"Rationality & Welfare: Public Discussion of Poverty and Social Insurance in the United States 1875-1935"

by Professor Theron Schlabach

Chapter 2: Toward a Rationalization of Welfare

In the closing years of the nineteenth century a few Americans began to discuss social insurance in earnest. Social insurance as a concept clearly reflected the institutional approach in welfare. Its advocates considered dependency a problem primarily of the social system--rather than of breakdown of relationships or of personal faults for which the needy should be stigmatized--and they aimed to spread the burden of dependency more rationally, regularize financing, and assure recipients their benefits on the basis of objective qualifications rather than of official discretion, But the actual structuring of the institution was another matter. Social insurance as a historical development often compromised the ideal of rationalizing welfare, and represented the institutional approach only in varying degrees.

The first evidence of Americans' interest in social insurance was economists’ and others’ allusions to foreign experiments, France had operated national old age, accident, and death insurance on a voluntary basis since the 1850s and 1860s, It was the systems that Chancellor Otto von Bismarck set up in Germany-in the 1880s, however, that attracted world-wide attention. The Germans were more radical and systematic, building on the principles of compulsory coverage, contributions by both employers and employees, and some subsidy from the state, From Germany the movement spread, with modifications, among other European peoples. In the 1890s Denmark, followed by Australia and New Zealand, led one branch of the movement off into a rather different direction by inaugurating a system of old-age pensions paid entirely out of the state treasury, using as criteria means and character tests rather than past contributions by the beneficiary or his employer. English reformers, to whom Americans had often looked for leadership, agitated during the 1890s for Denmark-style old age pensions, and won passage of a workmen's (accident) compensation law in 1897; but the English social insurance movement did not reach real fruition until Parliament passed an Old Age Pensions Act in 1908 and health and unemployment insurance laws in 1911.

The German systems were the most highly rationalized, structured as they were around actuarial calculations, compulsory participation, and contributions as the objective criterion for granting benefits. Non-contributory systems also reflected a degree of rationalization, in that they aimed to give help without stigma, regularize benefits and finances, and spread the burden of welfare to all tax-payers; but with their means and character tests and their gratuitous benefits they smacked of traditional personalized and discretionary forms of welfare. Of still another variety was the English workmen’s compensation law, which provided that employers had to pay benefits to victims of industrial accidents according to a fixed scale, but did not specify that they had to carry insurance. By not spelling out the particular institutional patterns for financing and guaranteeing benefits, the law left the door open to a great deal of structural confusion and irrationality, As American reformers began to respond to the European precedents, they demonstrated that when faced with the actual task of structuring social insurance mechanisms they would too apply the institutional approach in varying degrees and ways. They responded first with academic discussion, then by formulating widely different programs for mothers’ pensions and workmen’s compensation.

It was about 1890 that American editors and other writers began to take frequent note of the European social insurance movement. For the first decade and a half the writing was not voluminous, although after about 1905 it began to grow more rapidly. Three early authors in particular demonstrated the differing, sometimes conflicting emphases and purposes that social engineers might build into the new institution.

John Graham Brooks was graduated from the Harvard of Divinity School in 1875. After three years of further study in German universities, however he took up a career not as a minister, but as an economist and reformer. Thereafter he discussed his findings and his further ideas in a lengthy government report that United States Commissioner of Labor Caroll D. Wright had printed in 1893, and in subsequent articles and addresses.1 Brooks' major contributions were two: he provided Americans with their first detailed description of European social insurance, especially the German model; and he demonstrated that the institutional approach in welfare was not necessarily antithetical to a concern for morality.

In keeping with the institutional approach Brooks subjected social insurance to a fairly hardheaded analysis. He candidly doubted many of the claims that German social reformers made for the new device. There was no real evidence, he reported, that it had made laborers so content that they would reject socialism, or that it taught workers the value of thrift, or that it made for better employer-employee relations, or that it reduced the burden of poor relief to the degree that the proponents claimed. He doubted, moreover, that the chief good of social insurance lay on “strictly economic grounds.” Yet he thought it a worthwhile institution, because it worked to “social advantage.” Accident insurance had produced a large body of new statistics and an unprecedented public appreciation for industrial safety. Health insurance had popularized knowledge of hygiene, and helped people who needed special treatment obtain it. Social insurance as a whole had produced university courses and international congresses which in turn spread the new data. It made for more careful classification of the causes of misfortune. And even more broadly, it stimulated the broad public consciousness and concern necessary for social reform.2

Best of all, social insurance was a moral force. Nations were following Germany’s example not because of demonstrable material results, Brooks wrote in 1893, but because the idea was so “obviously ethical” and so in touch with the new feeling of social obligation.” Many of the ablest thinkers on social affairs” had perceived that “the principle of insurance is distinctly ethical in its nature.”3  The morality that Brooks saw in social insurance was that of personal relationships and the institutional approach, not simply that of personal relationships and character such as COS emphasized. Social insurance was a device deliberately designed to “distribute the burden of life’s misfortunes so that they fall most lightly on the weak, the unfortunate or unlucky,” Brooks declared in 1906. It was “structurally a part of modern society.” It represented an “organized morality.”4

Brooks recognized that his moral defense of social insurance clashed head-on with cherished American doctrines of voluntarism, self-help, and anti-governmentism. But he believed that unfortunate as it was for private, voluntary mutual-aid institutions, they were of too little effect and "the evidence is overwhelming that society is unwilling to wait for the self help institutions to deal with social ills." At one point he suggested that society would simply have to choose between self-help and state socialism. But then he turned the self-help argument on its masters and suggested that with true democracy in government the ultimate form of self-help was state action. To him the German bureaucracy demonstrated that the state could at least be an efficient and capable organization and an admirable social instrument; so there was “something churlish in objecting to an experiment, at least, on its part.”5

Conceiving of social insurance as still in the experimental stage, Brooks did not crusade for its immediate adoption in America. He hesitated because he was aware of the difficulties of designing smoothly-functioning structures, not because he doubted the principle. “Can the state so manage this ethical principle as really to help the weaker classes," he asked, or will the machinery prove so expensive that the cost of living among such classes will not be lessened?"

He could not answer his own question, Although educational and moral results were already in evidence, he argued in 1893, to assess the "material results ten years at least must pass."  Twelve years later he thought that the United States needed yet another ten years before it be ready for social insurance, He continued to advocate the reform, and eventually argued for it even on the basis of economic and material results.6 But with his hesitation and his advancing years (he was 64 in 1910) he never became a vigorous social insurance crusader, His contribution was that of an educator and a moral philosopher.

William F. Willoughlby was an expert on the staff of the United States Commissioner of Labor in the 1890s. In the previous decade he had studied at Johns Hopkins University under the German-educated labor economist and reformer Richard T. Ely, and he too was interested in social insurance. In 1898 he published a substantial book on the subject in a series which Ely edited.7 In the end, however, he drew back from the radical approach to the institutionalization of welfare that Germany's state compulsionism represented, and became notable chiefly for demonstrating the confusions that could result if social engineers tried to build social on the principles of private insurance and make it embody the ethic of individual self-help.

