The Worldly Philosophers:
The Gloomy Presentiments of Parson Malthus and David Ricardo.
Every country in the world have census. Every certain time,they determine their population. By the 18th century, one of the biggest questions in England was “how many Englishmen are?” The problem was that, while the English thought their population wasdeclining, their enemies seemed to be overpopulated. The problem is that they had by far fewer resources to maintain a bigger population. In 1801 the first real census in England revealed that the populationwas certainly diminishing. But what was the prediction for the future?
In1696 after an extremely accurate estimation of English population (5.5 million) Gregory King said that the population woulddouble in the year 2300, and that the next doubling would happen in 3600 “in case the world should last so long”. Towards the end of the 1700´s, King´s projection seemed to be wrong: Englishpopulation declined 30% since the Restoration. This tendency was cataloged by William Paley as “the greatest evil the state can suffer”, supported by the Prime Minister Pitt that encouraged a poor-relief billto encourage birth rate. Around 1800, a young man named Thomas Malthus wrote what was later published as An Essay on the Principle of Population as It Affects the Future Improvement of Society,where he proposed that in nature, population exceeds the sources of subsistence. Simultaneously, stockbroker David Ricardo published a theory contradicting Adam Smith´s where, using a escalator metaphor,proposed that in a society was impossible for the entire population to progress. Some, usually the ones that moved the escalator, were destined to stay down while the ones on the top did nothing to bethere. The first proof came in 1813 when thanks to bad cops and to war with Napoleon wheat prices highly rose. Fortunately, the next year Napoleon was defeated and prices went down. To David...