Skit 1: Money
Skit 2: Taxation and Inflation
Skit 3: Empire
King Roosevelt II—tyrant
Sir Hamilton--advisor to King Roosevelt II
King Grover—honest king from neighboring kingdom
Sir Ludwig—advisor to King Grover
Duke of Cincinnatus—leader of King Grover’s militia
Thaler—honest minter now living in Grover’s kingdom
Narrator—Here we find King Grover considering a problem with the neighboring kingdom of King Roosevelt I
King Grover—This urgent message from King Roosevelt could mean trouble; it seems he’s unhappy about our merchants redeeming the paper money from his kingdom for gold. It says that his King’s Bank is running dangerously low on gold and silver and is threatened with bankruptcy.
Enter Sir Ludwig
Sir Ludwig, have you given any thought to the recent message from King Roosevelt. The neighboring king is displeased with our merchants.
Sir Ludwig—First it should be said that if King Roosevelt were not fighting aggressive wars and living in extravagant luxury, he would not need to have his bank printing so much paper money. Our merchants are simply redeeming what is owed them. This should never give an honest merchant or king any trouble. You, King Grover, set an example of just rule; you tax only enough to pay for the royal police and royal courts with only a modest castle, no permanent army, and a strong navy to protect our merchant ships from pirates.
King Grover—I do try to always do what is right and rule justly, but what are we to do if King Roosevelt threatens war?
Sir Ludwig—I do not believe it will come that at first. I expect that the king will simply declare that the paper money of The King’s Bank will no longer be redeemable in gold or silver. I have heard some reports that he has already done this to the subjects in his own kingdom. Our main concern is what will happen to trade between our countries.
King Grover—What do you mean?
Sir Ludwig—When our merchants are no longer able to redeem paper money from The King’s Bank for gold or silver, they will probably not accept it anymore as payment for goods.
King Grover—Then they shall need to use a different money, no?
Sir Ludwig—Exactly, our merchants and those from
King Roosevelt’s castle
Narrator—Here we find King Roosevelt, considering a problem.
King Roosevelt—I thought our paper money plan could go on forever, but foreigners are ruining my schemes by redeeming our paper money for gold and silver; we should have known it would come to this.
Enter Sir Hamilton
Sir Hamilton—We have already taken the first necessary measures; we have made the paper money of the The King’s Bank no longer redeemable for gold and silver for our subjects. Further we have required that our paper money be accepted for all debts, both taxes and to private merchants. We have also made it illegal for subjects to own gold and silver.
King Roosevelt—But what about goods that must be bought from other kingdoms?
Sir Hamilton—I will schedule talks, with your permission, between our ambassadors to work out a plan where the royal banks will agree to stop redeeming the others’ paper money for gold and silver. This should allow us to continue to print paper money as needed and to buy goods from one another. An exchange ratio between the paper money our kingdom and the paper money of other kingdoms will have to be worked out. It will add some trouble to our trade with other kingdoms, but should remedy our problems. In the long run we may have to consider using a single paper money among countries who will agree to do so. This will create less confusion.
King Roosevelt—But who will be in charge of a such a paper money?
Sir Hamilton—No doubt the country with the largest army, that being us.
King Roosevelt—What about the
Sir Hamilton—Such renegade kingdoms as Grover’s will need to be brought into line. Our message on the subject should have reached King Grover by now. If we can’t trade with merchants from Grover’s kingdom to buy what we want because they refuse to use our paper money, we will simply take it by force.
Messenger—Trouble at almost every branch of The King’s Bank! The people in mobs are demanding gold and silver for paper money. Reports of this keep coming in!
King Roosevelt—I thought you said this problem was taken care of,
Sir Hamilton—Once our army has killed a few of these “bank runners” who dare defy the law, order will be restored.
King Roosevelt—Messenger, send for the Duke of Delano.
Messenger—Right away your highness.
Narrator—Here we find King Grover considering his reply to King Roosevelt.
King Grover—I believe a diplomatic solution to our problem with King Roosevelt is best. War never makes the people better off and must be avoided.
Enter Sir Ludwig
Sir Ludwig—I’ve been thinking about our problem with King Roosevelt; peace must be maintained for the people to thrive.
King Grover—Exactly, compose a letter to King Roosevelt and I’ll review it with you before we send it.
Sir Ludwig—Right away.
Exit Sir Ludwig
Thaler’s new mint in the
Narrator—Here we find Thaler considering his new situation.
Thaler—Things are much better here in Grover’s kingdom. I can mint coins and take deposits of coins for safekeeping without competition from dishonest bankers like Dilutio. King Grover requires all minters and bankers who take deposits of gold and silver to always have 100 percent of the gold and silver on hand. I am worried, however. King Roosevelt has made the paper money of The King’s Bank no longer redeemable for coin. It’s no large problem as long as some money can be found that our merchants will accept to trade with merchants in
Narrator—Here we find King Grover and Sir Ludwig going over a letter meant for King Roosevelt.
King Grover—Excellent, we can only hope that King Roosevelt will see the error of his ways. He needs the trade between our nations to continue as much as we do. We are ready to defend ourselves, nonetheless; our citizens have always been great soldiers willing to defend their country.
Sir Ludwig--- I certainly hope it doesn’t come to war.
Enter the Duke of Cincinnatus
Duke of Cincinnatus--- The local militia commanders have been put on alert
King Grover --- Very good, we cannot afford to take any chances.
Narrator--- Here we find King Roosevelt and Sir Hamilton going over the message from King Grover.
Sir Hamilton--- Confound that Grover! He leaves us no choice but war.
King Roosevelt--- I am afraid you are right again. The unpleasantness with “bank runners” has, as you predicted, been put down for now. Perhaps a new war with Grover will rekindle the patriotism of our people.
Sir Hamilton--- At least it will give us another pretext for rounding up unpatriotic citizens who complain about the banks.
Enter the Duke of
King Roosevelt---Nonsense! All of our conquests have paid for themselves and so will this one. We’ll draft the soldiers and create the money we need. See to it Sir Hamilton.
Sir Hamilton--- Right away.
Narrator--- So King Roosevelt invaded Grover’s kingdom. However