In The Doomsday Myth, Charles Maurice and Charles Smithson show that although doom merchants have been predicting imminent collapse from resource shortages as long as civilization has existed, no nation has ever fallen because of the depletion of a resource. They also show that government intervention has not been the solution to these crises. Instead, freely functioning markets with individuals acting in their own self-interest have eliminated shortages, and averted doomsday. The free market theme is the same one used by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations in 1776, but the need to restate it for new generations is urgent. The authors concluded that a resource-based doomsday will arrive only if we suspend the functioning of free markets.
Charles Maurice (1931-1999) was a professor of economics at Texas A&M University from 1967 through his retirement in 1997 and served as associate director of its Center for Education and Research in Free Enterprise from 1981 to 1989. He was the coauthor of two highly successful college textbooks: Economic Analysis (with C.E. Ferguson) and Managerial Economics (with Christopher R. Thomas). Maurice's research was firmly based on the neoclassical paradigm; it dealt mainly with the theory of production, especially factor demand. Charles Smithson is an economist and known expert in financial risk management. He has held positions in academe (Texas A&M University, the University of Rochester, and the University of North Texas) and in government before moving to the private sector as managing director in the global risk management sector of Chase Manhattan Bank, North America. He is currently president of Rutter Associates, a credit risk management firm in New York. He is the author of five books, including Managing Financial Risk and Credit Portfolio Management.