« 이전계속 »
lowances more than the number of annual contributions which they had paid; although the average number of these members did not exceed 53 annually. The usual practice, therefore, of raising the entry-money, and otherwise limiting the terms of admission, when a Society has been some time established, and the capital appears to be accumulating, is doing a mani. fest injury to young entrants; and thus have many Societies at length altogether precluded themselves from obtaining young members, upon whose admission alone their very existence have hitherto depended. With an accumulation of capital, too, an increase of allowances have uniformly followed, to “check an overgrowing capital,” which, it was supposed, would be only otherwise “ laid up for posterity.” In this way has the stock been thoughtlessly expended in the course of a few years at the beginning, which ought to have been carefully preserved and accumulated for the increased sickness and infirmities incident to old age. Members, therefore, who entered 20 or 30 years afterwards, have been called upon to pay larger contribu. tions than the fair proportion of benefit they could ever derive, on account of being obliged to support the original surviving members, whose capital had been prematurely expended in too high allowances.-Funeral and Widows' allowances, without adequate and fixed contributions, have likewise been other material causes of failure in Friendly Societies. The allowances to widows, however, have now been pretty generally abolished, but the funeral contributions are still continued upon the same erroneous principles as formerly ;--chiefly depending upon casualties and the sick fund for defraying them, and giving preferences to the married over the unmarried, although both contribute alike. The impropriety of such a system must be obvious to every one, but more particularly that of there being no fixed contribution for funerals. At first the members of a Society must necessarily be few in number, and where a sixpence only is levied from each member for each funeral, the balance must be taken from the sick fund. Should the members increase, so will also the deaths, and with these the contributions, and thus the demands will be continually increasing, without the least chance of a sufficient fund ever accumulating for the benefit of those who may be ultimately left in the Society.
It has been all along supposed that the above defects of Societies could never be of very material consequence, since they had it always in their power either to raise their contributions or lower their allowances, as circum. stances might require. But, as was remarked by Dr PRICE, all that is given too much to present claimants, is so much taken away from future ones : and if a scheme is very deficient at the beginning, the first claimants may. from the greater part of the members being young and healthy, receive for a number of years so much more than they ought to have done, as to leave little or nothing for those who come after them ;-and even the younger part of the present members will be also ultimately great losers, because their predecessors had made themselves too great gainers. Deficient schemes are therefore attended with peculiar injustice; and this injustice will be the same, if, instead of reducing the allowances, the annual payments should be increased, for the only difference consists in causing the injustice to fall on future contributors instead of future claimants. In general, however, upon tlie
old plan, deficiencies will only be perceived when it is so late that no other alternative remains to save Societies from instant destruction, but either to raise the contributions, or reduce the allowances far below what was originally promised. Still, although, either by these means, or by a casual extraordinary increase of young entrants, the contributions may for a while be equal to the allowances; yet, from the increase of sickness and deaths, in consequence of the advance of age, the funds in a few years will again sink rapidly, while the demands will continue steadily to increase. But above all, after either the allowances have been for some time in a state of reduction, or the contributions in a state of increase, their best members will become convinced that such Societies have gone upon erroneous calculations, and desert them,--the inevitable consequences of which must be, a still greater deficiency in their annual income, and a more rapid desertion and declinę, until a total bankruptcy and dissolution take place.
