Malthus


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Malthus

Thomas Robert. 1766--1834, English economist. He propounded his population theory in An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798)
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Not only Malthus alone but his contemporaries and purblind successors, the Classical Economists, including the eminent J.
Thomas Malthus dealt with difficult questions of human nature and his teachings have yet to be applied.
Political Descent: Malthus, Mutualism, and the Politics of Evolution in Victorian England, by Piers J.
In examining the complex history between humans, food, and famine, Bourne brings population alarmist Thomas Robert Malthus out of popular exile.
Simplifying, Malthus was wrong on the demographics because the industrial revolution increased trade, which increased food supplies, and economic growth improved living standards, which then could accommodate more people.
Ricardo's essay came just after the two rent pamphlets by Robert Malthus (Inquiry into rent and Grounds of an opinion on restricting the importation of foreign corn, themselves published after the other pamphlet by Malthus on the subject, Observations on the Corn Laws, of 1814), Sir Edward West's Application of capital to land, and Robert Torrens's External Corn Trade, just to mention the best known examples of the products of 1814-15.
Both then saw how the notion of overpopulation and weeding out (which Malthus had applied to human beings) would fit into the doctrine of evolution by natural selection (if applied to species generally).
His topics include Adam Smith at the dawn of modern economics, new questions and analytical advances by Thomas Malthus and David Ricardo, John Maynard Keynes and the rise of macroeconomics, Karl Marx's grand theory of political economy, and Joseph Schumpeter and the drivers of markets and economies.
Yet amidst all the growth of scientific husbandry, a lone voice has come down the centuries, that of a country parson, the Reverend Malthus.
Anyhow, Thomas Malthus in 1798 had propounded his theory in 'An essay on the principle of population', in which he stated: "Means of production increase in arithmetic proportion whereas population increases in geometrical proportion".
Proponents of birth control have even less ground to stand on when they try to revive the ghost of Thomas Malthus who, more than 200 years ago, predicted widespread famine because of food shortages.