It is well to remember the advantages of gaining steady employment for those who had no, or limited, means of acquiring their subsistence; what those with low wages lost in low living standards was compensated for in the predictability that regular, wages provided for their families. The State gradually became a major source of regular paid employment, blurring the line between real jobs and sinecures, and the professional classes (including Adam Smith and Robert Burns), sought Customs posts for the security they brought to those with sufficient interest to get them. By the late 18th century the State had far more patronage than ever before to dispense in paid employment and sinecures out of its greater tax harvests, matched only by the greater expenditures passing through the sticky hands of ‘retainers’ for rewards. Nobody accused the 18th-century State of spending wisely, efficiently or honestly.
KeywordsRational Conversation Uncertain Future Professional Class Sufficient Interest Steady Employment
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