« السابقةمتابعة »
yond subsistence, and always plenty of workers who, for one reason or another, have that surplus for sale.
When the laborer has sold his labor, and received his fair price, as we have above set it forth,—that is, got his wages,he has no room for feeling against or in favor of his employer, any more than a shopkeeper has for or against the man who buys and pays the price for his goods.
The savings of a man's labor which buy the products of another, whether a few dollars worth, or, when aided by aceumulation, a hundred thousand dollars worth from a gang of thousands employed, gives the purchaser a property and right in those products, which is not to be challenged. Whether bought with actual barter or cash, or anticipated by credit, they constitute capital; and this accumulation by one, of the purchased surplus labor and wages of others, constitutes riches. Very few could get rich by simply laying aside a part of their own wages. ·
We broach no new theory or experiments in the labor question; we simply make it plain, and clear it from the ignorance and the prejudices that make it the instrument of envy in cheating and annoying the rich, or those supposed to be so, or of rascality in grinding the poor, or of that fatal curse of republics, the selfish, impudent, deceiving demagogism that for its own ends excites hard thoughts and worse actions between different classes of the citizens of a common society and of a common nationality. The statesinan's or socialist's question is not so much upon what the claim of labor for wages is founded, as how to get at the fair amount of those claims in any given case. If this matter were well understood, the “strikes” would look and be avoided as the crimes they are, of the same sort as thieving, as highway robbery, as murder. They destroy and dininish the property of others in both parties, they reduce them to poverty, they take life by taking the means by which they live, as well as by violence. They are to be treated as capital crimes if they cannot be controlled under any other character.
Is it expected that the laborer and workman will take these forinulas ont of his pocket, with his pencil, to apply
them and calculate whenever a hiring takes place? Hardly that, for he will always have them when once settled like other pervading convictions ;—the commonest customs and modes of acting of individual or social econoiny are the results in practice of rational conviction, sometimes recognized, oftener but a routine.'
Employment is the laborer's necessity; with the employer the questions are often various : shall I do it with more or less expense ? shall I be satisfied with less profit? shall I do it now or at another time? or shall I do it at all ?
Our object is not to ensure wages, nor to find or snggest employment. Through reading and thinking people the truth will sooner or later be transmitted through the whole social mass, and no portions of the people will make it a matter of general or of antagonistic unions and leagues.
We find, in our calculations, that some classes of labor do not receive wages enough. We find that in consequence of this inadequency, poverty, and even crime exist with all their attendant insecurity, wickedness, misery, and other social evils, and all the burdensome private, corporation, and public expenses and taxation, for repressing and meliorating and supporting it. Just and fair wages of labor will not, of course, ward off the helpless non-productive consumption of laziness, nor of congenital or induced imbecility of body or mind, nor accidents, nor sickness, but they will ameliorate, limit, and diminish them; and they will separate unavoidable calamities from the operation of public and private kindness and philanthropy, from the coercive measures and guards of civil government against wrong-doing and crime. For the importance of this, we have discussed the labor question from this point of view. There are 317,000 persons known to be assisted annually in the city of New York -the population itself of a mighty city,
We give briefly two further tests in the formulas of calculation of the proper wages of two other classes of work. men-the clerk and the bricklayer. And first the clerk. His average board in New York city is $8 a week, or $416 a year; his average of sickness is only about 8 weeks in his life; his average of life, from the age of 20, when
cknese Çed imi le cons
he commences work, is about 214 years, eqnal to 414 years for the whole life, and 44 years less than the general average life of all occupations, which by Table is 464 years; and he can work say to the age of 45. He then requires an endowment life policy to the amount of two years' support of his family, say 14 times his annual board, or $2,160, payable at his age of 45, or at his death before : the annual premium on that sum, commencing at the age of 20, is $78.71. His clothes a year, $ of his board, $139. His money for amusement and improvement, f board, $139. The interest, at 7 per cent., on the cost of his childhood, 14 years, and youth, 6 years, up to 20 years of age, or 124 times the board of his class ($3,342), is $234 a year. The husband's, proportion (4 of support of 2 children to 20 years of age) is of double his own bringing up, or 9 times the andual board of an adult of his class ($3,342), and the annual interest on this is $267.33. His State, county, and town taxes are, say $40 a year; making his total annual demands $1,313. As he can work the whole time-300 days, or 2,400 hours in a year-his wages should be $4.37% a day, 543 cents an hour.
