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It not the reverse of the fact ?. The reward, instead of being proportioned to the 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
The number of persons
emtion of about 2,650,000, all of whom ployed" at wages in the industries were living on incomes not derived of the Kingdom is placed at from any specified occupation. thirteen to fourteen millions,
About one-seventieth part of and this includes over four the population owns far
million women. than one-half of the entire accu- Mr. J. S. Jeans, mulated wealth, public and private, Statistical Sociof the United Kingdom (Chiozza ety's Journal,vol. Money, Riches and Poverty, p. 72). xlvii., p. 631,
The landlords (of more than ten places the numacres) number only 176,520, owning ber at about ... 14,000,000 ten-elevenths of the total area Sir R. Giffen, (Mulhall, Dictionary of Statistics, Essays in Fi. P. 341).
nance, vol. ii., More than one-half the area of p. 461 (separate the whole country is owned by incomes of man2,500 people (Chiozza Money, ual-labor class). 13,200,000 Riches and Poverty, p. 75).
Prof. Leone Levi, The mortgage upon the industry Times, 13th Jan., of the community known as the 1885 (number of National Debt was owned, in 1880, workers in manby only 236,514 persons,* 103,122 ual-labor class in of whom shared in it only to the 1881)
12,200,000 extent of less than £ 15 per annum Sir R. Giffen, each (Mulhall, Dictionary of Sta- Labor Commististics, p. 262).
sion Statistics, Only thirty-nine out of every
six and a quar. 1,000 persons dying leave behind ter million fami. them 300 worth of property (in
lies cluding furniture, etc.), and only earners, or persixty-one per 1,000 leave any
13,000,000 property worth mentioning at all. Mr. A. L. BowThe number of estates of £ 10,000
ley, Statistical and upwards in value in 1901.2 Society's Jourupon which Estate Duty was paid nal, June, 1895, was 3,829; their capital value was manual laborers 13,000,000 £190,715,094. They include two
* 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. thirds of the total net capital of Persons with incomes of less the estates liable for duty. (Inland than £160 and their families Revenue Report, C-1,717.) number 38,000,000 and take
In 1901-2 the estates of 149 per- 880,000,000 (Chiozza Money, sons were proved for £62,467,800. Řiches and Poverty, p. 42). Of these, 'four were more than Nine hundred and thirty-nine £ 1,000,000, nineteen
out of every 1,000 persons 500,000, forty-five over £250,000, (about half of whom are adults) and eighty-one between £150,000 die without property worth and £ 250,000.
speaking of, and 961 out of More than one-third of the entire every 1,000 without furniture, income of the United Kingdom is investments, or effects worth enjoyed by less than one-thirtieth £300 (Mulhall, Dictionary of of its people (Chiozza Money, Riches Statistics, from Probate Duty and Poverty, p. 42).
Returns, p. 279). Out of The incomes of £160 per annum 62,310 estates for which Proand upwards are only one million bate was granted in 1901-2, in number. Nearly one-half of the 32,295 were less than £ 500 entire income of the United King- each; their aggregate capital dom is enjoyed by but one-ninth value was £9,719,638 (Inland of its population (Chiozza Money, Revenue Report, C-1,717). Riches and Poverty, p. 41).
From returns obtained from Mulhall estimates that there 8,121 Private and Government were, in 1889, 222,000 families of Works, employing 862,365 perthe gentry, 604,000 families of sons, it appears
that the average the middle class, 1,220,000 families annual wage per head amounted of the trading class ; in all only to only £ 48. These returns about two million families above include the police and other the manual-labor class of less than public servants, but do not five million families (Dictionary of take any account of agricultural Statistics, p. 320).
and general laborers. (Annual Mr. L. G. Chiozza Money esti. Report of Labor Department, mates that persons with incomes Board of Trade, 1893-4, Cof £700 per annum and upwards 7,565.) and their families number 1,250,000 and take £585,000,000 a year. Persons with incomes between £160 and £700 and their families number 3,750,000 and take $245,000,000 (Riches and Poverty, p. 42).
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 £ 48* 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 endeavour to enjoy themselves in ways not permanently advantageous to themselves or to society.
The force by which this conflict of interest is maintained, without the conscious contrivance of either party, is competition, divreted, 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 natural 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 industrial 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.” (Prof. 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 Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. xix., p. 382). Even so friendly an economist as Mr. Leonard 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.
* See Annual Report of Labor Department, Board of Trade, 1893-4, C—7,565
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 3'3 (Annual Report of Labor Department, Board of Trade, 1901-2, Cd-1,755). The average number of persons in London whose home is the "common lodging-house" is over 30,000; over 1,100 are every night found in the casual wards."
As regards the four millions of persons in the metropolis, Mr. Charles Booth tells us that 37,610, or 0.9 per cent., are in the lowest class (occasional laborers, loafers, and semi-criminals); 316,834, or 75 per cent. in the next (casual labor, hand-to-mouth existence, chronic want); 938,293, or 22-3 per cent., form "the poor" (including alike those whose earnings are small, because of irregularity of employment, and those whose work, though regular, is ill-paid). These classes, on or below the "poverty line" of earnings not exceeding a guinea a week per family, number together 1,292,737, or 3007 per cent. of the whole population. To these must be added 99,830 inmates of workhouses, hospitals, prisons, industrial schools, etc., making altogether nearly 1,400,000 persons in this one city alone whose condition even the most optimistic social student can hardly deem satisfactory (Labor and Life of the People, edited by Charles Booth, 1891. Vol. ii., pp. 20-21).
