"The chief duty of the National Government in connection with the currency of the country is to coin money and declare its value. Grave doubts have been entertained whether Congress is authorized by the Constitution to make any form of paper money legal tender. The present issue of United States notes has been sustained by the necessities of war; but such paper should depend for its value and currency upon its convenience in use and its prompt redemption in coin at the will of the holder, and not upon its compulsory circulation. These notes are not money, but promises to pay money. If the holders demand it, the promise should be kept."
by:
James A. Garfield
(1831-1881) 20th President of the United States (1881)
Source:
Inaugural Address, March 14, 1881.
Rating:
Categories:
 
Bookmark and Share  
Reader comments about this quote:
Poor Ben Franklin, he knew that paper was the way to prosperity with faith in the country it's only asset of "tender"...but it worked before the Revolution as colonial scrip, which the British declared invalid and illegal, replacing it with gold backed pounds sterling...which had to be "loaned" to the country to start it's new bank (sound familiar Hamilton?... the Brits still own the bank of NY today ! ) and after with the Continental, which only fell out of favor due to the British counterfeiting it out of favor. A fiat loosely based on the GNP is what I would favor, as not only would loans be more easily made by the government, with NO national debt as they would "own" the fiat and put it into circulation...under strict rules, also involving the states with rights of nullification to keep Washington in line to guard against people like helicopter Ben, etc., but also to keep the valuation of the basket of goods upon which such a fiat dollar was based in proper relation to all the areas of the country and their contributions to the GNP basket. Gold is simply a good personal hedge for expatriating...not really an American move, unless you maintain a home here as well ! With a GNP dollar, as the country does better, with proper laws, regulations, and incentives (not as now), the value of it's dollar goes up and up as production drives it's value so... like in China, where engineers run the economy, not lawyers ! The redemption of fiat for gold is one of the most archaic forms of "'monetization" known and puts faith in the wrong place...it should NOT be the money itself, but the goods and services it represents which are produced as items of "wealth". The idea of gold as wealth is a commodity idea left over from before the industrial revolution, and which today cannot possibly hope to track the GNP of a successful modern economy... but it is desireable, pretty, and accepted abroad... a good investment....as a commodity please ! ( I'll take the second home in sunny Spain instead of a pile of gold if I decide to setup my vacation home abroad thankyou...as those "goldbugs" count their pieces at home, just dreaming instead ) .
 -- Dr. Tom LaMar, Keeseville, NY     
  • 3 1
  •  
    Those "gold bugs" who bought gold 3 or 4 years ago when it was $500 an ounce can now easily sell it for around $1400 an ounce. Dr. Tom, it doesn't sound like that was a bad investment to me and you can keep your "sunny" second home in socialist Spain.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
  • 3
  •  
    WOW ! ! ! Law preceded man's existence. Man cannot create law. It is up to man to discover the law and place definitions to it for man's understanding and application. Garfield's here quote, renders an accurate discovery, as proven by history. For the good of the individual and his society, said discovery should be held inviolate by as few defining codes, ordinances, regulations, rules and statutes as possible. Anything else is a criminal act against man and nature.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 5
  •  
     -- Mary, Michigan      
    "Government is the only agency which can take a valuable commodity like paper, slap ink on it and make it totally worthless" ~ Ludwig Von Mises
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 4
  •  
    I find it more than interesting that every president that has been assassinated made attempts to get rid of fiat currency. Jefferson killed the 1st central bank (it was actually Hamilton that was killed, and he was directly responsible for the central bank's formation), Jackson survived his assassination attempt after killing the 2nd central bank. Lincoln went around the central banks of England and France (both owned by the Rothschilds) and printed Greenbacks interest-free, Kennedy issued silver certificates instead of borrowing more federal reserve notes -- those certificates were recalled once LBJ took office. These bankers are the most powerful people in the world and control nearly all the nation's currency and wealth in the world -- for every dollar we are in debt, these bankers are the ones we owe -- they hold the debts of entire nations, including the US. IF we do not throw off the yoke of this iniquitous money system, we will be brought to our knees in perpetual servitude to an unpayable debt that was acquired through a trick in the first place. Ignorance of coin, credit, and circulation is indeed our undoing.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 5
  •  
