Debt: Private and Public, Good and Bad
From the author:
The world would be a dismal place if everyone understood the technicalities of the Money Market. Most people know that they can more or less rely upon £3 a week, £1,000 a year or whatever it may be, and, being wholly ignorant of the science of money, are able to give their thoughts to other things, perhaps better things, certainly happier things. They cheerfully part with thirty-pence worth of real values, taking in exchange a piece of metal called half-a-crown containing sixpennyworth of silver. They buy twenty shillings' worth of groceries, giving in exchange a piece of paper called a pound note, worth, as paper, a fraction of a tenth of a farthing. All that is very happy and very convenient and there is no reason to disturb it, if it is going to last, if it is in no danger.
Among the sound political and moral notions on which we have relied, are the two with which this little book is concerned. First, that family finance and national finance are both subject to the same principles and governed by the same forces. And second, that a debt is a thing to be incurred with great caution and, above all, that it has to be paid. These platitudinous propositions have been forgotten in connection with a great deal of the public and political work of the last twenty years.
Ernest Benn Limited, London, 1938