Thus Societies have uniformly gone on, without discovering their errors, till the increasing demands of their members came to exceed their contributions; and then, from an insufficiency of capital to meet such exigencies, the funds first became stationary, then decreased, and at last Societies fell into a state of complete insolvency. Increase of contributions, reduction of allowances, and suspension of payments, were next alternately had recourse to, but with no other effect than an increase of the calamity by prolonging it; for, as has just been noticed, a Society in such circumstances will no longer obtain entrants; the young members will abandon it; and the increasing demands of the aged will soon exhaust the remaining capital. Many of their oldest members, therefore, who had perhaps fondly hoped that the Society would at all events exist their time, have been at last left to lament that ignorance and credulity by which they had been so long deceived ; and have been reduced to the greatest misery and deprivation, in sickness and distress, with no other means of relieving their necessities than what could be obtained from the charitable and humane. That such has hitherto been, and must assuredly be, the fate of these institutions, past experience has sufficiently verified. Many have been reduced to bankruptcy and dissolved, --some have suspended their payments for a time, or greatly increased their contributions, and others are at present rapidly going to decay. Their combined experience, however, has afforded the means of avoiding such disasters in future, by furnishing data for computation which could never otherwise have possibly been obtained ; and it is therefore surely the interest of Societies, whether already established, or about to be formed, to profit by the means now put in their power, that they may avoid that inevitable ruin in which the present system is sure to involve them,
Several Compositors being convinced of the above ruinous errors, and of the benefits which might be secured by a well regulated Society, resolved, about the beginning of May 1824, to form one upon the principles above stated, as recommended in the Highland Society's Report. It was thought, however, that the contributions and allowances calculated for Societies in general till 70 years of age only, might be applicable to Compositors du. ring life, from the comparatively, low rate of sickness experienced by those belonging to the Journeymen Printers' Society during the last 23 years. But in order to ascertain this important point, an Abstract of their Sickness and Mortality during that period, was deduced from the Return made by the Clerk of that Society to the Highland Society from 1801 to 1820, and from the Society's books from 1820 to 1823. In that Return were inserted the names of the members as they stand in the Society's Roll from 1801 to 1820, distinguishing the free from the unfree, with their respective ages each year ;-the names of those who had received support from the funds, specifying the number of weeks' supply paid to each, and their ages when they received it ; the names of members who had died during the same period, with the sums paid for each às funeral money ;-the names of members who had received funeral money for their wives, with the sums paid to each ;—the names of members whose widows had received the Society's allowances, with the sums paid ;--the members who had received travel. ling allowances;—the sums payable quarterly by the members, and the sums payable by the Society for weekly sick allowance during each quar. ter;-and, the amount of the Society's stock in 1801 and 1820.
The above abstract, and the proposed fundamental laws, were submitted for the opinion of JAMES SKIRVING, Esq. Accountant, who had assisted in framing the Tables, &c. in the Report ; and that gentleman most obligingly returned a very satisfactory and minute Report, the substance of which is as follows:
.66 From the Return now made of the Sickness and Mortality experien6ced in the Society of Journeymen Printers of Edinburgh, from December “ 1801 to December 1823, and separating the experience among Composi" tors from that among Pressmen,” (the two branches of which the printing profession is composed, “ the average annual sickness, and the chance of “ death, to each individual Compositor, seem to be as follows:
“ SICKNESS. ..66 Ages.
Weeks. Days. Hours. 66 20 to 30
0.4648 or 40
66 5.0379 “ Multiplied by 10, the number of years in a decade,
“Give 50.3799 (or nearly 50$ weeks), as the total « average sickness experienced by an individual Compositor from the age of “ 20 till above 70, so far as the tables shew.
“ The sickness experienced by the Compositors seems, throughout the “ whole period of life, to be much less than is given in the average of the 6 Returns made to the Highland Society. This may be accounted for to a
material extent, when it is considered that a Compositor, though rather 5. sickly or weak, may still be able to go on with his business, which re
* quires little or no muscular exertion; while the same extent of sickness “ or weakness would incapacitate a man from working in the more athletic “ departments of labour. But there are other circumstances which have “ operated considerably in lessening the apparent sickness among this body “ of men.
“ It appears that the sick allowances were, till lately, looked upon as bear" ing something of the character of charity, and consequently several mem“bers declined applying for them, even when they were sick; and parti“ cularly in the higher ages, there were two at least who contributed to 66 the funds for many years, and who never received a penny of allowance. " When the effect of these is deducted from the numbers of living members 6 above 60, it will be seen that little dependence can be placed upon the “ return of sickness above that age. Besides the number alive above 50 " has been uniformly so small, as to afford no data upon which an average 6 calculation could be made.
