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Thomas Malthus (1766 – 1834)


English demographer and political economist best known for his pessimistic but highly influential views on population growth.
Thomas Malthus
I know of no well-directed attempts of this kind, except in the ancient family of the Bickerstaffs, who are said to have been very successful in whitening the skins and increasing the height of their race by prudent marriages, particularly by that very judicious cross with Maud, the milk- maid, by which some capital defects in the constitutions of the family were corrected.
Malthus quotes
A feather will weigh down a scale when there is nothing in the opposite one.
Malthus
To estimate the value of Newton's discoveries, or the delight communicated by Shakespeare and Milton, by the price at which their works have sold, would be but a poor measure of the degree in which they have elevated and enchanted their country; nor would it be less grovelling and incongruous to estimate the benefit which the country has derived from the Revolution of 1688, by the pay of the soldiers, and all other payments concerned in effecting it.




Malthus Thomas quotes
The proposition of Mr. Ricardo, which states that a rise in the price of labour lowers the price of a large class of commodities, has undoubtedly a very paradoxical air; but it is, nevertheless, true, and the appearance of paradox would vanish, if it were stated more naturally and correctly.
Malthus Thomas
It is true that the attempt made by Malthus to destroy the foundations of the Ricardian system failed and that the chief tenets of classical political economy continued to enjoy considerable authority.
Thomas Malthus quotes
The science of political economy is essentially practical, and applicable to the common business of human life. There are few branches of human knowledge where false views may do more harm, or just views more good.
Thomas Malthus
It is quite obvious therefore, that the knowledge and prudence of the poor themselves, are absolutely the only means by which any general and permanent improvement in their condition can be effected. They are really the arbiters of their own destiny; and what others can do for themselves. These truths are so important to the happiness of the great mass of society, that every opportunity should be taken of repeating them.
Malthus Thomas quotes
When Hume and Adam Smith prophesied that a little increase of national debt beyond the then amount of it, would probably occasion bankruptcy; the main cause of their error was the natural one, of not being able to see the vast increase of productive power to which the nation would subsequently obtain.
Malthus
But, fortunately for mankind, the neat rents of the land, under a system of private property, can never be diminished by the progress of cultivation.
Malthus Thomas
Man cannot live in the midst of plenty.
Thomas Malthus
THERE is scarcely any inquiry more curious, or, from its importance, more worthy of attention, than that which traces the causes which practically check the progress of wealth in different countries, and stop it, or make it proceed very slowly, while the power of production remains comparatively undiminished, or at least would furnish the means of a great and abundant increase of produce and population.




Thomas Malthus quotes
It is an acknowledged truth in philosophy that a just theory will always be confirmed by experiment.
Thomas Malthus
In his comfortable parsonage, he contemplated the misery of the great majority of mankind with equanimity, and pointed out the fallacies of the reformers who hoped to alleviate it.
Malthus quotes
I happen to have a very bad fit of the tooth-ache at the time I am writing this.
Malthus Thomas
The love of independence is a sentiment that surely none would wish to see erased from the breast of man, though the parish law of England, it must be confessed, is a system of all others the most calculated gradually to weaken this sentiment, and in the end may eradicate it completely.
Malthus Thomas quotes
The immediate cause of the increase of population is the excess of the births above deaths; and the rate of increase, or the period of doubling, depends upon the proportion which the excess of the births above the deaths bears to the population.
Thomas Malthus
On the whole it may be observed, that the specific use of a body of unproductive consumers, is to give encouragement to wealth by maintaining such a balance between produce and consumption as will give the greatest exchangeable value to the results of the national industry.
Thomas Malthus quotes
Not many years had elapsed after the first edition of this work, when it became known to all with whom Mr. Malthus had the opportunity of communicating on the subject, or who were acquainted with his last publications, that his opinions on the subject of value had undergone some change.
Thomas Malthus
Had population and food increased in the same ratio, it is probable that man might never have emerged from the savage state.
Malthus Thomas
Anyone would expect that Malthus, who taught the future servants of the East India Company, would draw, for his pessimistic evidence, on the huge, poor and prolific population of India. There is, however, only passing reference to Hindustan in his great Essay on The Principle of Population.


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