In the second place, they decree the kind and amount of labour he shall perform and the conditions under which he shall perform it: hours of work, sanitation, comfort, safety, are all controlled by the owners.
And in the third place, they decide how much of the product he shall have as a reward for his labour, and in so doing they practically determine the quality or quantity of food he can eat, the lodging he can inhabit, the clothes he can wear, the amusement he can indulge in, the degree of health and efficiency he shall enjoy—in a word they may be described as determining by their action the kind of person he is to become and (what is more extraordinary) the kind of people his wife and children shall become.
economists agree with him), that our 'modern system of industry will not work without some unemployed margin, some reserve of labour'; if it is necessary, as another economist has said, that for long periods of time large stagnant pools of adult effective labour power must lie rotting in the bodies of their owners, unable to become productive of any form of wealth because they cannot get access to the material of production; and if, at the same time, facing them in equal idleness are unemployed or under-employed masses of land and capital, mills, mines, etc., which, taken in conjunction with the labour power, are theoretically able to produce wealth for the satisfaction of human wants, if these things are essential to our modern system of production, then the poverty of this large mass of workers must continue unrelieved until the system itself is reorganised."—Hunter, Poverty, pp. 330, 331, and 337.