A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeye's fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from May 15, 2022
“Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink…”

"Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless” is a money saying that has been printed on many images. The saying is usually credited to American economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006), but it’s uncertain when he said it, and if he was the first.

“Governments are the only organizations capable of taking perfectly good paper, adding ink to it, and making it absolutely worthless” was printed in the Philadelphia (PA) Daily News on October 18, 1974. “(Rep. Louis—ed.)Jenkins said the United States government was the only organization he knew that could take perfectly good paper and perfectly good ink and ‘create something totally worthless’ as he waved a dollar bill before the audience” was printed in The Daily Review (Morgan City, LA) on July 15, 1980. “Who else but the government could take perfectly good paper, run green ink over it and make it worthless?” was printed in The Independent Record (Helena, MT) on October 22, 1985. “Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless. -MILTON FRIEDMAN” was printed in Dreams Come Due: Government and Economics as If Freedom Mattered (1986) by John Galt.


Wikipedia: Milton Freidman
Milton Friedman (/ˈfriːdmən/; July 31, 1912 – November 16, 2006) was an American economist and statistician who received the 1976 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his research on consumption analysis, monetary history and theory and the complexity of stabilization policy. With George Stigler and others, Friedman was among the intellectual leaders of the Chicago school of economics, a neoclassical school of economic thought associated with the work of the faculty at the University of Chicago that rejected Keynesianism in favor of monetarism until the mid-1970s, when it turned to new classical macroeconomics heavily based on the concept of rational expectations. Several students, young professors and academics who were recruited or mentored by Friedman at Chicago went on to become leading economists, including Gary Becker, Robert Fogel, Thomas Sowell and Robert Lucas Jr.

Newspapers.com
18 October 1974, Philadelphia (PA) Daily News, “Our Hero: Readers Pick Larry Over Ford,” pg. 28, col. 5:
Governments are the only organizations capable of taking perfectly good paper, adding ink to it, and making it absolutely worthless.
-- A. G. Mutimer

Newspapers.com
15 July 1980, The Daily Review (Morgan City, LA), Jenkins blames tax hike on Long,” pg. 1, col. 3:
(Rep. Louis “Woody” Jenkins of Baton Rouge.—ed.)
Deficit spending, Jenkins said, results in too much money in circulation. Jenkins said the United States government was the only organization he knew that could take perfectly good paper and perfectly good ink and “create something totally worthless” as he waved a dollar bill before the audience.

Newspapers.com
22 October 1985, The Independent Record (Helena, MT), “The word now is buy platinum” by Karen E. Davis, pg. 3E, col. 1:
Who else but the government could take perfectly good paper, run green ink over it and make it worthless?

Google Books
Dreams Come Due:
Government and Economics as If Freedom Mattered

By John Galt
New York, NY: Simon and Schuster
1986
Pg. 63:
Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless. -MILTON FRIEDMAN

Google Books
State of the Mining Industry in the Northwest: Hearing (August 20, 1986)
United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Subcommittee on Natural Resources Development and Production
Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office
1987
Pg. 69:
THE CHAIRMAN. (...) I don’t know anybody but the government that can take perfectly good paper and perfectly good ink and make them both worthless. But that’s what managed currency leads to. And we have seen it in the late 1970’s.

Newspapers.com
30 November 1987, The Beacon Journal (Akron, OH), Scott Burns column, pg. B4, col. 4:
There is an old joke...only government can take perfectly good paper, put ink on it and make it completely worthless by calling it money.

Google Books
Cuba’s Transition to Democracy:
Lessons from the Former Soviet Bloc:
A Conference
Miami, FL: The Endowment
1992
Pg. 230:
As Milton Friedman said, “Only government can take perfectly good paper , cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless.”

Newspapers.com
6 February 1999, Newsday, “Pataki Speech Evokes Reagan” by Liam Pleven, pg. A16, col. 1:
(New York Governor George Pataki, speaking at the University of Chicago Law School.—ed.)
“A philosophy spoken so eloquently by that genius from the University of Chicago, Milton Friedman, who Reagan so loved to quote, who said, ‘Only government can take perfectly good paper, and cover it with perfectly good ink, and make the combination perfectly worthless.’”

Google Groups: alt.politics.usa.congress
Killing the American Dream
Billy Beck
Mar 14, 1995, 2:42:17 AM
(...)
Clearly, this person has no idea what money is.

“Only the government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink, and make the combination worthless.”

(Milton Friedman)

Twitter
Scott
@sdgibson
Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless. Milton Friedman
10:10 AM · Feb 17, 2009·Twitter Web Client

Twitter
Sergei Perfiliev 🇺🇦
@perfiliev
“Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless.” - Milton Friedman.
2:02 PM · May 11, 2022·Twitter Web App

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Military/Religion /Health • Sunday, May 15, 2022 • Permalink