Posts


A Journey of No Return, Not a Circular Economy

By Herman Daly

The economic process is not a mechanical analog that can be run forward and backward, nor a circular process that can return to any previous state. Rather it is an irreversible and irrevocable process moving in the direction of time’s arrow of increasing entropy [1]. Finitude and entropy guarantee that the economic life of our species will be a journey of no return. Therefore even a stationary economy, in the classical sense of constant population and constant capital stock, is ultimately a journey of no return, because the metabolic throughput of matter and energy required to maintain constant stocks of people and physical capital, in the face of depreciation and death, is an entropic flow from ever less concentrated sources to ever filling sinks – and both sources and sinks are finite.


The Poison Beer of GDP

By Herman Daly

Disaggregating reported GDP growth to reveal the differences in growth by income class, as per the Schumer-Heinrich Bill, is a good idea. After all, telling us, say, that average income grew by 4% is not nearly as informative as telling us that the richest ten percent received the entire growth increment while the bottom ten percent suffered a decline in income.


What is Wrong with a Zero Interest Rate?

by Herman Daly The stock market took a dip, so the Fed will likely continue to keep the interest rate at zero, in conformity with its goal of supporting asset prices by quantitative easing. What is wrong with a zero interest rate? Doesn’t it boost investment, growth, and employment? There are many things wrong with […]


Would the Steady-State Economy Be a Miracle?

By Herman Daly Many people think that advocating a steady-state economy is like wishing for a miracle. I understand their reasoning and take their point—in the present era of growthism it does seem rather like advocating a miracle. But that raises the question: exactly what is a miracle? And how many other miracles are we […]


Thoughts on Pope Francis’ Laudato Si

by Herman Daly As a Protestant Christian my devotion to the Catholic Church has been rather minimal, based largely on respect for early church history, and for love of an aunt who was a nun. In recent times the Catholic Church’s opposition to birth control, plus the pedophile and cover-up scandals, further alienated me. Like […]


Seismic Political Shifts Reveal Desire for Serious Change

by James Magnus-Johnston If you demonstrate to people that the NDP [New Democratic Party] can win in Alberta, suddenly anything seems possible. —Paul Fairie, University of Calgary political scientist   On the problematic political spectrum, neither the right nor the left have become wholesale champions of the steady state economy. Then again, embracing something perceived as […]


Cold War Left Overs

Daly challenges the assertion that a steady-state economy is inherently capitalistic and must be instead be based on a socialist system.


Approaching a Steady State Economy, Part 2 — Clean Clothes

What can a laundry experiment in one household teach us about economizing and innovating in the broader economy?


Approaching a Steady State Economy, Part 1 — Getting Around

Figuring out how to run a sustainable economy is a tough task — drilling down to one sector offers some insights.