Thomas Malthus

(Thomas Robert Malthus)

Thomas Malthus
Thomas Malthus
  • Born: February 13, 1766
  • Died: December 23, 1834
  • Nationality: British
  • Profession: Economist









Thomas Robert Malthus FRS was an English cleric and scholar, influential in the fields of political economy and demography. Malthus himself used only his middle name, Robert.

Quote Topics Cited
Famine seems to be the last, the most dreadful resource of nature. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
In prosperous times the mercantile classes often realize fortunes, which go far towards securing them against the future; but unfortunately the working classes, though they share in the general prosperity, do not share in it so largely as in the general adversity. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
It should be observed that we have lately seen the most striking instances in all quarters, of governments acting from passion rather than interest. Policy & Policy Making ;Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
No loss, in proportion to its amount, affects the interest of the nation so deeply, and vitally, and is so difficult to recover, as the loss of agricultural capital and produce
Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio. Subsistence only increases in an arithmetical ratio. Development & Growth
The general principles of political economy teach us to buy all our commodities where we can have them the cheapest; and perhaps there is no general rule in the whole compass of the science to which fewer justifiable exceptions can be found in practice Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs ;Capitalism
The high price, therefore, which is so much complained of by the poor, has essentially mitigated their distress by bringing down to their level two or three millions more, and making them almost equal sharers in the pressure of the scarcity. Poverty
The histories of mankind that we possess are histories only of the higher class. History
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 necessities goes, generally speaking, to the ale house. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
The land in Ireland is infinitely more peopled than anywhere else; and to give full effect to the natural resources of the country, a great part of the population should be swept from the soil. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
The main peculiarity which distinguishes man from other animals, is the means of his support, is the power which he possesses of very greatly increasing these means.
The most successful supporters of tyranny are without doubt those general declaimers who attribute the distresses of the poor, and almost all evils to which society is subject, to human institutions and the iniquity of governments. Poverty
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. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs ;Development & Growth
The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man. Power ;Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
The relief now given by the Poor Laws is so widely extended that no man of humanity could venture to propose their immediate abolition. Policy & Policy Making
There is no person in the least acquainted with political economy, but must be aware that the advantages resulting from the division of labour, as applicable to nations as well as individuals, depend solely and entirely on the power of exchanging subsequently the products of labour. And no one can hesitate to allow, that it is completely in the power of others to prevent such exchanges, and to destroy entirely the advantages which would otherwise result from the application of individual or national industry, to peculiar and appropriate products. Work, Workers & The Labor Force
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 groveling 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. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
To minds of a certain cast there is nothing so captivating as simplification and generalization. Human Nature
When the wages of labour are hardly sufficient to maintain two children, a man marries and has five or six. Families, Children & Parenting
A great emigration necessarily implies unhappiness of some kind or other in the country that is deserted.
A writer may tell me that he thinks man will ultimately become an ostrich. I cannot properly contradict him.
Each pursues his own theory, little solicitous to correct or improve it by an attention to what is advanced by his opponents.
I do not know that any writer has supposed that on this earth man will ultimately be able to live without food. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
I think it will be found that experience, the true source and foundation of all knowledge, invariably confirms its truth. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training ;Truth
In a state therefore of great equality and virtue, where pure and simple manners prevailed, the increase of the human species would evidently be much greater than any increase that has been hitherto known. Equality & Equal Opportunity
It is an acknowledged truth in philosophy that a just theory will always be confirmed by experiment. Truth
No limits whatever are placed to the productions of the earth; they may increase forever.
Population, when unchecked, goes on doubling itself every 25 years or increases in a geometrical ratio. Environment & Environmentalism
Population, when unchecked, increases in a geometrical ratio.
The constant effort towards population, which is found even in the most vicious societies, increases the number of people before the means of subsistence are increased.
The friend of the present order of things condemns all political speculations in the gross.
The great and unlooked for discoveries that have taken place of late years have all concurred to lead many men into the opinion that we were touching on a period big with the most important changes.
The histories of mankind are histories only of the higher classes.
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. Power
The ordeal of virtue is to resist all temptation to evil.
The rich, by unfair combinations, contribute frequently to prolong a season of distress among the poor.
The superior power of population cannot be checked without producing misery or vice. Power