Can we imagine a Buddhist model for economic organization?
Clair Brown thinks so. The professor emeritus at UC Berkeley (and practicing Buddhist herself) developed a “Buddhist Economics” course for her students this year, and Joshua Holland at BillMoyers.com last week posted an interview with her about how the Buddha might alter current economies to maximize human well-being.
Their wide-ranging discussion takes in equitable income distribution, sustainability (“ecological economics”), and the basic principle that economies must be able to measurably relieve suffering and increase human welfare and security. Prof. Brown:
“I think Buddhist economics definitely has a role for government, but it also challenges the individual to understand how they can live their life in a more meaningful way and a way that creates value for them and the people around them…Buddhist economics would definitely say, ‘Hey, let’s step back, let’s focus on our wellbeing, and how we care for the environment and each other.’”