Willoughby viewed welfare problems quite as much in institutional terms as did Brooks. His book covered quite comprehensively the various technical problems involved in engineering a smoothly functioning set of insurance institutions, and made clear that he considered social insurance a new kind of welfare technique. "The modern movement for insurance represents the effort to substitute for the old relief funds, which two often were founded upon a charitable basis, institutions founded upon scientific principles ….” he wrote. “The significance of this difference can be seen in the use of the word ‘insurance’ instead of ‘relief’”. The history of social insurance was somewhat analogous to “the triumph of organized charity over indiscriminate alms-giving.'' But this reform went a step further. Its object is to replace relief by a system under which each makes use of a fund that he himself has assisted to create."8

Yet, although Willoughby used the language of institutions and systems, he hesitated to follow his own concepts to their logical conclusion. Logically, the drive toward a thoroughgoing, well-rationalized system of welfare led to compulsory coverage, so as to exempt nobody in the classes to covered from either the benefits or the responsibilities of the system and compulsory coverage meant governmental action, perhaps even governmental operation of the welfare institutions. Willoughby declared that he did not wish to make a judgment a priori against such an increase in state power as did the Social Darwinist Herbert Spencer, nor for it as did the socialists.9 Yet, like marry opponents of social insurance, Willoughby feared governmental compulsion to the extent that he readily let it check his aspirations for a more systematic, institutionalized welfare system. The thrust of his whole book was to draw attention to the possibilities inherent in voluntary schemes of insurance.

At the outset Willoughby criticized social insurance commentators, particularly Brooks, for becoming so enamored with the compulsory systems of Germany and Austria that they overlooked the voluntary schemes that had emerged in Europe in the fifty years just past. Such plans, he believed, were far more relevant to the American student than were compulsory systems. He thought that of the various voluntary plans trade union benefit systems and the mutual-aid and "friendly societies" wherein workmen took the initiative and insured themselves were among the most ideal. In them the spirit of fraternity was high, and because they avoided salaried officials and expensive headquarters, the cost of overhead was low. He was well aware that historically such institutions had often mixed gratuitous charity freely with very primitive forms of insurance. But he pointed out emphatically that in England friendly societies were, with only a minimum of governmental supervision, divesting themselves of purely charitable features and developing sound insurance principles. On the American scene the most important voluntary welfare institutions were the relief departments that several of the large railroad corporations operated for their employees. Especially in the areas of accident and sickness insurance he found their benefits liberal, their financing consistent with the insurance principle of adjusting contributions to risks, and their classification of risks broad enough to cover the various needs of employees. These, more than any other institutions, he thought, were setting precedent for workingmen's insurance in the United States. If the government wished to encourage social insurance, let it encourage such voluntary action.10 His quarrel was less with governmental intervention than with compulsionism.

Willoughby was by no means blind to the shortcoming, of voluntary plans. He summarily dismissed private commercial insurance because of its high overhead costs. Even in his favorite railroad relief department he found, in addition to various technical difficulties, that provisions for old age and invalidity were quite inadequate. And completely intolerable was the fact that the employers’ schemes often penalized very heavily the worker who left his company’s employ, by allowing him no vested right to the benefits toward which he had contributed. Nor did Willoughby try to avoid the compulsionists’ main criticism, that voluntary institutions could never achieve adequate coverage because they would fail to enlist the very persons who needed protection most. Meeting the argument head-on, he replied first that really sound voluntary insurance programs had appeared only so recently that nobody could say how short they would fall when fully developed. He thought that the trend was for employers to provide much more insurance since their attitudes were changing and their industries becoming better organized. Then he proceeded with his main objection: the cost of compulsion was simply too high. Citing what were soon to be clichés of American as well as foreign social insurance opponents, he argued that compulsion would create vast bureaucracy which would not be flexible enough to suit local conditions; that it invited fraud and malingering on an enormous scale; and that it put a country’s industries in a bad competitive position. Such arguments, insofar as they had substance, were consistent with an attempt to rationalize the welfare sector, for they pointed to possible frictions and malfunctioning in the proposed system. But he included others that were extraneous to considerations aiming at a rationalized, well-functioning welfare system: that social insurance was “socialistic,” “class legislation,” and destructive of self-help.11 Thus while Willoughby faced the problems of voluntarism frankly, he made his judgments partly on the basis of a political-social fundamentalism, rather than deciding merely whether voluntary or compulsory institutions would produce maximum welfare.

Turning his face away from compulsionism, Willoughby adhered slavishly to the principles governing private insurance. Insurance was a “true science,” he pointed out, that had to be built on careful actuarial estimates and on such considerations as adjustment of contributions to risk.12  For voluntary insurance, he was of course fully correct; but he failed totally to explore the differences that introducing governmental compulsion and the taxing power might allow in structure of the institution. Consequently the effect of his book was to foster a concept of social insurance patterned much more closely on the private insurance model than it needed to be. One disservice to the movement was his insistence upon entirely separate systems for separate risks—accident, sickness, invalidity, old age, and unemployment. Since the nature of the risks differed, he argued, some of them relating to occupational hazards and some not, some long-term and others short-term, etc., each needed its separate system.13 On the surface his position appeared consistent not only with private insurance principles, but also with the historic drive of welfare to be more scientific and rational by carefully dividing dependency into its separate categories, with specialized treatment tailored to each. As social insurance would develop historically, however, the separation of systems according to hazard covered would be carried to the point that it worked against the cause of rationalization, because it produced un coordinated systems, begun at different times and using very different administrative and other methods. Had Willoughby been less blinded with private insurance principles he might have fostered at least the vision of a more comprehensive and coordinated set of social insurance institutions.

Willoughby’s combination of private insurance concepts and fundamentalistic self-help beliefs fostered the notion, moreover, that social insurance was primarily a savings device. To be sure it was a mechanism to spread risk. But he thought of it primarily in individualistic and longitudinal terms, each man assuming the risk of the misfortune he himself might suffer and spreading it through time. Only secondarily did he view insurance as a genuinely social device to spread risk latitudinally, from man to man across a large group. His concept of social insurance was, therefore, more individualistic than truly social. He thought that the mix of latitudinal and longitudinal varied with the different risks: sickness insurance, for instance, was more latitudinal than old age insurance. Yet even with sickness insurance he thought the basic problem was primarily the need of each individual to save, and seemed scarcely to recognize the ineffectiveness of saving for a risk that fell unevenly as did sickness. If workmen would provide for sickness “personal savings,” he wrote, “nothing further could be desired.” But few would do so unless "opportunities for saving are afforded. This insurance does." When Willoughby made the statement that insurance was an institution whose object was “to replace relief by a system under which each makes use of a fund that he himself has assisted to create,” his emphasis was probably more on the self-help aspect, each man contributing to his own fund, than on the fact that insurance was an institutionalized and systematic form of welfare.14 Such longitudinal, individual-saving, self-help conceptions would constantly reappear in the discussions of social insurance up to 1935, and would thereafter be reflected especially in arguments regarding reserve financing of Old Age Insurance.

Though Willoughby declaimed any intention to say finally that any one system of social insurance was superior to another, he outlined a program for action that reflected his voluntarist, private-insurance, and self-help orientation. The first task, he thought, was to educate, to help people understand the technical principles of insurance and the differences between workingmen's insurance and charity. For sickness insurance he wanted to encourage and improve trade union sick-benefit systems, and to develop English style “friendly societies.” Some governmental regulation of such private institutions might be beneficial in the interests of technical soundness. For the hazard of industrial accidents he favored legal reform to make employers more liable, and encouragement especially of railroad relief departments.

