Steady state economy
| The dismal science|
The Center for the Advancement of Steady State Economies defines the steady state economy as an economy with stable or mildly fluctuating size. The term typically refers to a national economy, but it can also be applied to a local, regional, or global economy. An economy can reach a steady state after a period of growth or after a period of downsizing or degrowth. To be sustainable, a steady state economy may not exceed ecological limits.
John Maynard Keynes, the most influential economist of the 20th century, also considered the day when society could focus on ends (happiness and well-being, for example) rather than means (economic growth and individual pursuit of profit).
The sustainable scale is the key characteristic of a steady state economy. Scale is simply a measure of the size of one object relative to another. In this case, we are concerned with the size of the human economy relative to the ecosystems that contain it. Sustainability is achieved when the human economy fits within the capacity provided by Earth's ecosystems. Economic activity degrades ecosystems,