Can someone explain the Malthusian theory to me?

im really confused on what it means, and a practical example would help alot. i tried reading from otehr webbies but it was all too difficult for me to comprehend. thanks

Answer:
Thomas Malthus is the economist responsible for having economics labelled the dismal science because basically what his theory predicted whas the end of the world. He basically said that population was growing exponentially whereas food production was growing at a constant rate so at some point population would exceed food production and we would all die from stravation. The reason why he said this was because he was a priest and wanted to essentially stop people from having sex so some argue he used this theory to prove how destructive sex is.
However he failed to take into account technological development in agriculture.
Malthusian theory basically says that if the population grows faster than the economy we will all get poorer. That in principle IS RIGHT but hasnt happened yet for one reason:

1.-The economy has grown faster thant the population. Period.

Economic growth is fueled by an exponential growth in the supply of natural resorces, particularly energy. In times of an energy crisis the growth ceases or could even reverse itself.

Despite propaganda economic growth is not achieved by technological advances unless such technology also increases the supply of energy.

So when someonse says "Dude WTF Malthusian theory is so wrong it has not happened yet LOL" remember that just because something has not happened yet it doesnt mean it wont happen someday, given the neccesary conditions.
Malthusian theory claims that food production can only grow in a linear fashion over time, i.e. food production = factory x years. For example, 2, 4, 6, 8 (i.e. 2 million tons per year, say).

But population grows exponentially, i.e. it doubles every so often, say every 30 years.

Faced with this scenario, population growth will eventually outpace the population's ability to produce food. Population growth will have to be checked. The brutal way is through increasing mortality. The more benign way is to have fewer children.
Malthus said that food production would grow linearly (1, 2, 3, 4, ...) while population would grow exponentially (1, 2, 4, 8...), and thus starvation would increase.

Malthus was correct that population grows exponentially (until it hits some type of constraint -- such as starvation). However, he didn't have a very good reason for saying that food production could only increase linearly. And, in fact, over the last 200 years or so, improvements in technology and increased use of natural resources has allowed the food supply to grow approximately exponentially most of the time.

Over the last 40 years or so, we have had about 15-20 million people per year die of starvation. The pessimists said that the number of starving would increase very rapidly. The optimists said we would soon feed everybody. Surprisingly, the number of malnourished people and the number who starve to death each year has not increased very rapidly -- both the pessimists and the optimists have been wrong.

Since the early 1980s, food production has increased more slowly than population (although only by a small margin). As we use up resources (oil, groundwater, etc.), we will lose our ability to increase food production exponentially, and Malthus' prediction of mass starvation will come true unless we slow our population growth rate. However, no one knows exactly when this will happen.

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