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company, and the latter will hand his family $328 whenever he dies. If he lives to the age of sixty-five, he can have a pension of $66 a year.
By the time he has worked twenty years the plan is showing its more startling values. For now his employer is contributing more. He has paid in $936 himself, his insurance is $2,977, his loan value $1,268, or $332 more than he has put in, and the cash surrender value $1,008, or $72 more.
When he is ready to retire, at sixty-five, his life insurance is worth $7,341. He can draw in cash such money as he may need, if he wants it, or, if he prefers a pension, he will get $677 a year as long as he lives—more than two dollars a day for a threedollar man. If he chooses the pension, as he should, for this is a pension plan, and dies before ten years, the insurance company pays this pension to his family until ten years from the time it began.
He is protected against practically every emergency during his whole working life, and until his death, and his earnings have yielded remarkable interest, growing as the plan continued. For what the employer contributes comes to twenty per cent the first year, and increases to an average of one hundred per cent for the whole period at the forty-fifth year, and to this is added $3,129 interest guaranteed by the insurance itself. No form of investment that he could make elsewhere, in a savings bank or life insurance company, would return such profits as this automatic thrift through co-operation with his employer.
If the employees of almost any industrial corporation were to follow this plan from the age of twenty to that of retirement, they would have enough cash at sixty-five to buy the business outright. This holds good of almost any business, except perhaps a bank, which has a large cash capital employed in itsbusiness.
For example, the Steel Trust. It is capitalized at a little more than $1,500,000,000, counting bonds as well as common and preferred stock, and has nearly 260,000 employees, who earn average wages and salaries of three dollars a day. That comes to a capitalization of $7,500 per employee, and each employee, on retiring, if one counted wage increases and overtime earnings, would have more than that.
“Will you retire now and take your money in cash?” the Steel Trust directors might ask. “Or would you prefer to take a pension?”
“Neither,” the retiring employees might say. “We'll just take the business.”
The average capitalization of all our manufacturing industries is about $2,500 per employee, and the average of salaries and wages perhaps fifteen dollars a week. At the retiring age these employees would have enough money to buy our whole manufacturing business twice over and that's what automatic thrift can become when it is planned scientifically and followed in true co-operation for the normal working life of the ordinary working man and woman.
By far the greatest benefit of this plan, as I see it, however, is the way it will promote steadiness in both the workers and the industrial organization.
Much of the cost is going to come, not out of the earnings of either employees or employer, but through the elimination of a tremendous item of waste that all American business now bears helplessly.
Everybody knows that a constant, costly shifting of men from job to job is now going on in our industrial system. I figure that the money outlay to the employer for each new worker he hires and trains is forty-five dolars at the lowest, and that in many industrial establishments the work force more than renews itself every year. The loss to the workers is just as grievous, for if a man or woman earns fifteen dollars a week, and loses three weeks each year shifting from job to job, that involves a loss of forty-five dollars.
And the money loss is as nothing beside the loss of cumulative value that might come from experience and growing skill. If these could be conserved, it would mean better and cheaper production for the employer, and higher wages for the workers.
Most of our welfare work in business has been carried on in an effort to eliminate this waste of the shifting worker, and much of the labor agitation on the part of workers has been carried on for the same end-an effort, often blind and wrong in its methods, but in principle sound and right, to secure the steady job. The steady job!
I sometimes wonder if we even begin to realize what it means for our industries. Here we have a country of abounding natural wealth, cheap materials for production of most of the necessities, compared with the resources of the great industrial countries of Europe. And in France, Germany, England, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Italy, and other countries abroad the workers and employers have to counterbalance high cost of materials by lower wages, longer hours, greater skill, and a devotion to the steady job so grim that few men dare shift from one place or trade to another, even in the hope of bettering themselves. They must stick at one thing, very often the thing that their fathers worked at, and by skill and industry turn out products that compete with ours in the markets of the world, regardless of all our natural advantages. They do this most successfully, as any salesman in foreign trade will testify, or as one can learn in normal times by examining the merchandise sold in our own stores. That is what industrial stability has done for Europe. For my part, I prefer the restless energy, the wider opportunity, and the greater liberty to take a chance which is characteristic of American industrial affairs. But we must not think that our shifting is energy or opportunity. It is time to transform the roaming, casual, half-trained workers who go from one factory to another and to eliminate from our industrial life the heavy tax we pay for shifting. These casuals must be transformed into workers who are really skilled, trained technically, competent, homeowning, secure citizens. We have got to do it if we are to hold our own in world trade, and I believe the way to begin is through the scientific, automatic, co-operative saving of money.
