Toward a Steady-State Economy.

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Oct 28, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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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
specialization



Disequilibrium between the human economy and the natural
ecosystem



Congestion and pollution of our spatial dimension of
existence



Congestion and pollution of our temporal dimension of
existence with the resulting state of harried
drivenness



poverty




unemployment




inflation




pollution and depletion




war



grow more to provide more employment for the
poor



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

1.
At what levels should the
stocks of wealth and people
be maintained constant?


1.
What is the optimal level of
maintenance throughput
f
or
a given level of stocks?


1.
What is the optimal time
horizon or accounting period
over which population and
wealth are required to be
constant?


1.
What is the optimal rate of
transition from the growing
economy to the steady
-
state
economy?





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”

1.
maintaining constant populations

2.
maintaining constant stock of physical wealth

3.
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
populations


-
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


2. maintaining constant stock of
physical wealth

-
control aggregate depletion rather than
control pollution

-
legal rights to deplete auctioned off

-
population /economic growth increase
demand = higher prices and less
consumption


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
dominated



‘wholeness’


If ‘truth’ is whole, then
current knowledge is so far
from the truth that
knowledge is not worth
obtaining







“…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


steadystate.org