Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thomas Robert Malthus on how WWII got us out of the depression

"One of the most striking instances of the truth of this remark, and a further proof of a singular resemblance in the laws that regulate the increase of capital and of population, is to be found in the rapidity with which the loss of capital is recovered during a war which does not interrupt commerce. The loans to government convert capital into revenue, and increase demand at the same time that they at first diminish the means of supply. The necessary consequence must be an increase of profits. This naturally increases both the power and the reward of accumulation; and if only the same habits of saving prevail among the capitalists as before, the recovery of the lost stock must be rapid, just for the same kind of reason that a reovery of population is so rapid when, by some cause or other, it has been suddenly destroyed."

- Principles of Political Economy, Ch. VII Section III

3 comments:

  1. With statements like these, it's no wonder the Reverend Thomas Robert Malthus was an important influence on the thought of John Maynard Keynes. Although Keynes didn't make a formal contribution related to demography, it's clear that Malthus's ideas have their mark.

    P.S. Daniel, did you get my second e-mail? It's the one with the three questions I have for you. Could you please respond to that one?

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