Capital, Currency, and Banking; a Ser of Articles Publ in the Economist
General Books LLC, 2009 - 226 pages
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1847 edition. Excerpt: ...steadiness of value, had the least tendency to be depreciated by wear, and was of the easiest transportable character, by representing the greatest quantity of value in a given bulk or weight. With all the knowledge which we now possess, reasoning upon these points would direct us to adopt, for these purposes, the commodities which experience and necessity induced society in its early stages to adopt. There are no commodities the production of which depend upon such even and unvarying elements, as gold and silver, and the intrinsic value of which, or, in other words, the quantity of labour which they represent, is so uniform, and, therefore, they are, above all other commodities, suited to be adopted as the standard, with respect to which the value of all other commodities can be expressed or measured, and thus constitute a more perfect standard of value than any other commodities. Again; there are no other commodities which are so little liable to depreciation by wear, or which are so convenient for transport, in consequence of representing in a given bulk and weight the greatest intrinsic value. As a standard of value, and as a medium of exchange, gold is the most perfect and convenient commodity, and next to gold is silver--tried by all these tests. When first the precious metals were adopted as a standard by which the value of all other commodities was measured, and as a medium by which other commodities were exchanged, or, in other words, were bought and sold, the simple plan of weighing was used--an ox or a piece of land exchanged for so many shekels of silver or gold; but it was soon discovered that much time and inconvenience would be saved in weighing, subdividing, and testing the exact fineness of the simple metal, if it were subdivided...
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