Malthus: More than the Dismal Science

Posted on March 8, 2006. Filed under: Uncategorized |

We all know Malthus for arguing that food production grew arithmetically, and population geometrically.  Countless professors then go on to quickly refute this claim and thereby toss Thomas Malthus into the wastepaper basket of history. 

This representation of Malthus is a caricature. 

     

  • Who is the founder of modern demography?  Malthus!
  • Who developed a theory of supply mismatches which presaged Keynes’ explanation of the great depression?  Malthus!
  • Who’s work lead to the UK’s first census?  Malthus!
  • Who was the world’s first professor of political economy?  Malthus!
  • Who had a seminal influence on David Ricardo?  Malthus!
  • Who convinced the world that high fertility was not an unalloyed positive?  Malthus!
  • Who’s movement was the first to advocate for contraception?  Malthus’!
  • Who does Darwin credit as being instrumental in forming his theory of evolution?  Malthus!
  • Who’s the cat who won’t cop out when there’s danger all about? SHAFT!

<แ> He’s a complicated man, and no one understands him … <เ>  

 

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