The Inaugural Address by the President of the Manchester Association of Eni;ineers Mr. Just as it is against public policy to allow an employer to engage a woman to work excessive hours or under insanitary conditions, so it is equally against public policy to permit him to engage her for wages in- sufficient to provide the food and shelter, without which she cannot continue in health. The following essay is based on a contrast between liberal and socialist democracy from a political perspective. We do not here refer to the differences of remuneration that are commensurate with differences of personal capacity, whether physical or mental : these, like the differences in advantageousness of different sites and soils, with their equivalent differences of land rent, will, by the economist, easily be put on one side. The capitalists who have present goods for sale are relatively few ; the proletarians who must buy them are innumerable. But neither workmen nor employers in Lancashire realise that in this matter of foreign markets they have to face no less dangerous competitors at their own doors. Because the total produce is diminished it does not follow that the.
Workers who may not take time to consider many workplace issues in other working environments often develop a habit of doing so under democratic systems. An analysis of the terms, concepts and the question will then follow. Now that America is back to a New Gilded Age of rabid inequality and arbitrary management, it seems fitting that industrial democracy is back on the table. If, however, the men have a limit to the supply of labor, no matter what the profits are, fresh capital cannot be introduced, because if a man starts fresh vats he will have no workmen to go on with. Con- siderations of locality and connection, of variety of demand, of the lack of capital, and, above all, the absence of desire or capacity to manage a larger business, set limits to the indefinite extension of even the most advantageously placed firm. If this is conceded, and is not followed by increased efficiency, the rise in cost of production and therefore in price can scarcely fail actually to cause some of the men in employment to be discharged. Their minds were directed to other problems : to the evil that was being wrought by industrial and political restrictions, which the generation of statesmen whom they taught have since largely removed.
Dieses Land blieb beim ,Kalten Krieg' außen vor, entwickelte intensive Kontakte zur Dritten Welt und lenkte die internationale Aufmerksamkeit auf sich, indem es die Arbeitnehmer aktiv an der Betriebsdemokratie beteiligte. This, however, is not the actual sequence of events. But this does not affect unless, indeed, adversely the economic position of the class itself. What is even more important, the employer, knowing the state of the market for his product, can form a clear opinion of how much it is worth his while to give, rather than go without the labor altogether, or rather than postpone it for a few weeks. This will certainly diminish their export sales, and might even close particular markets altogether.
In capacity of bargaining the servant is normally as good as the mistress, whilst in technical knowledge she is usually vastly superior. Various approaches to industrial democracy provide employees or their representatives with varying degrees of power to influence decision-making processes in their organization. This unlucky prophecy was written in that year, of colossal business profits, 1873! By constantly insisting upon taking, as the standard on any point, the lowest translation made by any candidate for employment, he is able gradually to beat all the others down to that level. Mill, Principles of Political Economy, Book V. What the manufacturer seeks is in some way to! Even in' the rare cases in which the absence of a single workman is seriously inconvenient to the capitalist employer, this is unknown to any one outside his office. We assume that there is only a single situation vacant and only one candidate for it. Bernard, and published as L'Unionisme des Ouvriers en Angleterre.
The customer, on the other hand, is as free as air. There is first the difference of alternative. It is also claimed by one school of co-operators. If we desire to reduce these Unemployable to a minimum, it is necessary, as regards each of the sub- sections, to pursue a twofold policy. Our remarks as to parasitic trades apply, therefore, to all bdustries whatsoever, in so far as they are parasitic 760 Trade Union Theory of these two sources of industrial advantage, that the regu- lated trades would expand steadily, generation after genera- tion, improving the quality of their products even more rapidly than reducing their price, and thus tending to oust their rivals principally in the more complicated productive processes and the finer grades of workmanship. The little retailer, with a narrow range of clients, cannot buy sufficient of any one article to enable him to deal directly with the maker he cannot, moreover, communicate with the large number of separate manufacturers whose products he sells f nor could he spare the capital to pay cash for his stock. As a matter of fact, what would happen would be the adoption, as the National Minimum, of the wages actually paid by the better establishments, who would accordingly be affected only to the extent of finding their competitors put on the same level as themselves.