The ultimate fate of these victims it is not easy adequately to realize. In London alone, in 1902, no less than 34 persons, of whom 24 were fifty years old and upwards, were certified by the verdicts of coroners' juries to have died of starvation, or accelerated by privation (H.C.—279). Actual starvation is, however, returned as the cause of death in but a few cases annually; and it is well known that many thousands of deaths are directly due to long-continued under-feeding and exposure. Young children especially suffer.
In England and Wales in 1904, 90,776 deaths were registered as having taken place in workhouses, infirmaries, hospitals, and asylums, or 16'51 per cent. of the total deaths; the proportion during the ten years immediately preceding having averaged 14:25 per cent. Of these, 48,884 occurred in workhouses, 32,141 in hospitals, and 9,731 in lunatic asylums.
In London in 1904, one person in every three died in the workhouse, hospital, or lunatic asylum. Out of 75,558 deaths, 31,513 being under twenty years of age, 13,845 were in workhouses, 10,806 in hospitals, and 504 in lunatic asylums, or, altogether, 25,155 in public institutions (Registrar-General's Report, 1904, Cd-2,617).
It is worth notice that a large number of those compelled in their old age to resort to the workhouse have made ineffectual efforts at thrifty provision for their declining years. In 1890-91, out of 175,852 inmates of workhouses (one-third being children, and another third women), no fewer than 14,808 have been members of benefit societies. In 4,593 cases the society had broken up, usually
from insolvency (House of Commons Return, 1891, Nos. 366 and 130-B). It is probable that one in every three London adults will be driven into these refuges to die, and the proportion in the case of the “manual-labor class " must of course be still larger. And the number of persons who die while in receipt of out-door relief is not included in this calculation. As in 1902-3 the mean number of outdoor paupers in the metropolis was 44,899 (Cd—1,700), and the average death-rate in London was 18.7 per 1,000, it may
be assumed that upwards of 1,000 persons died while in receipt of out-door relief -often from its being insufficient.
15,727 persons died by fatal accidents in 1904 (Registrar-General's Report, C—2,617) 981 losing their lives in mines, quarries, etc., 804 on railways, 250 in working machinery, 520 by poisoning and poison. ous vapors, and 203 in building operations. These are figures for England and Wales alone, and would be much increased by including the accidents in Scotland and Ireland.
The Board of Trade Report on “Railway Accidents" during the year 1904 shows that 416 railway servants were killed, and 3,921 injured, by accidents on the lines. Of these 10 were killed and 542 injured whilst coupling or uncoupling vehicles. (Cd—2,605.)
" At present the average age at death among the nobility, gentry, and professional classes in England and Wales was 55 years; but among the artizan classes of Lambeth it only amounted to 29 years; and whilst the infantile death-rate among the well-to-do classes was such that only eight children died in the first year of life out of 100 born, as many as 30 per cent. succumbed at that age among the children of the poor in some districts of our large cities. The only real causes of this enormous difference in the position of the rich and poor with respect to their chances of existence lay in the fact that at the bottom of society wages were so low that food and other requisites of health were obtained with too great difficulty” (Dr. C. R: Drysdale, Report of Industrial Remuneration Conference, p. 130).
“Anyone who is acquainted with the state of the population of all great industrial centres, whether in this or other countries, is aware that amidst a large and increasing body of that population there reigns supreme .... that condition which the French call la misère, a word for which I do not think there is any exact English equivalent. It is a condition in which the food, warmth, and clothing, which are necessary for the mere maintenance of the functions of the body in their normal state, cannot be obtained ; in which men, women, and children are forced to crowd into dens wherein decency is abolished, and the most ordinary conditions of healthful existence are impossible of attainment; in which the pleasures within reach are reduced to brutality and drunkenness; in which the pains accumulate at compound interest in the shape of starvation, disease, stunted development, and moral degradation; in which the prospect of even steady and honest industry is a life of unsuccessful battling with hunger, rounded by a pauper's grave. . . . When the organization of society, instead of mitigating this tendency, tends to continue and intensify it ; when a given social order plainly makes for evil and not for good, men naturally enough begin to think it high time to try a fresh experiment. ! take it to be a mere plain truth that throughout industrial Europe there is not a single large manufacturing city which is free from a vast mass of people whose condition is exactly that described, and from a still greater mass, who, living just on the edge of the social swamp, are liable to be precipitated into it" (Professor Huxley, Vineteenth Century, February, 1888).
B. S. Rowntree estimated that the average income from all sources of the 11,560 working class families in York in 1899 was 325. 8fd. per week, or £85 a year. But 1,465 families, comprising 7,230 persons, that is, 15:46 per cent. of the wage-earning class and 991 per cent. of the population of York, were living in primary