October 26, 1867. N. 1261.

The Economist 26. Oktober 1867. S. 1209/1210.
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Liverpool Bank Scandal  Bemerkung von Marx.
(In Money Market Review zu sehn[)].

The Economist 26. Oktober 1867. S. 1211–1213.
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The Finance of Trade Unions.

The most remarkable point elicited by the London Commissioners, that they are all insolvent, even the Amalgamated Carpenters und Amalgamated Engineers. The Unions join together the most dissimilar things in the world – the cost of supporting men in sickness and old age, and the cost, or alleged cost, of getting them good wages; benefit societies – and strike societies, strikes are an incalculable element; no one can tell how often they may happen, how long they may last, and what their cost may be. You might as well endeavour to settle a priori the cost of a continental war. This matter was referred to an Actuary by the Commissioners. The rules of the Amalgamated Carpenters Society provide that in consideration of a contribution of 1sh. weekly, each member shall be entitled to 12s. a week when sick, to from 5 to 8s. a week when old, according to the duration of his membership, and to a funeral benefit of 12l. These die objects of ordinary friendly societies, but, in addition to these, the society gives help to members „out of work from causes other than sickness“, i.e. in the disputes with masters, and aids in emigration, as well as upon the loss of trade tools. Mr. Tucker, the Actuary, stated he could form no estimate of the liabilities from such sources; as they depend upon human passions. When a Trades’ Union will quarrel with an employer, or pay members to leave the district, cannot be determined by statistics. If a merchant were asked to pay his life insurance premiums, either to defray the costs of „lock-outs“, or to provide for his family after his death, he would think the proposer mad … It may be said a member |173 of a Trades’ Union might make himself tolerably safe by paying a considerable weekly payment in addition to that required by benefit societies, by paying a large strike premium over and above his common benefit premium. But he does precisely the reverse. The actuary who reported upon the 2 model societies (Engineers und Carpenters) reported that, even as benefit societies, and not including the wages-augmenting element, they were completely insolvent. The subscriptions utterly inadequate even for an ordinary benefit society. „If“, says Tucker, the actuary, „the society continues to be conducted upon its present footed footing, although a continued influx of new members may defer the period, the Amalgamated Carpenters und Joiners Society must ultimately become bankrupt.“ A society which has such future liabilities as a superannuation, may easily have large funds in hand, and yet be wholly unsound; more especially when it has been very many years in existence, and only admits young members. In the first years of a superannuation office, as in the first years of a life insurance, the incomings are present, but the outgoings are postponed. Members are attracted by the „strike element“ to join bad benefit societies. The Central Committee of the Union are sure to have immense funds in hand from the „benefit payments“. Out of the monies subscribed for sickness and old age they can, if they like, fight the employers. If they had to deal with a strike fund alone, they would have in comparison but an empty treasury. The constant hopes and the continual payments of a benefit society keep the strike society together; but if the strike society cannot hold together of itself, it ought to fall. One of the first and most necessary reforms is the separation of the 2 elements of the provident fund from the „contentious fund“.


  • London. 1868.
  • 1866 „The Economist“ (Jahrgang 1866) vol. XXIV.
  • The Social Economist, 1. Oktober 1868
  • „The Economist“ (Jahrgang 1866) (Fortsetzung)
  • Jahrgang 1867.
  • Register der obigen Auszüge aus dem Economist für 1866 und 1867.
  • The „Money Market Review“. Jahrgang 1866.
  • The Money Market Review. Jahrgang 1867.
  • Register Money Market Review Jahrgänge 1866 und 1867