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are concerned, there must evidently be a large deduction for time out of work. But when we come to boys and women, the case is still stronger. I found in Kent and other places that boys' and women's employment is very irregular, and that they are not at work more than half their time; in fact, they are only employed as supernumeraries to the men, and only taken on at busy times.”
V. Still further, Nominal and Real Wages may be made to differ through the longer or shorter duration of the power to labor.
We have seen that it is not what the laborer obtains for a single day of the week or a single month of the year which fixes his real remuneration, but that regularity of employment from month to month and quarter to quarter is a most important element in the wages problem. But neither is it what the workman receives in a single year or in a term of years which alone can determine the question of high or low wages. We need, besides, to know the total duration of his laboring power, that we may be able to compare the term of his productive with that of his unproductive life.
It is evident, supposing two persons begin to labor productively at fifteen years of age, and continue actively at work, with the same rate of nominal wages, until death, that the one receives a higher real remuneration who lives the longer, since the cost of his maintenance during the first 15 years of helpless life must, in any philosophical view of the subject, be charged upon his wages' during
1 The cost, at contract prices, of raising an orphan child to the age of 11, is computed by Mr. Chadwick (Statistical Journal, xxv. 505) at £130, or the value of a team of four first-class farm-horses.
The same eminent authority estimates the average loss of working ability, by premature deaths from preventible causes, to be at least 10 years (Stat, Journal, xxviii. 26).
"In the production of dead machinery," says Dr. Edward Jarvis," the cost of all that are broken in the making is charged to the cost of all which are completed. .... So, in estimating the cost of raising children to manhood, it is necessary to include the number of years
his period of labor. It is true that the expense was, in fact, borne by his parents, while he will himself bear the cost of the maintenance, in childhood, of his own offspring; but no one will, I believe, question that, in the economical sense, the support of each generation of laborers should be charged against its own wages,' just as truly as that a farmer, in solving the question whether a cow dying at a certain age had paid for herself, would set against the proceeds of the sales of her milk or butter the expense of rearing her.
If this principle of estimating the wages of a lifetime be accepted as just, its great practical importance will not be denied.
And first in comparison of nations.
In a paper on the Political Economy of Health, Dr. Edward Jarvis has given some most instructive tables which can not be better introduced than in the language of the British Poor-Law Commissioners of 1842 :* “ The strength of a people does not depend on the absolute number of its population, but on the relative number of those who are of the age and strength to labor.”
The following table shows the number of years spent under 20 for every 100 persons attaining that age :
that have been lived by those that fell by the way with the years of those that pass successfully through the period of development."Report Massachusetts Board of Health, 1874, p. 340.
1" Le salaire d'un ouvrier doit comprendre .... l'amortissement du capital employé par ses parents, avec lequel il peut alimenter son enfant qui le remplacera un jour dans la société.”—Jos. Garnier, Traité d'Economie Politique, p. 462.
*P. 184. Report Mass. State Board of Health, 1874, pp. 341, 342.
Again, the Life Tables of the several States show the average number of years lived after the age of 20 to be as follows:
“Thus the productive efficiency fell short of its fulness' 20.78 per cent in Norway ; 23.7 per cent in Sweden; 25.08 per cent in the United States; 28.38 per cent in Germany; 28.9 per cent in England ; 34.3 per cent in France, and 42.24 per cent in Ireland.”
Again Dr. Jarvis says, “ Having the number that are lost in the maturing period and the number of years they have lived, and also the number that die in the effective stage and the duration of their labors, it is easy to draw a comparison between them and show the cost, in years, of creating and maturing human power, and the return it makes in labor in compensation. By this double measurement of life in its incompleteness and in its fulness it is found that for every 1000 years expended in the developing period upon all that are born, both those who die and those who survive the period from birth to 20, the consequent laboring and productive years are: In Norway, 1881 years; in Sweden, 1749 years; in England, 1688 years; in the United States, 1664 years; in France, 1398 years; and in Ireland, 1148 years."
