In Hard Times, the ideas behind Utilitarianism, statistical economics, and the way they may shape government and educational policy all run together to present a bleak future for the children raised under them. Those who idealize these social sciences imagine a logical world run according to the dictates of the marketplace. In this novel, Dickens presents us with some children raised and educated under this system. Their emotions are repressed, their imaginations starved, and their creativity discouraged. As a result, they grow into adults that don't know how be moral and are unable to understand or emotionally connect with one anyone.
Louisa's education is not actually at fault for her fate. The real problem is that the rest of the world hasn't caught up to Gradgrind's progressive, almost revolutionary way of educating girls.
Bounderby is clearly a terrible boss, but we are not shown a different, better model. Thus, capitalism demands that large-scale entrepreneurs regard their workers as he does his, however distasteful.