Reduction Economics is the study of how developed economies come to the conclusion that their continued rates and patterns of consumption are no longer possible without adverse consequences to the society. This point is reached in part when enough people begin to admit that the "Promise of Technology" can not be fulfilled without penalty. This "Technological Treason" is currently visible in the increased rates of disease, pollution, incarceration, violence and the flight of capital around the world. Left behind are economies and people who must work harder in order to protect themselves, and maintain a standard of living to which they were once accustomed.
Reduction economics comes out of the work of E.F. Schumacher,Herman Daly and others who see economics and its relationship to the biophysical foundations expounded by Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen. In many ways, Reduction Economics resembles the situation of an overweight individual who seeks to insure himself a longer and more fulfilled life by accepting the challenge of reducing his intake of food while increasing his physical activity.
At the local level the practice of Reduction Economics begins with an examination and inventory of community assets and deficits and the formulation of a long term plan that defines a set of economic goals and objectives that can lead to a sustainable state. As with the overweight individual, "pain becomes part of the gain" and difficult choices must be made. The challenge at this point in history is finding ways to make technology one's friend in order to grow in a downward direction.