the very pair of trotting horses he wants are to be drawn in the lottery. The difficulty has been that writers and speakers dive so deeply into the principles of constitutional law and the functions of government that plain people cannot clearly follow them; and thus the said people are in the best state of mind to become the dupes of wild theorists and scheming politicians. It is the duty of every man to study subjects in which his own interests and those of the community are so deeply involved with all possible calmness, and without prejudice, that he may be able to give some good reason for the faith that is in him. The writer proposes, in this little book, not to write a treatise on the subject, but only to suggest some thoughts which may be partly new to the reader, and which, if he turns them carefully over in his mind, will enable him to form an intelligent judgment upon the issues now presented to him.