Lapham's Quarterly brings us the thinking of Thomas Paine on the wisdom, or lack thereof, of using paper money as currency. An excerpt below:
By what power or authority an assembly undertakes to make paper money is difficult to say. It derives none from the constitution, for that is silent on the subject. It is one of those things which the people have not delegated, and which, were they at any time assembled together, they would not delegate. It is, therefore, an assumption of power which an assembly is not warranted in, and which may one day or other be the means of bringing some of them to punishment.
One of the evils of paper money is that it turns the whole country into stockjobbers. The precariousness of its value and the uncertainty of its fate continually operate night and day to produce this destructive effect. Having no real value in itself, it depends for support upon accident, caprice, and party, and as it is the interest of some to depreciate and of others to raise its value, there is a continual invention going on that destroys the morals of the country.
It was horrid to see, and hurtful to recollect, how loose the principles of justice were let, by means of the paper emissions during the war. The experience then had should be a warning to any assembly how they venture to open such a dangerous door again.