Externalising Cost of Doing Business

I’ve just finished reading John Michael Greer’s latest blog post concerning external costs of doing business.  Following is a comment I made to his post.

Early in the Industrial Revolution in England, for instance, Josiah Wedgewood and other industrialists paid their workers subsistence wages.  Through various acts of enclosure, from 1660 to 1845, 14 million documented, double that if undocumented common land could be included, acres of commons were privatised.  Add this to the rights of primogeniture encoded to ensure that real estate passed to the eldest son, and you find hundreds of thousands of people with no other option than to accept subsistence wages.  Finally, I’ll come to the point.  Thanks to this post, I now see that these pitiful wages were actually a form of externalisation because the poverty workers found themselves required support from elsewhere to enable them to maintain a healthy enough state to show up for work.  It is quite easy to build family capital when you pay out in pennies and sell for pounds.