Buddhist Economics - Other Beliefs

Other Beliefs

Buddhist Economists believe that as long as work is considered a disutility for labourers and labourers a necessary evil for employers, true potential of the labourers and employers cannot be achieved. In such a situation, employees will always prefer income without employment and employers will always prefer output without employees. They feel that if the nature of work is truly appreciated and applied, it will be as important to the brain as food is to the body.It will nourish man and motivate him to do his best. According to them, goods should not be considered more important than people and consumption more important than creative activity. They feel that as a result of this, the focus shifts from the worker to the product of the work, the human to the subhuman, which is wrong.

According to them, people are unable to feel liberated not because of wealth but because of their attachment to wealth. In the same way, they say that it is the craving for pleasurable baubles and not the enjoyment from them that holds humans back.

Buddhist Economists do not believe in measuring the standard of living by the amount of consumption because according to them, obtaining maximum well being as a result of minimum consumption is more important than obtaining maximum well being from maximum consumption. Thus, they feel that the concept of being 'better off' because of greater levels of consumption is not a true measure of happiness.

From the point of view of a Buddhist economist, the most rational way of economic life is being self-sufficient and producing local resources for local needs and depending on imports and exports is uneconomic and justifiable only in a few cases and on a small scale. Thus, they believe in economic development, independent of foreign aid.

Buddhist Economics also gives importance to natural, renewable and non-renewable resources. They feel that non renewable resources should only be used when most needed and then also with utmost care, meticulously planning out its use. They believe that using them extravagantly is violent and not in keeping with the Buddhist belief of non violence. According to them, if the entire population relies on non renewable resources for their existence, they are behaving parasitically, preying on capital goods instead of income. Adding to this, they feel that this uneven distribution and ever increasing exploitation of natural resources will lead to violence between man.

They also believe that satisfaction need not necessarily be felt only when something tangible is got back in return for giving something or something material is gained, as stated in modern economics. They say that the feeling of satisfaction can be achieved even when we part with something without getting anything tangible in return. An example is when we give presents to our loved one's just because we want them to be happy.

Buddhist Economists believe that production is a very misleading term. According to them, to produce something new, the old form has to be destroyed. Therefore, production and consumption become complimentary to each other. Taking this into consideration, they advocate non-production is certain cases because when you produce lesser of materialistic things, you reduce exploitation of the world's resources and lead the life of a responsible and aware citizen.

Read more about this topic:  Buddhist Economics

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