from a book I've been reading called Birmingham: The First Manufacturing Town In the World by Eric Hopkins, quoting Matthew Boulton, Brummy Big Wig in the 18th century:
"...our workmen in the plated way have very few of them been at work this week past having been drunkall thewhile, and it was not in our power to persuade them to set to work again while they had any money left, a vexatious circumstance we are frequently subjected to when we have the greatest need of their dilligence."
A week later, Boulton had to confess to a customer that he had been unable to fulfil orders
"owing to the insolence and drunkenness of our workmen".
Cheers to the working class of the 18th century who no doubt grew tired at times of exploitation, low wages and crap work environments.
*****The New Working Class*****
"The poor of today watch television for half the day. These days, television producers even refer to what they call "Underclass TV." The new proletariat eats a lot of fatty foods and he enjoys smoking and drinking -- a lot. About 8 percent of Germans consume 40 percent of all the alcohol sold in the country. While he may be a family man, his families are often broken. And on Election Day, he casts a protest vote for the extreme left or right wing party, sometimes switching quickly from one to the other.
But the main thing that sets the modern poor apart from the industrial age pauper is a sheer lack of interest in education. Today's proletariat has little education and no interest in obtaining more. Back in the early days of industrialization, the poor joined worker associations that often doubled as educational associations. The modern member of the underclass, by contrast, has completely shunned personal betterment."
from Der Spiegel: WHITE TRASH, FAST FOOD - How Globalization Is Creating a New European Underclass