The case for compulsion was strongest for accident insurance, he thought, but he advised that any movement toward compulsion should be small, restricted to railroads as public carriers. He hoped that accident insurance on railroads would demonstrate its value, and that manufacturers and their organizations would voluntarily follow suit. Regarding unemployment, he saw virtually no possibility of applying the principles of insurance. His program was to encourage trade union out-of-work benefit funds, taking care however to promote them as relief systems and not confuse them with insurance. For the risks of old age and invalidity he doubted that the time was yet ripe for much progress. In 1865, he observed, England had set up a system whereby citizens could buy annuities and life insurance through the government's postal savings banks, but it had "absolutely failed to accomplish results of importance.” Willoughby seemed naively bewildered at this failure of voluntarism, and attributed it to Englishmen’s antipathy to government rather than to weakness of voluntarism itself. Nevertheless he thought that some similar system in the United States “could do no harm,” and it might provide a vehicle for small employers to cover their employees with group insurance. “If insurance is to become general, it must come through the employers,” he believed. He did not explain why compulsion by employers was less onerous than compulsion by the state.”15

Willoughby's central principle of voluntarism had little positive effect on the public social insurance movement. The experiment that most directly reflected his principles was, from welfare criteria of preventing and treating dependency, a failure. In 1907 Massachusetts established a state-administered system of voluntary life insurance and annuities sold through savings banks, a system that the reformist Boston attorney Louis Brandeis L promoted partly as a direct alternative to compulsory old age insurance or pensions. In practice the scheme neither attracted enough policy holders, nor drew them from a low enough economic stratum of society to be consequential as a force against dependency. By 1926 it had only about 50,000 policies in force, and even a strong apologist for it made the unconscious admission that from the beginning its support among workers came from the “best” and “more thrifty”--i.e. from those who needed it least.16 Voluntarism had many champions as discussion of governmental social insurance continued, but among opponents, not supporters. Few real champions of social insurance sought to achieve their ends by trying to establish a deliberate government policy of subsidizing and otherwise fostering voluntary efforts. Paradoxically, however, many staunch proponents of compulsory systems carried along a baggage of concepts that were logical only within a voluntaristic framework--especially the idea that social insurance had to adopt private insurance patterns of risk-grouping and financing, and the notion that insurance was primarily a device for each individual to spread his risk over time, savings fashion. As social insurance moved from discussion to legislation, such concepts, which Willoughby had helped tie to the movement, affected the new institutions both in general framework and in technical detail.

A third writer thought more clearly in institutional terms than did Brooks, understood better than did Willoughby the unique nature of compulsory social insurance, and more than either made his judgments on the basis of criteria indigenous to the ideal of maximizing welfare. Charles R. Henderson incarnated the shift that took place between about 1885 and 1910 from welfare as an avocation of ministers and aristocratic philanthropists to welfare as a problem for social scientists. During the 1880s he was a minister in Detroit, worked with the local Association of Charities, and accepted all of the central COS dogmas.17 Then in 1892 he changed his vocation to Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago. Thereafter he continued his interest in welfare by serving on the Executive Committee of the Chicago Bureau of Charities, as president of the NCCC in 1898-1899, and as an active scholar.

As late as 1904 Henderson paid his respects to COS beliefs by editing a book, Modern Methods of Charity, which presented the welfare problem in industrialized countries as primarily a question of relief technique and used COS criteria to judge whether a system were modern.18 But Henderson was a man whose outlook flexed with the times. In 1884, for instance, he wanted all public outdoor relief “utterly abolished;” a decade later he argued that the state was “never free from the moral duty, in the last resort, to see that relief was given.” Personal, private charity might be superior in “spontaneity, versatility, idealism, [and] religious fervor," but public relief surpassed it in "completeness, adequacy, equality of burdens, and the control of criminal tendencies often mixed up with pauperism." So charity workers should work to combine the two as complements. During the 1890s he studied in Germany, and in 1901, at the age of fifty-three, was awarded a Ph.D. degree by the University of Leipzig. At about the same time he began more radically to change his thinking on welfare to some approach other than relief. In 1902 the NCCC appointed him Chairman of a special Committee on Workingmen's Insurance. He devoted several sections of his 1904 book to the subject, and followed it with occasional articles. When in 1906 the NCCC committee returned a report full of verbal mush, Henderson, who had spent part of 1905 in Europe studying foreign social insurance, spoke out for the new approach with, in his words, “the strong language of conviction." In 1908 and again in 1911 he published Industrial Insurance in the United States, a book which for its time was virtually definitive and strongly in favor of the reform.19

In one sense, Henderson's language did not emphasize careful institutional structuring as much as Willoughby's. Since one of Willoughby's main criteria for judging a system was conformity to the technical principles of private insurance, he wrote explicitly as an engineer of a social institution. Henderson’s central criterion, by contrast, was adequate welfare distributed as broadly as the need, to guarantee economic and material well-being. Unlike Willoughby, he did not forget what welfare institutions were supposed to institutionalize. Implicitly, his language did reflect the search for a systematic, structured approach to welfare, "At present both custom and law are in a chaotic condition," he wrote in reference to protecting workingmen against dependency. The insurance method promised a way out of such chaos. Charity picked up broken pieces when nothing else could be done. But something could be done. Reformers had to find better solutions, and embody them in statute law.20 In trying to escape chaos by creating insurance mechanisms, constructed securely around a legal framework, Henderson spoke the language of the institutional approach.

Henderson had clear notions about the nature of the institution for which he was aiming. He did not confuse social insurance with individual saving. From the beginning he spoke the genuinely social language of “the distribution of these losses over large numbers.” “The minute a man joins an insurance society he gains a claim on a fund which he could not 'save' in twenty years,” he wrote in 1909. “Furthermore men are discovering that co-operation with others opens a finer way of life than depositing premiums to an individual account." On the other hand, Henderson did not let his belief that social insurance was not essentially a form of individual self-help carry him to the point where he viewed it merely as a form of relief. At least when it was constructed on the contributory pattern of German insurance, it carried no stigma of charity, If employers and government helped the working class through contributions and subsidies to social insurance, that was not charitable relief. Rather it was a reflection of the fact that the hazards a workingman suffered were not entirely his fault, but that industry and the total social organization in large part had created them. Social insurance with all relevant groups contributing was “common justice, a method of fairly distributing the extraordinary costs of civilization.”21

Henderson had a clear idea also of which stratum of society social insurance should be designed to serve. It was for “those who live on small wages or salaries, and who, in a struggle to live decently and educate their children, have difficulty in ‘making ends meet.’ ”These people deserved the protection of collective institutions for security because they were productive workers who had lost ownership and management of the materials and tools of production, not because of “their absolute misery.” It was “not necessary to exaggerate poverty to prove the need of a social policy of insurance” The remedy was imperative not because of abject poverty but because productive workers lived on a “narrow margin between income and subsistence” and a few weeks of sickness or other misfortune could quickly pull them below the margin.22

In his attitude toward preventionism Henderson showed a similar clarity of goal. The idea that it was better to prevent hazards than merely to mitigate their effects had great inherent appeal, so great that as time passed many opponents and some advocates of social insurance became preoccupied with it, to the great confusion of the social insurance movement as a whole. Henderson recognized a preventionist effect. In his 1904 book he introduced the topic of social insurance under the heading “Preventive and Constructive.” The idea that social insurance would prevent dependency, indeed the very threat of dependency, resulting from industrial hazards was very central to his thought. “The aim of social insurance,” he wrote in 1911, “is not only ‘to keep the wolf from the door’ but to keep him so far away that he cannot destroy sleep with his howls.” But he was very cautious with the idea of preventionism interpreted as the most outspoken preventionists would interpret it: to forestall the hazards before they occurred. He recognized that social insurance might help significantly to induce changes in the conditions that produced hazards. “The whole educational influence of the [German] insurance system,” he declared in 1911, “is directed to diminish the frequency of accidents and sickness, to combat preventable diseases . . . , and to improve the conditions of the habitations of wage earners and their families.” Yet in 1914, shortly before his death, he warned conferees at the NCCC not to spend all of their time discussing “prevention of accident and disease.” The “science and wit of man” could not elimiminate all “injuries, mutilation, and weakness.” Each year, “with unerring certainty, . . . accident, sickness, invalidism, old age, unemployment or death” would affect a certain number of people “who with their dependents must have community assistance. Social politics, therefore, while not neglecting prevention, must organize social insurance.”23

