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The need for wage rich prices

In 1819, UK MPs were debating a new law to outlaw the employment of very young children as chimney sweeps. Several MPs (apparently after lobbying from the Guild of Master Chimney Sweepers) raised concerns that sweepers would turn to mechanisation. They argued that the law would “deprive many people of employment, and throw a number of young persons on the parishes.”1  Better, said the opponents, to employ a large number of children - in very poor working conditions, than to offer them no work at all.

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