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fall than any sharp choice between low wages and the easy money of wrong-doing. During a certain period in Osaka one-half of the number of criminal girls arrested had been factory hands. Can those who have been released from fatigue endure that the weaker should suffer this physical and moral pressure?
Legislation stops at the point of fatigue. Can the Christian conscience rest there? Must it not demand for labor the same right of development that is enjoyed by any other group in the community? The developing life depends upon adequate leisure. Raymond Robins says that when he worked in a coal mine twelve hours a day, the only thing he felt like doing with his evenings was to spend them in the saloon, but when he got work in a metal mine in the West with an eight-hour day, he began to read. It was the opening of his career. Modern machinery and organization have made possible the relief of labor from excessive toil. Who are obligated above others to see that this benefit is not appropriated forever by the few, but actually shared by the many ?
In India, ten or twelve cents is the day's wage for the manual labor of men, three or four cents for women. The wage of the common laborer in non-Christian countries averages about one eighth to one tenth that in America. It is not enough to answer that living is cheap. It is a low standard of living that makes it possible for a vast majority of people in these lands to live at all.
Even in America in normal times fifty per cent of the adult male workers earn less than $500 a year-less than enough to provide a decent standard of living for the average family. We are again face to face with the effects of industrial conditions upon the higher life. The lack of a living wage joins with overwork to weaken the physical and moral vitality of the worker. Family life, the first school of morals, is reduced to its lowest power. The relation between wages and vice has perhaps been overstated, but the undeniable fact is that the armies of vice are recruited from the regions of low income. The Illinois State Vice Commission reports: "Your Committee finds (1) That poverty is the principal cause, direct and indirect, of prostitution.” It is the result of the continuous pressure of poverty upon the life of the family as well as that of the growing girl. This is also the root cause of the heavy mortality and delinquency rate of industrial workers. The results must be reckoned in community terms. When industry maintains itself by paying less than living wages, it is piling up a great deficit in human life for the community to meet. Does this imply that the first charge upon any industry must be the proper maintenance of all who are engaged in it?
Again the Christian conscience has recorded itself on the statute books, but dare we stop with minimum wage laws? A minimum wage will give a living, but it will not give a life. It takes income to provide books, recreation, the means for spiritual development. The desire for income is one of the greatest forces for spiritual progress. “They will want pianos in their homes next,” said one indignant business man when the workers of his community were demanding higher wages. The ideal of the abundant life for all the people could be realized in the United States. It would require more personal efficiency, but the greatest barrier is the fact that the income from the ownership of property is greater than the income from service rendered to the common life. If it is impossible for all to get what you now enjoy, are you willing to take less in order that others may have more?
Does the pursuit of social justice stop with the attainment of higher wages and shorter hours? This is the final question: Must the worker be less than a full personality at his place of work, or shall he be set free for full development in and by his labor? Most college men and women grow in and through their work. How can this spiritual privilege be open to all the workers throughout the or world? A modern poet describes Jesus going through a great factory, not impressed by its marvelous machinery, its speed, its skill, but still looking. He is looking, he says, for his singing-man—the man whom his Father made to sing at his work. Will he look in vain ?
SUGGESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION AND ACTION
conditions according to type of community.) 1. What is the net yearly wage of typical working men? Of women? How much does the average workingman's family need for the yearly budget? How nearly do they
What are the prevailing hours of labor among workers in the local community? How much seven-day work is there? How much room do the hours of labor leave for home, church, recreation, and other aspects of a growing life?
3. Study the local labor situation to see whether health is endangered from fatigue due to length of hours, overspeeding or rush seasons, undue nervous tension. What are the special dangers of overwork on the part of women?
4. What are the most frequent occupational accidents? What have been their consequences during the past year? What has been done to prevent their recurrence?
5. What are the prevalent occupational diseases in the community ? How much unemployment and death are they responsible for? What preventive measures have been initiated ?
6. What further measures are needed to protect the workers against accidents and diseases?
7. In what ways do these conditions challenge the followers of the social principles of Jesus?
II. The Square Deal for Labor
1. What nationalities in the community do the lowest grade labor? What do they do? To what extent are foreigners discriminated against in the matter of hours and wages ?
2. Compare thoroughly the conditions of working and living in the community, of the labor group with the professional group; with the business group.
III. Labor Conditions at Home and Abroad
1. Study the industrial or agricultural conditions in Japan or other foreign countries. Compare the labor and living conditions of the workers in that country with those in our community. Compare the ratio between the wages and cost of living in the two countries.
To what extent is America responsible for these conditions ? What effect do they have upon the American labor situation ?
3. To what extent are foreign missionary enterprises being planned to change the working and living conditions of the people? What particular measures are in operation? What effects are they having ?
IV. Community Responsibility
Who is to blame?
send his children to church or to public school? b. When a working girl's health and morals break
from over-fatigue? c.' When the supporter of the family is killed at an
unguarded machine ? d. When a family starves in a period of unemploy
ment? What is the way out? Is it laws governing wages and hours, state regulation of industry, governmental ownership, or what is it?
3. What can a local community do about it? What can a local church do to serve the labor group?
When the teachings of Jesus led men to call each other “brother," the doom of slavery was sealed. It later made the feudal state impossible. The serf became a citizen. Is there now a similar task confronting the fraternal spirit of Christianity? Are new lords established in our midst? Is despotism making its last stand behind the bulwarks of our industrial system?
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall
This teaching has long been applied to the life of the individual. Christianity has never been content with external results. It has sought to quicken the souls of men, to put them in touch with God. This same search is now being carried over to the collective life. The nation cannot be allowed to content itself with an ideal of material prosperity alone, to think it can satisfy the workers with the full dinner pail, or justify itself before God merely by the development of welfare work.
In a government factory in England the women workers suffered much from unhealth ful conditions. Their leaders got the wife of a cabinet minister to visit the factory. One of the girls was carried out fainting from the heat. She was laid on the floor and water thrown over her. The visitor was horrified. “Is this what is always done?” she asked, and was