Social Aspects of Industry: A Survey of Labor Problems and Causes of Industrial Unrest

By S. Howard Patterson | Go to book overview
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of this ideal. Remedial as well as preventive measures are necessary. Provisions must be made for the victims of modern industry. These include (1) medical and surgical care, (2) educational or rehabilitation work, in order that the injured worker may become economically independent so far as possible, and (3) financial assistance in the form of social insurance.The common generalization that the enterpriser assumes the risks of industry is not entirely true. Although he assumes important financial risks for the capital invested, which may justify the existence of profits, the worker bears many of the so-called "human" risks of industry. Previous chapters have indicated that there is no guarantee to labor of a living wage, and the following chapter will discuss the problem of economic insecurity and unemployment. In addition to the constant hazard of occupational accident or sickness, there is also the hovering spectre of a dependent old age.For the financial compensation of those individuals who are the victims of the hazards of modern economic organization, social insurance has been developed. This is an application of the principles of insurance to the human risks of industry, the financial incidence of which is diffused throughout society in general. Although often voluntarily undertaken by private corporations and by trade unions, social insurance implies the element of compulsion, general application, and governmental supervision. State subsidy is justified because of the reduction in the number of appeals to public and private charity.Workmen's compensation laws provide for a remuneration to the victims of industrial accidents in proportion to the loss of earning power which results. They are a distinct advance over the older employers' liability acts, because the employee is no longer obliged to bring suit, nor to prove the direct responsibility of the employer.Although compulsory sickness insurance has developed in Europe on a wide scale, it is almost unknown in America. Dependent old age may be avoided by either old-age pensions, as in Great Britain, or by old-age insurance as in Germany. Neither plan has made much progress in America. Perhaps the most debatable type of social insurance is that of unemployment insurance. This will be discussed in the following chapter.
Collateral Reading
ATKINS W. E. and LASSWELL H. D., "Labor Attitudes and Problems", chap. 11.
BLOOMFIELD D., "Problems of Labor", pp. 313-339 and 413-419.
BLUM S., "Labor Economics", chap. 7.
BOSSARD J. H. S., "Problems of Social Well-being", chaps. 19 and 20.
CARLTON F. T., "History and Problems of Organized Labor", pp. 360-387.
CATLIN W. B., "The Labor Problem", chap. 5.
COMMONS J. R., Editor, "Trade Unionism and Labor Problems", see. ser., part I.


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Social Aspects of Industry: A Survey of Labor Problems and Causes of Industrial Unrest
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