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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