Paying Taxes with Trophic Money: Watch Out for Environmental Backfires

By Brian Czech

I didn’t set out to coin a phrase, but “trophic money” will be far handier than “money derived pursuant to the trophic theory of money.” The trophic theory of money is that money originates via the agricultural surplus that frees the hands for the division of labor into all the other economic activities, most basically manufacturing and services. It’s a theory of money that reflects not only the trophic structure of the economy—with manufacturing and services built upon a base of agriculture and extraction—but the fact that money is meaningless unless we have an agricultural surplus at the trophic base.


Minimalism — The Personal Steady State Economy

By Kayla Downs

Following my recent article at the Herald, a reader pointed out that many folks become far happier simply by reducing their material belongings. He also noted how, by focusing more on the long term, he has been able to achieve many goals in his own life. Neither of these points came as a surprise, yet they’re worth following up on. There is growing interest from people in the United States and the western world at large in living a slower,


The GameStop Boom: Lessons for Steady Staters

By James MacGregor Palmer

Over the last week of January, it was hard to miss the headlines: “Reddit vs Wall Street,” “Reddit Sparks Wall Street Crisis,” “The Reddit Traders Who Took On Wall Street’s Elite.” The GameStop phenomenon, fueled by the Reddit forum “WallStreetBets,” was pitched as a David vs Goliath story where a group of ordinary citizens took on the elites and won.


Ecofeminism and the Steady State Economy

By Casey Reiland

On September 23rd, 2019, a sixteen-year-old girl fearlessly sent a message to world leaders at the UN Headquarters: “We’ll be watching you.” Though Greta Thunberg had become a household name at this point for her school-strike movement, this speech would mark her as the voice of a generation, garnering four million views and a designation as “Time’s 2019 Person of the Year.” Though her whole speech is moving,


Let’s Meet in the Ring: Steady Staters in the “Green Doughnut”

By Kayla Downs

To most people, the idea of a steady state economy is misunderstood at best and completely unknown at worst. Outside of economic, environmental, and academic circles, steady staters are hard to come by. The idea of a steady state economy is not yet mainstream and is shied away from in the media, general politics, education, and culture. Economic growth has been sold to generations as the remedy to all our ailments.


Population Growth: The Ironic Vexer

By Brian Czech

In a world of vexing issues—and our topic this week is certainly that—population growth might just be the most ironic. That’s because it should be among the simplest of issues; almost trifling in its mathematics. Yet opinions about it are beset with political, economic, and even some technical controversy.

For steady staters it seems perfectly clear: Population must be stabilized for the sake of societal well-being and even mere sustainability.


Steady Statesmanship and Climate Policy in the Midst of a Fascist Threat

By Brian Snyder

The insurrectionist mob that stormed the Capitol last week has been frequently described as fascist. Certainly, it was a far-right, racist mob attempting to overthrow a democratic election, as with the Beerhall Putsch or the March on Rome. Yet, the real fascists in the Capitol weren’t the mob. The actual fascists are far more powerful than a bunch of conspiracy-addled cosplayers. The real fascists were the half-dozen senators and 140 or so representatives who abetted and instigated the insurrection.


Challenging the Pro-Growth Market: Mark Carney’s Reith Lectures and the Need for a Radical Approach

By James MacGregor Palmer

“Society won’t settle for worthy statements followed by futile gestures. It won’t settle for countries announcing plans in Paris five years ago for 2.8 degrees warming, far too high, that they don’t even meet. Society won’t settle for companies that preach green but don’t manage their carbon footprints, or financial institutions who can’t tell us whether our money is on the right or wrong side of climate history.”

These are not the words of an environmental activist,


American Totalism: Technology, Economy, and Nationality

By Brian Snyder

“Orthodoxy, Autocracy, and Nationality.” Those were the principles that underlaid most of the Tsarist governments in the final 80 years of Romanov rule. It was a slogan and a belief system, Russia’s version of “liberté, égalité, fraternité.” Eventually, under the leadership of a poor autocrat, Nicholas II, it would lead to the Russian Revolution and the brutal murder of Nicholas and his family. Yet between its coining in 1832 and the Revolution in 1917,


The Impact of Evolutionary Pressures on Economic Narratives

By Carey W. King

People use narratives to support their position, and narratives can serve three purposes. First, they tell a story of belonging. If you meet a stranger and realize you are from a common area, you more easily engage in conversation than otherwise. Second, they describe norms that guide our actions. Most people in society follow certain norms such that by doing so, they are accepted as part of the group. Third—and most relevant to advancing the steady state economy—we use narratives to describe and learn about how the world works.