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Some Gold-Bug Guff
by [?]

If it is gold that has appreciated, as the silverites claim, aren’t the farmers now getting two dollars a bushel for their wheat?–Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser.

The foregoing is irrefutable evidence that the fool-killer is enacting the role of cunctator. Only a gold-bug editor could insult the people of Alabama with such an exhibition of idiocy. I am heartily tired of this whole currency question; but the Advertiser has been fairly stinking for attention a long time–its Smart Alecism has become simply insupportable. Politically considered, the Advertiser has been all things to all men and “nothing to nobody.” It is a journalistic George Clark, mistaking political treachery for diplomacy and impudence for intellect. As Clark cannot interview himself to the extent of half a column for the Morning Bazoo without getting his goozle entangled in the skein of his own intorted argument, so the Advertiser cannot grind out an editorial of equal length without getting hoist with its own logical sequence, split from vermiform appendix to occipitofrontalis by the recoil of its own syllogisms. The Advertiser is unreliable as Proteus; the base vulpine instinct serves it in lieu of brains; the clink of cash in the counting room is the keeper of its conscience. At least such is the pen-portrait drawn of it by the best men in Alabama. Its allusion to $2 wheat is a trick that would disgrace the sophists who practice in our municipal courts with drunks and courtesans for clients. Such a horse-play for the benefit of the political gallery gods would be contemptuously ignored by the ICONOCLAST were not the Advertiser’s betters indulging in the same unmitigated bosh. Our Alabama contemporary is but an anile echo of the New York Tribune, a faint adumbration of the Chicago Inter-Ocean. The bigwigs cut out the work for the journalistic wiggletails. They pitch the tune and all the intellectual eunuchs come in on the chorus. The editorials of all such sheets as the Advertiser are but a stale re-hash of Eastern utterances. They pick up these things and “work ’em over,” just as the Herald of Astoria, Ore., revamps articles from the ICONOCLAST and runs them as original. The farmer IS now receiving $2 a bushel for his wheat. That is to say, the dollar with which he is paid has double the purchasing power of the dollar two decades ago. He is exactly as well off as though he received two old-time dollars–if he chances to be out of debt. If he is not out of debt, if he must discharge old scores with these 200-cent dollars, he is being deprived of his adventitious good fortune resulting from foreign crop failures. It makes no earthly difference what the measure of value may be if it is immutable. The purchasing power of the dollar might be safely increased or decreased 90 per cent. were the whole business of this country on a cash basis. Under such conditions we might contract our volume of money to a million dollars or expand it to five billions, and harm nobody; but it seems to me that any fool on earth–even the editor of the Advertiser could comprehend the following unequivocal facts: (1) that a majority of the American people owe money; (2) that an enhancement of the purchasing power of the dollar must work grievous injury to the debtor; (3) that unless the volume of money keeps pace with the increase in the money work to be done the unit of value must inevitably appreciate. Let us state the case in kindergarten language for the benefit of intellectual infants; while the demand for money is increasing in a ratio of geometrical progression we have eliminated one great source of supply–have cast upon gold alone the money work which from time immemorial had been done by two metals. The gold product has not kept pace with the growth of the world’s business; the law of supply and demand is irrevocable; ergo, gold HAS appreciated and the debtor HAS been despoiled. The temporary rise in price of one or two or a score of American products in obedience to the laws of trade cannot obscure these incontrovertible facts. WHILE THE PRICE OF WHEAT HAS ADVANCED THE PRICE OF LABOR HAS DECLINED. The wage-worker now receives LESS than formerly, while it costs him MORE to feed his family. And this is what the Republican press and its mugwump echo call prosperity! The wheat-growers, numerically unimportant, are prospering despite the gold standard, just as the placer-miner who washes out ten dollars each day and gives up five of it nightly to cut-throat gamblers; but in this prosperity the great body of the American people have neither lot nor part. Texas is selling middling cotton at 5 1/2 and paying $3 for flour. Adult male operatives are working in Massachusetts cotton mills for 50 cents a day, and their families doing without flour. Pennsylvania miners are braving subterranean dangers for 90 cents a day and living on potatoes and point. Although this is the busiest season of the year–the time when the Republican tidal wave of prosperity is supposed to buss the very clouds–there is scarce a town or city in the United States where able-bodied men are not begging for employment. If you don’t think so put a 3-line “ad” in your morning paper that you want to employ a man for any purpose, and offer ONE-HALF the salary that such service would have commanded before the demonetization of silver, and see how quickly your office will be jammed! Texas has probably suffered less than any other American state from hard times, Waco less than any other Texas city, for here we can subsist on climate and sanctification. Waco is a city of but 30,000 souls–conceding that the Baptists are supplied with that immortal annex; yet when it was reported the other day that the ICONOCLAST needed another book- keeper applications were filed before night by a score of men competent in the craft. Men apply a month ahead for employment on mailing day, because at that time a dozen or so extras can each earn a dollar. I have in hand an article by one of the brightest journalists of Chicago, who states that reporters are paid $10 to $25, editorial writers $25 to $35 per week, and that a man who offends the newspaper trust can get no further employment in the town. Twenty years ago a scribe who could turn a bright editorial paragraph or manufacture an interesting falsehood was worth $50 to $75 a week in Chicago, and if lost one situation he’d find two more before he got half- sober–but that was before Markhanna and his peon took charge of this country’s prosperity. Will the Advertiser or any other mugwump organ, kindly explain why it is, if the gold standard is making this country to flourish like a green-bay horse, the idle money of Europe and New England continues to pour across the state of Texas, ignoring its matchless resources, to find employment in free-silver Mexico! Why wages are slowly but steadily rising in that country and are steadily declining in this? Why is it that when a man cannot obtain employment here he turns his face to “the Land of God and Liberty” if he has the price of passage, feeling assured that there he has but to ask for a job to obtain it? Why is that above all this cackle about prosperity can be heard the stentor tones of Markhanna’s organ advising American workmen that they must come squarely down to the European wage level before they can hope for permanent employment? Perhaps I could find answers to these questions myself had not my Baptist brethren lately pounded my head to a pulp. As it is, I humbly ask for information, beseech the Advertiser to uncork its omniscience. Will the millions of Americans who can barely make a living of it during the busy season, thank God and the gold-buggers for manifold mercies when the fall trade is over and the crops are all in?