Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) was an English cleric who postulated some very interesting economic theories. Chief amongst them was the theory that population growth would increase at a geometric rate, while food production could only increase at an arithmetic rate. This, of course, is not sustainable.
In what became known as the Malthusian Theory of Population Growth, Malthus said that if left unchecked through governmental intervention, natural forces would create catastrophes such as war, famine, disease, and other events that would work to bring the natural state of affairs back into equilibrium. I am sure that I have not stated this precisely and that others may be able to do so far more eloquently than I.
This theory, of course, did not sit well with the learned souls of his age and his theory gave forth a controversy that has been brewing ever since.
Malthus’ dismal view of population growth and its consequences remains controversial to this date. Bring up this theory around a bunch of wise economists and philosophers and be prepared to be labeled a heretic or even worse an imbecilic heretic.
But do you know something? Given all that is happening around our world today and with the human population approaching, if not surpassing, seven billion, Malthus may have been right after all.