The Italian Emigration of Our Times.

 
9780405005220: The Italian Emigration of Our Times.
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This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1919. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER XX UNITED STATES. IV. THE ITALIAN EXPERIENCE Only incidentally or by indirection have we so far dealt with the question which most of all interests our immigrants, Have they profited by coming? Has the game, for them, been worth the candle? In the continuance and expansion of their immigration, as of all immigration, Americans have been wont to read but one answer -- it is Eldorado that lures and is found. In truth there are impressive evidences of success. Consider alone the remittances of money to Italy, mute testimony to the accumulation of a surplus. They aggregated in 1907, according to a widely quoted estimate by the Immigration Commission, $85,000,000.' I cannot believe, however, that this figure -- which may serve as an example -- justifies the inferences commonly drawn from it. Like 1906, the year 1907 was one of extraordinary prosperity, when wages were high and employment was constant. With irregular work and lower wages the margin beyond expenses must shrink. Of the $85,000,000, the best ascertained part was some $52,000,000 transmitted by the correspondents of immigrant banks. In 1908 this part shrank to $23,000,000 and during the first six months of 1909 to $8,000,000. Clearly, again, the per capita remittances of nearly two million persons were not high. When, further, the large proportion of males and the still larger proportion of adults among the immigrants are borne in mind, it becomes patent that the remittances are mainly not sheer savings but go to pay for the current maintenance of families dwelling abroad. The best that can be said for the procedure is that maintenance in Italy is at lower prices than in the United States: the birds of passage are canny birds. 1 Immigration Commission, xxxvii, pp. 261-288. Cf. C. F. Spear...

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Foerster, Robert Franz
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