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John Stuart Mill and the Idea of a Stationary State Economy

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Humanistic Ethics in the Age of Globality

Part of the book series: Humanism in Business Series ((HUBUS))

Abstract

John Stuart Mill was among the nineteenth century’s greatest philosophers. Perhaps best known for his defense of moral utilitarianism and individual liberty, Mill was also a leading economic thinker of his day. His major work on economics, Principles of Political Economy, built upon the insights of Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and Thomas Malthus in an effort to better systematize the principles of laissez faire economics and explain its “progress in wealth.” Mill also explained, like his predecessors, why laissez faire economics would eventually culminate in what was then called a “stationary state economy,” a condition of economic stagnation whereby a society, having reached the physical limits of economic growth, would simply reproduce wealth by replacing worn- out goods, maintaining capital stocks, and carefully husbanding nonrenewable resources.1

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© 2011 Michael Buckley

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Buckley, M. (2011). John Stuart Mill and the Idea of a Stationary State Economy. In: Dierksmeier, C., Amann, W., von Kimakowitz, E., Spitzeck, H., Pirson, M. (eds) Humanistic Ethics in the Age of Globality. Humanism in Business Series. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230314139_9

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