Until the Industrial Revolution, average life expectancy was around 33 years. The image of the idyllic pastoral life was a hoax. People — those who lived past infancy — worked themselves to death trying to maintain a subsistence living, which meant they barely survived.
Thanks to Capitalism and the Industrial Revolution, life improved for everyone. Yes, factory hours were long, and life was horrible compared to the way it is today. But it was improving each decade.
You could say the exact same thing for industries in the Third World today. Wal-Mart and Nike are not exploiting these people. They are saving them. Paying $2 a day to people who had lived on $1 a day doubles their standard of living! And that’s just the beginning. Go Capitalism!
"The outstanding fact about the Industrial
Revolution is that it opened an age of mass
production for the needs of the masses.
The wage earners are no longer people
toiling merely for other people’s well-being
[as on a feudal manor or as an unpaid
apprentice]. They themselves are the main
consumers of the products the factories
– Ludwig von Mises
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