He has no cost for preparation for his business to claim wages for, because the public schools afford that in the United States; nor for tools, or shop, or office, or convenience, as he provides none. This result bears a striking fairness upon its face.
Take still more briefly the bricklayer. Board, $5.50 a week, $286 a year. Life from 20, 223 years, or 42% in the whole, and 41 less than general average. Of this he can work 25 years, but only 200 days in a year. He can work to 45 years of age, and therefore requires an endowment insurance of two years' support of his family; 14 his annual board, or $1,544; annual premium, commencing at 20, is $56.33. Clothing, $95; spending money, $95. Interest, at 7 per cent., on his “bringing-up” till 20 ($3,646), is $255. The husband's proportion, 4 of support of 2 children to 20 years of age, $2,621. Interest on that is $183 a year. State, county, and town tax, $40. And here begin, in a small way, the claims of educated labor; he brings in a new item of claiin in the annual interest on his investment in preparation, in the shape of a diminution and loss of wages for two years of apprenticeship, say $200 a year, or $400 in all, the interest on which we may call $28 a year-hc being rated then as a mere laborer, but supported by his parents, and that support reckoned in casting their wages. The above makes his total annual claim for wages $1,038, which, divided by 200, the only amount of days in a year that a bricklayer can work, gives $5 a day, or 624 cents an hour. .
And now we will close, though we might go on, by taking other occupations, say that of the sewing girls. There we should find that, in the practice of the adniirable union houses that are in operation for them in New York, the present actual expense of their board has been from $2.75 to $3.25. This, of course, makes no allowance for the fair wages of private housekeepers who may take them to board. As a general thing, whatever is taken from the usual boarding-house price of board of a class, is subtracted from its sufficiency, wholesomeness, and cleanliness, and therefore cannot determine proper, fair, and just wages..
We might take carpenters, a class which the customs of society require to have more expensive boarding arrangements and larger personal expenses, and who must claim annual interest on their investment of capital in extended and more expensive apprenticeship and more highly educated labor, and for the additional item of interest on capital invested in tools, and workplaces, and conveniences, and motive power, and the labor of others in transportation, &c., and the longer time he lives, and the fuller number of years, and of days in a year, that he can work.
And finally, we might sketch the wages of a professional man; a lawyer, for instance. The higher board he inust pay, the larger social expenses his position imposes upon him, the great investment of capital and time in his academie, collegiate, and professional studies, and their bonub; the expense of his furnished offices and attendance, his costly library, his employment of other labor-clerk, copyist, and junior partner-his stationery and travel, all items of claim for his wages. And further than that, the impossibility of limiting
his thought, study, and toil to the set eight daily hours of labor.
But we trust we have sufficiently and plainly enough set out and provided a practical measure of the claims of wages of labor, in the different classes of human occupation.
ART. VII.-1. A Popular Treatise on Comets. By James C.
WATSON, A.M. Philadelphia, 1861. 2. A Treatise on Comets. By J. R. HIND. London. 3. Exposition du Système du Monde Mécanique céleste.
LAPLACE. 4. Histoire de l'Astronomie au dix-huitième siècle. MATHIEU. 5. Histoire de l'Astronomie ancienne et moderne. BAILLY.
THERE is no science, perhaps, which is at present making more rapid progress than that of astronomy. This advancement is not marked so much by grand and startling discoveries as by the correction and the perfecting of old and established theories. This labor is not to be performed by minds of moderate power, but the master minds of the age devote their time to it. Old theories and calculations are reëxamined with a minuteness which nothing hut a deep, interest in the subject could inspire. It is not alone in physical astronomy that progress is made; the spectroscope is revolutionizing many of our ideas in relation to the physical constitution of the celestial bodies. Well-equipped astronomical observatories are now to be found in nearly every part of the world where civilization has gained a foothold ; not only in Europe and North America, but also in South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Many individuals of wealth in this country and in Europe have established private observatories, which are either under the direction of their owners or of persons competent to take charge of them. With this multiplicity of observers scarcely a new celestial phenomenon can pass unnoticed. Formerly the principal authorities in astronomy were the Herschels, but now we have them by the score.
Cometary astronomy receives especial attention. Scarcely