We must there- fore clear the ground of this obsolete criticism before we can proceed to estimate Trade Union pretensions in the light of the economic science of to-day. What happens first is that the increase in the demand shows itself in the receipt of unusually large orders by the manufacturers. And there are many who would welcome a re-organisation of industry which, by concentrating employment exclusively among 784 Trade Union Theory those in regular attendance, would tend to exclude from wage -labor, and to set free for domestic duties, an ever- increasing proportion of the women having young children to attend to. Meanwhile, the economists themselves were undermining the structure which they had hastily erected. Hence the wholesale The Higgling of the Market 669 house stands in constant danger of losing his clients, the smaller ones because they cannot buy cheaply enough to. Nor is it in any difference in bargain- ing power.
On the other hand, the impulse for cheapness, of which the consumer is the unconscious source, grows in strength as it is transmitted from one stage of bargaining to another, until at last, with all its accumulated weight, it settles like an incubus on the isolated workman's means of subsistence. But apart from these considerations of mere self-interest, the typical capitalist manufacturer of the present generation, with his increasing. To none of these questions can even an approximate answer be given. Apart from actual disease or disablement, the workman and his wife and family are constantly suffering from minor ailments, brought about by unwholesome or deficient food, bad sanitatior. Industrial democracy cannot succeed unless all concerned-workers, employers, government and the public-fully realize its importance and its due place in the national life. Similarly, it does nothing to deprive mills enjoying a special convenience of site, the newest and best machinery, valuable patent rights or trade connections, of the exceptional profits due to these advan- tages.
The continued exist- ence of the wholesale trader is thus as economically advantageous to all but the largest manufacturers as it is to all but the largest retailers. Meaning of Industrial Democracy 2. But this takes both time and capital. Hence a comparatively small addition to weekly wages, a more equitable piecework list, a larger degree of consideration in fixing the hours for beginning or quitting work, the intervals for meals and the arrangements for holidays, greater care in providing the little comforts of the factory, or in rendering impossible the petty tyrannies of foremen, — any of these ameliorations of the con- itions of labor will suffice, without serious inroads on profits, o attract to a firm the best workers in the town, to gain for it a reputation for justice and benevolence, and to give the employer's family an abiding sense of satisfaction whenever they enter the works, or cross the thresholds of their opera- tives' homes. In their present form, however, these sections are admittedly unworkable, and no serious effort has yet been made to cope with the evils revealed by the House of Lords' Committee on the Sweating System in 1890.
In return for the specified wage, the workman has impliedly agreed to give work of the currently accepted standard of quantity and quality. The reader of our descriptions of the elaborate standard ratesjand piecework lists, the scales fixing working hours and limiting overtime, and the special rules for sanita- The Higgling of the Market 701 tion and safety, which together make up the body of Trade Union Regulations, will appreciate with what fervor and persistency the Trade Unions have pursued this object of giving the indispensable definiteness to the Standard of Life of each section of wage-earners. And English steam-engines, tools, and machinery are bought by the foreigner in yearly increasing quantities, not because they are lower -priced than many continental manufactures, but because they more than retain their pre- eminence in quality. Hence a shopkeeper is always on the look-out for something which he can sell at a lower price than has hitherto been customary, or cheaper than his competitors are. The very fact that an agricultural tenant, unlike a mine owner or a cotton manu- facturer, is not held rigidly to his bargain with his landlord, and is frequently excused a part of his rent in unprofitable years, prevents that vigorous weeding out of the less efficient, and that constant supwsession of the unfit, which is one of the main factors of the efficiency of Lancashire.
If the product seriously tails orf' in quality relatively to the price demanded, he can go else- where ; and he makes, moreover, quite as large a percentage on low-grade goods as on those of standard excellence. She ought to hold the same, namely that legislation cannot interfere eflfectually between parents and children in the present state of the labor-market. A capitalist employer who looks forward, not to one but to many years' produc- tion, and who regards his business as a valuable property to be handed down from one generation to another, will, if only for his own sake, bear in mind the probable effect of any reduction upon the permanent efficiency of the establish- ment. From the standpoint of industrial efficiency, the most obvious characteristic of the Device of Restriction of Numbers is the manner in which it influences the selection of the factors of production. This develops the sprit of tolerance and co-operation which is useful in a democratic society. Moreover, the tramp after another employer may often mean the breaking up of his home, removal from his friends, dislocation of his children's educa- tion, and all the hundred and one discomforts of migration or exile.