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


Energy Use in a Steady State Economy

In a steady state economy, conservation of energy is held in high regard.  People look for ways to accomplish their goals while minimizing energy inputs. Societies phase out fossil fuels, and instead favor energy sources that use solar income, such as photovoltaic cells, wind turbines, biofuels and hydroelectric generators. Businesses and households retrofit existing structures to be more energy-efficient, and eliminate machines that consume wasteful amounts of energy,

Jobs and Business

Jobs and Business in a Steady State Economy

In a steady state economy, jobs are more secure, and local businesses contribute significantly to thriving communities. A main feature of a steady state economy is stabilized population. With a stable population, there is not a constant need to create more jobs, because the size of the working-age population is not increasing. Another main feature of a steady state economy is efficient and sustainable use of materials and energy.

Conservation and Environment

Environmental Quality in a Steady State Economy

The most important characteristic of a steady state economy is sustainable scale, meaning that the economy fits within the carrying capacity of the ecosystems that contain it. An economy of sustainable scale, therefore, has more room for nature. Without a continuously growing economy to crowd out more and more nature, citizens can focus on stewardship of natural resources and the services they provide — services that are critical to life on Earth.


Transportation in a Steady State Economy

Transportation is all about the ability to move people and stuff relatively quickly from one place to another in safety and, in the case of people, comfort. In a steady state economy, citizens select from an efficient menu of transportation choices. Cycling, the most efficient form of transportation invented by humans, is emphasized. Smoothly operated mass transit systems carry people to and fro in urban centers. Private motorized vehicles are de-emphasized,

Housing and Local Communities

Housing and Communities in a Steady State Economy

Localization is one of the key ingredients in the transition from the growth economy to a steady state economy. As we change our economic focus from the global back to the local, we build an economy (and a community right along with it) that is more connected, more resilient, and more neighborly. A vibrant local economy develops and supports local businesses and keeps wealth circulating within the community.

Freedom and Government

Freedom and Government in a Steady State Economy

In a steady state economy, citizens exercise as much freedom as possible without impinging on the freedom of others. Stable numbers of people consuming sustainable levels of resources means that each person has more freedom to pursue desired activities. Economic institutions are designed to respect ecological limits, but personal choice is maximized within that institutional framework. Numerous governmental formats could be used to strike this balance between institutional limits and personal choice.


Cities in a Steady State Economy

Cities continue to serve as centers of culture and commerce in steady state economies. But these re-designed cities have smaller populations working and living in more compact land areas. Buildings and transportation networks are much more efficient, requiring fewer energy resources, and nature and gardens are re-integrated into city landscapes. At the same time, local cooperative enterprises, businesses, and regional trade activities generate good prospects for employment.

Households and Families

Family Life in a Steady State Economy

It’s nearly impossible to take a snapshot of a so-called typical family, but in a steady state economy, the important things are emphasized in each household. Healthy lifestyles and relationships take center stage. With the work week shortened to something like 30 hours per week, family members can spend more quality time with one another and explore personal development, such as picking up a musical instrument,


Population in a Steady State Economy

In a steady state economy, population remains relatively stable, as births + immigrants = deaths + emigrants. Overcrowding, congestion, and frenzied competition are diminished. A stable and sustainable level of population helps ensure that each person can obtain sufficient resources. Steady state economies include non-coercive policies that tend to stabilize population, such as empowerment of women and provision of equitable access to educational opportunities. The idea is to stabilize population at a size that gives citizens the best odds to lead long,


Consumption in a Steady State Economy

In a steady state economy, people consume enough to meet their needs and lead meaningful, joyful lives without undermining the life-support systems of the planet. They choose to consume energy and materials responsibly, conserving, economizing, and recycling where appropriate. Conspicuous consumption becomes a thing of the past. Citizens (yes citizens, not consumers) recognize the culture of materialism as a bankrupt ideology and a poor path to happiness.