Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 80.djvu/265

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
261
EFFICIENCY WAGE STANDARDS
house in the entire settlement had any provision for supplying drinking water to its tenants. . . . They went to an old pump in the mill yard—360 steps from the farthest apartment, down seventy-five stairs. This town pump was the sole supply of drinking water within reach of ninety-one households comprising 568 persons. . . . Another row of one-family houses had a curious wooden chute arrangement on the back porches, down which waste water was poured that ran through open drains in the rear yard to the open drain between this row of houses and the next. They carried other things beside waste water—filth of every description was emptied down these chutes, for these six families and three families below on the first floor had no closet accommodations and were living like animals.

Interest may perhaps attach, in this connection, to the menu of one New York family, the children of which were considered by the examining physician to be undernourished.

Sunday. Breakfast, bread and tea (no milk).
Dinner, soup (from soup bone) and potatoes; bread.
Supper, bread and tea (no milk).
Monday. Breakfast, bread and tea (no milk).
Dinner, fried potatoes (lard) and gravy (made from left-over soup).
Supper, bread and tea (condensed milk in tea).
Tuesday. Breakfast, bread and tea (condensed milk in tea).
Dinner, boiled rice with tomatoes (canned).
Supper, bread and tea (condensed milk in tea).
Wednesday. Breakfast, bread and tea (condensed milk in tea).
Dinner, boiled potatoes and stewed tomatoes (canned).
Supper, bread and tea (condensed milk in tea).
Thursday. Breakfast, bread and tea (no milk).
Dinner, bread and molasses (mother out working).
Supper, boiled cabbage.
Friday. Breakfast, bread and tea (no milk).
Dinner, boiled cabbage.
Supper, bread and molasses.
Saturday. Breakfast, bread and tea (no milk).
Dinner, boiled potatoes.
Supper, bread and tea (no milk).

Individual cases, like the preceding, prove nothing, and none of the data relating to the results of low standards will provide an adequate basis for scientific deduction, but it nevertheless points to conditions such as might easily be anticipated when the discrepancy between efficiency standards and wages actually paid is considered.

Is there any way in which this lowered efficiency, due to low wage standards, can be measured? Are there any directions in which it will be felt by the working force, and hence by the employer?

The standard of living facts and the wage facts are indisputable; low standard conditions are appallingly frequent in some districts. What will the end be?

The members of those families which are forced to live on inefficiency standards are subject to a decrease in (1) physical efficiency, (2) Intel-