His last two books, The Meaning of Money, published in 1936, and Dollar Doomsday, published in 1941, continued the attack upon the prevailing theories and systems. But now he becomes constructive and sets up a radically new theory that others may choose to shoot at.
This new concept is a challenge
to the academic economist and a
bid to the layman to enter into the
practical mastery of a subject that
has heretofore been enshrouded in
381 FOURTH AVENUE
NEW YORK 16, N. Y.
Copyright*, 1944, by E. C. Riegel
[*Now public domain.]
Printed in the United States of America
Other Books by E. C. Riegel
THE MEANING OF MONEY
THE CREDIT QUESTION
Through the past decade, in the study of money, the formulation of the principles of the Valun System, and the preparation of this book the author has had the support and cooperation of a group of loyal students and friends whose names are recorded here in acknowledgement of their moral, intellectual and financial assistance.
Harry Aaron Joseph McAvoy H. F. Badgley Ralph Neumuller Alexander Bard Charles Osborn Nichols Thomas M. Bracken Landon C. Painter W. V. Burnell L. S. Pfaff B. T. Butterworth L. T. Recker Edward T. Curran, M.D. Oscar Reitman Maude S. De Land, M.D. M. H. Reymond Milton Haas John G. Scott Rev. Reino Hiironen Donald Shaughness Rosa M. Hurley John A. Shepherd Major Honore' J. Jaxon Murray Stein Felix Jenner Alfred Stern William Jordan Harmon V. Swart James W. Kennedy William H. Topham Ernest Loewenwarter J. T. Vollbrecht
Our political money system is breaking down and must be displaced by one that serves the needs of modern exchange. Otherwise our civilization will perish.
As technological improvements tend to specialize and confine each man's production, the need for the exchange of products increases, and, therefore, man's dependence upon money makes the mastery of this vital agency more and more imperative.
Production grows more mechanical, while consumption, on the other hand, has no machine technique; it still operates by our hands and bodies. Therefore there can never be mass consumption to coordinate with mass production. Consumption remains private and individual. Production grows more interdependent - requiring the coordination of many machines and many hands - while the function of consumption cannot be shared or mechanized; it is human, individual, self-dependent.
To fulfill the function of consumption (without which production is purposeless) the individual must be, as buyer, a self-starter and self-stimulator, and therefore, money power, sufficient to buy his production, must be at the command of every man. Otherwise the people cannot coordinate their consumption with their production and this deficiency causes the production machine to clog and recoil with vicious consequences. Not only are these economic results painful in themselves, but they cause the people to turn to political intervention as a remedy, and this complicates the problem and increases the peril.
WE MUST HAVE LESS RATHER THAN MORE POLITICAL INTERVENTION AND THIS BOOK WILL SHOW THAT IT IS POLITICAL INTERVENTION THROUGH THE MONEY SYSTEM THAT BREEDS ALL OUR ILLS. PRIVATE ENTERPRISE MUST, IF IT IS TO BE PRESERVED AND PERFECTED, HAVE A PRIVATE ENTERPRISE MONEY SYSTEM. THE POLITICAL MONEY SYSTEM IS INHERENTLY ANTIPATHIC TO PRIVATE ENTERPRISE AND INEVITABLY TENDS TO COMMUNIZATION.
Our mass production power must be balanced by our individual buying power and our buying power is dependent upon our individual money-creating power. Money cannot meet modern needs by descending to the people; it must rise from them. Until this is comprehended mass production must continue to miscarry. We, as consumers, must literally make money or be stymied. Government cannot assume this responsibility for us. Every individual producer must exert the right and assume the duty of creating money, if there be need therefore, to buy the value of his own production. There cannot be full distribution of wealth without full distribution of money power. He who would make must also take - in ratio. Each of us must have the ability to create fountain pen money with our own hands. Machine production must be coordinated with handmade money.
Recurrent business slumps, mal-distribution, over-production, unemployment, panics and depressions are but the gentler reminders that our industrial life is in danger. In the end war presses a gun against our head with the demand - money or your life. Must our economic and political maladies be compounded into periodic cataclysms and our civilization be destroyed before we master money?
Typical of the stress laid by economists upon the need for sustained purchasing power is the following quotation from "The Dilemma of Thrift" written in 1926 by William Trufant Foster and Waddill Catchings:
"In fact, adequate, sustained consumer-demand would do more than pay other means now within human control toward increasing wealth, abolishing poverty, maintaining employment, solving labor problems, increasing good will among men generally, and maintaining the peace of the world. No means of preventing war holds out such large immediate possibilities as this... It is, therefore, difficult to exaggerate the importance of finding a means of sustaining purchasing power. The next world war, if it does come, may well be the last war - at least the last war in which the present nations will have any interest, for it may well destroy civilization itself."Well, "the next world war" has come and is upon us, and whether or not it is leading to the destruction of civilization will not be determined by the outcome of the military phase of the war. The issue cannot be determined by military victory. Its cleavage is not the battle front. Both Axis and Allied Nations are committed to the system of government-created purchasing power, whether they be classed as fascist, communist or democratic. The broad question that will determine the fate of humanity is whether the evil practice of synthetic buying power by governments shall continue to the inevitable collapse of the social order or whether the producer of wealth will exert his natural buying power and thus avert disaster.
Without reservation I assert that the whole fate of society
hinges upon the one question of whether it can at this critical
juncture gain mastery through the mastery of money and thus
coordinate purchasing power with producing power. The issue
is - money or your life.
- E. C. Riegel
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