Where Have You Gone, William Jennings Bryan?

Is it just me, or does this ad for gold include a subliminal (or overt) connection between said precious metal and the Cross?

A good occasion to refresh our memories regarding one William Jennings Bryan.  Timely, timely, timely.

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2 comments

  1. Best part:
    “Mr. Carlisle said in 1878 that this was a struggle between “the idle holders of idle capital” and “the struggling masses, who produce the wealth and pay the taxes of the country,” and, my friends, the question we are to decide is: Upon which side will the Democratic party fight: upon the side of the “idle holders of idle capital” or upon the side of “the struggling masses”? That is the question which the party must answer first, and then it must be answered by each individual hereafter. The sympathies of the Democratic party, as shown by the platform, are on the side of the struggling masses who have ever been the foundation of the Democratic party. There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that, if you will only legislate to make the well-to- do prosperous, their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous, their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests upon them.

    You come to us and tell us that the great cities are in favor of the gold standard; we reply that the great cities rest upon our broad and fertile prairies. Burn down your cities and leave our farms and your cities will spring up again as if by magic; but destroy our farms and the grass will grow in the streets of every city in the country.”

    I love the way this turns the “virtuous savers vs. irresponsible spenders” frame on its head.

    It’s been dismaying to see the End the Fed people making in-roads with the Occupy movement, since so many of their themes revolve around debt forgiveness. People used to understand the basic shape of this issue, that looser money helps debtors and tighter money helps creditors. The idea that a country could get itself into a situation where it needed to expand the money supply wasn’t always so controversial. FDR even devoted a whole Fireside Chat arguing for a higher price level – a term that sounds really wonky and technical to the modern ear, but made perfect sense to farmers back in the 30’s. Why do you think we’ve lost that knowledge?

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