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LD-AGE and other pensions have a glamour that appeals forcibly to the workman, but so far few
nations have committed themselves to schemes for securing them for their citizens. In Europe, Germany is in the van in giving the boon of governmental insurance to its workmen. The delegates to the St. Louis convention no doubt saw the exposition of the system in the German section of the world's fair, where free monographs in German and English gave an exact representation of its working. The exhibit was an eye-opener to those having the cause of labor at heart. An account of what is now being done in Germany in the matter of insurance of workpeople against the consequences of accident, against sickness and the debility of old age, as well as invalidity brought on in any way, will, it is believed, be of much interest to the readers of THE JOURNAL.
In Germany nearly 18,000,000 laborers are insured against accidert; 10,500,000 against sickness, and 13,000,000 against old age and invalidity. Whoever meets with an accident while at work receives free medical treatment and medicine, and a daily allowance for his support and that of his family. If it be impossible to restore him to full health he draws an "accident rent" so long as his working capacity is impaired, and eventually to the end of his life. The amount equals two-thirds of his customary wage. Those who fall sick are treated in the same way, and if an illness lasts longer han six months the workman is consid
ered an invalid and thenceforth has the advantage of the insurance against invalidity.
Every workman who finishes his seventieth year, or who has become an invalid before that time so that he can not do his work with his usual energy, receives an "invalidity rent,” which is varied in proportion to the dues that have been paid by him, the latter having been regulated with regard to the wages he has been paid. This rent is never high enough to allow of a comfortable living, but is large enough to supply the necessaries of life. In other words, it is a kind of superannuation allowance. In 1902, the latest year for which figures are given, 490,000 invalidity rents, 180,000 old-age rents, and 120,000 accident rents were paid, and 4,000,000 cases of sickness were treated. A large sum of money is required to meet the expenses. In 1901, for instance, nearly $100,000,000 was disbursed, this amount being raised by different methods. In a single year 5,000,000 persons get help from this source. From 1885 to 1901 50,000,000 were so benefited, receiving all told about $1,000,000,000. The insurance fund has a reserve capital of about $375,000,000, which is being used for the general benefit of the workpeople, as mentioned below.
Readers will note with astonishment, in view of our laws on employers' liability, that accident insurance is paid exclusively by the employers, it being the German law that whosoever gives occasion for endangerment is responsible for whatever consequences may result. To meet the cost the employers have organizations which pay