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nomination of coin is useful only inasmuch as it designates the quantity of pure metal contained in the sum specified."
M. Say was right, in the principle, that weight is the proper denomination of money; and in advocating it, he surrendered his other principle, that money, as such, can be high or low, dear or cheap. He doubtless asserted this other principle, on the assumption, that there is no difference between gold and silver as subjects and instruments of trade-an attainment which he seems never to have made, and the importance of which has been shown.
Money is virtually-we might, perhaps, say absolutely-an inappreciable thing. It is unnecessary to know the worth of it, since all the world have agreed to use it as the medium of trade. When employed, the only question between the parties is- how much? what quantity? what weight? And when the parties have agreed, that is the price-of what? Of the thing exchanged for it-the agreement of the parties being the measure of value, and the quantity of money the expression of it, as well as the agent to consummate the arrangement, or the instrument of purchase. But the money has no price. There is not a thing on earth that can prize it; much less can it prize itself, except in the exchange of its own varieties; for that would be an absurdity. But the moment gold and silver, or paper representing them, come to be bought and sold, as subjects of trade, they occupy a different position, and are prized, like every other commodity, one kind with another. A note discounted at the bank, is bought as a subject of trade; while the discount is the price, the instrument, discharging the functions of money. The principal sum received by the drawer of the note, is also a subject of trade, in this transaction. But he goes away and buys corn with it, and then it is the instrument— money. He bought it to use as money; but it did not come into his hands as money, but as a commodity in trade. The same is the case with all notes of hand, with use. They are sold, and the interest is the price. Bonds and mortgages, with use, occupy the same position. Bank-notes, above and below par, are bought and sold, and the broker's profit is the price. So the profit on bills of exchange is their price. The principal sums, or rates of valuation, in all these cases, are negotiated as commodities in trade; and the premiums, or discounts, or the interest or profits, are the considerations asked and received, discharging the functions of money. It is the different forms and different values of money, and its value in use, which create a demand for it, and bring it into market as a
subject of trade. If depreciated or above-par money is employed in trade, so as on that account to affect the prices of the commodities for which it is exchanged, it is then itself a commodity in trade.
Money, even as a subject of trade, has no price but that of its use, and that of differences of value, in different forms, or in other accidents of its existence. The first is always reckoned so much per centum, as 2, or 3, or 4, or 6, or 10 per cent. This per-centage is the price, reckoned on the standard of weight, and not the sum total, as when it performs the offices of the instrument of trade. Then the whole sum is the price of the thing for which it is given in exchange. It is on this point that Professor Twiss is right in avowing that "money is not productive as an instrument of exchange," or of trade. But when its use is sold, it is productive.
Money, however, in different forms, and the same forms in different places or circumstances, has different prices, on the common standard of weight. Legislation makes one of these differences, as, for example, the English sovereign is declared legal tender in the United States, at $4.84; but its statute valuation in England is only $4.44, which makes them subjects of trade in these two quarters, and the prices are based on the standard of weight, being not the principal sums, but arising out of these accidental differences. So of all moneys, metallic or other, being in market as subjects, to be bought and sold for use as instruments of trade, either their use on time, or their variations from a common standard, and not the principal sum, determine their prices. Whereas, when money is employed as the instrument of trade, in exchange for other commodities, the entire sum given is the price, not of itself, but of the commodity. The price of all moneys bought for use, on time, commonly called borrowing, is its per-centage. We never find the price of money, as a subject of trade, to be the principal sum, in any case whatever; but it is either a consideration for its use on time, or a consideration growing out of some one or other of the varying accidents of its existence; and all its prices are based on the standard of the scales, directly or indirectly, mediately or immediately. But money, as the instrument of trade, never has a price, its functions being to declare the prices of the things on which it acts, and to move them forward to their destinations this declaration and this moving power being its proper and only functions. The only fundamental measure of money is the scales; though, in the superstructure of a monetary system, many
other accidental measures are employed, for convenience, all having reference to this, and being based upon it.
To show that money, as a subject of trade, has no price, other than as above defined, observe, that a man, with one bar of gold or silver bullion, does not propose to exchange it for another bar of the same weight and purity. There is no motive. Nor does a person propose to exchange coins for others of the same denomination and weight; nor bank-notes for others of the same denominations and of the same bank; nor any kind of money for another, where there is no foundation or reason for difference in value, and of consequent advantage to one of the parties, which advantage would be a foundation of price, or a motive for exchange. There is no motive to exchange an equal for an equal. It must be a difference of some kind, to constitute the foundation of price in money. In purchasing the use of money on time, the principle of price is doubtless too obvious to require farther illustration; and enough has already been said to show the different position and proper functions of money, as the instrument of trade, and that price, or what Mr. Twiss calls productiveness, does not belong to it in that case.
