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How Charles Dickens Put Holly Branch Through The Heart Of The Worst Economics Ever

hmcdonald Wrote: Dec 25, 2012 9:44 AM
A fabulous column I hope goes "viral", meaning a rapidly expanding readership.

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: 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.”

That phrase–surplus population–is what first tipped me off to Dickens’ philosophical agenda. He’s taking aim at the father of the zero-growth philosophy, Thomas Malthus. Malthus’ ideas...