The feudal system had been dying a slow death over the past several hundred years, and its aftereffects were visible everywhere, as tenant farmers, relics of the feudal era and a large percentage of the British population, were forced to leave their lands. The great landowners, seeing the profits to be made, declared many of the common lands to be private property, evicted the tenants, and began raising sheep.
Shepherding was much less labor-intensive than the methods of farming which had predominated until that time, so the vast majority of the dispossessed farmers had no opportunity for work.
The reality is that there is more than enough food produced in developed countries to feed not only their own population, but to feed undeveloped countries with their unused surplus.
The problem is not a lack of resources for those who need it most, but rather a lack of will to make sure they get it. As might be expected from a work that is a social document rather than an economic one, he simply got the math wrong.
Malthus next assumes that with growing labor forces pushing down wages comes a lowering of the standard of living.
Only two possible ways exist to reverse this economic inevitability.
Which does not mean that it is time to send all copies of his essay to the archives. The productivity spark by steam in the Industrial Revolution gave way to oil in the 20th century.
Oil is most definitely a limited resource and once it runs out, it’s gone.
Unless there is a mechanism in place to replace the dependence upon oil as smoothly as oil replaced the dependence upon steam, even the direst predictions of Malthusian Economics could make a comeback.
Britain in the 18th century was a nation in transition.