Henderson kept his eye on his central goal, adequate economic and material welfare distributed as broadly as the need. That, he believed, could be achieved only through compulsion. (He preferred the term “obligatory insurance,” however, arguing that a law which a free people accepted and passed as reasonable was not compulsion.) No purely voluntary device could meet the needs of the majority of wage earners, especially those of the unskilled, he wrote. Large industrial firms had the resources and administrative ability to provide insurance systems for their employees but small ones did not. In any case, left to voluntarism the “ignorant and cruel employer” could “drag his nobler competitor to the lower level." Trade unions had done some good, especially with sick and out-of-work benefits, but it was unfair to place upon them burdens which business should assume. Only one worker in ten belonged to a union, moreover, and that worker was more inclined to view his union as a fighting organization rather than as a vehicle for mutual aid. Fraternal societies were admirable, but they too spread the burden of risk wrongly. Henderson did not completely reject a role for private insurance companies. But he argued that only compulsion could reduce agents’ fees and the expenses of collecting premiums to the point where their insurance was acceptable. “Bare cost of insurance is not a heavy economic burden,” he wrote in 1907; “it is the warts which weigh most.” Given the failure of voluntary efforts, he had little hope that even government regulation and subsidies could make them successful. “Only obligatory insurance, upon a plan which divides the costs as fairly as possible between wage earner, employer and the public,” he was sure, “gives any reasonable assurance of success in this century.”24

Henderson was free to contemplate use of compulsion because he was not tied to the fundamentalistic slogans which a generation of Americans reared on the dogmas of laissez faire reflexively hurled against it. “The assertion, based on nothing, that compulsory social insurance is 'not American' is contrary to the most obvious facts of our history," he wrote in 1909. Americans “love to make laws, and every statute and court ruling is compulsory.” They used compulsion for everything from building roads to maintaining public systems of education.

Compulsory social insurance, he believed, merely provided protection to the worker analogous to the security that property laws provided their employers, Nor would Henderson be “hushed by the sneering epithets, ‘socialism,’ ‘sentimentalism,’ ‘paternalism,’ and . . . German ‘absolutism.’” To him “such empty and provincial phrases” revealed an “American mind …empty of knowledge of a world movement, …an indifference to human suffering which did no credit to our civilization, and a contempt for social science.” More directly they retarded the process of rationalizing the welfare sector. “While America, proud of its inventiveness and initiative, lags in the rear and rails at the 'effete monarchies’ of the Old World,” he scolded, “European nations have solved the actuarial and economic problems” of social insurance.25

Though Henderson had surely earned the right to rebuke his fellow Americans, his own vision was not perfect. A set of institutions designed to serve the person earning a small wage or salary would not be a complete welfare system; Henderson argued that only in the dreams of visionaries would social insurance eliminate all pauperism and all charity. The ease with which Henderson accepted the idea of residual classes of dependents to be left to outright relief was his most glaring deficiency. It meant that he would make virtually no attempt to apply his institutional solution to the poorest stratum of society, to those absolutely dependent upon some form of welfare. In effect he was satisfied that the dignity and status which a non-discretionary system of welfare afforded the dependent person should, arbitrarily, accrue only to those who were fortunate enough to have been economically productive. Persons and the families of persons who because of economic dislocation, racial discrimination, lack of training, psychological make-up, or repeated bad luck had never become regular wage- or salary-earners he would consign to being second-class welfare recipients. In that respect Henderson's deficiency was of the same kind that plagued voluntary self-help institutions. To be sure, if (as Henderson predicted) his solution would remove the threat of dependency from more than half the nation's population,26 a half drawn wholly from low-income groups, the deficiency was certainly far less in degree if not different in kind than that posed by voluntarism, To be sure also, Henderson’s limitation of his solution to the potentially self-supporting elements of the low-income population at least had the virtue of simplifying and clarifying his goals to the point where the engineering problems of building institutions to embody them might be manageable. The exclusion of residual classes was a very logical corrollary of social insurance unless its designers made very deliberate efforts by careful engineering to eliminate this weakness in the social insurance structures. Henderson’s fault was his failure to make that effort.

There were further defects in Henderson's vision, from the point of view of the process of institutionalization. He seemed to contemplate (though not as explicitly as Willoughby) separate, disconnected systems for the separate hazards of industrial accidents, sickness, old age, disability, and death. He scarcely contemplated unemployment insurance, which Germany did not have and England pioneered only in 1911. By 1911 even his incomplete vision had begun to blur, Admitting that “legal compulsion seems to be remote” he suggested that states should perhaps begin by encouraging trade union funds. In the last years before his death in 1915 he also grew more receptive to the budding schemes of welfare capitalists. As early as 1909, sensing the connection between institutionalization in welfare and that in the business sector, he wrote that “from the point of view of social insurance the tendency to concentrate manufacturers, commerce and transportation in permanent corporations is an advantage." The “responsible managers of large enterprises” had to be “far-seeing men,” and their business organizations were well adapted to “schemes which require a long view and the accumulation of funds.” In his last book, published posthumously in 1915, he presented welfare schemes initiated by capitalists as half-way houses to compulsory social insurance. In the United States, “where law has not yet developed far” toward legally obligatory systems, he explained, “there is large room for voluntary action.”27

Nevertheless in the years 1904 to 1911 Henderson had succeeded in setting forth some basic principles for institutions that might deal with welfare needs more completely, certainly, and smoothly. Though his vision was incomplete his method had the potential, as he said in 1906, of removing from philanthropy a large burden that did not belong to it and placing it upon industry where it belonged. Even the apparent blurring of his vision in his late years did not reflect a total loss of faith. “Probably we shall blunder on in the good old Anglo-Saxon way,” he predicted in 1913, “try experiments on a small scale and keep the people thinking, until some day the clouds lift and the lawyers and judges find that after all a measure required by the national welfare has all the time been lurking concealed in the cryptic oracles of the fine old constitution.28 As Henderson declined, younger men took up that faith and moved the social insurance along to actual passage of laws.

In the United States the first forms of social insurance to reach the stage of effective legislation were workmen's compensation for industrial accidents and pensions for mothers with dependent children. Proposals for each began to appear in the late 1890s. In 1897 the New York legislature passed a bill, later vetoed, to provide cash payments to certain parents; and in 1898 the same body rejected a workmen's compensation bill modeled on the English Act. During the first decade of the new century a half-dozen state legislatures investigated particularly workmen's compensation, and a few of them passed laws which proved to be either dead letters or, in the opinion of courts, unconstitutional. In 1908 the federal government instituted a system of workmen's compensation for its own employees. But the first really effective, general social insurance legislation was in 1911, with mothers’ pension laws in Missouri and Illinois and workmen's compensation laws in ten states.29 Because the two earliest forms of social insurance were at opposite poles of the social insurance spectrum, together they demonstrated well the practical issues that came to the fore as the actual process of institutionalizing welfare got under way.

