terça-feira, 10 de janeiro de 2017

Teoria de Thomas Malthus

“Economic Ideas: Thomas Malthus on Population, Passions, Property and Politics.”
We live in an amazing time during which human poverty is slowly but surely coming to an end. Even with over 7.4 billion people in the world (compared to 1.1 billion a mere two hundred years ago), food supplies have expanded beyond imagination, resulting in not o...nly enough to eat to sustain this seven-fold increase in human population, but to provide a rising standard of living with far greater nutrition, as well as ease and comfort for more and more people nearly everywhere.
In earlier times, only the imaginers of utopias projected a future time without want and worry for the multitude. And most of these dreamed collectivist dreams of one type or another. One of them was William Godwin 1790s, who prophesied that if man would abolish private property, live and work in common with an equality of material reward a paradise on earth could be man’s.
Thomas Malthus, an ordained minister turned political economist and demographer, challenged Godwin’s utopian dream, in his famous “Essay on the Principle of Population” (1798) by arguing that man’s ability to procreate was a multiple of his ability to bring forth food from the soil. Thus, a world of plenitude would always be beyond man’s reach, with “vice” and “misery” keeping his numbers at a level not too far from the perpetual risk of poverty and starvation. The only avenue to defer or prevent this, Malthus came to argue, was “moral restraint,” the discipline and forethought to defer marriage and children until one had sufficiently established one’s financial ability to support a family above subsistence.
Of course, Thomas Malthus, like many others in his own time, failed to appreciate the potentials for material plenty that the industrial revolution was about to make possible in a political and economic institutional order freed from the heavy hand of government regulation, restriction and command. Economic liberalism unchained the minds and actions of savers, investors, innovative entrepreneurs and industrious workers that has brought about this economic miracle of human betterment and well-being that is coming within the reach of nearly all of mankind.
But, nonetheless, Malthus strongly argued against those like Godwin’s collectivist visions, by emphasizing the importance of individual freedom to guide one’s own life, and the essentiality of private property, without which any chance for human improvement would crumble.
Furthermore, he warned that if freedom and prosperity was to be possible the citizenry had to be alert and resistant to those in government who consistently and persistently believe that they know better than the people and have an insatiable drive for more unconstrained powers to regulation and control society.
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Those of us who have been fortunate enough to have been born in what is often still referred to as the Western World (Europe and North America) rarely appreciate…

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