Thanos: The Super-Villain Economist : The Indicator from Planet Money The Avengers super-villain Thanos saw the universe as a place of too many people and too few resources: a classic economic dilemma. His solution: Kill half the population.

The Super-Villain Economist

The Super-Villain Economist

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Thanos — the super-villain in Marvel's recent Avengers movies — saw the universe as a place with too many people using too many resources. His solution: kill a bunch of people.

Thanos wasn't the first to note this problem, though. For centuries, economists have wrestled with the question of how to allocate finite resources.

Economist and Financial Times columnist Tim Harford sees parallels between Thanos and Thomas Robert Malthus, a 18th-century economist who studied population. Tim explains the similarities between Thanos and Malthus and their differences.

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