Promising ideas – The Steady State Economy

Mention the Economy to most people and watch their eyes glaze over, but the state of our Economy impacts each and everyone of us. The fact that you choose to own debt eg, credit cards, mortgages or the tab at the local pub, means you are part of the economy. That you work and get paid, that you spend money and pay tax …. you are part of the economy.

Unfortunately when the Economy goes belly up, you are also effected.

The beaten to death term ‘Sustainable’, is not a term I’d use to describe our present global economic position. Growth does not equate to jobs, it equates to Ecological Catastrophe if we proceed with a business as usual ideology.

So I have been reading Tim Jackson’s book Prosperity Without Growth, albeit slowly as the first few chapters outline the dire state of affairs our world is in. Then I came upon a website yesterday that has reinvigorated my enthusiasm. Steady State Economy is a group working on new ideas and policies to bring Planet Earth and its inhabitants into a new Paradigm, one that is not based on debt that works in harmony with natural systems and resources, where fairness is paramount. Read their Policies here

Definition

A steady state economy is an economy with stable or mildly fluctuating size. The term typically refers to a national economy, but it can also be applied to a local, regional, or global economy. An economy can reach a steady state after a period of growth or after a period of downsizing or degrowth. To be sustainable, a steady state economy may not exceed ecological limits.

Herman Daly, one of the founders of the field of ecological economics and a leading critic of neoclassical growth theory, defines a steady state economy as:

An economy with constant stocks of people and artifacts, maintained at some desired, sufficient levels by low rates of maintenance ‘throughput’, that is, by the lowest feasible flows of matter and energy from the first stage of production to the last stage of consumption.

A steady state economy, therefore, aims for stable or mildly fluctuating levels in population and consumption of energy and materials. Birth rates equal death rates, and production rates equal depreciation rates.

 

Please take some time to familiarize with these new and very important ideas. We cannot continue our present course.

 

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