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Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 178 of W.H. Hutt’s paper “The Factory System of the Early Nineteenth Century,” which is Chapter 5 of F.A. Hayek’s 1954 edited collection, Capitalism and the Historians:

The salient fact, and one which most writers fail to stress, is that, in so far as the work people then had a “choice of alternative benefits,” they choose the conditions which the reformers condemned. Not only did higher wages cause them to prefer factory work to other occupations, but, as some of the reformers admitted, when one factory reduced its hours, it would tend to lose its operatives as they would transfer their services to establishments where they could earn more.

DBx: This snippet reports yet another of the gazillion examples of ordinary people having – and expressing – preferences different from those that intellectuals fancy ordinary people do, or ought to, have.