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Thus it is seen that the effective force of the nation is not represented by the total number of the people, but by the number in the effective or productive age, and this is again qualified by the burden of supporting the dependent classes, which are constantly with them.
It appears from this analysis, that there is a wide difference in both these respects between different countries.
The proportion of the sustaining class in France exceeds that in Ireland by 35 per cent. The proportion in Massachusetts exceeds that of the whites in the Carolinas and Georgia by 38 per cent., and in England it is 12.9 per cent. greater than in Ireland.
Comparing the sustaining power with the burden laid upon it, the demand was 94 per cent. greater in Ireland than in France. On the whites, it was in the Carolinas 50 per
cent., and in Georgia 60 per cent. greater than on the people of Massachusetts.
IDEAL LIFE. In the ideal state of vitality, which now falls to the lot of some individuals, but not on the whole community, all that are born survive to enter the matured stage of life ; all who enter this stage labor through it, and then live to their fourscore and first year. In such a population of 80,000, there are 20,000 in the forming period, 50,000 in the productive or effective period, and 10,000 in old age. The labor of five years supports eight. In the effective period, the man provides sustenance, not only for himself while laboring, but for his children, and for himself when past labor.
This is far from being the common lot of man. Everywhere and in every age human life is arrested.
The following table shows the proportion of 10,000 born in each country that reach maturity and fulness of age :
Beside the natural love of live, and the comfort and happiness from length of years, which all hope to enjoy, the State has an interest that all should reach maturity, and then labor and contribute to the common strength and wealth as long as possible.
* Calculated from the National Life Tables. Norway._"Norges officielle Statistik, Folkmängdens Bevægelse,” 1856–65, p. 217. Sweden.--"Sveriges Officiela Statistik, Befolknings Statistik," 1856-60, p. 75.
England.—"English Life Table No. 3, p. 24. Dr. Farr in Registrar-General's Report, 1861."
Hanover.—"Bevölkerung und den Lebensdauer,” 1846. Ta. B. xxvii.
United States.-L. W. Mcech-Life Table Males, in Insurance Report, Mass., 1868, p. ciii.
In this economical view, man may be considered as a productive machine, which creates property or sustenance for itself and the Commonwealth. Then a child that is born is but a vital machine begun. But it is powerless and ineffective, and must be built up and developed and grown and trained for work. This is a perilous and doubtful process of twenty years.
It seems, by table on page 339, that in Norway, the most favored country, 25 per cent. perish in the forming period. In the United States, 35 per cent. of the males, and in Ireland, 51 per cent., fail to reach maturity. In Norway, only 34 per cent. ; United States, 24 per cent. ; and in eland, less than 9 per cent. enjoy the full period of working years.
In the ideal state, every twenty years expended in the development of manhood and womanhood, results in the completion of a matured laborer. But in the actual experience of the world, a varied portion of this expenditure is lost by death in this period.
In the production of dead machinery, the cost of all that are broken in the making is charged to the cost of those which are completed, and the prudent manufacturer charges all that he expends on the failures to those that succeed, as a proper part of the cost. Thus, if two fail, when half finished, for every one that is completed, the cost of the finished one is doubled ; and this increase of cost is in proportion to the expenditure which has been made or lost on those that broke down in the process.
So in estimating the cost of raising children to manhood, it is necessary to include the number of years that have been lived by those that fell by the way, with the years of those that pass successfully through the period of development. With this view, the following table has been prepared to show the number of years that were lived by children and youth under twenty, for every 1,000 that reached the fulness of maturity :-*
* Calculated from the Life Tables.
As the great majority of those who were lost died in infancy and early childhood, the sum of the years that they had lived was small compared with that of those who passed safely through the whole period. But yet there is a great difference in this respect in these several countries. The loss in Ireland was 120 per cent. greater in the first year, 75 per cent. in the first five years, and 120 per cent. greater in the period of growth, than in Norway.
FINANCIAL VIEW. Beside the pain, anguish and sorrow caused by these early deaths, they deeply concern the State as a matter of political economy.
Simply as a vital productive machine, a child at any age is worth the cost that has been expended on him for his support and development. The cost of the support and training of children is widely various, from that which sustains bare animal life, to the lavish luxury of the opulent; but taking the lowest estimate for the laboring population, it, on an average, costs not less than fifty dollars a year. Then a child of ten is worth $500; and at maturity $1,000, and the death of either of these is so much loss to the Commonwealth.
Both English and German political economists calculate the value of man at all ages, from childhood to old age, and come to similar conclusions from very different bases.
DEATH OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN MASSACHUSETTS By the Thirtieth Report of Mortality of Massachusetts, page 146, we find that in the seven years, ending with 1871, 81,029 died under twenty in the State. Their ages are all given in
years to the fifth, and in quinquennial periods, from five to twenty. With these facts and the life table, it appears that the whole sum of their lives amounted to 292,762 years, which, at $50 a year, had cost $14,638,100. This sum bad been paid from the estates, income or earnings of their families, and diminished to that extent the income or the capital of the Commonwealth. This sum, invested in the life of these 81,029 children and youth, was lost in the course of seven years, and so much, or an annual average of $2,109,157, was lost to the State by premature death.
The blessing which these perishing children were to their families in their shortened lives, cannot be measured nor told in any language; the heart alone knows the joy at their appearing and the agonizing sorrow at their early departure. But the Commonwealth only knows these as the promise of usefulness which was not and never can be fulfilled.
WORKING YEARS. The life tables of the several nations show that all fall short of their ideal in various degrees. The average duration of effectiveness enjoyed by the people, between twenty and seventy was, * in
Thus the productive efficiency fell short of its fulness 20.78 per cent. in Norway, 23.7 per cent. in Sweden, 25.08 per cent. in the United States, 28.38 per cent. in Germany, 28.9 per cent. in England, 34.3 per cent. in France, and 42.24 per cent. in Ireland.
Calculated from Life Tables.