But it is not only between the populations of distinct countries that such differences in the duration of the economic force appear. Important differences in this respect are shown by mortuary statistics to exist between occupations. Thus the excessive mortality of the “ dusty
150 years, i.e. from 20 to 70 years of age.
trades” has long been the subject of scientific and official inquiry. The highly injurious effects upon the lungs of the dust of cotton and flax mingled with “China clay” and other poisonous ingredients, producing a haze in the atmosphere of some factories, and rising in a palpable cloud in others, have been thoroughly investigated and exposed by Drs. Hirt' and Buchanan.” In the “ dry-grinding” of the metals, the deadly influences are even more positive.' The following description of the steel-dust in a needle-factory will suffice for our present purpose of illustration. “I smelt the dust from one such manufactory before I was within 70 or 80 yards of it, and though in an open field ; and I could see the dust floating away like a cloud. It not only covers the roof and windows on which it settles with a brown rusty coat, till in time the glass becomes obscured almost as if it were painted, but so corrodes them as to make the slates and even the glass crumble away. The dust collects in the flues which carry it from the stove in large black stalactite-like lunps. Two such were given me, weighing over two pounds each.”
Mining may be given as an instance of an occupation where nominal wages must be heavily discounted by reason of its destructive effects on human life. When it is remembered that in addition to the great liability to fatal accident, the amount of carbonic acid gas, which in nature
* Krankheiten der Arbeiter. * Returns to the order of the House of Commons, 13th May, 1872.
* See the evidence collected by Mr. Jellinger Symons under the Eng. lish Commission of 1841; also, Dr. Greenhow's report in 1860, in the Third Report of the Medical Officer of the Privy Council.
* Report of Mr. J. E. White, Asst. Commr. Employment of Women and Children, 1865.
• Sir Thomas Bazley's report for 1870 states the number of deaths from accidents in collieries and ironstone mines at 991. In the same year 373 persons were killed in works under the Factory acts; 1378 were so injured that amputation was required, while the lesser inju. ries footed up 16,828.
"En France, ces accidents sont beaucoup plus rares, et l'exploitation
is 300-350 in 1,000,000, and does not ordinarily exceed 3000 in the stifling atmosphere of factories and workshops, often goes up to 20,000 in the air of mines,' the excessive mortality within this occupation will not be a matter of wonder. Dr. Scott Allison found the average age of the living male heads of families of the collier population at Tranent, so far as the same could be ascertained, to be 34 years, while the average age of the living male heads of the agricultural families was nearly 52 years. Dr. Allison expressed the belief that these proportions would serve as fair indications of the relative conditions of the different populations.
“So considerable,” says Dr. Neison, in a recent paper, " is the influence of occupation that the mortality in one avocation exceeds that of another by as much as 239 per
Thus taking the period of life 25 to 65, Dr. Neison finds the mean mortality in the clerical profession to be 1.12 per cent; in the legal, 1.57; in the medical, 1.81. In domestic service the mortality among gardeners was but .93; among grooms, 1.26 ; among servants, 1.67; among coachmen, 1.84. The effect of out-door exposure in all kinds of weather is here shown alike in the case of the physician and the coachman. Of several branches of manufacture, the paper manufacture showed a mean mortality of 1.45; the tin manufacture, of 1.61; the iron manufacture, of 1.75; the glass manufacture, of 1.83; the copper manufacture, of 2.16; the lead manufacture, of 2.24; the earthenware manufacture of 2.57. Among the different kinds of mining
des mines n'a jamais été mise au nombre des industries qui créent une position insupportable aux ouvriers.”—Théodore Fix, Les Classes Ouvrières, p. 146.
Dr. Angus Smith, Soc. Sc. Transactions, 1865, p. 241. ? Report of the Poor-Law Commissioners of 1842, p. 200. : Journal of the Institute of Actuaries, July, 1872, p. 98.
* The mortality among the “china-scourers” is something frightful “ In all the process the operatives are exposed to the inhaling of