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Content: Stamp Scrip (by Irving Fisher, 1933)



 

CHAPTER VII

TO ANSWER YOUR CRITICS

CRITIC: Not being legal tender, Stamp Scrip will not circulate.
ANSWER: This is an academic remark, for Stamp Scrip does circulate already.
CRITIC: Very well, it is an attack on the gold standard.
ANSWER: How? The scrip is redeemable in any form of legal tender. It is not even permanent - it is a temporary, emergency issue, small in amount and short in duration.
CRITIC: Banks will not take it on deposit because they can't afford thereafter to go on affixing stamps.
ANSWER: It is an entire misconception to suppose that a socalled deposit stays in the bank. Banks pay out money as fast as they take it in. If we relieve them of the next stamp and add a service charge, that is enough. Experience shows that banks profit not only from the service charge but from increased business.
CRITIC: If the bank isn't hurt, the user is. Any money costing the user a stamp and a service charge at the bank is a cheat.
ANSWER: What you call a cheat is a tax (or a quasi-tax) on new business - and the stamp made the business; without the stamp we wouldn't have the business.
CRITIC: The Stamp Tax is a sales tax in sheep's clothing. We all hate sales taxes.
ANSWER: Call it any name you like; it comes out of new business and it gave us that business - without it we wouldn't have that business.
CRITIC: Two per cent a week is too high.
ANSWER: Not if it comes out of new business. Besides, it's two per cent divided among many transactions.
CRITIC: Scrip can't be saved - therefore it will encourage reckless spending.
ANSWER: You are mistaken. You can spend it or invest it or put it in the bank. The point is: You must do one of these things. You just can't hoard it, that's all.
CRITIC: But we can't afford to supplant real money.
ANSWER: Scrip supplements rather than supplants. It is an emergency supply to relieve scarcity till other money condescends to rejoin the service.
CRITIC: By Gresham's law "bad money always drives out good money." If scrip displaces real money, that proves it is bad money.
ANSWER: No! When Gresham's law is so stated it is misstated, except as applying to a period of inflation. When, the money supposedly in circulation doesn't circulate any money which drives it out and really circulates in its place is not "bad money" but "good money."