Buddhist Economics


When I went to Woody Tasch’s Slow Money talk, I was particularly struck by the notion of “Buddhist economics” that he brought up. One of Slow Money’s guiding visions is keeping money in local circles, allowing the people who spend their money to see the results of their commerce. Thriving businesses, blooming community projects, etc. That consciousness of the flow and the effects of your money after you use it is one Buddhist economics’ tenants.

I was fascinated by this set of ideals, because in many ways it was similar to the ideals I already held. Buddhist economics is a spiritual approach to economics. A la Wikipedia—

“It says that truly rational decisions can only be made when we understand what creates irrationality. When people understand what constitutes desire, they realize that all the wealth in the world cannot satisfy it. When people understand the universality of fear, they become more compassionate to all beings. Thus, this spiritual approach to Economics doesn’t rely on theories and models but on the essential forces of acumen, empathy and restraint. It aims to bring forward the goods and services needed for a better existence”

In a way, it’s more a set of guiding ethical principles, instead of economic ones. There are parallels to models of sustainability and responsible farming and consuming here. Getting your food locally reduces your carbon footprint, but it also develops your community. Respecting fish and allowing their population to ebb and flow naturally keeps your food source alive, and is also an act of restraint and compassion.

Read more: http://www.buddhanet.net/cmdsg/econ1.htm


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