Reply To: Living Standards and the Industrial Revolution


I’ve written a little bit on this, on pp. 169-174 of my book The Church and the Market. There’s a pretty good discussion of the literature here:

Your teacher may not realize it, but the standard-of-living debate has essentially been won by the so-called optimists. Even outright Marxists, like E.P. Thompson, finally began to concede that no one any longer argued that everything got worse during the Industrial Revolution.

Historian Ralph Raico is also very good on this: