Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. VII.: Of the Inconveniences in general grown in the matter of Money. - A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money
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CHAP. VII.: Of the Inconveniences in general grown in the matter of Money. - John Ramsay McCulloch, A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money 
A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money from the Originals of Vaughan, Cotton, Petty, Lowndes, Newton, Prior, Harris, and Others, with a Preface, Notes, and Index (London: Printed for the Political Economy Club, 1856).
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Of the Inconveniences in general grown in the matter of Money.
THE Inconveniences which are accident to this Subject of Money are in general but two, Raritie and Confusion; which although they do coincide many times in the subject, that is, that Rarity breeds Confusion, and Confusion breeds Rarity, yet in their Nature they do differ, and many times likewise in the Subject; and there is seen Confusion without Rarity, and Rarity without Confusion: yet this latter branch of Confusion will yield small matter to our discourse, because in Eglannd no forrein Coins are current, nor base Money; there is no variation in the Mints, there being but one; and there is very small Varietie in Allayes; in the Silver Money none at all, and in the Gold, but two, all which are occasions of confusion in the matter of Money. As for the other branch of Rarity, the causes thereof, when we come to handle them, will appear both very various and very intricate. And, if I were to handle this Subject as part of a Treatise of the best Form of a Common-wealth, I would first endeavour to search out what proportion of Money were fittest for the Common-wealth, for if Money were invented for the Exchange of things useful to man’s life, there is a certain Proportion for that use, and there is as well a too much as a too little: Because that the want of Money makes the life of the Citizens penurious and barbarous, so the over-great Abundance of Money makes their lives luxurious and wanton, by reason of the great Commutability of all things for Money, by which the vain and vicious Fancies of men are presently supplied with all that they do affect. But I must apply my Conceit to the Common-wealth as it is, not as a Philosopher may frame it by discourse: and therefore ought rather to Imitate a good Rider, than a good Breaker of Horses, whose part it is to perfect the Horse in all his natural actions, and to redeem and win him from all vicious affections; but for the Rider it is enough if he do use him to the best Advantage such as he finds him.
Now all the Common-wealths of the World are grown to such a Depravation, that not only the exchange of Necessaries, for which Money was first invented, but all things else are valued by Money, the services and duties of the Common-wealth, the virtue and the lives of the Citizens; so that in the common opinions, that State that abounds in Money, hath Courage, hath Men, and all other Instruments to defend itself and offend others, if it have wisdom how to make use of it: and upon this ground it was said, during the time of the late Wars in France, that that side that had the last Crown to spend must be infalliblyvictorious. And it seems that in the Low-Countries, on both sides they are of the same opinion; for so they may draw Money by it from their Enemies, they do furnish them with Victuals and other Provisions to sustain their Armies by Pasport and publick Avowal. Hence it is that in the modern Forms of Common-wealths there is no Proportion, no Mediocrity of Money, but all do strive to abound with it, without any stint. And hence it is that Rarity is almost the sole Inconvenience in matter of Money; The Rarity of Money doth grow out of these Four Causes following, viz.
First, Want of means to bring in the Materials of Money.
Secondly, Facility of exporting them.
Thirdly, The wasting of them in the Kingdom.
Fourthly, The great encrease of the proportion between Gold and Silver, and the things valued by them.
First, the want of means to bring in the Materials of Money, may be reduced into these heads.
First, The want of Manufactures, for Manufactures do breed Money, and Money again doth breed Manufactures, which is apparent in divers States and Cities, that have no natural commodities of their own, either to exchange for other Commodities or to bring in Gold and Silver, which do yet notwithstanding abound with both by reason of their Manufactures, and as the Stocks of their Money do encrease, so do their Manufactures encrease withall. But the ways of encreasing and maintaining Manufactures do depend upon other considerations in civil Government, and in no sort upon the course of Money except by accident, that the good Government of the course of Money may breed plenty of Money, and plenty of Money doth help to encrease Manufactures, and therefore to speak no more of this Subject; I propose.
A Second Cause of want of Means to bring in the Materials of Money, is the want of Sumptuary Laws to be made and executed, for as in private Families there is no so easie and certain way to thrive, as the cutting off superfluous expences, so is it in the Common-wealth; and that which the Industry and Will of the Master doth perform in every Private Family, that the Magistrates and Law ought to perform in the Common-wealth. But this Title likewise hath no Coherence with my Subject; and therefore I do omit to speak any further of it.
A Third cause, is the want of Sufficient Search of these Mettals in the Bowels of the Earth within the Kingdom, and it is a certain Experiment that there are sundry Mines of Silver in this Kingdom: and there is ground to believe both that they are of great Profit and of long continuance, if the working of them shall be well regulated by the State, and judiciously prosecuted by the Undertakers: but this also hath no dependance upon my Subject, and therefore here I leave it.
