Malthus will always be associated with the idea of a social and economic trap, in which population grows faster than food production. But Malthus did not believe in a population apocalypse, as many of his followers do today.
In the early twentieth century, L.A. purchased water rights by buying up farmland and conveying the water back to L.A. These purchases created a legacy of distrust and suspicion, as people began to view the trades as theft. Gary Libecap takes a second look at the L.A.-Owens Valley transfers.