In the case of workmen's compensation, it was easy to see that the fundamental problem was one of institutional structuring, Most workmen's accidents were dramatically related to the very visible institutional changes that were occurring in processes of production and transportation, It was quite obvious also that the basic difficulty was friction and malfunctioning in legal structures already existing. Under the common law the injured worker could establish his right to compensation only by a damage suit wherein he proved to the court that the employer had been at fault. A series of employers’ liability acts that states passed beginning about 1885 extended somewhat the meaning of employers “fault,” but did not eliminate three common-law doctrines of great disadvantage to the workman: the principle of “assumption of risk,” whereby a court presumed the workman who entered especially hazardous employment to have knowingly and willingly assumed the special risk; the doctrine of “contributory negligence,” which held that if the workman himself were at least partly responsible for the accident, that fact greatly reduced or even displaced the employer's liability; and the “fellow-servant rule" which similarly diminished employers’ liability even in cases where it was not the worker himself but a fellow-worker who was partly or wholly negligent. A further complication was that, beginning in 1886, insurance companies began entering the casualty field, offering policies to employers to cover their liability. Casualty insurance grew rapidly, and had the effect of introducing a third party between the employer and the employee who had no direct personal or economic interest in seeing that the employee got just compensation--whose immediate self-interest in any given case lay quite on the opposite side. The result was a system that placed a heavy burden of proof on workers, in a field where solid proofs were very difficult, and that used perhaps 60% of more of the insurance dollar for overhead expenses and legal fees. Nor were the dollars that went to workers distributed evenly for maximum welfare. Only about one injured worker in ten received damages, but the one who did often found a sympathetic jury awarding him a great windfall. Damages were usually in the form of lump-sum payments, moreover, rather than spread evenly over the time of the recipient's need. With a system so intimately tied up with economic and legal institutions, so obviously inefficient, and so haphazard and roulette-like in its functioning , the need for rationalization and better structuring was concrete and clear.30

The solution which reformers offered was an institutional one, embodying an approach that Germany had pioneered in 1884, European workmen's compensation systems varied, but the central techniques ran through them all: payment of benefits to the workman or his survivors according to predetermined schedules and procedures; and paying them automatically, without raising the troublesome and costly question of who was at fault. An advocate on the right wing of the workman’s compensation movement such as P. Tecumseh Sherman, ex-Commissioner of Labor in New York, might argue that compensation was simply a device governing more justly the personal relations between master and servant, and therefore a question of private justice rather than of the general social welfare. But most proponents rested their case more broadly on general welfare and institutional considerations. “The fact of the accident itself is of greater importance to society than the cause of it," wrote David Ross, Secretary of the Illinois Bureau of Labor in 1909, "and our plain duty in the premises is to employ some of the time we have wasted in efforts to locate legal responsibility in devising plans to meet such occurrence in a manly business way.31

With the old system so obviously malfunctioning and the need for a more structured solution set forth in practical language, it was relatively easy for all groups involved to accept the institutional approach reformers were offering, Charity workers became interested, conscious of the burden industry was putting on philanthropy through industrial accidents. Although labor spokesmen sometimes hesitated because they did not wish to forego the opportunity to sue in the courts for larger awards, by 1909 most would have agreed with American Federation of Labor President Samuel Gompers' report to the AFL convention indicting the old system and calling for uniform state workmen's compensation laws plus a federal law for interstate commerce. Businessmen's admiration of efficiency was enough to overcome even their antipathy for compulsion. The conservative National Association of Manufacturers found the old system “unsatisfactory”, wasteful, [and] slow in operation,” and recommended an automatic system of compensation to “reduce waste, litigation and friction” and especially to stimulate efforts to prevent accidents. By 1912 even spokesmen for the casualty companies reluctantly endorsed the new approach if the door were left open for them to act at carriers of the accident insurance.32

The ready recognition that workmen's compensation offered a structurally more sound approach by no means assured, however, that the institutions that emerged would be fully rationalized. Confusion and acrimony merely moved to the level of the institutions technical design. The interest groups involved differed markedly, for instance, regarding who should bear the costs, and how large compensation should be. Spokesmen for the National Association of Manufacturers denounced as “compulsory charity and paternalism” resolution of the Central Labor Bodies of New York City that demanded, a bit fantastically, that the law allow workers to retain all of their rights to sue under common, law and still entitle them to automatic compensation at the rate of 65% of wages (with a minimum of $850 per year), the employer paying the entire contribution. The manufacturers believed that employees should make “minor contributions,” and benefits be kept limited, to prevent fraud and “contamination of  . . . qualities of thrift and self-reliance.”33 There were troublesome questions of administrative structure. Europe offered three basically different models: Germany's system of compulsory insurance through employer-managed mutual fund; Norway’s system compelling employers to insure through a state-administered fund; and England's system of merely holding the employer responsible for compensation without specifying the type of insurance carrier or even demanding that they insure their risk at all. The NAM favored still another variation, compulsory insurance but free choice of carriers.34 Debate over administrative models and other even more technical questions provided ample opportunity for introducing fundamentalistic arguments concerning the proper responsibilities of government, private enterprise, and the individual. Constitutional considerations further complicated matters, especially after New York state courts in 1911 set aside a limited compensation law covering certain hazardous occupations on the grounds that, by requiring employers to pay regardless of fault, it deprived them of property without due process of law; while in the same year courts in the State of Washington upheld a much more radical law that applied comprehensively and allowed only state-administered funds as insurance carriers. By 1912 the resulting confusion moved Miles Dawson, a New York actuary and attorney who had been the moving spirit behind the pioneer 1898 bill in New York, to Propose one uniform federal law. Instead, however, the states passed the legislation with great variety. The “goodly grist” of early compensation laws should have pleased those who consider it a great advantage of our federal system that it offers a wide field for experimental legislation,” observed Columbia University’s Henry Seager in 1912, two years after he published his notable book entitled Social Insurance, a Program of Social Reform. But Seager too was apprehensive about the lack of uniformity, fearing that it created hardship for business.35 Whether or not it created such hardship, a confusing variety became a notorious feature of workmen's compensation in the United States. In social insurance legislation, experiments have had a way of hardening into permanent institutions.

As a question of better structuring in the welfare sector, workmen’s compensation demonstrated one type of problem. The problem for reformers was not that of getting their contemporaries to perceive the issues in institutional terms.  It was easy to see that the problem was inherent in the industrial system rather than in personal character or relationships, In fact, many businessmen, insurance company spokesmen, and lawyers who dealt with the reform scarcely understood it as a question directly of welfare at all, to be shaped around welfare criteria. To them it was a matter of business law and organization. With workmen's compensation, therefore, the problem was to determine what ideas, principles, and criteria would be institutionalized in administrative and structural details--not the prior question of whether there would be structuring and institutionalization at all. As the social insurance movement would develop, the movements for health insurance, for protection in old age and disability, and for unemployment compensation would produce different mixtures of the prior with the secondary question, Meanwhile, polar opposite from workmen’s compensation lay the other early form of social insurance, mothers’ pensions.

From 1911 to 1920 thirty-nine states and two territories passed pensions or assistance laws to give regular cash payments to mothers who had dependent children and who, according to means tests, were needy. Only in a most general way was the mothers’ pensions movement related to the changing organizational patterns of industry. Its purpose was less to apply a more institutional approach to welfare than to preserve a very ancient institution of another kind, the family. With their slogan “care of the needy in their own homes” charity workers had helped to popularize a spirit of familism that began to heighten at about the turn of the century; and according to Devine, the slogan reflected a decline in their interest in “mechanical forms of organization in welfare.36 Consequently the mothers’ pensions movement, unlike the discussions of workmen’s compensation, scarcely moved on to the stage of dispute over the structural details of the new institution. With it the implicit question was the prior one of whether the ideal of a more automatically-functioning, institutionalized system would be applied at all. In the end the answer was almost a “no.” Where social workers accepted mothers’ pensions they did so because the new form of aid brought to public welfare the personalized approach that the COS movement had applied to private charity. The pensions remained very closely tied to the concept of relief. As Ada Sheffield of the Massachusetts State Board of Charities declared in 1915: “The possibility of invigorating the outdoor relief system is the crux of the whole discussion on mothers’ pensions.37