    There are only two possible economic systems; barter and slavery. God com-manded a barter system: "Thou shalt not steal." The Constitution mandates a barter system of gold and silver coins. Art.1. Sec. 10. Money does not exist in a barter system though gold and silver were eroneously called "money" when in fact, they are wealth. You might say the genesis of today's problem was when too many were falsely calling gold and silver "money." Eventually, reciepts that promised payment of gold and silver were called "money" and finally promiseless paper was called money. Far too many so-called "money experts" have nothing to say about legal tender which constitutes legal slavery. Lincoln issued his infamous greenbacks as legal tender that made it possible for our misleaders to take everything without paying for anything, His contemporary, Horace Greeley said Lincoln's money system "was no less cruel than the old system of chatel slavery" and this is the system that we use today. When all of the world's problems are made possible with paper tokens that the first users get for nothing, a solution to the world's problem cannot include paper tokens that the first users get for nothing but unfortuneatly many many "fictional reserve fanaticd promote just that. Here are the words of a nathionally known minister on legal tender: www.morpix.biz/god
     -- Dave Wilber, Saint Louis     
  • 4
  •  
    JKA; "gold bugs" who bought gold 3 or 4 years ago when it was $500 an ounce can now easily sell it for around $1400 an ounce. YES, as a commodity, that is fair to have that much gain; you are taking your chances in the marketplace as we all should. If Gold were declared by the government to be "money", and that happened, that's usurious unearned income, for as the goldbugs say, they are all for "stabile money", which that is NOT. Stabile commodities beat out gold everytime for me, except for some jewelry and electronic uses. Let the Chinese buy it ALL at 100k/oz and we'll pay off our national debt ! Then, maybe there's a slim chance that Ron Paul or a follow-on like Kucinich with his HR6550 (!) or Bernie may do something that matters to get rid of BAD fiat once and for all for humanity. My leaning for loosely based GNP fiat is above; objections?
     -- Dr. Tom LaMar, Keeseville, NY     
  • 3
  •  
    The increase of the value of gold is not usury, Tom. If there is any usury it is with the Federal Reserve Notes that are called 'dollars' -- gold hasn't gone up in value, the dollar has gone down in value because more and more are put into circulation to purchase the same amount of goods and services -- or less, for that matter. My objection with backing paper currency with GNP is that the calculating of GNP is too vague and easily corrupted -- look at the Consumer Price Index (CPI) -- they simply stopped including the prices of food and oil (among other things) in the CPI -- "all is well -- pay no attention to the man behind the curtain". Better to have a currency backed by a breadbasket of non-perishable commodities the price of which being governed by the free market value of those commodities. Let us trade in certificates for oil, water, steel, palladium, etc. or in combinations of them. All we have to do is make sure these certificates are indeed backed up with what they are declared to be -- there are gold certificates issued for all the gold in Fort Knox, the only problem is, the Federal Reserve has them! There is a place for IOUs, too, in trade, but only when they are not forced upon people with legal tender laws -- let the government issue its own fiat currency interest-free and let it's value float against certificates of cash (or 'cache' of stored non-perishable commodities). The government's notes would depreciate if they printed up too many, and would appreciate in value if they were frugal. There are a number of possible scenarios for an honest money and trading system -- the reason we don't have them is not because people don't know about them, we don't have them because those monopolists in the central banks are not going to give up their power -- they know what they are doing! This economic meltdown is no accident -- it is how this iniquitous money system works!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 4
  •  
    Wisdom, Justice, and Judgement, and Equity; = Hope, There's your Four Legged Stool. "Simply" put for We the People, Home, Retirement, Savings and the 2 Amendment. This is the United States of America, please restore Honesty to these honest trustworthy practices before there is a war. Tom, please return to Spain, I'm sure you will be happy. Temporal Fiscal Salvation = the Three Legged Stool, which is always equal on uneven ground. The original intent of our Founding Fathers in simplicity ! All Great Comments, I know everyone appreciates your input greatly. God Bless
     -- Ronw13, Oregon     
  •  
    If it's not kept I'll provide the pitch forks...
     -- robert, Somewhere in the US     
  •  
     
    Rate this quote!
    How many stars?
    0
    1
    2
    3
    4
    5

     
    What do YOU think?
    Your name:
    Your town:
        CLICK JUST ONCE!

    More Quotations
    Get a Quote-A-Day! Free!
    Liberty Quotes sent to your mail box.
    RSS Subscribe
    Quotes & Quotations - Send This Quote to a Friend

    © 1998-2017 Liberty-Tree.ca