Two useless facts about Thomas Malthus
Firstly, his surname is pronounced Malt-Huss, not Mal-Suss.
Secondly, Charles Dickens liked to parody Malthus's seemingly inhumane perspective of the futility of alieviating poverty. One mean old industrialist in the novel Hard Times called Thomas Gradgrind had a boy named Malthus. In A Christmas Carol, a better known miserly misanthrope called Ebeneezer Scrooge quotes Malthus when he explains why he chooses not to donate money to the poor:
"I wish to be left alone. Since you ask me what I wish, gentlemen, that is my answer. I don't make merry myself at Christmas and I can't afford to make idle people merry. I help to support the establishments I have mentioned the Work Houses and prisons they cost enough: and those who are badly off must go there."
"Many can't go there; and many would rather die."
"If they would rather die", said Scrooge, "they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."
A hundred years later, South Park's Cartman would breathe Malthusian ideals back to life through Dickens:
Mr. Garrison: Now children, I want each of you to bring in one can of food. And later, the mayor of South Park will divide it up amongst Kenny's family and other poor people.
Cartman: I'm not bringin' in food for poor people! Screw them!
Wendy: Don't you want to help those who are less fortunate?!
Cartman: Hey you guys, do you hear something? I, I think I hear the flower children calling.
Wendy: This is the one time of year you're supposed to care about people who can't eat!
Cartman: Isn't it enough that I pay taxes?!? What about the poor houses that, that I pay for?!?
Wendy: Many would rather die than go to those places!
Cartman: Well then, perhaps they should, and decrease the surplus population!
Mr. Garrison: Ok kids, that's enough Dickens for one day.