Posts


Ukraine: Putin’s Lebensraum

by Brian Czech

People tend to think of Russia as a wide-open country with plenty of space for economic growth. While it may take days to ride the trans-Siberian railway, any notion of an empty Russia is as antiquated as Dr. Zhivago. European Russia, especially, has been cultivated, harvested, logged, mined, fished, and “developed” to the gills with roads, bridges, railways, power lines, pipelines, grids, towers, cables, dams, and canals connecting every industry under the sun to thousands of towns and cities plus tens of thousands of villages.


The New Herman Daly Bio: Confusion at a Critical Juncture and Other Missteps

by Brian Czech

No one in the sustainability business deserves a biography more than Herman Daly. But then, as a literary Clint Eastwood might say, “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.” If a biography needs to be shot out of the saddle—or shot down a peg at least—so be it. Remember, it’s not the fault of the biographee.

Let me shoot straight to the bottom line, then. If you want to know about Herman Daly’s economics for a full world—and you should want to—read Daly’s books and articles.[1] If you want to know about Daly’s childhood days,


The GPI Act: Genuine Indication of Progress?

by James Lamont

On July 30 the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) Act was introduced in Congress by U.S. House Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN). The GPI would indicate the net benefit of economic activity, as an alternative to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It would be used in the economic and budgetary reporting of federal agencies and government offices.

For me, the timing was remarkable, as July 30 was the very day I signed on with CASSE.


CO2 Emissions: Accounting for Accountability

by Taylor Lange

In my very first graduate statistics course, the professor often cautioned us about data collection: “Garbage in, Garbage out.” What she said, in no uncertain terms, was that mistakes in the measurement or methodology would invalidate our statistical analyses. I’ve consistently reminded myself of this mantra. My colleagues, students, and I double check the sources and methodology behind any data we’re testing. If we aren’t entirely confident in the integrity of the data,


Is the Steady State Progressive?

by Brian Snyder

Karl Marx thought of history as progressive, moving from aristocracy to bourgeois capitalism to socialist revolution to communist utopia. While neoclassical economists such as Alan Greenspan and Paul Romer might not agree with Marx on much, they do agree that history tends toward progress. Today, nearly everyone on the political left and much of the political right is “historically progressive,” even if politically conservative. They all seem to believe that our children will inherit a more prosperous,


The Meat of the Matter: Diet, Climate, and the Steady State Economy

by Haley Demircan

The saying “you are what you eat” is clearly true to a great extent, but there’s more to the story. The food we consume not only affects our being directly, but also the environment and the economy—and therefore us indirectly as well. Eating more vegetables and less meat and dairy is better for the health of most individuals here and now, and certainly for the health of the planet, now and for the long run.


Book Review: Crazy Climate and Rigged Economies by Gerry Greaves

By Skyler Perkins

Crazy Climate and Rigged Economies begins with a story of a boy who aspires to engineer a bridge. That young boy was author Gerry Greaves, and though he never designed a bridge during his career as a structural engineer, his new book offers a conceptual bridge to a sustainable society. Greaves guides readers through the challenges of our unsustainable and rigged economy and promotes solutions to stabilize our democracy,


The Kid and the Modern American Growth Scam

By Mark Cramer

Modified from the original published in Welcome to Fakeville! (medium.com/@WTFakeville) on May 14, 2020.

In Charles Chaplin’s classic film, The Kid, the Kid runs around town throwing rocks into windows, setting the stage for his dad, the Tramp, to show up (by chance) with window-repair equipment. The family business is based on destruction.

Between the lines, this film introduces the God of the modern era: economic growth,


Don’t Call It “Communist”

by Brian Snyder

One of the few benefits of a global quarantine is catching up on movies, and one of the movies I’ve recently caught up on is 2017’s The Death of Stalin. If you have an aversion to vulgar language or death squads you should skip it, but otherwise, watching Steve Buscemi play Nikita Khrushchev is a comical experience you won’t soon forget.

But for our immediate purposes,


Pandemic and the Policy Roots of a Steady State Economy

by James Magnus-Johnston

Over a decade ago, a chorus of voices called for sensible policy priorities for a post-growth transition; it took a pandemic for a few of these priorities—like a universal basic income—to become a reality nearly overnight. Not that recent policy reforms have been conducted with a steady state economy in mind. Rather, politicians have been attempting to “stimulate” a moribund economy.

Let’s imagine for a moment,