THE CLAIRE FOSS JOURNAL


LINCOLN'S MONETARY POLICY


***Please See Editors Note:

 

"[Lincoln's] MONETARY POLICY is one of the world's great political declarations; a masterpiece of succinct advocacy and irrefutable justice" -- M. Rowbotham

  Lincoln's MONETARY POLICY, a short, 8-paragraph document, is reproduced in its entirety below. It may strike the reader as a rather dry document. It defines, however, the parameters of personal freedom as set within the context of a just economy. (Comments bracketed [...];). Had it been implemented, it would have ushered in a worldwide economic renewal. Unfortunately, a few weeks after its introduction, Lincoln was assassinated.

As Rowbotham notes:

"...such a monetary policy as [Lincoln] was proposing, if pursued effectively, would have signaled the end of banking and monetary power in the United States, and very rapidly everywhere throughout the developing world. Once that one government was seen to be capable of supplying its nation's monetary needs, others would certainly have followed."

~ MONETARY POLICY (1865) ~

Money is the creature of law, and the creation of the original issue of money should be maintained as the exclusive monopoly of national government. Money possesses no value to the state other than that given to it by circulation Capital has its proper place and is entitled to every protection. The wages of men should be recognized in the structure of and in the social order as more important than the wages of money [interest].

No duty is more imperative for the government than the duty it owes the people to furnish them with a sound and uniform currency, and of regulating the circulation of the medium of exchange so that labour will be protected from a vicious currency [private bank-created, interest-bearing debt], and commerce will be facilitated by cheap and safe exchanges.

The available supply of gold and silver being wholly inadequate to permit the issuance of coins of intrinsic value or paper currency convertible into coin in the volume required to serve the needs of the People, some other basis for the issue of currency must be developed, and some means other than that of convertibility into coin must be developed to prevent undue fluctuation in the value of paper currency or any other substitute for money of intrinsic value that may come into use.

The monetary needs of increasing numbers of people advancing towards higher standards of living can and should be met by the government. Such needs can be met by the issue of national currency and credit through the operation of a national banking system. The circulation of a medium of exchange issued and backed by the government can be properly regulated and redundancy of issue avoided by withdrawing from circulation such amounts as may be necessary by taxation, re-deposit and otherwise. Government has the power to regulate the currency and credit of the nation.

Government should stand behind its currency and credit and the bank deposits of the nation. No individual should suffer a loss of money through depreciation or inflated currency or Bank bankruptcy.

Government, possessing the power to create and issue currency and credit as money and enjoying the right to withdraw both currency and credit from circulation by taxation and otherwise, need not and should not borrow capital at interest [from the private banking system or their affiliates] as a means of financing government work and public enterprise. The government should create issue and circulate all the currency and credit needed to satisfy the spending power of the government and the buying power of consumers. The privilege of creating and issuing money is not only the supreme prerogative of government, but it is the government's greatest creative opportunity.

By the adoption of these principles, the long-felt want for a uniform medium will be satisfied. The taxpayers will be saved immense sums of interest, discounts, and exchanges. The financing of all public enterprises, the maintenance of stable government and ordered progress, and the conduct of the Treasury will become matters of practical administration. The people can and will be furnished with a currency as safe as their own government. Money will cease to be the master and become the servant of humanity. Democracy will rise superior to the money power.

Abraham Lincoln, Senate document 23, Page 91. 1865.

***Editors note:

The following headline appeared in an article featured in the May edition of COMER. (The Journal Of The Committee On Monetary And Economic Reform)

DID LINCOLN ACTUALLY SPEAK THE LINES ON MONEY CREATION ATTRIBUTED TO HIM OR “JUST” PUT THEM INTO PRACTICE?

Mr. Keith Wilde researching Lincoln’s papers could not find any reference to the above policy statement, claiming instead that monetary reformer Gerald McGeer in his book “The Conquest of Poverty” was taking literary license by simply putting words in Lincoln’s mouth. Either way, the above policy appears to be the formula followed by Lincoln when he ordered the issuance of government Greenbacks. In other words the proof appears to be in the pudding.

***Normally I would pull an article when there is doubt as to the authenticity of the author but in this case the jury is still out.

Claire Foss