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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 4

Excessive Interest is Ruin to Industry

Excessive Interest is Ruin to Industry.

Unjust laws for the undue increase of capital at the expense of labor, are charged with dwarfing the industries, through excessive interest, thereby retarding civilization. The draft of capital is too heavy. It concentrates wealth in few hands, and condemns the many to hopeless poverty.

Laws in all ages have not been made in the interest of a broad humanity, but to perpetuate wealth and power for the benefit of the few. Law allows an estate of six millions of dollars, in forty years 8

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at six per cent., to be compounded to ninety-eight millions of dollars, while its possessor may live in idleness. Custom gives to the world's most useful workers of all kind, barely sufficient compensation for the most economical support of a family, while failing health or employment too often brings distress and dependence. Do laws and customs promote social progress, and general activity, which restrict the host of workers to the barest necessities of consumption, in order to build up a few towering fortunes?

The rental or mortgage of a store or farm, worth $10,000, at seven per cent, net, compounded for seventy years, will produce $1,270,000, equal to one hundred and twenty-seven stores. With all the investment of brain, toil, and capital, the uncertain chances of business in that period will, doubtless, bankrupt more than one occupant of that store, as statistics show about ninety-five per cent, of merchants fail.

The combined capital of the Rothschilds, which has been mostly accumulated in the present century, is estimated to be $3,400,000,000, or nearly equal to the funded debt of England. Law allows this thrifty family to invest its immense wealth at high usury, in its bargains and loans, but at only six per cent, per annum they double it every twelve years! What is to become of producers all over the world if the accumulations of interest are not in some way legally lessened? Living, toiling men, by labor, by production, furnish the traffic for railroad dividends, for mortgage interest, and for all the sources of revenue of capitalists, which is being so rapidly compounded.

From the wisdom of a large experience in compounding money, Lord Bacon says: "Usury bringeth the treasure of a nation into a few hands, for the usurer being at certainties, and the other at uncertainties, at the end of the game most of the money will be in the box." "It beats down the price of land. It dulls and damps industries and new inventions. It is the canker and ruin of estates, which in time breed a public poverty."