“Old Chen’s wife, where are you going?”
The woman who carried a bamboo basket said with a smile, “I’m off for the next two days so I am going to pick wild vegetables.”
The older woman said: “Wait for me! Let’s go together!”
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The two chatted and laughed, and as soon as they climbed up the mountain, they saw people building a bridge by the river between the two mountains.
“When this bridge is built, it will be much more convenient for us to go outside the village in the future! Before, if we wanted to go, we had to ride an ox cart for two days.”
In the past, who would have thought that the big lords above would take care of commoners like them and even build roads and bridges that would benefit them?
That was something they couldn’t even dream of. People in their village might only leave the village once in a year and a half, and go outside to exchange food and wild animals for some oil, salt, soy sauce and vinegar.
Now it was better. The road in the village was open. Although it was not as fast as walking over the bridge, the two day distance of before had now been shortened to one day.
Many young people in the village have found jobs in the town.
The old people farmed at home, the young people went to work in the town, and the life of the family had become better than before.
The women also worked in the town’s laundry room. Because there were many people building roads, their dirty clothes were collected and washed together.
In a basket was the clothes of a squad of people, and they couldn’t be confused with others. They would mark it on their own, and they would know which one belonged to who when they sent it back.
Wages were paid by the imperial court, because it was not clear how long the construction period would be, so it was paid by day, and it was calculated according to the number of baskets to be washed.
Two baskets were worth a coin.
At this time, the clothes were made of thin cloth, and women could wash at least ten baskets a day, which was five coins in total.
So 150 coins could be earned in a month.
What was more important was that the laundry rooms provided food and lodging so the money they made was all net income for them.
Countless people wanted to squeeze themselves in this job.
The older woman picked wild vegetables as she said: “You’re lucky, they stopped recruiting the next day after you applied.”
The woman also felt that she was lucky, but she said seriously: “Maybe they will recruit more people in the future.”
The older woman shook her head: “The road is almost finished, the bridge is on the opposite side, and the clothes will only be sent to the laundry room on the opposite side.”
The woman paused.
This earning business was about to disappear.
“At that time…..we should be able to find other jobs.” The woman smiled with difficulty.
Since she went out to work, life at home had become much better. With her wages, the family could eat several meals of meat a month.
Although they couldn’t eat however much meat they wanted, it was a world of difference compared to life before.
The older woman said: “That’s right, there is no shortage of work now. I heard that a big merchant is coming to build a factory to make knitwear!”
Woman: “What is knitwear?”
The older woman thought for a while: “I don’t know either.”
Knitwear was a new thing, and few people knew what it was for.
Lin Yuan did not expect that someone would actually spin wool. The merchants saw a business opportunity. Sometimes the merchants also raised craftsmen, and they actually made knitwear such as sweaters. Although it was not industrialized, and there was no way to carry out assembly line operations, there was absolutely no problem in hiring workers.
And since the government had implemented the basic salary plus commission work model, merchants also learned from it.
This way they could mobilize the enthusiasm of workers more.
Of course, they lowered the base salary…..
But it was not as low as the baseline set by Lin Yuan.
Lin Yuan’s baseline was set for factory employees who work for a long time, and the basic salary could not be lower than 50 coins.
Except for those on probation, but the longest probation period could not exceed three months. After three months, they had to either be transferred to a regular position or dismissed. There was no way to use the probation period to take advantage of not having to pay a regular salary.
Of course, this would lead to some people losing their jobs.
But now the animal husbandry industry had started, and there were quite a few people who raised pigs, chickens and geese.
Every local government must carry out a five-year plan, and report to Lin Yuan how they plan to develop in these five years, and which direction to focus on. The local government must give him a clear direction and a general action plan.
But the good news was that the animal husbandry industry and the handicraft industry were indeed moving forward step by step. Although it seemed that the pace was not big, there were more factories appearing almost every six months.
In addition to infrastructure construction, these factories have provided many jobs.
In the first few years after the end of the troubled times, people were in a state of panic and unrest. Only when people found something to do would they settle down.
Otherwise, who knows what people might do under fear and despair.
Lin Yuan was now focusing on agriculture.
Many old farmers have their own planting experience. What the local government needed to do was to gather the old farmers in one place, let them communicate, plant experimental fields, and then confirm whether their planting methods could be popularized according to the results of the experimental fields.
The water conservancy system had the supervision of Toqto’a, and the first phase of popularizing it was in progress.
Although it seemed that the effects were not great, it was indeed moving forward one step at a time.
There was also the military merit classification and death and injury compensation for soldiers.
Lin Yuan handed this part over to Song Shizhao and the others.
Every day, Lin Yuan received countless reports and memorials. Officials seem to find that Lin Yuan much preferred people who did useful and practical work and paid attention to the common people’s livelihood.
The Civil Code was still being compiled, Song Lian was in charge, and the Hanlin Academy was assisting.
The people in the Hanlin Academy were the first batch of children of aristocratic families to go into office. Song Lian was better at using and managing people than Zhou Rong. At least no one in his hands opposed the Civil Code. There might be some people who opposed it, but he could suppress them.
Zhou Rong was still too young. Young people were sharper and more aggressive, but they were also easier to control.
As for the dictionary——although Song Lian was still the one in charge, compared to the Civil Code, he spent much less effort on the dictionary, and now he basically left it to his disciples.