The fourth cause of the want of means to bring in the Materials of Money is the impediments of Trade, which are very many, and of subtile disquisition; but have no dependance upon our Enquiry, but by accident; and therefore I leave them to be discussed where it appertaineth.
A fifth Defect, in the bringing in of the Materials of Money, is the Prohibition of Forrein, especially Spanish, and this Title hath entirely relation to our Subject, and hereof I purpose hereafter to examine the Inconvenience apart, together with the Remedies propounded.
A sixth cause, is the Low price of our Moneys, especially of our Silver Moneys, which is the cause assigned by many that much of the Materials that would be brought hither into England, if the price were higher, is now transported into other parts: And in this Title I mean first to examine apart the disproportion between our Money of Silver and Gold. But the low price of our Money in respect of our Neighbours and the raising of it higher, or not raising of it, or the reducing of it yet lower, according to the values of more ancient times, and the Inconveniences that may grow by the one or the other, and the remedies propounded will occurr to be considered in every division of the causes of the Rarity of Money. But to avoid Confusion, I do purpose to handle them all together in one Chapter.
The Second cause of the Rarity of Money and the Materials thereof, is the facility of exporting them out of the Kingdom which doth arise out of these Causes;
First, out of raising of prices of Moneys by our Neighbours, which in effect is the same with the former of the low prices of our Moneys; for by giving a greater price for our Moneys, than it is valued here with us, they allure both our own and Forrein Merchants to carry our Moneys to them.
A Second Cause is the unequal Coinage of our Moneys, by which it cometh to pass that those pieces which are over heavy and of finer Allay, are tried and culled out, and either exported into Forrein parts, or melted down for other uses. And although it might be thought that the strict care used by the State in this behalf should have prevented this mischief, yet daily experience doth shew that great Quantities of the weightiest and best Moneys are daily exported, and that the Silver which remaineth amongst us is so much under the Standard as is hardly credible: which matter I purpose to handle, being naturally incident to this subject. The want likewise of Manufactures and Sumptuary Laws, are two causes of the facility of the exporting the Money and the Materials thereof out of this Realm, for by the encrease of Manufactures, the Commodities of the Kingdom are increased, and by Sumptuary Laws Forrein commodities are made less useful, both which conduce to the keeping of the Money and Bullion within the Realm. But these causes are not of our consideration.
A third cause of the Rarity of Money and the Materials thereof, is the wasting and consuming it within the Kingdom, as in guildings, gold and silver-thread, and inlayings, all which is consumed in a manner to nothing; the excessive use likewise of Plate maketh Money scant, but all these Defects are to be remedied by Sumptuary Laws. The laying up of Money also in Treasure, is likewise a Cause of Rarity: But the Interest of Money is so high and quick in England, as I believe that cause doth little prejudice.
The fourth cause of the Rarity of Money and Materials thereof, which is the great Encrease of the Proportion between Gold and Silver, and things valued by them is entirely of our Consideration. And this cause doth diminish the quantity or decrease the weight or fineness of the Gold and Silver, but doth encrease the use and want of Gold and Silver, and so maketh the Money and Bullion of the Realm in general, and of every man in particular, less in effect and value, though the quantity do increase. As for Example: If a pound of Silver of the sterling Standard, coined into Money in Edward the Thirds Reign, would have bought two fat Oxen, or seven quarters of Wheat; and that now at this day, two pounds of Silver of the sterling Standard coined into Money, will do no more than buy one fat Ox, or three quarters and one half of Wheat: and, if other things are increased in price according to that value, and that the like proportion doth hold also in Gold; it doth then follow that although the Realm in general, and every man in particular should have now twice as much of Gold and Silver in weight and fineness, as in King Edward the Thirds Reign; yet in use and effect they should have but half as much as then, because this double quantity in weight and fineness would in proportion to things valued by Gold and Silver, arise but to half so much as then; and so the great Increase of the Proportion between Gold and Silver, and things valued by them, doth induce a Rarity and Scarcity of these Mettals, though the Quantity should increase. But what the just increase of this Proportion is, and by what means it may be certainly proved, and how the Raritie may be remedied, I purpose to treat hereafter.
Thus I have set down in general all the constant and certain Causes of the Rarity of Money: of so many of which as are incident to our Subject, I purpose to treat in particular: As for the other Branch, of the Inconveniencies of the matter of Money, which is Disorder and Confusion, I purpose not to make any title a part of it, both because, as I have said before, the occasions of Confusions in England, in this Subject are very few; and that I shall aptly have cause to speak of it by the way, in the Causes of Rarity, which I mean to handle, not in the Method set down in this Chapter, but begin with the plainest and easiest Titles, and of most certain Proof, first to the end that they may serve both to the opening and facilitating the Proof of the more difficult and obscure.