Academic journal article Journal of Australian Political Economy

Herman Daly: From Un-Economic Growth to the Steady-State Economy

Academic journal article Journal of Australian Political Economy

Herman Daly: From Un-Economic Growth to the Steady-State Economy

Article excerpt

Herman Daly

From Un-economic Growth to the Steady-State Economy

Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2014, 2014, 253pp.

Herman Daly is a guru of the movement for a Steady-State Economy (SSE). He has been writing about SSE for more than forty years, and this volume contains a selection of his best essays, 33 in all, with subject matter ranging from basic SSE concepts to the ethical foundations of SSE and its implications for population, employment, taxation and various other aspects of economic policy.

The first ten of the essays are substantial in length and academic character, while the rest are shorter magazine-style pieces on specific topics. One can approach the book as one would a smorgasbord lunch, sampling dishes according to personal taste, rather than sitting down to a meal of Daly's bigger books such as Steady-State Economics, For the Common Good, Beyond Growth or Ecological Economics.

Environmentally concerned citizens who share Daly's viewpoint often quote the iconoclastic economist Kenneth Boulding's wry comment that anyone who regards endless growth as possible on a planet with finite resources is either a fool or an economist. Well, Daly is an economist too, but he recognized the imperative of charting a new direction for a no-growth economy very early in his distinguished public career. It is not difficult to discern the influence on his thinking of the Club of Rome's 1972 blockbuster report The Limits to Growth.

Daly is also concerned to dispel myths about what a SSE entails. …

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