Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Why Malthus was wrong about population growth

Catholic World News - October 25, 2011

Sometime within the next week, the world's population will hit the 7-billion mark. Many commentators find that prospect frightening. William McGurn, writing for the Wall Street Journal, argues that their fears are unfounded.

The dire predictions of a "population bomb" that would cause massive famines went unfulfilled, McGurn notes. The fear of a rising population traces its intellectual heritage back to the economic theories of Malthus--and he was wrong, too. McGurn explains that human beings are not merely consumers, but also producers, so that the birth of another human being--all other things being equal--constitutes a net increase in the world's resources.

Malthusian fears about population follow from the Malthusian view that human beings are primarily mouths to be fed rather than minds to be unlocked. In this reasoning, when a pig is born in China, the national wealth is thought to go up, but when a Chinese baby is born the national wealth goes down.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Vibrant Catholicism, 1: Lamenting the entire 20th century 1 hours ago
Holding bishops accountable: the next steps 23 hours ago
The real story behind the French ambassador's nomination to the Holy See May 27
A joyful noise unto the Lord: Goal met! May 26
De Lubac’s notes on the Second Vatican Council, section 3 May 26

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days