Rules for a Steady State Economy and principles of de-growth

A brief statement of the key and incontestable idea of steady state…


Rules for a Steady State Economy

Good economic policies strive to achieve societal goals like sustainability and fairness with the least amount of impingement on individual freedoms. Following this principle, achieving a steady state economy requires adherence to only four basic rules or system principles that are hard to argue with:

1. Maintain the health of ecosystems and the life-support services they provide.
2. Extract renewable resources like fish and timber at a rate no faster than they can be regenerated.
3. Consume non-renewable resources like fossil fuels and minerals at a rate no faster than they can be replaced by the discovery of renewable substitutes.
4. Deposit wastes in the environment at a rate no faster than they can be safely assimilated.

And here are Serge Latouche’s 8 interdependent principles for de-growth (from a review by Giorgos Kallis:-
Re-evaluate what matters;
Reconceptualize key notions such as wealth, poverty, value, scarcity and abundance;
Restructure the productive apparatus and social relations to fit these
new values;
Redistribute wealth and access to natural resources
between North and South and between classes, generations and
Relocalize savings, financing, production and consumption;
Reduce production and consumption, especially for goods and
services with little use value but high environmental impact;
Re-use products and
Recycle waste.

“Relocalization is central in Latouche’s degrowth strategy, who envisions self-sufficient, politically autono-mous bioregions or“urban villages”, exchanging ideas, but few
materials or capital. In Latouche’s concrete utopia, food, energy and
money will be mostly locally produced.”

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