The Meaning of Idleness

I was listening to a podcast recently which focused on the Statute of Labourers 1351 and it kind of boggled my mind. Nobody is more inclined to think the worst of nobility than me, but the fact that what these people thought they needed to focus on in the middle of the Black Death was suppressing wages really says a lot. I was also struck by how venerable the practice of pretending you are concerned about the social ill of “idleness” when you are concerned that you might have to pay someone a reasonable amount for their labor.