The greater the food production the greater the size of the population which

The greater the food production the greater the size

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other words, the size of population is determined by the availability of food. The greater the food production, the greater the size of the population which can be sustained. The check of deaths caused by want of food and poverty would limit the maximum possible population. The second proposition states that the growth of population will out-run the increase in food production. Malthus thought that man’s sexual urge to bear offspring knows no bounds. He seemed to think that there was no limit to the fertility of man. But the power of land to produce food is limited. Malthus thought that the law of diminishing returns operated in the field of agriculture and that the operation of this law prevented food production from increasing in proportion to labour and capital invested in land. In fact, Malthus observed that population would tend to increase at a geometric rate (2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, etc.), but food supply would tend to increase at an arithmetic rate (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12). Thus, at the end of two hundred years “population would be to the means of subsistence as 259 to 9; in three cent uries as 4,096 to 13, and in two thousand years the difference would be incalculable.” Therefore, Malthus asserted that population would ultimately outstrip food supply. According to the third proposition, as the food supply in a country increases, the people will produce more children and would have larger families. This would increase the demand for food and food per person will again diminish. Therefore, according to Malthus, the standard of living of the people cannot rise permanently. As regards the fourth proposition, Malthus pointed out that there were two possible checks which could limit’ the growth of population: (a) Preventive checks, and (b) Positive checks. Preventive Checks: Preventive checks exercise their influence on the growth of population by bringing down the birth rate. Preventive checks are those checks which are applied by man. Late marriage and self- restraint during married life are the examples of preventive checks applied by man to limit the family.
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Positive Checks: Positive checks exercise their influence on the growth of population by increasing the death rate. They are applied by nature. The positive checks to population are various and include every cause, whether arising from vice or misery, which in any degree contributes to shorten the natural duration of human life. The unwholesome occupations, hard labour, exposure to the seasons, extreme poverty, bad nursing of children, common diseases, wars, plagues and famines ire some of the examples of positive checks. They all shorten human life and increase the death rate. Malthus recommended the use of preventive checks if mankind was to escape from the impending misery. If preventive checks were not effectively used, positive checks like diseases, wars and famines would come into operation. As a result, the population would be reduced to the level which can be sustained by the available quantity of food supply.
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