Malthus & Growth


This week on Facebook: In simple terms the Malthusian Trap predicts that population growth will always reach the point where it curtails human progress and leads to its inevitable decline. I have followed articles on the theory of population growth and noticed that generally they are more optimistic than I am about the societal effect of such growth. The focus of most articles is on the ability to be innovative in finding solutions to a growing global population. In doing so the conclusions drawn make a lot of undefined assumptions, with the main one being that of ignoring the indigent.  

It is very difficult to find an innovative solution as to what will occupy a growing global indigent population. Certainly developed economies — particularly in the West — are already financing a growing indigent population, one of the consequences of which is the political response of a global scramble for economic growth. Global budget deficits spur on this need for economic growth complimented by the need to finance payments in support of an ever increasing non-productive population — whatever its age.


Monday 30/1/2017 Scientists more worried than public about world’s growing population:   When the English scholar Thomas Malthus published An Essay on the Principle of Population in 1798, the number of people around the world was nearing 1 billion for the first time. “The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man,” he wrote then.

Tuesday 31/1/2017 As World’s Population Booms, Will Its Resources Be Enough for Us? After years of examining global environmental issues such as climate change, energy, food supply, and freshwater, we thought the time was ripe for a deep discussion of people and how we are connected to all these other issues—issues that are getting increased attention today, amid the new population projections.

Wednesday 1/2/2017 We are still proving Malthus and the social Darwinists wrong: Everyone knows about Thomas Malthus, but it was lesser known geologist Joseph Townsend who laid the groundwork for a strand of thinking that would later be known as social Darwinism. Townsend constructs a parable of goats and dogs stranded on a remote Pacific island and fighting for survival. An equilibrium is established when the population of each species is in harmony with the resource capacity of the island.

Thursday 2/2/2017 Malthus Was Wrong — Is He Still Wrong? While this inevitability of overpopulation resulting in premature death due to war or famine makes him well remembered today, one of his central concerns was about the fate of the poor in society, and he claimed that there would always be a poor underclass. This population expansion, stagnation and expansion cycle is very reminiscent of the boom and bust cycles in an economy and so it is not surprising that Malthus was so influential on other thinkers ranging from Keynes, Marx, Wallace, Mao Zedong and even Darwin.

Friday 3/2/2017 The overpopulation myth: The comments are a necessary adjunct to the article and —mostly — sensibly thought out responses, indicating how divergent the views on the consequences of the Malthus philosophy are.


For Interactive Map — click image

 

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Hello, I’m Ed Conway, Economics Editor of Sky News, and this is my website. Blogposts, stuff about my books and a little bit of music

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Am I my Brothers keeper?

An Anthology of Short Stories

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