Thomas Robert Malthus

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Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) was born into a family of landowners in Rookery, in the south-east of England. The father was taken over by ideals of revolutionary France.

Malthus from an early age participated in scientific debates, gained knowledge first at home, then at Cambridge. In the years 1793-1797 he was a lecturer there. And in 1797, was ordained a priest and was for some time vicar in his native County. He then became professor of history and economics in Haileybury college and he held this position until his death.

In 1798 he wrote a "Discourse on the Law of the population and its impact on the future progress of society", along with comments on speculation of Godwin, Condorcet and other most fully writers. His views described fully in the book "Principles of Political Economy with an overview of the possibilities of practical application."

Principle of Population

Malthus in his "Discourse on the Law of the population" described two premises: first that food is essential to life of every human being and the second - sexual attraction is something essential and unchanging. They however, differently influence the population growth and lead to contradictions. In his work of Malthus wrote: "the population increases exponentially, and the means of subsistence in arithmetic progress."

Malthus argued that the real cause of poverty is the lack of means of subsistence for the growing population. And the balance restores itself by poverty, inhibiting reproduction. Also epidemics and war will reduce the population of the country. In order to reduce the population, Malthus called for restraint and inhibition of reproduction instinct.

The theory of rent and the effective demand

The starting point for the theory of effective demand the issue of implementation of the manufactured product. The capitalists themselves can not do that, because in order to invest they must have savings. While workers carry out only part of the product corresponding to their wages. Total demand capitalists and workers is inadequate and gives birth to overproduction. Malthus believed that the demand gap in this case fill spending of landowners, officials, clergy and other non-productive social groups. Malthus notices in this way, the huge importance of effective demand in maintaining economic balance.

Examples of Thomas Robert Malthus

  • Thomas Robert Malthus is best known for his theory of population growth, outlined in his 1798 work, An Essay on the Principle of Population. In this work, Malthus argued that population growth, unchecked, would outpace food production, leading eventually to famine and poverty. His theory has been widely discussed and studied since its publication.
  • Malthus was also well-known for his advocacy of free trade, which he saw as a way to alleviate poverty in nations that had been affected by the industrial revolution. He argued that free trade would stimulate economic growth and prosperity in these nations, as well as helping to reduce tensions between nations.
  • Malthus was also a strong advocate of education, arguing that it was the best way to improve the human condition. He argued that it was the only way to break the cycle of poverty and promote social progress. He believed that education was the key to economic development, and that it was essential for a nation to have access to a good education system in order for it to progress.
  • In addition to his economic theories, Malthus was also a religious man. He wrote extensively about the relationship between religion and morality, advocating for religious tolerance and arguing against religious persecution. He was a staunch opponent of slavery and the slave trade, arguing that it was immoral and unethical.

Advantages of Thomas Robert Malthus

Thomas Robert Malthus was a British cleric and scholar who had a great influence on economic thought and population studies. He is best known for his 1798 work, An Essay on the Principle of Population, which focused on the population's ability to outrun the food supply. Below are some of the advantages of Thomas Robert Malthus's work:

  • His theory of population growth and its consequences helped shape modern economic thought, though it has come under criticism in recent years.
  • He proposed ideas such as the struggle for existence and the law of diminishing returns, which have been adopted as fundamental principles of economics.
  • Malthus' work helped to launch the field of demography, the study of population size and distribution.
  • He was an advocate of the idea of social reform, and argued that the poor should be helped, but through moral rather than legal means.
  • Malthus was a proponent of free trade, believing that it was the best way to promote economic growth and reduce poverty.

Limitations of Thomas Robert Malthus

Thomas Robert Malthus is best remembered for his Theory of Population, which argued that population growth will always outpace increases in food production. However, there are some limitations to Malthus' theories that should be noted. These include:

  • His classic essay was written in 1798, so it did not take into account the subsequent technological advances that have enabled food production to keep up with population growth.
  • He failed to recognize the potential of modern agricultural methods, such as the use of fertilizers, to increase food production.
  • He also did not anticipate the advances in medicine that have resulted in lower mortality rates and longer life expectancies.
  • Additionally, Malthus' theories did not account for the fact that people can be productive members of society without having children.
  • Finally, Malthus' theories of population and food production are heavily reliant on economic systems that are no longer in place, such as mercantilism.

Other approaches related to Thomas Robert Malthus

Thomas Robert Malthus is best known for his essay on the principle of population, which argued that population growth would outstrip food production and lead to famine and poverty.

However, Malthus had a wide-ranging intellect, and other approaches associated with him include:

  • The use of mathematics to explain economic and demographic phenomena: Malthus was one of the first economists to use mathematics in his work, and he was a pioneer in the use of statistical methods to analyze population and economic data.
  • Social reform: Malthus was a proponent of social reform and argued for the implementation of policies such as education reform and public works projects to alleviate suffering and improve public health.
  • Environmentalism: Malthus was an early environmentalist, and he argued that population growth would lead to the depletion of natural resources and the destruction of the environment.

In summary, Thomas Robert Malthus was a pioneering economist and social reformer, who is best known for his essay on population, but who also had wide-ranging interests in mathematics, social reform and environmentalism.

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