Thomas Malthus, fully Thomas Robert Malthus

Thomas
Malthus, fully Thomas Robert Malthus
1766
1834

English Scholar, Economist, Scientist and Political Philosopher

Author Quotes

A writer may tell me that he thinks man will ultimately become an ostrich. I cannot properly contradict him.

The perpetual tendency of the race of man to increase beyond the means of subsistence is one of the general laws of animated nature, which we can have no reason to expect to change.

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.

The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man.

To minds of a certain cast there is nothing so captivating as simplification and generalization.

The power of population is so superior to the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man, that premature death must in some shape or other visit the human race.

To prevent the recurrence of misery is, alas! beyond the power of man.

The prodigious waste of human life occasioned by this perpetual struggle for room and food, was more than supplied by the mighty power of population, acting, in some degree, unshackled, from the constant habit of emigration.

To remedy the frequent distresses of the common people, the poor laws of England have been instituted; but it is to be feared that though they may have alleviated a little the intensity of individual misfortune, they have spread the general evil over a much larger surface.

The proposition of Mr. Ricardo, which states that a rise in the price of labor 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.

We are now supposing the existence of a society where vice is scarcely known.

The question is, what is saving?

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.

The rich, by unfair combinations, contribute frequently to prolong a season of distress among the poor.

Where are we to look for the consumption required but among the unproductive laborers of Adam Smith?

The laboring poor, to use a vulgar expression, seem always to live from hand to mouth. Their present wants employ their whole attention, and they seldom think of the future. Even when they have an opportunity of saving they seldom exercise it, but all that is beyond their present neccessities goes, generally speaking, to the ale house.

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.

Wherever there is liberty, the power of increase is exerted, and the superabundant effects are repressed afterwards by want of room and nourishment.

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.

The speculative philosopher offends against the cause of truth.

Whether the law of marriage be instituted or not, the dictate of nature and virtue seems to be an early attachment to one woman.

The lower classes of people in Europe may at some future period be much better instructed then they are at present; they may be taught to employ the little spare time they have in many better ways than at the ale-house; they may live under better and more equal laws than they have hitherto done, perhaps, in any country; and I even conceive it possible, though not probable, that they may have more leisure; but it is not in the nature of things, that they can be awarded such a quantity of money or substance, as will allow them all to marry early, in the full confidence that they shall be able to provide with ease for a numerous family.

The superior power of population cannot be checked without producing misery or vice.

With regard to the duration of human life, there does not appear to have existed from the earliest ages of the world to the present moment the smallest permanent symptom or indication of increasing prolongation.

The main peculiarity which distinguishes man from other animals is the means of his support-the power which he possesses of very greatly increasing these means.

Author Picture
First Name
Thomas
Last Name
Malthus, fully Thomas Robert Malthus
Birth Date
1766
Death Date
1834
Bio

English Scholar, Economist, Scientist and Political Philosopher