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


Water Theft in the Heartland: The Case of Tippecanoe County

by Dave Rollo

Imagine a landscape with some of the richest wildlife habitats in North America. Settlements are scarce and water is plentiful. Birds dot the skies, mammals abound on the ground, and fishes fill the rivers and lakes.

That’s Tippecanoe County, Indiana. In 1800.

The county’s transformation over the past two centuries would make it unrecognizable to its original inhabitants. Today, much of Tippecanoe consists of flat plains of fertile soils.


Introducing the Mileage Fee Act

by Daniel Wortel-London

Economies that operate within planetary boundaries are likely to be heavily localized compared to economies today. Planners will need to shift modes of transportation and redesign cities. Businesses will need to shorten supply chains. This is because freight and passenger travel impact the environment extensively. Respecting planetary boundaries requires that we create economies that do not rely heavily on long-distance travel.

To help accomplish this goal,


Climate Engineering: Doubling Down on Bad Habits

by Gary Gardner

Social psychologists tell us it takes about 66 days to form a new habit. In my experience that’s only half true. Sixty-six days to form a good habit, yes, but about 66 hours to form a bad one. If I reach for a donut at breakfast, then do the same the next two days, I seal the deal and establish a habit of bad eating.


Keeping the County Great: Rappahannock’s Steady State

by Dave Rollo

It would be difficult to match the pastoral majesty of northwest Virginia, with its rolling hills covered in forests and prime farmland at the northern foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The region boasts the Shenandoah Valley to the west and Shenandoah National Park (SNP). Sitting at the eastern doorstep of the Park is Rappahannock County, part of the Piedmont region of the state,


Debt, Deficits, and Warranted Money

by Brian Czech

If you recognize the damages done by a bloating economy, you’ll be alarmed by the global GDP meter, which hit the existentially menacing threshold of $100 trillion in 2022. If that doesn’t give you a dose of distress, try the global debt clock. Then, for a dizzying dose indeed, check the casino-like combination of debt and GDP maintained by “US Debt Clock.”

Almost all readers,


Introducing the Salary Cap Act

by Daniel Wortel-London

The daily news regularly features commentary about the outrageous and growing income inequality in the USA. The data support the outrage:

  • In 1965, the CEO-to-worker salary ratio at the average U.S. company was 21-to-1. Today that ratio is 344-to-1.
  • In 2022, CEO pay at 100 S&P 500 companies averaged $15.3 million, while median worker pay averaged only $31, 672, according to an Institute of Policy Studies analysis.

Befriending Boundaries

by Gary Gardner

One of the most difficult adjustments industrial-country citizens will make in the steady state economy is accepting limits on our activities. Steady state economies will not be the Wild West, beyond the frontier where anything goes. We will learn to live within limits, a difficult reality for peoples accustomed to an open-ended understanding of freedom. In a “full world” where we bump up against the limits of our planet’s resources,


Envisioning a Steady-State Comprehensive Plan

by Dave Rollo

”Economic growth” is commonplace in the daily news. We assume it’s a good thing, that a 2–4 percent increase in GDP is beneficial to all. Likewise, we hear that our communities are growing, and we see a 2–4 percent increase in population as reasonable and benign. Meanwhile, visionary community leaders are busy planning for a steady feed of single-digit annual growth. So we’re in good hands, right?

But what the news reports miss is that any steady rate of growth is an exponential function that contains within it a knowable doubling time.


Two Cheers for Circularity

by Gary Gardner

Here’s some bad news for folks who see a circular economy as a way out of the polycrisis: Trends in global materials use, which recently bent modestly in the direction of circular flows, are flattening once again. The Circle Economy Foundation in Amsterdam reported in January that secondary materials amounted to only 7.2 percent of all materials in the global economy in 2023, down from 9.1 percent in 2018.


Growth Battles in Chittenden County

by Dave Rollo

Vermont takes its name from the French Monts Verts, or Green Mountains, the state’s rolling hills that host maple, birch, and beech forests in the south and spruce and fir in the north. Quaint towns and farms, many retaining their historic structures, are nestled in the mountain valleys. Lakes, streams, and wetlands are plentiful. And farms are everywhere: Vermont consistently ranks as one of the top states in the nation for local food production.