From the middle of the nineteenth century a trend in American charity and relief pointed logically toward some system of mothers’ pensions. In 1853 Charles Loring Brace, a minister-philanthropist, founded the private New York Children's Aid Society. Soon the Society was leader of a broad effort to place dependent children in private homes rather than put them in orphanages and other institutions of confinement. Fifteen years later the Massachusetts State Board of Charities began a deliberate policy of boarding children out at public expense rather than confining them. Gradually there developed a corrolary to the "placing-out" trends: unless the parents were unable or unfit, they should be allowed to keep their children in their own homes. With the progressive movement of the early twentieth century the trend got new impetus from various sources, ranging from the juvenile court movement to crusading journalists such as Theodore Dreiser, editor of Delineator. In 1907 Dreiser began a long series of articles on the plight of children. He went on to sponsor a "Child Rescue League," and urged President Theodore Roosevelt to support the reform. In 1909 his and others' efforts produced a White House Conference on the Care of Dependent Children, which brought the entire trend with its corrolary; to a great crescendo. Declaring that “home life is the finest and highest product of civilization," the conferees recommended that children of parents who were of "worthy character" but suffering some “temporary misfortune, and children of reasonably efficient and deserving mothers who are without the support of the normal breadwinner[s]," should be kept in their own homes with enough aid to insure that the homes be suitable places for rearing them. The conferees recommended that the assistance be private. But others, including Mothers’ Pensions Leagues and other civic groups, juvenile court badges such as Ben Lindsey of Denver and Merritt Pinckney of Chicago, and journalistic crusaders for social insurance such as William Hard of the editorial staff of Everybody’s Magazine, sought and eventually got the aid from public funds."

The role of social workers in the movement was ambiguous. Those based in conservative, prestigious private agencies of the East were especially hesitant. When State Senator John Ahearn first introduced “destitute mothers’ bills in successive New York legislatures from 1897 to 1899, the charity agencies of New York City organized an adamant and successful opposition, The bills, they argued, would encourage desertions and pervarication, make children a source of profit, revive public outdoor relief with its bad effects on thrift and private giving, and introduce a “mechanical and arbitrary” form of charity instead of one based on the particular circumstances of each case. Private charity was adequate for all cases where the need was real.39  When the demand for mothers’ pensions became a broad movement a dozen years later, similar arguments from the well-established, conservative agencies were common. Yet even opponents helped the movement along, in general by adopting the slogans of "aiding the poor in their homes" and "adequacy of material relief,” and more specifically by fostering the idea that fatherless families were a class apart, deserving of special treatment. “The poverty of widows left with young children,'' declared Almy of the Buffalo COS in 1899, was a kind of “heroic poverty” which deserved "liberal and continuous outdoor relief," If private agencies opposed public relief, they had to be sure that their aid to widows was ample. In direct response to the Ahearn bills, the New York COS added a permanent Committee on Dependent Children whose expressed purpose was "to prevent the necessity for the breaking up of families.” By 1909 the United Hebrew Charities of New York sponsored a special Widowed Mothers’ Fund for the city, based on private support.40

All of the special efforts, moreover, seemed only to prepare the way for some public system. By 1911 Homer Folks, a nationally recognized leader and writer in the field of child saving and originally one of the chief opponents'' of the Ahearn bills, was almost ready to step across the line from private to public. “That the private relief societies in New York City as a whole have failed to provide adequately for widows with children … can hardly be questioned,” he admitted. “Personally I have felt disposed to favor some form of public relief.” A year later Folks gave one last call for adequate pensions from private sources; but he declared that breaking up families was a greater evil than public relief, and if we do not secure from private sources sufficient funds, then, without hesitation we ought to have a system of public relief to widows," Almy reflected the same wavering spirit. “I do not care whether relief is a public or private function," he told NCCC conferees in 1912, public relief might tend to pauperize, but "pauperizing by alms is no worse than pauperizing by neglect…. I am not willing to believe that in this day public outdoor relief cannot be successful."41

Despite his brave words, Almy wanted to delay any system of public pensions to widows until the public was ready to pay for high-quality administrators and adequate investigation of cases. Similarly, Folks was favorably disposed “only and emphatically upon the condition that it shall be radically different in spirit and method from ordinary public outdoor relief."42 As the mothers' pensions movement gained momentum after 1911, social workers often kept their feet on the brake. But they did not base their hestitation on opposition to a public form of welfare per se or to disturbing the status quo. Rather they emphasized that they did not wish to repeat the errors of traditional poor-law relief, with its political favoritism and lax administration. The logic of their criticisms diverged into two differing directions. Was the solution to substitute a more thoroughly personalized and individualized form of welfare, or to provide something even more systematic and institutional?

In August of 1912 the Russell Sage Foundation sent a field researcher, Christian Carstens, to observe several early mothers' pensions systems in operation. Soon he and Mary Richmond, director of the Foundation's Charity organization Department, cast their influence against the new reform. Miss Richmond was on the eve of transforming individualized case work from a technique to a dogma; and reports from the Sage Foundation favored her highly particularistic approach rather than, in her words, “one remedy applied wholesale by statute.” Advocates argued that the pensions were a matter of justice, payments for the services mothers rendered to the community. Richmond and Cartens thought it wrong to mix into relief the concept of payment for services rather than for proven need, of fixed payments not adjusted to the specific “needs or the characteristics of the individual,” and of giving money without “taking responsibility for what happens,” They believed that justice was served only when social workers followed the payments with personal services to assure that the families developed careful plans for the future and observed proper rules of health, schooling, and other training. Carstens thought for example that such case investigation as existed in Chicago, under the pioneer Illinois law, was almost a form of “espionage,” since case workers did not know their families intimately enough to provide follow-up services or even to assure that the incomes were adequate. Nor did he and Miss Richmond think that state legislation or machinery could assure the personalized services they sought. The state might be useful for promoting broad preventive measures such as stricter laws to force relatives, deserters, and illegitimate fathers to assume their responsibilities, and to make industry provide workman's compensation and more healthful working conditions.      But for relief work “a well localized form of organization was “absolutely necessary.” Mothers’ pensions were faulty because they were not sufficiently personal and particularistic.43

In contrast to Carstens and Richmond ware other social workers who put Primary emphasis on the need for a more general, systematic, and comprehensive approach. Some, such as a Committee of the Association of Neighborhood Workers that settlement worker Mary Simkhovitch headed in New York in 1913, thought that mothers' pensions did not preclude “a comprehensive plan of public insurance,” But others, such as Max Senior of Cincinnati's United Hebrew Charities, feared that they would create satisfaction with “a partial remedy” when social workers should insist on the “full program,” by which he meant “compulsory insurance against accident, sickness, old age, and invalidity… in every state of the union.” A most notable opponent of mothers pensions was Devine, Secretary of the New York COS, editor of Survey, and Director of the New York School of philanthropy. Devine had been chairman of the committee formed to oppose the Ahearn bill in 1899, but from that time on he had been in the forefront of efforts to provide private funds to worthy parents whose need was additional income, and thus to prevent any needless breaking up of families. Social workers and philanthropists too often overlooked the close relationship between “making of the home the protection of childhood” and insuring the income, he declared in 1907. Although in good COS language he could deplete “the permanent establishment of some external device, some governmental mechanism, as a substitute for individual and parental responsibility," he did not apply such logic to true social insurance. He was an early supporter of workmen’s compensation, and when the American Association for Labor Legislation formed a committee in 1913 to lead the social insurance movement, he became its chairman and supported a broad program of compulsory state insurance against death, industrial accidents, sickness, unemployment, and old age. 44

