Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/262

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dogmatic answer."[1] The family to which these conclusions referred is a "normal" family, consisting of a man, wife and three children under fourteen years of age.

In the same report appears an analysis of one hundred workingmen's families in Buffalo, with the conclusion that before they were applied to Buffalo, the New York figures should be reduced by $150,[2] and this estimate is probably confirmed by a later Buffalo study.[3]

In Homestead, a suburb of Pittsburgh, a recently completed study covered ninety-nine families, from whose budgets the investigation concludes: "It is not until we cross the $20 (a week) mark that we feel that the family is well provided for and need, if provident, have no fears for the future."

A report of the Maryland Labor Bureau contains the following statement relative to Baltimore: "A family of six living in any large American city on less than $1,000 will wear neither diamonds nor velvet, nor will their children get the benefits of high schools nor technical colleges; indeed, they will not have more than the necessities of life."

The available authorities are, therefore, in practical agreement that an efficiency standard of living can be maintained in the cities of the Middle States on from $750 to $900, varying with the family, the nationality and the city. Accepting these conclusions as a basis for further argument, we must next inquire how the wages actually paid compare with this efficiency standard, since the relation of workingmen to efficiency standards is, in the last analysis, measured by the wages which they receive.

How many men earn from $750 to $900? In other words, how many workmen receive sufficient wages to enable them to rear three children, give them enough nourishing food, warm clothes, a decent house, an education to their fourteenth year, and a legitimate amount of recreation? An answer to this problem is best sought in the able statistics of American wages.

The available statistics of classified wages, which are, in the last analysis, the only really valuable wage statistics, permit of conclusions regarding the wages paid to both males and females. The following table, containing a brief summary of the available data on the wages of adult males, furnishes the most accurate available answer to the question "What are wages?" For brevity, the table covers only five income groups, for each of which the cumulative percentages are set down. Throughout the table, these statistics are remarkably uniform. About one half of the adult males receive less than $13 per week ($600 per

  1. Supra, p. 246.
  2. Supra, Appendix V., prepared by John E. Howard, Jr., pp. 315-17.
  3. "Decencies which a Laborer's Wage Denies," Frederic Almy, The Survey, Vol. XXIV., p. 368 (June 4, 1910).