Daly, Herman (editor). Toward a Steady-State Economy. Freeman. San
Francisco 1973. pp 149-174
Ben Kreisman; Ecological Economics
Fragmentation of knowledge and people by excessive
Disequilibrium between the human economy and the natural
Congestion and pollution of our spatial dimension of
Congestion and pollution of our temporal dimension of
existence with the resulting state of harried drivenness
grow more to provide more employment for the
invest and grow to bolster aggregate demand
grow by raising productivity so more goods will
be chased by the same number of dollars and
prices will fall
grow to become rich enough to afford the costs
of cleaning up and of discovering new resources
and technologies
grow to be strong and have both guns and butter
pollution and depletion
“…defined as an economy
which the total population and
the total stock of physical
wealth are maintained
constant at some desired
levels by a ‘minimal’ rate of
maintenance throughput”
At what levels should the
stocks of wealth and people
be maintained constant?
What is the optimal level of
maintenance throughput for
a given level of stocks?
What is the optimal time
horizon or accounting period
over which population and
wealth are required to be
What is the optimal rate of
transition from the growing
economy to the steady-state
maintaining constant populations
maintaining constant stock of physical wealth
governing distribution
guiding design principle for social institutions
 provide the necessary control with a minimum sacrifice to
personal freedom
 provide macrostability, allowing for microvariability
 combine macrostatic with microdynamic
1. maintaining constant
2. maintaining constant stock of
physical wealth
Kenneth Boulding plan for
birth certificates
initial allocation is equal
across the market
compensation for people
suffering from infertility
rich can purchase more
credits, but ultimately
decrease per capita income
control aggregate depletion rather than
control pollution
legal rights to deplete auctioned off
population /economic growth increase
demand = higher prices and less
3. governing distribution
Set limits for the maximum and minimum
amount of wealth and income
supports concept of property rights, but
only under the assumption that everyone
owns some property
would legitimize free-market system
Based on the assumption of static morality, logic and
necessity are not sufficient to bring social change
“…progress chiefly depends on the extent to which the
strongest and not merely the highest forces of human
nature can be utilized” – Alfred Marshall
Sermon on the Mount: “Do not
be anxious about tomorrow for
tomorrow will be anxious for
itself. Let the day’s own evil be
sufficient for the day”
Karl Marx’s materialism and
objection to the alienation of
man from nature;
 recognized that nature is the
‘inorganic body if man’ and not
just a pile of neutral stuff to be
 If ‘truth’ is whole, then
current knowledge is so far
from the truth that
knowledge is not worth
“…unless physical, social and moral
dimensions of our knowledge are
integrated in a unified paradigm
offering a vision of wholeness, no
solutions to our problems are likely.”
“…to advance the steady-state economy, with stabilized population and
consumption, as a policy goal with widespread public support.”
CASSE top 15 policies for achieving a steady-state economy
Adopt macro-economic policy goal – a steady-state economy
Maintain exemplary network of conservation areas sufficient in size to support ecosystem services
Stabilize population
Gradually reset existing fiscal, monetary and trade policy levers from growth towards steady-state
Limit the range of inequality in income and wealth
Develop a commons sector to accompany the public/private sectors; assign property rights for
commonly held resources
Employ cap-and-trade auctions in commons sector for allocating resources
Establish for flexible working day/week/year
Overhaul banking regulations; elimination of fractional reserve banking so monetary systems move
away from debt structure that requires economic growth
Adjust zoning policies to limit sprawl and promote energy conservation
Continue to monitor GDP as a a measure of the size of the economy; use other measures for welfare
Prevent unconstrained capital mobility
Work towards full utilization of costs in prices
Institute policies that move away from globalization and towards localization (conservation)
Limit advertising to prevent unnecessary demand

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