Enthusiasm is the dynamics of your personality. Without it, whatever abilities you may possess lie dormant. You may have knowledge, sound judgment, good reasoning faculties; but no one will know it, until you discover how to put your heart into thought and action. A wonderful thing is this quality which we call enthusiasm. If you would like to be a power among men, cultivate enthusiasm.-J. Ogden Armour in Leslie's.
SUCCESS IN INDUSTRY
Did you ever hear the story of Bernhard Blitzer, who came from Austria (in the steerage) to America some thirty years ago, with the foreign exchange equivalent of nineteen United States pennies in his pockets when he landed?
Well, Blitzer came to America at a time when the immigration laws did not forbid the landing of an alien without a few dollars in his pockets. Upon landing at New York he strolled across Battery Park with nineteen cents in his pockets. Blitzer met a friend, another Austrian, who took him to the Bowery where he invested his scanty fortune in suspenders. He sold his first lot and bought more. He clung to his profits and soon rose to the level of a pushcart peddler.
A few nights ago, Bernhard Blitzer, president of the New York Gas and Electric Appliance Company, gave a dinner to his traveling salesmen, shop workers and office employees, at the Hotel Belleclaire, New York, and distributed somewhat more than fifteen thousand dollars among his employees. Fortune had smiled on the former suspender merchant. In the years he had, by leadership, initiative, plain business ability and foresight, grown from a lowly place as a seller to the position of a successful and respected producer, Fortune had smiled on him, and, remembering his early struggles, the bonuses were awarded to those who had aided in his success.
To his assembled employees President Blitzer told his life story. He related his small beginning in detail and told of abandoning his merchandise to work for the Gas Company of New York. There, he said, he saw his opportunity.
Realizing that in a few years gas and electric fixtures would be installed in all new buildings and many old ones, he decided to enter the manufacturing field. In a small shop on the Bowery where his initial start was made, the first fixtures were produced. In the beginning Blitzer acted as salesman for the entire output.
The story of Blitzer's later success is the same as that of the extension of the power, light and heat industry. As more fixtures were demanded, Blitzer's firm turned them out until at present the former Bowery peddler is forced to limit the size of his fortune by giving chunks of it away to those who helped to make it possible for him to win it.
Would you support the tendency in many of the legislatures throughout the country by restrictive regulation, to make Blitzer's success, from little to big business, almost impossible? If not, then at your next opportunity make it plain to the man from your community, whom you elect to represent you, that you do not want him to indulge in oratorical rhetoric or the advocation of legislation which seeks to place new handicaps on success in business. .
Sharing profits with workmen who help to make them possible is not regarded by the majority of American business men as philanthropy. It is openly confessed to be, wherever possible of application, nothing but good business. Paying the highest wage possible consistent with the condition of the business which created the wage scale, is likewise looked upon by employers generally as an excellent investment in the way of contented and efficient workers.
Within the past decade there has been a popular tendency, especially among the lawmakers of the land, to do all that might be done toward the restrictive regulation of American industry. The principle of restriction has been constantly injected into the public policy, until it has come to be accepted by those who are not acquainted with the facts of the businessman's side of the case, as the only way to insure the progress of the country.
Look over the history of public opinion and legislative practice in the recent past. Has it not been indelibly tinted with the background of suspicion, distrust and hindrance toward industrial expansion? Dodge it, excuse it, or accept it, the plain unvarnished fact is that a large part, if not the overwhelming majority of the American people have consciously with applause, or unconsciously through lack of understanding, supported a national policy toward business interests which