Hello all, I'm looking for information that disputes the claims that workers were "expolited" during postwar 19th century America and if it weren't for labor unions and government regulation, there never would have been a middle class, etc. I have read the essays in Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, but I found that they didn't address the entire workforce (only women and children), or they are more philosophical than historical in nature. For example, I have tried making the argument that most workers worked in agriculture at that time and, in fact, the working conditions in factories at that time were better than alternatives in agriculture. However, this doesn't seem completely satisfying, and the people with whom I debate don't buy the philosophical arguments. I'm really looking for hard facts that show that conditions during that time weren't all that bad, all things considered. Are there any books or articles that you would recommend that I read?