Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Busting another anti-capitalist myth

Yaron Brook and Don Watkins have an excellent piece at Forbes that addresses an old anti-capitalist canard: the assertion that capitalism -- particularly the late 19th and early 20th century American variety -- was responsible for child labor and, thus, has immoral roots.  Well, nonsense.  Even a cursory pass across history -- or a look at many impoverished countries now -- reveals that children have always worked in order to increase the chances that they and their family could survive.  And although factory conditions and employment conditions may have been horrific from our current-day perspective, from the perspective of those, including children, seeking employment at the time, they were measurably better than the alternatives.  Hear Brook and Watkins in their superb article:
Keep that in mind when you hear about living and working conditions during the nineteenth century. Because it’s true—by today’s standards, the living and working conditions of the time were often miserable. But by the standards of everything that had come before, they were not. For the men and women working those jobs, they were often a godsend.
There's a whole lot more of value in their article, which you can find here.