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Sir R. Giffen: total income, less rent, interest,
and wages of manual labor class (Essays in
Finance, 1886, vol. ii., p. 404)
manual labor class (Report of Industrial
Remuneration Conference, p. 194), 1885
(Dictionary of Statistics, p. 320), 1886
assessed to income tax alone (Essays in
VIII.-The Classes. The total amount of rent, interest, profits, and salaries was estimated some years ago as follows :Professor Leone Levi, Times, 13th January, 1885
£753,000,000 Professor Alfred Marshall, Report of Industrial
Remuneration Conference, p. 194 (1885) 675,000,000 Sir R. Giffen, Essays in Finance, vol. ii., p. 467 (1886)
720,000,000 Mr. Mulhall, Dictionary of Statistics, p. 246 818,000,000 Mr. A. L. Bowley, Statistical Society's Journal, vol. lviii., part 2, p. 284 (1891)
912,000,000 Since these estimates were made the wealth of the country has grown greatly, and on the basis of the increase in gross assessments to income tax, we estimate that the total drawn by the upper, middle, and trading classes amounts at present to about £1,190,000,000 yearly, or just under two-thirds of the total produce.
And the Masses. The total amount of wages was at the same time estimated by the statisticians : Professor Leone Levi (as above)
£ 521,000,000 Professor A. Marshall (as above) ...
500,000,000* Mr. Mulhall, Dictionary of Statistics, p. 320 467,000,000 Sir R. Giffen, Essays in Finance, vol. ii., p. 467... 550,000,000 Mr. J. S. Jeans, Statistical Society's Journal, vol. xlvii., p. 631
600,000,000 Mr. A. L. Bowley (as above)
* These estimates, which are based on average rates of wages, multiplied by the number of workers, assume, however, reasonable regularity of employment, and take no account of the fact that much of the total amount of nominal wages is reclaimed from the workers in the shape of rent. Much must, therefore, be deducted to obtain their real net remuneration.
Allowing for the increase since these estimates were made, we may safely say that the manual labor class receives for all its millions of workers only some £730,000,000.
Total (that is the entire income of the upper,
middle, and trading classes Income of manual labor class
IX.-The Two Nations. This unequal division of the fruits of the combined labor of the working community divides us, as Lord Beaconsfield said, into “two nations," widely different from each other in education, in comfort, and in security. There is some limited central territory between, and some luckier few escape from the large camp in which their fellows are toiling to the more comfortable fortress of the monopolists, from which, on the other hand, others sink into destitution from extravagance or misfortune. But for the great majority the lines between these two nations are practically impassable.
It is not that this division is based on any essential differences in the industry or morality between individuals.
"Since the human race has no means of enjoyable existence, or of existence at all, but what it derives from its own labor and abstinence, there would be no ground for complaint against society if everyone who was willing to undergo a fair share of this labor and abstinence could attain a fair share of the fruits. But is this the fact ? Is it not the reverse of the fact? The reward, instead of being proportioned to the
* In this connection it may be mentioned that the total income of the charities of the United Kingdom, including endowments, amounts to $ 10,040,000, or i per cent. of the foregoing total. 62,040,000 of this, it may be added, is expended upon Bible societies alone (Mulhall, Dictionary of Statistics, p. 112). The total cost of poor relief in 1905-6 was £16,651,663 (Statistical Abstract, Cd.—3691, 1907, p. 59).
labor and abstinence of the individual, is almost in an inverse ratio to it; those who receive the least, labor and abstain the most (John Stuart Mill, Fortnightly Review, 1879, p. 226, written in 1869).
We have seen what the two nations" each receive : it remains to estimate their respective numbers, and the following facts supply materials for this computation :
(a) The Comparatively Rich. (b) The Comparatively Poor.
It has been shown that the Mr. Mulhall, Dict. adult males without professed of Statistics, p. occupation numbered 663,656 in 320 ; families... 4,774,000 1901. This represents a popula- Mr. L. G. Chiozza tion of about 2,650,000, all of whom Money, Daily were living on incomes not derived Mail Year Book, from any specified occupation.
1908, estimates About one-seventieth part of that the lower the population owns far
middle and than one-half of the entire accu- working classes mulated wealth, public and private, number
39,000,000 of the United Kingdom (Chiozza The number of persons "emMoney, Riches and Poverty, p. 72). ployed" at wages in the industries
The landlords (of more than ten of the Kingdom is placed at acres) number only 176,520, owning thirteen to fourteen millions, ten-elevenths of the total area and this includes over four (Mulhall, Dictionary of Statistics, million women.
Mr. J. S. Jeans, More than one-half the area of Statistical Socithe whole country is owned by ety's Journal,vol. 2,500 people (Chiozza Money, xlvii., p. 631, Riches and Poverty, p. 75).
places the numThe mortgage upon the industry ber at about ... 14,000,000 of the community known as the Sir R. Giffen, National Debt was owned, in 1880, Essays in Fi. by only 236,514 persons, 103,122 nance,
vol. ii., of whom shared in it only to the p. 461 (separate extent of less than £ 15 per annum incomes of mancach (Mulhall, Dictionary of Sta- ual labor class)... 13,200,000 tistics, p. 262).
