The Eagle, Cherryville, N.C., August 7, 1919
Getting Rid of Easy Money
One answer to the high cost of living problem is that people are holding their money too cheaply. Thousands of Americans who never were more than a dozen paces from the breadline are today owners of Liberty Bonds or some other form of securities and they have never learned the lessons which Ben Franklin sought to teach a growing nation. Some of the people are spending their Liberty Bonds. Their savings in these securities represent money that came comparatively easy, that is to say, the holdings were accumulated in small weekly or monthly payments, money that was hardly missed from the pay envelope.
The people are spending as furiously as they fought and worked in war times. They are on a spending “jag” so to speak, not only in this country where the fruits of victory seem to make spending a necessary part of the peace program, but in the rest of the world, not even omitting the countries of the Entente. The money of the times is apparently very cheap, it seems to come easily and go easily, but this condition can’t last indefinitely.
When spenders are free and easy, prices go up with equal ease. Those who hold their “easy” money too cheaply make hard buying for those who must part sparingly with their limited funds and, by the same token, those who demand luxuries without accounting the cost may expect to pay more for necessities. The trouble is not so much the high cost of living but the cost of high living.
Someone remarked very sagely that if all the wealth of the rich were equally distributed among those who have little or nothing, the rich would soon have it back again and the other class would being the same position as before the division was made. This the natural consequence because the rich, or the great proportion of that class learned to accumulate wealth by saving more quickly than the class that had never been accustomed to it.