Daylight robbery

We are frequently told by our more outspoken enemies that the workers are not robbed, and, there are members of the working class who actually believe it. But the following extract from a recent issue of the “Daily Telegraph” not only completely refutes the former, but may also enlighten the latter.

Under the heading “Census of Production” was given a list of industries concerned mainly with food, drink, and tobacco, and it was stated that the Board of Trade preliminary tables summarising the returns received in respect of those trades give the following results for twelve months:

Gross output from 13 divisions £257,215,000
Net „ „ „ £84,325,000
Persons employed 407,830

The “Daily Telegraph” commented thus, upon the figures:

“The first column represents the gross output, that is the selling value or value of work done. The second shows the net sums realised after deducting the cost of the materials used. The figures denoting the net output express completely, and without duplication, the total amount by which the value of the products of the industries exceeded the value of the materials purchased from the outside, that is they represent the value added to the raw materials in the course of manufactuie. This sum constitutes for any industry the fund from which wages, salaries, rents, royalties, rates, taxes, depreciation, advertisement and sales expenses, and all other similar charges, as well as piofits, have to be defrayed.”

Now rents, profits, etc., are not paid to the working class, who benefit only under the item wages. On the other hand, no value can be added to raw material except by labour. It follows therefore that while the woikers produce the whole of the £84,325,000 worth of wealth which figures as the net output, they are robbed of all that is not included in the term wages.

Now let us do a little sum in simple division. The net output, £84,000,000, divided among the 407,830 persons employed, gives over £275 per annum to each. The difference between this sum and the average wage of the workers in those trades shows the extent of the robbery as far as those particular industries are concerned. And if the average rate of wages in these industries is that of the whole country, then these workers are rolled of over three-fourths of their produce.


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