Although they were the first batch of children of aristocratic families to go into office, they were not too young. Most of them have sons, and some even have grandsons. The years have given them leniency and made them more cautious.
Meng He was one of them.
The Meng family was an aristocratic family, but they were one of the poorest of the aristocratic families. They lived off their ancestral land, and they didn’t even own any shops. There were also not many servants in the family, so when the employment system was reformed before, almost nothing changed in his family.
Even the old servants didn’t leave.
After all, his sisters had to weave and cook since they were young, and he himself went up to the mountains to cut firewood in order to save firewood money.
The only advantage they had over ordinary people was that they could afford to send their children to study.
His sisters were also literate.
At that time, the reason he was able to enter the palace and meet the emperor was because he had thrown away any shame and followed the others. Even if many people laughed at him, he did not flinch.
Because he knew this was the greatest opportunity he could ever encounter in his life.
The first batch of elected officials of the new emperor.
If nothing unexpected happened, his future would be better than the later officials.
“Brother Meng, look at this one.” The colleague pointed to a first draft paper and asked him to read, “What do you think?”
Meng He looked over and saw that this article wrote about commerce, but not the merchants’ commerce, but the common people’s.
It was about the common people buying and selling goods as a family business.
Meng He said strangely: “Family business?”
The colleague said with a smile: “Exactly, I see that many vendors work with their family members and have never hired outsiders. Naturally, they are not considered merchants, but they do business and should not be lumped into merchants.”
Meng He thought carefully: “That’s true.”
The colleague also said: “Since they are not the same as merchants, then they should not be taxed the same.”
Merchants pay the highest taxes.
But if these small families also pay the same taxes as merchants, then their profits would be too small to cover household expenses.
Then their path of livelihood would be cut off.
In the end, it would still lead to only big merchants with wealth who were able to do business.
The common people couldn’t even set up a stall and open a shop.
Meng He suddenly said, “Personal income tax!”
The colleague looked at Meng He strangely: “Is there a relationship between the two?”
Meng He’s eyes lit up: “His Majesty had revised the personal income tax, if a person earns ten coins, the tax would be taken as one coin.”
“The same can be for business tax!”
The colleague bowed his head in thought, and suddenly raised his head: “That makes sense!”
“When I revise this, let’s go to Lord Song together!”
Song Lian was very busy. He had nearly a hundred people in his hands, and among these nearly hundred people there were also some who were simply useless people who were only good for guzzling and boozing. They have seen nothing but a few inches of the sky above their heads in their whole lives, and they have learned only the principles of books in their whole lives. They did not know how the common people lived, nor did they know what the common people pursued.
They talked grandly, thinking that they could help the emperor govern the country, but Song Lian couldn’t throw all these people out the door.
There were also many people who did things and were useful, but those who were useful were either sons of real noble families or sons of impoverished families.
These two types of people with different origins would not work together that easily.
The codification of the Civil Code had always been slow.
It would be great if someone could help him.
Song Lian sighed deeply.
He was also getting on in the years now and lacked the energy and strength, but he had no successor. Even if he wanted to promote some people, he couldn’t find anyone suitable who could convince the public.
Luo Ben was now in the Ministry of Justice. He was as busy as Song Lian. He was in charge of leading the compilation of “Criminal Law”.
How was petty theft determined?
What was the punishment for harassing a woman?
How was homicide determined? There were several types of homicide, intentional homicide, negligent homicide, excessive defense, etc. How were each determined?
There were also laws for injury, minor injuries, moderate injuries and serious injuries.
Fraud and robbery, etc.
Luo Ben woke up every day with his brain like mush.
He didn’t know that there was still so much content to be revised. Take murder as an example. In the past, a life was paid for by a life. Some officials would investigate the reason, some would not, and no one would be criticized if they didn’t.
After all, someone died, and the murderer should pay for it with their life.
Every time at this time, Luo Ben would think of his teacher. If his teacher was here, he wouldn’t have to be so tired.
But His Majesty had sent more than ten letters of summons, and his teacher did not come.
This year, his teacher…..should be seventy, right?
His teacher was now in Xinghua, Xinghua was now a prosperous area filled with commerce, and the common people were prosperous. His teacher should be able to enjoy his old age there, so why ask him to travel all the way to the capital?
Luo Ben rubbed his wrists. Since they began using the “pencil”, the wrists didn’t hurt as easily as before.
Although the tip of the pencil would always be broken due to excessive force, it could continue to be used as long as it was sharpened.
If one needed to make changes to the writing, one could erase off the original traces just by gently wiping with a soft piece of wood, which saved a lot of paper.
He heard that the students of the public schools now also used “pencils”.
Children have small arms and could not properly write words with a brush.
He heard that His Majesty wanted to make a “pen”.
Luo Ben exhaled.
Many new things appeared suddenly, but people did not panic, and instead quickly accepted them.
People were smart enough to know what was good for them and what was not.
When the pencil came out, there were also many people who opposed it, but since it was known that it was only for children’s enlightenment, the objection became smaller and smaller until it disappeared.
This was probably like boiling frogs in lukewarm water, right? By the time the frog had realized it needed to jump, it had already adapted to the water temperature.
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Rather than something that looked good, His Majesty wanted something that was “easy to use”.
Good-looking brush calligraphy was a plus point, but bad handwriting would not deduct points.
What His Majesty wanted were people with real talent and practical learning who could benefit the people in the world.
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