Convenience requires a uniform rule, either that cheapness or dearness should be applied to money alone, or to the things of which it is the medium of exchange. Custom has applied them to the latter, and ordained money to express all their values. This office of money is a law made and obeyed by all the world, and there is no antagonist law. There is nothing else by consent or practice, that expresses the value of money as such. Ricardo, Smith, and others, by violating custom and the ordinances of universal consent in this matter, have, we think, introduced confusion and darkness where order and light are needed, and plunged into an inextricable labyrinth.
MONEY AS THE "TOOLS OF TRADE."
An Illustration of this Truth.-The Condition of a Nation, after selling its "Tools of Trade," the Same as that of a Mechanic who does the same Thing.-Montesquieu's Doctrine on this Point-The Emperor of Russia investing in French Stocks-Money but an inconsiderable Fraction of a Nation's Wealth.-To answer its Purposes, Mouey should be to a Nation as a fixed Capital-It is "Tools."--Half a Set of "Tools" not as good as a perfect Set-Money the necessary Means of a Nation's Wealth-The Amount required by a Nation, depends on its Resources and Capabilities.--The Charge of a Miser Spirit on Protectionists considered.-Bad Economy to hoard up Money-The Commercial Revalsions in the United States always owing to the Want of Money as "Tools of Trade.”— A Protective System necessary to keep on hand "Tools" enough.-There has never yet been Money enough in the United States for the Business of the People-Money makes the Mare go. To have Money enough. as "Tools of Trade," is Evidence of Private and Public Economy.-Ignorance the Parent of Free Trade in the United States.-The Precious Metals are to Society equivalent to a Law of Nature-Mr. Jacobs on the Uses of the Precious Metals.-The Quantity of the Precious Metals required for the Trade of the United States.-The Commercial Troubles of this Country owing to unfortunate and fitful Changes in the Policy of the Government.
CAN a farmer till his grounds without a plough? Can a tailor make up his garments, without his shears and needle? Can a waterman put forward his boat, without a paddle; or a ship navigate the seas, without sails or steam? Can any work, of any sort, be done, without the appropriate instruments? Money is as much the instrument of trade, as the plough is of agriculture, the tailor's needle of making garments, the oar of speeding the boat, or the sails or steam of navigation. But Smith, Say, Ricardo, M'Culloch, Twiss, and their colaborers, tell us, in effect, that the plough is only a commodity, and the farmer may as well sell that as his corn; that the needle is only a commodity, and the tailor may give his whole stock of tools for his dinner, without inconvenience; that the waterman may barter his paddle for a fish, or the fisherman give his hook and line for bait, and both do as well without their tools as with; that the weaver will suffer nothing in selling his loom and shuttle; that the woodman may exchange his axe for a shirt, without harm to his occupation; that the smith may part with his hammer for a saw, in an exchange with the carpenter, and both go on with their work; that the shoemaker may exchange his kit of tools for a coat, and still work on with profit; in short, that all these things are mere commodities, and provided the parties have made a good
speculation, as a trade, they have done well; or if they have merely got an equivalent, in market values, they can not be losers. Such is the doctrine of Free Trade.
But, money is a nation's "kit of tools;" nothing more; nothing less. And yet these gentlemen say, it is no matter; it is just as well; the nation will not suffer the least inconvenience, if it parts with its "kit of tools," and obtains, by the exchange, equivalent values. They say, in effect, that a shoemaker can still go on making shoes, and do as well as ever, if, by exchanging his kit, he gets other commodities of equivalent value. It is impossible to escape from this issue, on the premises of these gentlemen. No one can deny that this is precisely the case which they have made.
If it be said that a man ought to part with his "tools of trade," rather than not pay his debts, it is raising a new question, which is one of morality. We go farther back, and anticipate this question, in the position, that a man should be more prudent than to allow his "tools of trade" to become liable for his debts. This is precisely the position we occupy on public economy. We hold, that money, enough for the demands of trade, is the "tools of trade" to a nation, and that its system of economy should be so adjusted and managed, as not to put its "tools" in the condition of liability for its debts. A nation can not hold on to its "tools," after they have become thus liable; but they must go, till there is no more to go; and then the efflux is barred by exhaustion. The doctrine of our opponents is, that a nation is none the worse off, is put to no inconvenience, by the loss of its "tools of trade." Is not this the CASE which they have made? If it be not, we know not what is.
Montesquieu says: "A country which always exports less than it receives, maintains an equilibrium by impoverishing itself. It will continue to receive less, until it will have reached a state of extreme poverty, when it will cease to receive anything."
Exactly in point comes the news, while we are writing this page, of the transaction of the emperor of Russia with the bank of France, in the purchase of 50,000,000 francs of its stocks, or nearly $10,000,000. It is understood-we believe it was openly avowed on the bourse at Paris-that the object of the French government, in lending its intermediate offices, to obtain these stocks for the emperor, at the middle price, was to bring fifty millions of specie into France, which was pressingly required-France having parted with too much of her "tools of trade," and being threatened with commercial bankruptcy and financial ruin. It was to