Front Page Titles (by Subject) 12. Convertibility by Revenue Payments. - Money and the Mechanism of Exchange
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12. Convertibility by Revenue Payments. - William Stanley Jevons, Money and the Mechanism of Exchange 
Money and the Mechanism of Exchange (New York: D. Appleton and Co. 1876).
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12. Convertibility by Revenue Payments.
In many instances governments have tried to maintain the value of a paper circulation by engaging to receive it as taxes, or even rendering its use for this purpose obligatory. The Russian government when issuing assignats received them at a fixed rate in place of copper coin, and required that at least one-twentieth part of every payment was to be thus paid. The French assignats of the Revolution were also received at the public treasuries. This would be a fair method of securing stability of value on two conditions:—(1) that the taxes or charges were themselves levied according to a fixed tariff; and (2) that the quantity of notes issued was kept within such moderate limits that any one wishing to realize the metallic value of the notes could find some one wanting to pay taxes, and therefore willing to give coin for notes. It is very unlikely, however, that these conditions could ever be fully and conveniently realized in practice.
The United States greenback currency was made receivable for all United States stamps, and was also to be received in payment of all taxes and dues in sums of certain assigned amounts, excepting Customs dues. But the fact that some notes are thus withdrawn will not prevent depreciation, if they be soon paid out again with additions required to meet the pressing expenditure of a government.
In a small way postage stamps are becoming used as currency in several countries. They were extensively used in the earlier years of the American war as the well-known fractional currency. They are now a recognized medium of payment in England, being repurchased by most postmasters at a discount of 2½ per cent. if presented in a piece of two or more undivided stamps. Independently, however, of repurchase, stamps are so continually being cancelled by use in postage, that their value can hardly be lowered by excess of quantity. They form a convenient and costless form of remittance for very small sums, say from a halfpenny to five shillings, and little or no objection can be made to their occasional use as change, in place of pence. They would, however, form a very bad currency if circulated to any great extent.