The Economic Case for Generous Wages : Adam Smith asks employers to pay the most generous wages their finances will allow.
The Economic Case for Generous Wages

From ‘Wealth of Nations’, by Adam Smith (1723-1790).

Adam Smith would not have liked the so-called Living Wage. ‘Law can never regulate wages properly,’ he wrote, ‘though it has often pretended to do so.’ But he did like generous wages, out of hard-headed business sense - an argument much more likely actually to raise wages than merely cost jobs.

THE liberal reward of labour increases the industry of the common people. The wages of labour are the encouragement of industry, which, like every other human quality, improves in proportion to the encouragement it receives.

A plentiful subsistence increases the bodily strength of the labourer, and the comfortable hope of bettering his condition, and of ending his days, perhaps, in ease and plenty, animates him to exert that strength to the utmost.

Where wages are high, accordingly, we shall always find the workmen more active, diligent, and expeditious, than where they are low. That men in general should work better when they are ill fed, than when they are well fed, when they are disheartened than when they are in good spirits, when they are frequently sick than when they are generally in good health, seems not very probable.

From ‘Wealth of Nations’, by Adam Smith (1723-1790).

More like this

Adam Smith (9) Liberty and Prosperity (62) Georgian Era (112) History (414)

Picture: © David Dixon, Geograph. Licence: CC-BY-SA 2.0. View original
Salt’s Mill in Saltaire near Bradford, West Yorkshire. Sir Titus Salt’s mills were revolutionary, with their fresh air, safe practice and clean environment, and he was careful to pay good wages, which he kept constant regardless of fluctuations in business. He also built cottages with proper sanitation, schools, laundries, libraries and concert halls (but no pubs) for them. No wonder that thousands of workers lined the streets at his funeral. See our post Sir Titus Salt.
Previous
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)
Next
By Adam Smith
(1723-1790)

Amazon Books

Featured Music

Letters Game

What is the longest word you can make using these letters?

Press enter or type a space to see feedback on your word.

More like this: Letters Game Games with Words

Numbers Game

Make the total shown using two or more of the numbers underneath it. You can add, subtract, divide and multiply. Use any number once only.

More like this: Target Number (Mental Arithmetic Game) Mental Arithmetic

Selected Stories
Thomas Lewis was rescued from slavery with only minutes to spare.
Canadian sailor William Hall was summoned over to India to help face down the Indian Mutiny.
Sometimes it is right to ‘turn a blind eye’.
The wandering King was alive after all - unknown to his “widow’s” suitors.
Based on the short story by
Oscar Wilde
A giant gets angry when he finds children playing in his garden.
Based on the account by Reginald of Durham
(12th century)
A hungry monk thought he had got away with the tastiest of crimes, but St Cuthbert kept his promise to his beloved birds.