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Ex-President Eliot of Harvard and President Hadley
of Yale and other leading educators propose that its principles be
applied to the nation's children. Dr. Eliot insists that greater
emphasis should be laid on vocational and physical training and the
teaching of hygiene and the preservation of the health, which will
secure the approval of every "State Socialist." Anything that can be
done to elevate the health of the nation, and to increase its industrial
efficiency by the teaching of trades, will pay the nation, considered as
a going concern, a business undertaking of all its capitalists. It might
not improve the opportunity of the wage earners to rise to better-paid
positions, because it would augment competition among skilled laborers;
while it would probably improve wages somewhat, it might not advance
them proportionately to the general increase of wealth; it might leave
the unequal distribution of wealth, political power, and opportunity
even more unequal than they are to-day, but as long as the nation as a
whole is richer and the masses of the people better off, "State
Socialists" will apparently be satisfied.

President Hadley is even more definite than Dr. Eliot. The new
educational policy so thoroughly in accord with the interests of the
business and capitalist classes demands "for the people" every
opportunity in education that will make the individual a better
_worker_, while it allows his development as a _man_ and a _citizen_ to
take care of itself. President Hadley urges that we follow along German
lines in public education. What he feels we still lack, and ought to
take from Germany, are the "industrial training and the military
training of the people": the children are forced to go to the elementary
schools for a time, and during that part of their education they are
kept out of the shops and the factories. They, however, receive
instructions in the rudiments of shop and factory work."[54] In other
words, the children are kept out of the factory, but the shop and the
factory are permitted to enter the school. Doubtless an improvement, but
not yet the sort of education any business or professional man would
desire for his own children at twelve, fourteen, or sixteen years of
age.[55]

"State Socialism" looks at the individual, and especially the
workingman, almost wholly from the standpoint of what the community, as
_at present organized_, the capitalists being the chief shareholders, is
able to make out of him. Each newborn child represents so much cost to
the community for his education. If he dies, the community loses so and
so much. If he lives, he brings during his life such and such a sum to
the community, and it is worth while to spend a considerable amount both
to prevent his early death or disablement and to increase his industrial
efficiency while he lives. According to this view, Professor Irving
Fisher of Yale has calculated that the annual child crop in the United
States is worth about seven billion dollars per annum, a sum almost
equal to the annual value of our agricultural crops. In both cases great
economies are possible. Professor Fisher has estimated that 47 per cent
of the children who die in America less than five years old could be
saved at an average cost of $20 per child, which means an annual loss to
the nation of $576,000,000, according to Professor Fisher's calculation
of what would have been the future value of all the children now lost
(above their cost of maintenance).


"We have counted it our good fortune," says Professor Fisher, "to
dwell in a land where nature has been so prodigal that we have not
needed to fear want. We are only beginning to realize that this
very prodigality of nature has produced a spirit of prodigality in
men.

"It is the purpose of the conservation movement to rebuke and
correct this national trait, and the resources of science are now
concentrated in this mighty effort in that direction.

"The conservation of human life will, I believe, constitute the
grandest movement of the twentieth century.

"Not only do human beings constitute by far the greatest part of
our natural resources, but the waste of human life and strength is
by far the greatest of all wastes. In the report of President
Roosevelt's conservation commission, although his commission was
primarily appointed to conserve our natural rather than our vital
resources, it was pointed out that _human beings, considered as
capitalized working power, are worth three to five times all our
other capital_, and that, even on a very moderate estimate, the
total waste and unnecessary loss of our national vitality amounts
to _one and one half billions of dollars per year_."[56]


When the "State Socialist" policy has taken possession of the world,
which may be in the very near future, or, more correctly speaking, when
the world's business and politics are so organized as to give this
policy a chance for a full and free application, is it not evident that
every advanced nation will consider it as being to its business interest
to put an end to this vast, unnecessary loss of life? And if half a
billion a year is lost through unnecessary deaths of very young
children, is it not probable that an equal sum is lost through death
later in childhood or early youth, another similar sum through
underfeeding in later life, or through lack of sufficient exercise,
rest, recreation, and outdoor life, and a far larger amount through lack
of industrial training? Is it not certain that unnecessary industrial
accidents, sickness due to overwork and early old age due to overstrain,
are responsible for another enormous loss? And, finally, is not
unemployment costing a billion a year to the "nation, considered as a
business firm"? This last-named loss has been calculated, for the United
States alone, as 1,300,000 years of labor time annually. If a round
million of these years are saved--if we estimate their value in profits
at the low figure of $1000 each,--we have another billion (even
allowing for 300,000 unemployable).[57]

Is it not clear that nearly every element in the community will soon
combine to do all that is humanly possible to put an end to such costly
abuses and neglect; and that conscientious and wholesale efforts to
preserve the public health and to secure industrial efficiency cannot be
a matter of the distant future, when movements in that direction have
already been initiated in Great Britain, Australia, Germany, and some
other countries? Sir Joseph Ward, Premier of New Zealand, says that the
people of that country have already calculated the value of each
child--and, on this basis, made it the subject of certain governmental
investments. He says:--


"To return to the annuity fund, apart from the assistance it gives
to the wife and children if the father is sick, it also contributes
the services of a medical man for a woman at childbirth, and the
State pays $30 for that purpose. If all of this is not needed to
pay the physician, the rest may be used for carrying on the home.
This has all been done with the view to helping the birth rate and
bringing into the world children under the most healthy conditions
possible, so that they may have a free chance of attaining man's or
woman's estate.

"We assess the value of an adult in our country as $1500. So, _from
a business standpoint and on national grounds_, we regard the
expenditure of a sum up to $30 as judicious, when the value of the
infant to the country may be fifty times that sum. Thus the small
wage earner's wife and children are provided for, and his fear
about being able to provide for a large family is decreased."
(Italics mine.)[58]


"I am of the opinion," declares Mr. Churchill, "that the State should
increasingly assume the position of the reserve employer of labor," and
that "the State must increasingly and earnestly concern itself with the
care of the sick and aged, and, above all, of the children." He looks
forward "to the universal establishment of the _minimum standards_ of
life and labor, and their progressive elevation as the increasing
energies of production may permit."[59]

Mr. Churchill rejects the supposition that the government intends to
stop with the extension of the eight-hour law to miners. "I welcome and
support this measure, not only for its own sake," he said, "but more
because it is, I believe, simply the precursor of the general movement
which is in progress, all over the world, and in other industries
besides this, towards reconciling the conditions of labor with the
well-ascertained laws of science and health."[60]

It might be supposed that this measure would prove costly to employers,
but this is only a short-sighted view. In the first place, working for
less hours, the miners will produce somewhat more per hour, but an even
more important ultimate benefit comes from the fact that the most
experienced miners, those who are most profitable, being subject to less
overstrain, will have a longer working life.

Another measure already enacted towards establishing "a national
minimum" applies to the wages in ready-made tailoring and some less
important industries, to which shirt-waist making is soon to be added.
These are known as the "sweated" trades, "where the feebleness and
ignorance of the workers and their isolation from each other render them
an easy prey to the tyranny of bad masters and middlemen one step above
them upon the lowest rungs of the ladder, and themselves held in the
grip of the same relentless forces,"--where "you have a condition not of
progress but of progressive degeneration." Mr. Churchill asked
Parliament to regard these industries as "sick and diseased," and "to
deal with them in exactly the same mood and temper as we should deal
with sick people," and accordingly boards were established for the
purpose of setting up a minimum wage.[61]

But if employers are forced to pay higher wages, it may be thought that
they will lose from the law.



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Keywords: country, calculated, annual, factory, working, miners, measure, should, industries, possible
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