17 Steady state production systems

Perpetual economic growth is not possible. Growth, especially in wealthy nations, is already causing more problems than it solves.

Herman Daly defines a steady state economy as:

"An economy with constant stocks of people and artifacts, maintained at some desired, sufficient levels by low rates of maintenance ‘throughput’, that is, by the lowest feasible flows of matter and energy from the first stage of production to the last stage of consumption".

A steady state economy in a household, community or state, aims for stable or mildly fluctuating levels in population and consumption of energy and materials. Birth rates equal death rates, and production rates equal depreciation rates of resource stocks. Waste recycling and renewable energy are essential components of any steady state production system.