From Malthus to Ehrlich, the pessimists were convinced the population bomb would doom most of society to starvation. Yet population growth estimates have declined and biotechnology advances have found ways to feed more poor people than the critics predicted. What is striking today is that the population bust is going global almost as quickly as the population boom did in the 20th century. If the human population is about to decline as quickly as it increased, then there will be a substantial strain on the global economic system. If global population stops expanding and then contracts, as is expected, will capitalism be able to thrive in its current form?