Wages and Earnings of the Working Classes: Report to Sir Arthur Bass, M.P.

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J. Murray, 1885 - England - 151 pages
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Page 1 - Is the present system or manner whereby the products of industry are distributed between the various persons and classes of the community satisfactory ? Or, if not, are there any means by which that system could be improved?
Page 127 - The figures show the wages earned per week of 60 hours np to 1874, and of 56$ hours since : MILL A. This is a large mill, and the weavers' earnings per week are arrived at by taking the total earnings of the shed and dividing that sum by the number of weavers employed. The reduction in earnings of weavers in 1870 was due to the fact that the material used at that time was not so good as that in use immediately before and since. MILL B. MILL C. In 1850 a weaver received $2.51 for attending to one...
Page 30 - With the enormous increase of wealth in the United Kingdom, the position of the working classes has likewise greatly improved. In a large number of instances working men of 1857 have become middle-class men of 1884. Many a workman of that day has now a shop or an hotel, has money in the bank or shares in shipping or mills.
Page 36 - A sudden increase of wages, as in the colliery districts in 1872-3, may find the recipients utterly unprepared for their good fortunes. And so we have heard of miners indulging in champagne wine, and of puddlers purchasing for themselves sealskin waistcoats. But reason speedily asserts her higher sway. The housewife eagerly arrests a portion of the higher wages to furnish the bare rooms, to fill the empty cupboard, and to clothe the children. Little by little, as the novel condition with its bountiful...
Page 30 - ... in shipping or mills. Cases of rising from the ranks are by no means so rare as we might imagine. But working men of the present day are much better off than they were twenty-seven years ago, for all wages are higher. In 1857 the wages of common labourers were 15s. to 17s. a week; now they are from 20s. to 22s., showing an increase of 30 per cent. In 1857 a joiner got 27s.; now he gets 33s.
Page 42 - ... they have made by hard treatment of their workmen, thus perhaps earning a reputation for great munificence. No serious improvement will take place in the continuity of employment, or the rate of wages, or the well-being of the working classes, until public opinion treats the wealth of the capitalist as a fund entrusted to him by society, to be administered for the benefit of society, and more especially of that particular group of workers for which he is responsible. I say his wealth, not his...
Page 35 - ... of them. The new hope, the enlarged opportunity, would make the better elements among them self-respecting and frugal ; their leisure would not all go to the uses of the flesh. The most careful English student of this question, Professor Leone Levi, bears this testimony : " As a rule, and in the long run, scarcity, low wages, and scantiness of food go hand in hand with high mortality, drunkenness, and crime ; while abundance, high wages, and full consumption go hand in hand with low mortality,...
Page 96 - To board, lodge, clothe, and forward to their homes, or to their nearest consuls, if foreigners, all wrecked seamen or other poor persons of all nations.
Page 50 - The reason why, in spite of the increase of productive power, wages constantly tend to a minimum which will give but a bare living, is that, with increase in productive power, rent tends to even greater increase, thus producing a constant tendency to the forcing down of wages.
Page 50 - This is mine!" To recapitulate: The effect of increasing population upon the distribution of wealth is to increase rent, and consequently to diminish the proportion of the produce which goes to capital and labor, in two ways: First, By lowering the margin of cultivation. Second, By bringing out in land special capabilities otherwise latent, and by attaching special capabilities to particular lands. I am disposed to think that the latter mode, to which little attention has...

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