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Notable Quotes

The Fight for Honest Monetary Weights and Measures (Honest Money) is not a new fight. It was fought, and won, several times in the last century. In particular, ordinary people have always supported honest monetary weights and measures and always opposed fiat money, a.k.a. paper money. Set forth below are some quotations from some more famous personalities who expressed thoughts on the money issue. Also included are some revealing quotations from official publications, such as those published by the Federal Reserve.

 

 Larry Parks, Executive Director, FAME "With the monetary system we have now, the careful saving of a lifetime can be wiped out in an eyeblink."
                                    
George Bernard Shaw “You have to choose [as a voter] between trusting to the natural stability of gold and the natural stability of the honesty and intelligence of the members of the Government. And, with due respect for these gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the Capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold.”
Voltaire (1694-1778) “Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value ---- zero.”
Daniel Webster, 
speech in the Senate, 1833
“We are in danger of being overwhelmed with irredeemable paper, mere paper, representing not gold nor silver; no sir, representing nothing but broken promises, bad faith, bankrupt corporations, cheated creditors and a ruined people.”
Thomas Jefferson to 
John Taylor, 1816
“I sincerely believe ... that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”
Daniel Webster "Of all the contrivances for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effective than that which deludes them with paper money." 
St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, 
Review, Nov. 1975, p.22
"The decrease in purchasing power incurred by holders of money due to inflation imparts gains to the issuers of money--."++
Federal Reserve Bank, New York 
The Story of Banks
, p.5.
"Because of 'fractional' reserve system, banks, as a whole, can expand our money supply several times, by making loans and investments."++
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, 
Gold, p. 10
"Without the confidence factor, many believe a paper money system is liable to collapse eventually."++
Federal reserve Bank of New York, 
I Bet You Thought
, p.19
"Commercial banks create checkbook money whenever they grant a loan, simply by adding new deposit dollars in accounts on their books in exchange for a borrower's IOU."++
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 
Modern Money Mechanics
, p.3
"The actual process of money creation takes place in commercial banks. As noted earlier, demand liabilities of commercial banks are money."++
U.S. Supreme Court, 
Craig v. Missouri, 
4 Peters 410.
"Emitting bills of credit, or the creation of money by private corporations, is what is expressly forbidden by Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution."++
James A. Garfield "Whoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce."++
Frederic Bastiat, 
The Law
"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."++
Irving Fisher, 
100% Money
"Thus, our national circulating medium is now at the mercy of loan transactions of banks, which lend, not money, but promises to supply money they do not possess."++
John Maynard Keynes, 
The Economic Consequences of the Peace,
 
1920, page 240
"If, however, a government refrains from regulations and allows matters to take their course,  essential commodities soon attain a level of price out of the reach of all but the rich, the worthlessness of the money becomes apparent, and the fraud upon the public can be concealed no longer."
John Maynard Keynes, 
The Economic Consequences of the Peace

1920, page 235ff
"Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalistic System was to debauch the currency. . .  Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million can diagnose."
Ralph M. Hawtrey, 
former Secretary of Treasury, 
England
"Banks lend by creating credit. They create the means of payment out of nothing."++
Robert H. Hemphill, 
former credit manager, 
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
"Money is the most important subject intellectual persons can investigate and reflect upon. It is so important that our present civilization may collapse unless it is widely understood and its defects remedied very soon."++
Sir Josiah Stamp, former President, 
Bank of England
"Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money and control credit, and with a flick of a pen they will create enough to buy it back."++
Rt. Hon. Reginald McKenna, former 
Chancellor of Exchequer, England
"Those who create and issue money and credit direct the policies of government and hold in the hollow of their hands the destiny of the people."++
John Adams, letter to 
Thomas Jefferson
"All the perplexities, confusion and distresses in America arise not from defects in the constitution or confederation, nor from want of honor or virtue, as much from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation."++
Wm. Jennings Bryan "Money power denounces, as public enemies, all who question its methods or throw light upon its crimes."++
George Washington, in letter to 
J. Bowen, Rhode Island, 
Jan. 9, 1787
"Paper money has had the effect in your state that it will ever have, to ruin commerce, oppress the honest, and open the door to every species of fraud and injustice."++
George Bancroft, 
A Plea for the Constitution
(1886)
"Madison, agreeing with the journal of the convention, records that the grant of power to emit bills of credit was refused by a majority of more than four to one. The evidence is perfect; no power to emit paper money was granted to the legislature of the United States."++
Article One, Section Ten, 
United States Constitution
"No state shall emit bills of credit, make any thing but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts, coin money---."++
John C. Calhoun, 
Speech 5/27/1836
"A power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and various powerful interest, combined in one mass; and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in banks."
Andrew Jackson: To delegation of 
bankers discussing the 
Bank Renewal Bill, 1832
"You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out."
Treasury Secretary Woodin, 
3/7/33
"Where would we be if we had I.O.U.'s scrip and certificates floating all around the country?" Instead he decided to "issue currency against the sound assets of the banks. [As opposed to issuing currency against gold.] The Federal Reserve Act lets us print all we'll need. And it won't frighten the people. It won't look like stage money. It'll be money that looks like real money." [Emphasis added.] (Source: 'Closed for the Holiday: The Bank Holiday of 1933', p20 - Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)
John Kenneth Galbraith “The study of money, above all other fields in economics, is one in which complexity is used to disguise truth or to evade truth, not to reveal it.” Money: Whence it came, where it went - 1975, p15
John Kenneth Galbraith “The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled.” 
Money: Whence it came, where it went
- 1975, p29
Senator Carter Glass, 
Author of the Banking Act of 1933
"Is there any reason why the American people should be taxed to guarantee the debts of banks, any more than they should be taxed to guarantee the debts of other institutions, including merchants, the industries, and the mills of the country?"

Chief Justice Salmon Chase, formerly Secretary of Treasury in President Lincoln’s administration, in dissent of Knox vs. Lee (The Legal Tender Cases, 1871)

 

“The legal tender quality [of money] is only valuable for the purposes of dishonesty.”
Dr. Alan Greenspan, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, 11/20/2003 "As long as we issue fiat currency, I see no alternative to a legal tender law."
John Adams "All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation."

Friedrich A. Hayek (1899-1992) Austrian Economist, Author and 1974 Nobel Prize-Winner for Economics

“With the exception only of the period of the gold standard, practically all governments of history have used their exclusive power to issue money to defraud and plunder the people.”
Dr. Edwin Vieira, FAME Foundation Scholar "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, and that's good enough."

++ This quotation was compiled by Dr. Paul Hein in his book All Work and No Pay: Life Saving Lessons in Modern Money

 

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Last Updated: 08/24/06

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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