“GREENBACKISM” | July 19, 1878


The Greenback idea of the State helping the laboring classes is a great error. All such schemes tend in the most direct way, to the demoralization of the laborer himself, by relieving him of the necessity of laboring and sacrificing, which, in the order of nature, all must undergo, as the condition of the rewards that attend on industry and economy. If any class of individuals can obtain capital by simply asking for it, it is idle to expect that they will exhibit the self-denial and forethought necessary to the accumulation of capital. When all the motive for practicing these virtues is removed, is it reasonable to suppose that a class, naturally improvident, will voluntarily attempt to improve their condition? Capital can only be created by labor and saving. If every person in the nation were to start off on the first day of next month with an equal sum of money, those only who had thoroughly learned the art of saving would retain and add to their pecuniary wealth. Nothing can help a man who is not determined to help himself.