The Connection Between Population, Income, and Health

By Max Kummerow For hundreds of years, economists have debated whether population growth is good or bad. Malthus said exponential population growth increases labor supply, so wages fall until starvation, war, or plague stops growth in numbers. Marx said capitalism causes poverty and hunger, so population growth is good, because “every stomach is born with […]


A Journey of No Return, Not a Circular Economy

By Herman Daly

The economic process is not a mechanical analog that can be run forward and backward, nor a circular process that can return to any previous state. Rather it is an irreversible and irrevocable process moving in the direction of time’s arrow of increasing entropy [1]. Finitude and entropy guarantee that the economic life of our species will be a journey of no return. Therefore even a stationary economy, in the classical sense of constant population and constant capital stock, is ultimately a journey of no return, because the metabolic throughput of matter and energy required to maintain constant stocks of people and physical capital, in the face of depreciation and death, is an entropic flow from ever less concentrated sources to ever filling sinks – and both sources and sinks are finite.


Population and the Steady State Economy

By Max Kummerow

Sir David Attenborough remarked in a 2011 presidential lecture to the Royal Society that “every environmental and social problem is made more difficult and ultimately impossible to solve with ever more people.” Wherever women’s status has improved and societies modernized, he said, birth rates have fallen. He begged his audience to “talk about population.”


The Pope Francis Encyclical And Its Economics

By Brent Blackwelder The Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis is attracting extraordinary attention for its message on global warming, deforestation, loss of biological diversity, and other pressing environmental issues. What is less well known is the extensive critique of the global economy found in his 184-page Encyclical. This blog highlights some of the significant points […]


Thoughts on Pope Francis’ Laudato Si

by Herman Daly As a Protestant Christian my devotion to the Catholic Church has been rather minimal, based largely on respect for early church history, and for love of an aunt who was a nun. In recent times the Catholic Church’s opposition to birth control, plus the pedophile and cover-up scandals, further alienated me. Like […]


Biocultural Heritage: The Foundation of a Sustainable Economy

Want healthy ecosystems and healthy economies? You’d better think about conserving biocultural heritage.


How Studying in Asia Made Me See the Need for a Steady State Economy

Asian nations are running a dangerous experiment on the long-term consequences of short-term economic growth.


Top 10 Policies for a Steady-State Economy

While we’re hunkered down enduring the inevitable collapse of the growth economy, we should consider sound policies for a sustainable economy.


The Daly-Correa Tax: Background and Explanation

Herman Daly has an unorthodox suggestion for curtailing carbon dioxide emissions: grant more power to OPEC.


Population and a Dose of Common Sense

Blake Alcott navigates the mine field of population policy and manages to defuse a mine or two along the way.