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of civilisation are deeply staked on this great issue. No country is more vitally concerned in the problem than England. She trades with all the world, because all the world buys her products; but by this very fact she is brought into competition with the industries of every country. Any change in the cost of production of any of her manufactures might strip her of a large trade, and thereby deprive her of the power, not only of maintaining her wealth, but of feeding her people. On no subject, therefore, is the duty of all more clear and more imperative than on the relation between employers and employed to analyse its elements, to discover the truths—the facts and principles—which underlie it, and to bring them home to the understanding of every man in the nation. The truths thus obtained will often need to be repeated. A truth is not established in universal reception by its first recognition. Every teacher addressing a body of students must repeat; the things taught must often be sounded in their ears before it can penetrate their minds. Many Political Economists of distinguished ability have treated this very question with eminent power; yet little of what they have shown to be true has sunk into the understandings of millions. The same teaching must be incessantly repeated for a long time to come. "Nothing is taught well," says Matthew Arnold, "except what is known familiarly and taught often."
That it is in the highest degree desirable that masters and men should work together in harmony no sane man will dispute. The only question that can arise is, Is it possible? The answer to it must be found by a careful examination of the points of difference. But shall see, has generated the same mischievous results in the market for the hiring of labourers.
2. A second element of the supply must be provided by the purchaser of labour,—the supply of tools. In many trades the labourers bring their tools with them: the gardener his spade and barrow, the mason his trowel. To that extent the labourer is a capitalist, and the use of his capital, as well as its wear and tear, must be paid for. In the terms on which such labourers are engaged, remuneration for this capital is necessarily, if not expressly included in the bargaining for wages.
3. Supply presents a third element which exercises a powerful influence over wages,—the article actually supplied varies widely in kind. There is as broad a difference in the nature and value of the labour given, even by hard-working and honest labourers, as between a cotton and a silk dress. In the same employment, the dull and the quick-witted man furnish labour of very diverse value; if they receive the same wage, the intelligent man will be the first to be engaged, the last to be discharged. He will obtain a higher reward than the average of the class to which he belongs: he will be made a foreman, or become the mate in a merchant ship. What the wages are worth to the giver, what he obtains in return for them, must, in the long run, be the principle which governs their quantity. The contrast is more striking when different trades are compared. The wages of the highly-educated and skilful watchmaker far exceed those of the agricultural labourer; the puddler receives more on Saturday evening than the common miner. Where education, long-training, and knowledge are acquired, their cost must be repaid, or men with these qualities will not be supplied. Some writers have contended that the expenses of education do not enter into account on the day of bargaining. The men only, just as they are, are thought of and dealt with at the time of hiring. In strictness this principle holds good of every purchase, of every exchange. On the day of sale, goods fetch the price which the state of the market establishes; long calculations and regrets as to what the horse cost to rear will not persuade the buyer to give more for him than his market value. Nevertheless the other principle, that education, training, in a word cost of production, must be repaid, remains true and is the real ruler of the market. If parents found that the training, so heavy for them, given to their children is not compensated by higher remuneration, they would not encounter the expense of the education. If the skilled labourers are supplied permanently, it can only be because their cost is repaid.
4. There remains a fourth element in the supply of labourers, and it is the most important, the most difficult to regulate, the most influential over wages, and the most powerful over the happiness or misery of nations: the number of the labourers who must of necessity offer themselves for hiring. Supply varies in reference to demand in all markets; the irregularity is redressed by a process, which in other markets except that of labour, may involve loss and suffering, but still is comparatively rapid and easy. But the regulation of the supply of labour encounters two difficulties of the most peculiar and formidable kind. First, the labourer is supplied long before he can be brought to market he is
"ng against the equilibrium of the market for An we have already seen, man, like every Ttal, is capable of multiplying his numbers
much faster than food increases, and this tendency is ever fighting against the inexorable laws which govern human subsistence on earth. It has been calculated that the human race, with adequate means of living, can easily double its number in twenty-five years. This tendency can be controlled by two forces only: moral restraint acting on marriage, and want, with its various forms of misery, culminating in death. It cannot be doubted that the numbers of every population on the globe are in a certain degree reduced by want, in one or other of its forms. Inadequate food and clothing, want of shelter against climate, the failure of harvests and famine, manifold forms of disease especially in childhood, neglect, lack of medical help, wild habits and war, shorten life more or less largely below its otherwise natural duration. More human beings are born than the necessary means of subsistence can keep alive.
This excess varies much in different countries, partly in consequence of the effects of climate on the supply of food, but still more from the moral force which civilisation brings to bear on the tendency to over-multiply. Man is not left by the constitution of the world the helpless victim of animal instincts. Moral powers are implanted in his nature, which enable him to control, more or less successfully, the elements of his being. In the matter of population he is capable of perceiving and reflecting on the consequences of thoughtless marriage. It is a well established fact, that as men increase in comfort, and have much to lose by recklessness, a strong tendency to prudence in marriage is developed. The rich notoriously hesitate to contract marriage until a