Thomas Malthus was an 18th-century economist who stated in ‘An Essay on the Principle of Population’ that population growth is exponential, but the production of food is linear. Once the population exceeds the production of food there would be mass famine and to combat that his solution was population control. This was debunked by the industrial revolution where production since also grown exponentially globally.
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There is not a finite amount of work that can be distributed throughout an economy. The amount of jobs are not tied to a zero-sum, “lump of labor”. Worries about immigration and automation taking away jobs and leading to unemployment are unfounded. Since the number of jobs are not fixed, changes in the workforce and technology lead to new jobs and or simply different jobs over time.
One of the reasons making broad, sweeping predictions about the future tend to be wrong is that it does not account for the creation of new knowledge. Trends are not explanations and without an explanatory model of how knowledge will change (i.e. creativity) predictions such as the end of the world are just another example of a Malthusian catastrophe.
We do not yet know what we have not discovered and trying to know the unknowable (prophesy) leads to pessimism. A Malthusian catastrophe ends up being wrong because it does not predict knowledge that resulted in efficiency of food production. Similarly the pessimism of energy economics is error laden because it can not predict what new discoveries we will make in social and political systems or new defenses.