Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Thomas Malthus

Population Pays

Remember that immigration reform bill that’s attempting to crawl through the congressional minefield? Back in January, I was critical of the bill, because it seems to presume that reducing immigration numbers is still a desirable goal. I argued that the bill over-emphasized border security at the expense of encouraging immigration, and that increasing immigration was fundamentally advantageous to economic growth, that immigrants contribute more to the economy than they consume in public services. At the time, my view was predominately theoretical. Now, however, we have empirical data. The non-partisan and generally trustworthy Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released a report in which it predicts that immigration reform would shrink the deficit by $197 billion.

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Critiquing Malthus and Overpopulation Theory

Recently I have seen a resurgence of Malthusian thinking. Thomas Malthus, the late 18th and early 19th century British economist, put forth An Essay on the Principle of Population, in which he argued that the world was becoming overpopulated at an unsustainable rate. Malthus’ ideas have come in and out of fashion since the early 19th century. Having heard a few people recently make Malthusian arguments, I would like to put forth a few compelling reasons to continue to disbelieve them.

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