Thomas Jefferson’s Warnings About Today’s Banking Crisis
“Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.” “I, however, place economy among the first and most important republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.” “Our country is now taking so steady a course as to show by what road it will pass to destruction, to wit: by consolidation of power first, and then corruption, its necessary consequence.”
We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds ... [we’ll] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers ... And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for [another] ... till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery... And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.
If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them, will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.
The art and mystery of banks... is established on the principle that 'private debts are a public blessing.' That the evidences of those private debts, called bank notes, become active capital, and aliment the whole commerce, manufactures, and agriculture of the United States. Here are a set of people, for instance, who have bestowed on us the great blessing of running in our debt … without our knowing who they are, where they are, or what property they have to pay this debt when called on;
Certainly no nation ever before abandoned to the avarice and jugglings of private individuals to regulate according to their own interests, the quantum of circulating medium for the nation -- to inflate, by deluges of paper, the nominal prices of property, and then to buy up that property [cheaply], having first withdrawn the floating medium [or credit – ed.] which might endanger a competition in purchase. Yet this is what has been done, and will be done, unless stayed by the protecting hand of the legislature. The evil has been produced by the error of their sanction of this ruinous machinery of banks; and justice, wisdom, duty, all require that they should interpose and arrest it before the schemes of plunder and spoilation desolate the country."
As the doctrine is that a public debt is a public blessing, so [the chickens of the Treasury] think a perpetual one is a perpetual blessing, and therefore wish to make it so large that we can never pay it off.
Everything predicted by the enemies of banks, in the beginning, is now coming to pass. We are to be ruined now by the deluge of bank paper. It is cruel that such revolutions in private fortunes should be at the mercy of avaricious adventurers, who, instead of employing their capital, if any they have, in manufactures, commerce, and other useful pursuits, make it an instrument to burden all the interchanges of property with their swindling profits, profits which are the price of no useful industry of theirs.
consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That 'all
powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited
by it to the States, are reserved to the
States or to the people' (10th Amendment). To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specifically
drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field
of power, no longer susceptible to any definition. The incorporation of a bank, and the powers assumed by this bill (chartering
the first Bank of the
The system of banking [I] have... ever reprobated. I contemplate it as a blot left in all our [State] Constitutions, which, if not covered, will end in their destruction, which is already hit by the gamblers in corruption, and is sweeping away … the fortunes and morals of our citizens." "The banks... have the regulation of the safety-valves of our fortunes, and... condense and explode them at their will.” “Already they have raised up a moneyed aristocracy that has set the Government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people to whom it properly belongs.”
“[The] Bank of the
Instead of funding issues of paper on the hypothecation of specific redeeming taxes, we are trusting to tricks of jugglers on the cards, to the illusions of banking schemes for the resources of the war, and for the cure of colic to inflations of more wind.
“The monopoly of a single bank is certainly an evil. The multiplication of them was intended to cure it; but it multiplied an influence of the same character with the first, and completed the supplanting the precious metals by a paper circulation.” “It is said that our paper is as good as silver, because we may have silver for it at the bank where it issues. This is not true. One, two, or three persons might have it; but a general application would soon exhaust their vaults, and leave a ruinous proportion of their paper in its intrinsic worthless form.”
Yes, we did produce a near-perfect republic. But will they keep it? Or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom? Material abundance without character is the path of destruction.
Private fortunes are destroyed by public as well as by private extravagance. And this is the tendency of all human governments.
It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. Never spend your money before you have earned it. In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms [of government] those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
“Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of the day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers (administrators) too plainly proves a deliberate, systematic plan of reducing us to slavery.” “The mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.”
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be... if we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed”
The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.
Learn the whole Truth at www.tax-freedom.com