But mothers' pensions, Devine declared in 1913, had “no place in a rational scheme of social legislation.” “As an advocate . . . of social insurance, I sharply challenge the proposal for weekly or monthly payments to mothers from public funds raised by taxation, as not in harmony with the principles of social insurance." The reform had neither a claim to the name of pension nor any “element of prevention or radical cure for any recognized evil.” Instead mothers’ pensions were “merely a revamped and in the long run unworkable form of public outdoor relief." Therefore they constituted “an insidious attack upon the family, inimical to the welfare of children and injurious to the character of parents." Devine saw in them “all that is most objectionable in state Socialism," but not what he considered to be the socialists’ admirable ideal of social justice. Justice, Devine thought, would come only through a form of social insurance that established “a recognized and organic relation” between the death or disability of a father and the support of his family. The “honorable income” that Devine wished for the mothers was one from a state administered fund, raised by the joint contributions of the insured and their employers, the burden lightly felt because widely distributed.” He recognized that his system had the inherent defect that some families would not qualify and would have to be treated residually; but he, like Henderson, was quite content to leave such families to outright relief. The proper reform for treating residual cases lay in improvement of public relief administration—“rather than in a process of self-delusion and of solemn pretense that changing the names of things alters their essential character.'' 45

When professional social workers gradually came to accept the new public aid to mothers it was because they saw in it a reform of poor relief, more than social insurance.  They had little choice but to accept. However much leaders in conservative private (or public) agencies of the East might object, in 1911 and 1912 the movement took root in Missouri, Illinois, and Colorado, From the Midwest and the West, which had traditionally relied heavily on public systems of relief, it spread nationwide, Fourteen states passed legislation in 1913, twenty-two more by 1920, and every state except Georgia and South Carolina by 1933. It was a time of general upgrading of public relief, as represented especially by the concurrent trend of establishing municipal Bureaus of Public Welfare. The administration of mothers' pensions reflected the new trend, and gradually mollified the critics. By 1916 Almy was ready to praise those who had directed their “energy and hard work in making public outdoor relief efficient, rather than substituting private work . . . . The widows' pension work is becoming public,” he added, “and I am glad that it is so.” Five years later even Carstens admitted that “social workers as a whole have now accepted the principle of public aid to mothers," and praised its good effects on all public aid. 46

In actual fact, the mothers’, assistance laws were scarcely cause for exuberance. Many of them left counties free to choose whether or not they would participate. Some were little more than enabling acts, giving the counties permission to provide the pensions from their own funds, but providing no state aid. As late as 1931 only about half of the eligible counties were providing the pensions, and then often at niggardly levels.47 Had social workers been striving more deliberately for a fully-rationalized set of welfare institutions rather than merely trying to upgrade administration of public relief, they might have been more disturbed that the systems were spotty and incomplete. But the impulse to institutionalize the welfare sector reflected itself only slightly in the movement for mothers’ pensions.

*           *                  *                  *

The period from 1893 to about 1915, when a health insurance movement got underway in earnest, was the first phase of the American campaign for social insurance. It exposed the two major questions men would have to answer, implicitly, if a new approach to welfare consonant with other changes in America's social structure were to become a reality: whether men could think in institutional rather than personal and relational terms and apply that thinking to the problem of dependence; and if so, what basic concepts and social goals would they structure into the institutions they were about to create. Brooks with his fusion of moralism with the institutional approach, Willoughby, with his concepts derived from private insurance, saving, and self-help, and Henderson with his central concern of maximizing welfare and his understanding of the logic of compulsory insurance together illustrated the range of issues involved in answering the two questions. Early struggles for workmen's compensation and mothers' pensions further demonstrated that range, since the protagonists saw the one quite clearly as a problem of an industrial society's institutional structures while they conceived of the other almost entirely in traditional terms as a matter of public relief. Despite variety and profound disagreements, however, before 1915 social insurance advocates and other discussants did not divide themselves into clearly defined camps and schools of thought to the degree that they did thereafter. From the acceleration of the health insurance movement in 1915 until the Social Security Act of 1935 the protagonists perpetuated and amplified the issues, but they did so more and more within separate circles of discussion, divided by differing professional interests and social ideas.

Notes, Ch. 2

1 John Graham Brooks, Compulsory Insurances in Germany: Including an Appendix Relating to Compulsory Insurance in Other Countries in Europe (Fourth Special Report of the Commissioner of Labor, Prepared under the Direction of Commissioner of Labor Carroll D. Wright, revised edition; Washington, 1895). See especially Brooks, “The Future Problem of Charity and the Unemployed,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 5 (July, 1894, 1-27; Brooks, “Report on German Workingmen's Insurance," Proceedings of the National Conference of Charities and Corrections (hereafter cited as NCCC Proceedings (1905), 452-57; and Brooks, “Necessity for Social Insurance," The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 38 (July, 1911), 85-89.

2 Brooks, Compulsory Insurance in Germany, 285-92.

3 Ibid., 288, 286.

4 Brooks, “On Humanizing Insurance," in Industrial Insurance: The Existing Need of Providing Aid for Injured Workingmen and Their Dependent Families--A Review of Methods (Chicago? 1907?), 28; Brooks, “Report on German Workingmen's Insurance," 453.

5 Brooks, Compulsory Insurance in Germany, 288-93, 286.

6 Ibid., 286, 293; Brooks, “Report on German Workingmen's Insurance," 453-54;Brooks, “Necessity for Social Insurance.”

7 William Willoughby, Workingmen's Insurance (New York, 1898).

8 Ibid., 4.

9 Ibid., 341-42.

10 Ibid., iv, 348-51, 284-311, 345-48, 358-60.

11 Ibid., 314, 311, 312, 353, 339-41.

12 Ibid ., 15. For an enlightening, concise discussion of the essential differences between private and compulsory insurance, see W. Rulon Williamson's paper in Social Insurance Legislation (New York, 1935; American Management Association insurance series pamphlet no.21), 1-22.

13 Willoughby, Workingmen's Insurance, 15-21.

14 Ibid., 3, 15-16, 13-4.

15 Ibid:, 358-59, 350, 344, 361, 375-78, 260-64, 360, 347.

16 Louis D. Brandeis, “Massachusetts's Substitute for Old Age Pensions,” The Independent, 65 (July 16, 1908), 125-28; Alice H. Grady, “Insurance Through the Savings Bank,” The Survey, 55 (Feb. 15, 1926), 559.

17 Charles R. Henderson, “Cooperation of the Churches,” NCCC Proceedings (1884), 80-83.  

18 Charles R. Henderson, Modern Methods of Charity: An Account of the Systems of Relief, Public and Private, in the Principal Countries Having Modern Methods (New York, 1904).

19 Henderson, “Public Relief and Private Charity,” The Charities Review, 3 (Mar., 1894), 231; Henderson, Modern Methods of Charity, 69-75, 507-08. See especially Henderson, “Workingmen's Accident Insurance," Charities and The Commons, 17 (1906-1907), 823-25; and Henderson, “The Logic of Social Insurance,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 33 (Mar., 1909), 265-77. “Report of the Special Committee [on Workingmen's Insurance]," NCCC Proceedings (1906), 452-57, discussion on 598-99; Henderson, Industrial Insurance in the United States (second edition; Chicago, 1911).

20 Henderson, Modern Methods of Charity, 507; Henderson, NCCC Proceedings (1906), 599.

21 Henderson, Modern Methods, 507,72; Henderson, “The Logic of Social Insurance,” 269; Henderson, Industrial Insurance, 7.

22 Henderson, Industrial Insurance, 43-47, 41.

23 Henderson, Modern Methods, 69; Henderson, Industrial Insurance, 44, 9-10; Henderson, "The Right of the Worker to Social Protection," NCCC Proceedings (1914), 357.

24 Henderson, Industrial Insurance, 81-82, 10, 90; Henderson, Modern Methods, 69; Henderson, “Workingmen's Accident Insurance,” 824.

25 Henderson, "The Logic of Social Insurance" (cited note 19), 271, 265; Henderson, Industrial Insurance, 44.

26 Henderson, Modern Methods, 73; Henderson, Industrial Insurance, 43.

27 Henderson, Industrial Insurance, 111; Henderson, “The Logic of Social Insurance” (cited note 19), 269; Henderson, Citizens in Industry (New York and London, 1915), Ch. 1.

