Logo degrowth


Five Proposals for the U.S. Economy

By: Giorgos Kallis


We at Research & Degrowth are repeatedly being told that our framing won't work. That we are preaching to the choir by the way we frame our proposals, and that we will never convince the broader public. So, here are our policy proposals re-framed in the language of the U.S. elections.

Dedicated to all you framing aficionados out there.

  1. Oil-funded tax breaks

Abolish all income tax on incomes lower than $50,000 dollars per year. Finance this tax break by establishing a sovereign carbon fund financed by charges to the oil, coal and natural gas industry and by a carbon fee on trade imports.

  1. Jobs for all, fun for all

Make Friday a day off that we can dedicate to our families, friends and communities. Do not reduce salaries: same pay for four days of work. President Roosevelt did it during the Great Depression. This alone can create 10 million new jobs.

  1. Zero bank debt

No bank should lend more than its deposits. Banks cannot be allowed to create money out of thin air, while all the rest of us have to work hard just to get by.

  1. Freedom Income

Each and everyone should have the freedom to choose how to live their lives free from illness, hunger or fear. Establish a permanent freedom income of $800 per month, for every American. Pay for the income like Alaska did with a sovereign carbon fund. If this is not enough, finance it with a sovereign capital fund, funded by a progressive fee on excessive capital.

  1. Use it or lose it

Hard-working Americans should have the right to inhabit housing assets that are left unused for more than one year for the purpose of speculation.

For the original 10 degrowth proposals, see https://theleapblog.org/yes-we-can-prosper-without-growth-10-policy-proposals-for-the-new-left/

About the author

Giorgos Kallis

Giorgos Kallis is an ecological economist and political ecologist working on environmental justice and limits to growth. He has a Bachelors degree in chemistry and a Masters in environmental engineering from Imperial College, a PhD in environmental policy from the University of the Aegean, and a second Masters in economics from the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics. He is an ICREA professor since 2010. Before coming to Barcelona, Giorgos was a Marie Curie International Fellow at the Energy and Resources group at the University of California-Berkeley.

More from this author

Share on the corporate technosphere


Accelerationism… and degrowth?

By: Aaron Vansintjan

The left's strange bedfellows Over a year ago I lived in Barcelona, where I was lucky enough to witness a social movement—in large part fuelled by cooperatives, squats, and other autonomous spaces—win the mayoral elections. I had spent the year being involved with a group that studies and advocates ‘degrowth’—the idea that we must downscale production and consumption to have a more equitable s...


Is growth natural or inevitable?

By: Giorgos Kallis

One argument of those who defend growth is that growth is the natural and inevitable course of the economy. Liberated from governmental or other restrictions, and left to their own powers, entrepreneurs will make an economy grow, as they are endlessly inventive in growing their own incomes. Growth is then seen as the natural product of a free, ‘self-regulated market’. The destiny of the economy...


Lesenswert: die neue Oya zum Thema Bioökonomie

Oya logo blog

Bioökonomie ist ein Thema, das bei vielen Degrowth-Aktivist_innen nur am Rande vorkommt und oft unterschätzt wird. Die aktuelle Oya beschreibt, wie tief die Bioökonomie in alle Lebensbereiche eingreift, warum dies gefährlich ist und wie Widerstand möglich ist. Neugierig? Mehr dazu hier