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The Modern Economics of Buddhism

4 Pages 981 Words May 2018

In today’s society and western economies, it is becoming more and more uncertain how the future will turn out. The article Buddhist Economics, by E. F. Schumacher that we read was a very relatable piece to what I believe should be commonplace for economics. What I took away from this article were four main ideas or concepts that allowed me to look at economics a different and improved perspective.
The first concept that I will be addressing is the idea that economics is not value-free. Schumacher starts off by explaining the problem with trying to live a Buddhist life while also wanting to incorporate modern economics. This might make sense if Buddhism and economics governed two completely distinct spheres of life.
The next concept is the one that I found most intriguing. Schumacher had a powerful message when he compared the meaning of labor between modern economics and Buddhist economics. Labor for businesses is seen as an ‘evil’ or a ‘cost, whereas Buddhist economics sees labor as a positive to businesses by envisioning it as something that leads to good outcomes which aren’t just from the product itself. These outcomes could be the opportunity for the development of character, and the opportunity to cooperate with others and in the process to overcome ‘ego-centeredness.’ The third concept Schumacher brings up is about consumption and the wellbeing of human life. Modern economics measures the wellbeing of human life by the level of consumption that takes place, and therefore greater annual rates of consumption correspond to increased wellbeing. In regards to Buddhist economics wellbeing should not be measured by how much people consume, the false reality in modern economics believes in a materialistic lifestyle that is completely in opposition to the Buddhist lifestyle. The final concept I will be addressing, I saved the best for last, is directly correlated to this class in many ways. This concept revolves around t...

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