Thomas Robert Malthus - why he was wrong?

Im doing a debate and we had to choose whether or not our thinkers views were valid or not valid in their time and our own. I choose to say Malthus' views were not valid in his own time period, although our own does lend it some credit. I only have a few reasons to support this though. Help?

1 Answer

  • Randy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Some 19th-century economists believed that improvements in the division and specialization of labor, increased capital investment, and other factors had rendered some of Malthus's warnings implausible. In the absence of any improvement in technology or increase of capital equipment, an increased supply of labor may have a synergistic effect on productivity that overcomes the law of diminishing returns. As American land-economist Henry George observed with characteristic piquancy in dismissing Malthus: "Both the jayhawk and the man eat chickens; but the more jayhawks, the fewer chickens, while the more men, the more chickens."

    Many 20th-century economists, such as Julian Lincoln Simon, have also criticised Malthus's conclusions. They note that despite the predictions of Malthus and the Neo-Malthusians, massive geometric population growth in the 20th century has not resulted in a Malthusian catastrophe, largely due to the influence of technological advances and the expansion of the market economy, division of labor, and stock of capital goods. The enviro-sceptic Bjørn Lomborg, echoes such arguments. Some, such as British physicist John Maddox, thus regard Malthus as a failed prophet of doom.

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