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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 4

Low Interest a Necessity

Low Interest a Necessity.

The march of civilization demands that capital shall be afforded at a low cost to labor, so as to quicken industry in its largest production from the exhaustless bounty of the earth, for increasing civilization is dependent upon the activity of industry.

He who now invests and reinvests a moderate sum at 6 per cent, per annum interest, during the period of an ordinary life, generally aggregates larger and surer gains than the man who adds his own industry to a like sum for a similar period in the chances of business. This is too sadly the fruit of a general bitter experience to need proof. The deduction is that interest rules too high. It is discouraging to labor that loans, in the large average, realize better profit than the combined force of brain, hand, and capital. It is an encouragement to prey on labor, instead of practising it, and counts against production and civilization. High interest and usury lessen production and absorb the bread of industry.

Low interest fosters and widens industries. With their growth page break they are more and more interchanged. Active markets are created in new directions. The simple requirements of the rustic cabin change to aspirations for the refinements of civilization, and an increased impulse to industry is the premium paid for their attainment. Thus the dormant faculties are exercised; activity takes the place of sluggishness; consumption is increased, and production is enlarged. They stimulate each other, furnishing nourishment for growth, just as food vitalizes the blood and renews the life.