The mercantile system justified its approach as a way to help the poor “live better.” Not only did Britain insist that “suffering was therapeutic” for the poor, who would otherwise naturally devolve into laziness and sloth, but also that higher wages would lead to vice, drunkenness, and impropriety (in other words, unsanctioned free time). In 1771 economics writer Arthur Young asserted, “Everyone but an idiot knows that the lower classes must be kept poor or they will never be industrious.”
The reason you answer work email on the weekend is actually 500 years old
Stephanie Buck

And over 300 years later, we see this played out in the policies espoused by the conservative/Republican block.

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