Hayes: "Silver Dick" Bland

Got your attention, didn't I?

This has to be one of the funniest name for any figure in American history. This even surpasses "Old Fuss N' Feathers" (Gen. Winfield Scott), "Ten Cents a day Jimmy" (Buchanan) and even "Queen Victoria in Riding Breeches" (Hayes).

Ol' Silver Dick was a Congressman who wanted to help silver miners and 'the common man' after the United States went on a gold standard in 1873. This declared that the only metal that US Dollars could be redeemed for was gold.

While this helped to bring the United States in line with the rest of the world in terms of the stability of its currency, it decimated the silver mining industry and the miners and other people that owned large amounts of silver coins. It also contracted the money supply, effectively making it more expensive for farmers and small business owners to repay their debts.

While "Silver Dick" Bland and many in congress were for having both a gold and silver standard, Hayes was squarely on the side of one gold standard since he rightly assumed that adding to the money supply would cause inflation and be harmful to contracts negotiated on the basis of the gold standard. By around the turn of the twentieth century, Hayes would get his way, but America had a two metal standard for the next 25 years or so.

Now isn't this whole economics lesson more interesting when there's a guy named "Silver Dick"?

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