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The Malthusian Theory Essay

965 words - 4 pages

At the U.S. Science Convention of 2011, the dire prediction was made that by 2050, we will have an “unrecognizable” planet by virtue of a huge population competing for a deficient number of resources. It is envisioned that the global population will climb to nine billion by 2050. Due to the increasing population, “we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000,” said Jason Clay at the yearly meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The only effective solution is to “minimize population growth…through more effective family planning”. We are now witnessing the truth that lied behind the theory of the economist, Thomas Malthus, who foreshadowed the increase of population with minimal resources to support it.
Thomas Malthus’ theory on population, proposed in “An Essay on the Principle of Population”, has had an influence on the strict society in “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. In his famous essay, Malthus makes his views on population and the availability of resources open to the public to increase awareness of potential threats to the world. His theory, known as The Malthusian Theory, developed due to his disagreement with positive theorists who believed in the growth of a future society. He differed in opinion, believing that the future society could not improve, but in fact go downhill; that is, unless the population was kept to a level of subsistence.
Malthus believed that population grows geometrically, whereas food supply to support the population grows arithmetically. Therefore, he predicted that the food supply would not be a sufficient amount to support the population which constantly doubles in its cycle. Once Malthus came to this realization, he predicted what could happen in the future; limited resources being split among an over-populated society. This gruesome observation led him to further conclusions.
Malthus discovered “checks” that could ease the pressure of an overpopulated community and the shortage of resources, popularly known as preventative and positive checks. Preventative checks are the result of human actions to prevent overpopulation. For instance, moral restraint and birth control. Malthus was in favor of moral restraint rather than birth control, as were the higher ranks of society. The upper class residents of the society took necessary preventative actions in order to not split their wealth among all heirs. The second “check” is known as the positive check, anything that operates to increase the death rate such as famine, war, misery, or fatigue. The positive check of population was believed to be a result of the lack of preventative checks taken. Although it is the most undesired check, Malthus believed they were necessary; preventative checks were not enough to prevent the amount of people in poverty.
The English economist disapproved of monetary offerings to the poor. He believed that giving money to the poor would only worsen their situation...

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