28 Henderson, /in NCCC Proceedings (1906), 596-600; Henderson, “Insurance Against Unemployment,” The American Labor Legislation Review, 3 (June, 1913), 182.

29 Homer Folks, “Proposed Legislation Concerning Children in New York,” The Charities Review, 6 (July-Aug., 1897), 493-500; Clarence W. Hobbs, Workmen’s Compensation Insurance: Including Employers' Liability Insurance (New York, 1939), 86-89, 95;Abraham Epstein, Insecurity, A Challenge to America (third edition; New York, 1936), 628.

30 Theodore E. Gaty, Evolution and Revolutions of Liability Insurance (New York, 1912), 3; John Mitchell, “Burden of Industrial Accidents,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 38 (July, 1911), 81; Mitchell, The Wage Earner and His Problems (Washington, 1913), 51-53; see also Crystal Eastman, Work Accidents and The Law (New York, 1910); The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 38 (July, 1911).

31 P. Tecumseh Sherman, “A Compensation Law and Private Justice,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 38 (July, 1911), 151-58; David Ross, “Employers’ Liability Laws,” American Federationist, 16 (Nov., 1909), 953.

32 See, for instance, Clarence H. Mark, “Why Workingman's Insurance Is Needed," in Industrial Insurance (pamplet, Chicago Daily News, 1909), 6; and remarks of Charles R. Henderson, NCCC Proceedings (1906), 598. Samuel Gompers, “Report to American Federation of Labor Convention, 1909,” in Hayes Robbin, ed.; Labor and the Employer (New York, 1920), 135-36; Ferdinand C. Schwedtman and James A. Emery, Accident Prevention and Relief (New York, 1911), xiii-xiv. For insurance companies' position see, for instnace, Frank E. Law, Workmen's Compensation for Accidents (New York, 1912); and Edson S. Lott, Workmen's Compensation Laws as Distinguished From Employers' Liability Laws, (New York, 1912) .

33 National Association of Manufacturers, Preliminary Report of the Committee on Industrial Indemnity Insurance (New York, 1910), 17; Schwedtman and Emery, Accident Prevention and Relief, 263-65.

34 For discussion of the merits and demerits of the different carriers see especially "After the Common Law What? A Symposium," The Survey, 28 (May 4, 1912), 239-49. For a strong indictment of the state fund plan, see especially Sherman, Invasion of the Insurance Field By the State (New York? 1913); for a defense see Hamilton Higday, “The Washington Workmen's Compensation Act and its Critics,” The Survey, 30 (June 21, 1913), 393-98. Schwedtman, Cooperation or --What? (New York? 1912), 6-7.

35 Hobbs, Workmen's Compensation Insurance, 91; Irwin Yellowitz, Labor and the Progressive Movement in New York State (Ithica, 1965), 107-08; Miles M. Dawson, “The System Best Adapted to the United States,” The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 38 (July, 1911), 175-83; Henry R. Seager, “Introductory Address,” The American Labor Legislation Review, 2 (Feb., 1912), 11-12.

36 David I. Green, “Treatment of Needy Families in Their Homes by Public Agencies,” NCCC Proceedings (1903) 291-97; “Care of Needy Families in Their Homes,” Charities, 8 (Nov. 2, 1901) 353-54.

37 Ada Eliot Sheffield, “The Influence of Mothers' Aid Upon Family Life,” The Survey, 34 (July 24, 1915), 378.

38 Henry W. Thurston, “Dependent Children,” in Edwin R. A. Seligman and Alvin Johnson, ed;, Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (New York, 1930), III, 398-403; Ada J. Davis, "The Evolution of the Institution of Mothers' Pensions in the United States," The American Journal of Sociology, 35 (Jan., 1930), 573-87; Roy Lubove, The Struggle for Social Security, 1900-1935 (Cambridge, Mass., 1968), 96-101; Robert Hebbard, “Charitable Relief and Congestion," The Survey, 25 (Mar. 25, 1911), 1060-61; For text of the 1909 White House Conference conclusions see U. S. Children's Bureau, Foster-Home Care for Dependent Children (Bureau publication no. 136; Washington, 1924), 195-200; or White House Conference on Child Health and Protection, Dependent and Neglected Children (New York, 1933), IV, C-1, 59. For an excellent illustration giving the flavor of the journalistic promotion of mothers' pensions, see Frederic C. and Marie Jenny Howe, “Pensioning the Widow and the Fatherless,” Good Housekeeping, 57 (Sept., 1913), 282-91.

39 Edward T. Devine, et al., “Brief in Opposition to Senator Ahern's Destitute Mothers' Bill," Charities, 2 (Apr. 8, 1899), 2-3.

40 Frederick Almy, “The Relation Between Private and Public Outdoor Relief--II,” The Charities Review, 9 (Apr., 1899), 69; “Dependent Children in New York City,” Charities, 7 (Nov. 2, 1901), 368-74; editorial, Charities, 2 (Mar. 25, 1899), 8; Belle Israels, “Widowed Mothers,” The Survey, 22 (Sept. 4, 1909), 741-42.

41 Homer Folks, “Charitable Relief and Congestion,” The Survey, 25 (Mar. 25, 1911), 1060; Folks, “Discussion,” NCCC Proceedings (1912), 487; Almy, “Public Pensions to Widow; Experiences and Observations Which Lead Me to Oppose Such a Law,” NCCC Proceedings (1912), 481-85.

42 Almy, “Public Pensions to Widows,” 482, 485; Folks, “Charitable Relief and Congestion,” 1060.

43 Mary E. Richmond, “Motherhood and Pensions,” The Survey, 29 (Mar. 1,1913), 774-80; C. C. Carstens, “Public Pensions to Widows with Children,” The Survey, 29 (Jan. 4, 1913), 459-66; Richmond, “ ‘Pensions’ and the Social Worker,” The Survey, 29 (Feb. 15, 1913), 665-66; John M. Glenn, Lilian Brandt, and F. Emerson Andrews, Russell Sage Foundation, 1907-1946 (New York, 1947), I, 130. For critique of Carstens' objections by a journalist who promoted mothers' pensions see William Hard, “The Moral Necessity of 'State Funds to Mothers,” The Survey, 29 (Mar. 1, 1913), 769-73.

44 Mary K. Simkhovitch et al., letter to the editor, The Survey, 29 (Mar. 15, 1913), 843; Max Senior, “Discussion,” NCCC Proceedings (1912), 491-92; see especially Edward T. Devine, "Relief and Care of the Poor in Their Homes," The Charities Review, 10 (Oct., 1900), 334-45; and Devine, “The Breaking up of Families,” The Charities Review, 10 (Dec., 1900), 461-68; Devine, “Income and Relief Measures,” Charities and the Commons, 17 (1906-1907), 756-68; Devine, “Pensions for Mothers,” The American Labor Legislation Review, 3 (June, 1913), 192.

45 Devine, “Pensions for Mothers,” 193, 198, 194; Devine, The Normal Life (New York, 1915), 188-89.

46 Epstein, Insecurity, a Challenge to America, 628-30. For the close relation between the mothers' pensions and BPW movements, see Lubove, The Struggle for Social Security, ch. 5; and Gertrude Vaile, letter to Mary E. Richmond ca. February, 1915, in Ralph and Muriel Pumphrey, The Heritage of American Social Work: Readings in Its Philosophical and Institutional Development (New York, 1961), 335 –39. Almy, “The Relationships of Public and Private Charities," NCCC Proceedings (1916), 305; C. C. Carstens, “Discussion,” Proceedings of the National Conference of Social Work (1921), 240-41.

47 Epstein, Insecurity, a Challenge to America, 629-35.