Prof. Leone Levi, Only sixty-nine out of every Times, 13th Jan., 1,000 persons dying leave behind 1883 (number of them £ 300 worth of property (in
workers in mancluding furniture, etc.), and only ual labor class in ninety-seven per 1,000 leave any 1881) ... 1 2,200,000 property worth mentioning at all. Sir Giffen,
The number of estates upwards Labor Commisof £ 10,000 in value in 1906-7 sion Statistics, upon which Estate Duty was paid
six and a quarter was 4,172, their capital value was million families £218,253,558. They include five- of wage earners, sevenths of the total net capital of or persons 13,000,000
* These include many banks, insurance companies, foreign potentates, and others not to be included in the present computation.
(a) The Comparatively Rich. (b) The Comparatively Poor. the estates liable for duty (Inland Mr. A. L. Bow. Revenue Report, C.-3,686).
ley, Statistical In 1906-7 the estates of 86
per- Society's Joursons were proved for £ 68,294,278, nal, June, 1895, or nearly one-quarter
of the value manual laborers 13,000,000 of all estates. Of these, ten were 39,000,000 take £900,000,000 more than £1,000,000, eighteen (Chiozza Money, Daily Mail over £500,000, fifty-eight over Year Book, 1908). £250,000 (Cd. —3,686).
Nine hundred and three out Mulhall estimates that there of every 1,000 persons (about were, in 1889, 222,000 families of half of whom are adults) die the gentry, 604,000 families of the without property worth speakmiddle class, 1,220,000 families of ing of, and 931 out of every the trading class; in all only 1,000 without furniture, investabout two million families above ments, or effects worth £300 the manual labor class of less than (Cd.-3,686). five million families (Dictionary of From returns obtained from Statistics, p. 320).
8,121 Private and Government More than one-third of the entire Works, employing 862,363 perincome of the United Kingdom is sons, it appears that the average enjoyed by less than one-thirtieth annual wage per head amounted of its people (Chiozza Money, Riches to not more than £ 50. These and Poverty, p. 42).
returns include the police and The income tax payers number other public servants, but do only 1,000,000 to 1,100,000. One- not take any account of agrininth of the entire population cultural and general laborers enjoy roughly one-half of the (Annual Report of Labor Deentire national income (Chiozza partment Board of Trade, Money, Daily Mail Year Book, 1893-4, C.-7,565). 1908).
Mr. L. G. Chiozza Money estimates that 1,250,000 people take £600,000,000 a year, 3,750,000 people take £250,000,000 (Daily Mail Year Book, 1908).
X.-The Competitive Struggle. Disguise it as we may by feudal benevolence, or the kindly attempts of philanthropists, the material interests of the small nation privileged to exact rent for its monopolies, and of the great nation thereby driven to receive only the remnant of the product, are permanently opposed. “The more there is allotted to labor the less there will remain to be appropriated as rent ” (Fawcett, Manual of Political Economy, p. 123).
It is therefore "the enormous share which the possessors of the instruments of industry are able to take from the produce" (J. S. Mill, quoting Feugueray, Principles of Political Economy, p. 477, Popular Edition of 1865), which is the primary cause of the small incomes of the comparatively poor. That neither class makes the best possible social use of its revenues, and that both waste much in
extravagance and vice, is an apparently inevitable secondary result of the unequal division, which it intensifies and renders permanent ; but it is a secondary result only, not the primary cause. Even if the whole "manual labor class " received ! 50 per adult, which is the average income of those who are best off, and made the best possible use of it, it would still be impossible for them to live the cultured human life which the other classes demand for themselves as the minimum of the life worth living. It is practically inevitable that many of the poor, being debarred from this standard of life, should endeavor to enjoy themselves in ways not permanently advantageous to themselves or to society.
The force by which this conflict of interests is maintained, without the conscious contrivance of either party, is competition, diverted, like other forces, from its legitimate social use. The legal disposers of the great natural monopolies are able, by means of legally licensed competition, to exact the full amount of their economic rents; and the political economists tell us that so long as these
atural monopolies are left practically unrestrained in private hands, a thorough remedy is impossible.
In 1874, Professor Cairnes thought that some help might be found (at any rate by the better-paid laborers) by means of cooperation in production. He then wrote:
“ If workmen do not rise from dependence upon capital by the path of cooperation, then they must remain in dependence upon capital; the margin for the possible improvement of their lot is confined within narrow barriers, which cannot be passed, and the problem of their elevation is hopeless. As a body, they will not rise at all. A few, more energetic or more fortunate than the rest, will from time to time escape, as they do now, from the ranks of their fellows to the higher walks of indus. trial life, but the great majority will remain substantially where they are. The remuneration of labor, as such, skilled or unskilled, can never rise much above its present level” (Professor J. E. Cairnes, Some Leading Principles of Political Economy, p. 348 ; 1874).
Thirty years have passed away since these words were written, and it must now be apparent, even to the most sanguine of individualists, that the chance of the great bulk of the laborers ever coming to work upon their own land and capital in associations for co-operative production, has become even less hopeful than it ever was; and Dr. J. K. Ingram tells us that modern economists, such as Professors T. E. Cliffe Leslie and F. A. Walker, regard the idea as “chimerical” (Article on " Political Economy in Encyclopædia Britannica, vol. xix., p. 382). Even so friendly an economist as Lord Courtney agrees in this view. Yet this, according to authorities so eminent, is the only hope for the laborer under the present arrangements of society, or any other that the professor could suggest.
XI.-Some Victims of the Struggle. The statistics hitherto quoted have been mainly based on the assumption of reasonable regularity of employment. But of the great permanent army of the "unemployed," no reliable statistics can be obtained. From returns rendered to the Labor Department of the Board of Trade by Trade Unions, it appears that in the seven years, 1896-1902, the mean percentage of members unemployed was