INDUSTRY: Swope Plan

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4) "For the protection of employes the following plans shall be adopted by all of these companies: a) A workmen's compensation act . . . modeled after the best features of the laws which have been enacted by the several States, b) All employes . . . may, after two years of service . . . and before the expiration of five years of service, be covered by life and disability insurance." Cost of the policy would be shared equally by the employe and the company or companies for which he worked, even if he changed industries. The employer would not share the premium of a policy over $5,000. c) Old age pensions, to be effective when the worker reaches 70, would be worked out along the same lines, with the companies putting by a fund dollar-for-dollar with the employe as long as the company's share would not exceed $50 a year, d) A similar provision would be provided for unemployment insurance.

In the nature of an attractive afterthought, President Swope included in his plan "a provision ... to place domestic corporations of the sort described on a parity with foreign competition." Companies exporting might deduct from their Federal income tax the equivalent of X percent of its export sales, "this X percent deemed to be the equivalent in selling price of the various provisions for the benefit of employes which the company must make under this plan and from which some foreign companies which the domestic companies have to meet in competition are free."

Observers found in the Swope Plan many an idea already in practical application. For the dissemination of association advertising, mutual information and in some cases propaganda, there have long been trade associations (among florists, bottlers, copper and brass pipe manufacturers, tailors, lumbermen, etc. etc.). Most States (44) have workmen's compensation acts. Seventeen States have adopted a form of old age insurance. The Carnegie Foundation provides (through its member colleges) 9,430 teachers with pensions much in the manner President Swope suggested. And last year (TIME, July 28, 1930), President Swope announced an unemployment insurance program for General Electric in which the company shares with the worker a fund which guarantees him $20 a week for ten weeks if he is idle.

Comment on the plan was guarded and not plentiful. Many a businessman and educator was for it: President Silas Hardy Strawn of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, who said the Chamber would have a similar scheme to announce this week; President William Wallace Atterbury of Pennsylvania R. R.; President Robert Isham Randolph of the Chicago Association of Commerce; President Nicholas Murray Butler of Columbia University; President Karl Taylor Compton of M. I. T. (of which President Swope is a graduate and trustee). An exception was Samuel Matthew Vauclain, board chairman of Baldwin Locomotive Works. "I don't care to comment on it," said he, "because I don't believe in it." In official circles the Swope Plan was viewed "with caution."

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