These are the CASSE blog articles on the steady state economy.

Introducing a Different Type of 32-Hour Workweek Act

by Daniel Wortel-London

Working long hours? You aren’t alone.  Forty-one percent of U.S. workers reported working more than 45 hours a week in 2021. Sixteen percent said they spent more than 60 hours per week at work. Working long hours has been shown to degrade quality of life and productivity. But there’s a bigger problem with full-time employment: It isn’t environmentally sustainable.

Additional economic growth is the only way to generate full-time employment.

Rooted in the Earth: The Economy Needs Agriculture

by Alix Underwood

Though it’s easy to lose sight of, with our language and culture and smartphones, Homo sapiens is an animal species that exists within natural ecosystems. All our activities, including our economic activities, take place within and depend upon these ecosystems. This is the starting point for the trophic theory of money (TTOM).

“Trophic” refers to the flow of nutrition and energy. In the economy of nature,

Democracy Trumped at the Limits to Growth

by Brian Czech

Perhaps you’ve heard: Autocracy is on the march. Not just in the obvious places like Russia, China, and North Korea. Democracy has been declining throughout the world for decades, sometimes gradually, sometimes suddenly, but invariably replaced by autocratic tendencies, politicians, and states.

What’s going on in places as far-flung as Hungary, Myanmar, and Nicaragua? Why, after the lessons of world wars, the Cold War,

Rendering the Economic Fat for a Steady State Economy

by Gary Gardner

Mention the steady state economy at a gathering of friends and a predictable concern is sure to arise. “I couldn’t possibly manage on a flat income, much less a reduced one. I can barely make ends meet now!” Heads will nod all around. The idea of a nongrowing economy—not to mention degrowth—quickly sours the party mood.

The objection is understandable from people long accustomed to ever-greater levels of consumption.

Tompkins County, the Finger Lakes Hub of Sustainability

by Dave Rollo

The Finger Lakes region of western New York State is distinguished by a series of long and narrow glacial valleys, dammed by moraine, that now contain lakes. Glacial scouring created some of the deepest lakes in North America, including Seneca, Cayuga, and Skaneateles lakes. These spectacular natural features give the region its identity.

The region features ample farmland and forest and a relatively sparse population. Tompkins County,

Introducing the Sustainable Missions Act

by Daniel Wortel-London

What’s your mission? While few can answer this question quickly, most of us recognize the importance of a mission to an individual or an organization. A mission provides direction, a framework of goals, and a basis for developing the strategies we need to reach them. In the USA, every cabinet-level department must develop a mission as part of its broader strategic planning process.

Unfortunately, most federal mission statements tend to promote planet-destroying economic growth or attempt—in vain—to reconcile growth with conservation goals.

Two Degrees: Guardrail? Or Guide Rail to Disaster?

by Kent Peacock

The idea that 2⁰C is a safe guardrail against global heating was a guesstimate by an economist almost fifty years ago, and it had a sketchy scientific basis even at that time. In November 2023, a consortium comprised of many of the top glaciologists and climate scientists in the world published a report entitled “The State of the Cryosphere 2023—Two Degrees is Too High.” (See also the review on Carbon Brief.)  The only hope of preventing catastrophic sea-level rise,

The Steady State Economy Act: Halfway to the Hill?

by Brian Czech

Promulgating the steady state economy via federal legislation has long been a primary goal at CASSE. However, even a primary goal isn’t necessarily pursued from the get-go. Much of the CASSE run thus far has been focused on raising awareness of the need for a steady state economy. Raising such awareness was even higher on the list of goals, because drafting statutory law is of limited use if there is no knowledge of the need for it.

Recipe for Obesity: Ultraprocessed Foods and Economic Growth

by Gary Gardner

People of a certain age will remember the tagline from the Lay’s potato chip jingle: “No one can eat just one!” Lay’s’ marketing campaign ran successfully for years because it carried a deep truth: The chips are eminently enjoyable, even addictive. Eating them involves a nonstop cycle—hand to bag to mouth—that repeats until the bag holds only air. At least that’s been my Lay’s experience.

The chips’ addictive character did not emerge from Lay’s skill in finding exceptionally tasty potatoes.

The Steady State of Beautiful Bayfield County

by Dave Rollo

Bayfield County, Wisconsin is situated on the shores of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. Deep in the heart of the Great Northwoods, the county is unique in its glaciated beauty. It also happens to be a rare example of a county in harmonious balance between its natural and constructed communities.

Bayfield County has been refreshingly free of growth controversies and displays key attributes that approach the characteristics of  a steady-state county.