66 In the three decades, however, below 50, the numbers have been « greater, and the results are in other respects less liable to exception. In “ all of these, and particularly in the two last, the sickness is much less " than what is given in the Highland Society's Report. It may therefore. “ be fairly presumed, that the proposed Society's contributions will go much “ farther in this department than the same contributions will go in the 6. average run of Friendly Societies. Indeed, guarded as this Society is by its “ Sixteenth Article, it may be considered as warranted to assume a contribu. “ tion of Ten Shillings per annum, with an allowance of Ten Shillings per “ week during the first twelve months of sickness; Seven Shillings and “ Sixpence per week during the second twelve months; and Five Shillings “ per week thereafter for permanent sickness or superannuation, all to be “ continued during the whole period of life.
6 MORTALITY. " Ages.
Decim. 6 20 to 30 0.0145 or nearly 3 die out of 200 annually.
100 66 60 70
100 * The mortality of Compositors does not correspond with the Tables in " the Highland Society's Report ; but it is very nearly the same as the 66 Northampton Table. Now, as the Northampton Table, (App. to Report 6 No. 1. p. 255.) gives only L. 46 : 6:11] of Funeral Money, as the equiva< lent of L.l of contribution, while the Highland Society's Table gives “ L. 59: 16:77; it is only necessary to state the question proportionally
thusgas L. 46: 7:0 : LI :: L. 60 : L.1:5:4. It will therefore be “ necessary for the proposed Society, instead of 3s. 4d., to contribute 4s. 4d. " annually, for a funeral allowance of L. 10."
Mr SKIRVING at the same time calculated the Tables of Equivalents and extra Contributions (Arts. 4. and 6.); and with reference to these he after. wards observes : “ It is evident that the Equivalent Money to be paid by “ entrants at higher ages than 21, is exactly the difference between the
Contributions and Allowances of a member who entered in his 21st year, * accumulated with interest to the ages in question. For the purpose, there“ fore, of balancing the affairs of the Society, it seems only necessary to con“tinue the Tables I. and III. to the age of 70, where the calculation ceases, “ and beyond which few Compositors connected with the Journeymen * Printers Society have been found to live. But in doing so, it may be pro“ per to observe, that, as the sickness experienced among Compositors is “ uniformly less than that given in the Highland Society's Report, espe“ cially in the higher ages, the sickness fund should uniformly exceed the o estimated fund ; and that when a considerable number of the members “ shall have attained the ages of between 50 and 70, the excess ought to “ increase considerably. As, however, no provision has been made to meet 66 the increased demands of such of the members as may survive the age 66 of 70, it seems necessary that this excess should be carefully preserved for « that purpose, and that it should never be considered as a surplus fund “ which may be applied to any other purpose.
66 With regard to the Funeral Fund no such excess is to be anticipated; 46 for, from the past experience of the Journeymen Printers' Society, it ap" pears, that, in early life, the mortality has been greater than what is stated " in the Highland Society's Report. This fund, however, should always “ be kept up to the standard, both as a security to the existing members, 6 and as an encouragement to young entrants.
“ TABLES-Shewing, in pounds, and decimals of a pound, the annual Indivi
66 dual Stock, or the sums which should be multiplied by the number of Mem.. “bers at each age respectively, in order to ascertain what ought to be the amount “ of the Sickness and Funeral Funds :
: (To convert decimals into shillings and pence, double the first decimal on the right of the
point for shillings, adding 1 if the 20 decimal be 5 or above it. Consider the 2d and Sd decimals (deducting 50 if I was added to the shillings), as farthings, diminishing this number by 1 if it be above 12, and less than 37, and by 2 if it be above 36. The 4th decimal may be neglected. Vide Report, p. 196, 197.)