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When man has harnessed lightning to his will,

And spanned the ocean's breadth with bows of steel;
When he has made the universe his mill,

And set the winds to work to drive his wheel;
When he has scaled the skies with ghastly mirth

To rob the stars of their stupendous powers;
When he has probed the bowels of the earth,

And gathered up the breath of all the flowers;
Will he then pause awhile to count the dead

Whom poverty and steel have ground to dust?
Will he then heed the children's cry for bread?

Or hear the mother's wail for what is just?
Will he then square himself with God and man?
Will he repudiate the vice and crime
That have endured since being first began?

God! can he do all this? Will there be time?





ALF a century ago nearly every
is an urgent one in the modern business world.
American boy could look forward

"The problem of dealing with the aged employee The use of machinery and the stress of industrial employment have made it increasingly difficult for aged employees to hold the pace. The universal demand nowadays is for young men. Many concerns refuse to take on inexperienced men over thirty-five years of age. Moreover, men wear out faster under the increased strain. What to do with the wornout workers -that is the essence of the pension problem. To carry them on the pay roll at their regular employment means waste and disorganization of the working force; to turn them adrift is not humane. In the past, large employers of labor have tried to meet this difficulty in piecemeal fashion, by retiring aged employees on pensions in certain cases, or giving them light work, each case being provided for separately, on its own merits; now they are beginning to deal with the problem in a sympathetic fashion by adopting a uniform method of retirement with pension.

to becoming independent as a farmer or mechanic, in business or in professional life, and nearly every American girl might expect to become the wife of such a man. Today most American boys have reason to believe that throughout life they will work in some capacity as employees of others, either in private or public business, and a large percentage of the women occupy like positions. This revolutionary change has resulted from the great growth of manufacturing and mining as compared with farming; from the formation of trusts and other large business concerns; from the development of our transportation and other public utility corporations; from the marked increase in governmental functions; and, finally, from the invasion of women into industry.

As soon as we awakened to the fact that America had become largely a nation of employees, the need of a comprehensive provision for superannuated wage earners secured attention. Given the status of employee for life and the need of an old age pension* is obvious. The employee needs the pension because he cannot-or at least does not provide adequately from his wages for the period of superannuation. The employers need a comprehensive system because, while the presence of the superannuated employees in a business seriously impairs its efficiency, the dictates both of humanity and of policy prevent discharge unless his financial necessities are provided for. The demand for a pension system grows more pressing as businesses grow more stable, for in older businesses there is a constant tendency to accumulate superannuated employees. The demand becomes particularly acute when businesses grow large as well as old, for then it becomes difficult to provide for the individual needs of the abnormal employee.

As stated by the Massachusetts Commission on Old Age Pensions (January,


*The term pension is used throughout this article In its popular sense as including old age annuities.

"The motives that have induced large corporate employers to provide retirement pensions are partly economic and partly humanitarian or philanthropic. Economic motives play the leading part. This thing has been done because it has been found to be good business policy. The economic gain from the pension system is twofold; it eliminates the waste and demoralization attendant upon the continued employment of old men who have outlived their usefulness: and it helps to promote industry, contentment and loyalty on the part of the working force."

Economically, the superannuation provision may be considered as a depreciation charge. Every prudent manufacturer makes an annual charge for the depreciation of his machines, recognizing not merely physical depreciation, but lessened value through obsolescence. He looks forward to the time when the machine, though still in existence and in perfect repair, will be unprofitable, and hence must be abandoned. This annual charge for depreciation he treats as a necessary expense of the busi


From the point of view of the workingman the expense of providing old age pensions is a part of the daily cost of living. He should contribute while able to work to a fund which will sustain him when he ceases to earn.' From the point of view of the employer, the expense of providing old age pensions is a part of the current expense of his business. He should pay as he goes the accruing cost of retiring employees who will become superannuated. If the wage is insufficient to enable the workingman to provide himself with a pension, it is not a living wage. So far as the cost of the old age pension is paid by the employer for the employees' benefit, it is in substance a part of the wage. So far as such a payment by the employer is for insurance against that waste and inefficiency in his establishment

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