People commonly believe that the Industrial Revolution was a time when almost everyone worked in extremely horrible conditions. They hold this idea practically based upon a fifth grade textbook picture. Implicitly hidden within this thought is the claim of saying that this is the consequence of not having sufficient government intervention. As with almost everything they tell you, have you thoroughly analyzed and inquired the facts about this revolution by putting aside your preconceived ideas?
Have you asked yourself what was life before the Industrial Revolution, and what could have convinced the people into obtaining a job of such “terrible” conditions? Do you think the factory owners coerced the people to start working for them? If so, under which power or authority? The heart of the matter is that the owners were only able to hire people who were ready and willing to work for the wages offered to them.
Before these factories appeared, many people were living in absolute poverty. Women had nothing to cook with and feed their children. The children were miserable and starving, they entered the factories because they were the only refuge they could find. Agriculture and trading were the only things people could participate inside the economy before the Industrial Revolution. Well, many of those people had nothing to farm and no tools to trade, the factories were obviously their option to avoid death by starvation. Therefore, saying that the owners dragged the women out of their kitchens and forced the children out of their play is nothing more and nothing less than a mere deception.
Furthermore, there are some people that declare that the reform and protest movements are clear evidence of the worsening conditions. Nevertheless this is also incorrect. Poor people during the 1000, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, and so on also lived in detestable conditions, and no one protested. Could that possibly mean that due to the lack of protesting, all people lived in a mansion with ten Ferraris? No, actually, people did not protest because they did not believe that something could be done about their devastating status, until the Industrial Revolution demonstrated them the opposite.
In point of fact, real income, real wages, food consumption, and birth rate all increased, while death rate decreased. Additionally, the environment and the nutrition improved during the Industrial Revolution. More and more common people were able to acquire goods that before would have just been provided to high social classes.
Both, the standard of living and the economy are augmented effectively without government intervention.