In the present context of the world, the chain of economics and happiness as I see it is, money is necessary to fulfill one's basic necessities (even if not luxuries), to earn money we need jobs, to make jobs we need to manufacture things, to sell things that have been manufactured, they have to be marketed and people have to be eventually 'desire' to buy these items and feel that they are happy to keep the chain alive.

But because of this chain, for example the automobile industry, we have more cars on road, more pollution, more environmental and health issues and so on.

So I was thinking if there is a better economic model which we can learn and devise from the teachings of the Buddha. Is there some other method we can adopt to reinvent this chain and relation between economics, happiness and consumerism? I do understand that real 'happiness' as taught by the Buddha and the happiness that one obtains by practising meditation is the way ahead to limit our desires and achieve a balance in the world. On these lines, I read something on 'Sufficiency Economics' briefly and felt it was a good topic.

I wish to ask if anyone can provide references to any other topics or books that relate economics, consumerism and Buddhism that offer a practical solution to a really happy world.

  • 1
    A related topic: Is modern capitalism inherently opposed to Buddhism?
    – ChrisW
    Feb 21 '16 at 12:38
  • 1
    Are you interested in topics which relate to nations (e.g. "What national economic policies could Bhutan implement?") Or advice for smaller groups of people, e.g. companies and cooperatives? Or advice for individuals (what's a right attitude towards working for a living)?
    – ChrisW
    Feb 21 '16 at 13:12
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    The right attitude towards working for a living for individuals has already been questioned and answered in this forum elsewhere I guess. My question pertains to ideas for practical implementation of the Buddha's teachings for larger groups, be it organisations or nations. Basically, a sustainable and implementable economic policy in the conventional sense of the world, based on the Buddhas teachings. Feb 21 '16 at 13:41
  • It's possible that an expert economist is more likely to answer this than an expert Buddhist. You're asking for references to books about economics. Therefore you might get answers if you ask on the Economics.SE site. Also a Google search returns several results (including a Wikipedia article).
    – ChrisW
    Feb 21 '16 at 18:47

This is not directly related to economics but Buddha's Ten Royal Qualities (Dasa Raja Dharma) is an excellent guidance to handle a country and thereby the economy as well.

Check this link to get an idea: THE CURRENT RELEVANCE OF DASA RAJA DHARMA

Here's a very brief extract/summary from that article:

The promise of dasa raja dharma (ten principles of Buddhist governance) has been a trademark emotional appeal that our rulers have used to win elections.

  1. Dana -- Liberality, generosity, charity.
  2. Sila -- a moral character.
  3. Pariccaga -- sacrificing everything for the good of the people.
  4. Ajjava -- honesty and integrity.
  5. Maddava -- kindness and gentleness.
  6. Tapa -- austerity of habits.
  7. Akkodha -- freedom from envy, ill-will, enmity.
  8. Khanti -- patience, forbearance, tolerance, understanding.
  9. Avihimsa -- non-violence, which means not only that he should harm nobody, but that he should try to promote peace by avoiding and preventing war, and everything which involves violence and destruction of life.
  10. Avirodha (non-opposition; nonconfrontation) as they are related though not the same.

Buddhas aren't in the business of teaching how to be happy. Sorry.

The real deal is concerned with freedom from circumstances, including the ones you're particularly worried about. As it just so happens, this freedom typically brings a kind of happiness but it's only the perfume of the main game.

Work on yourself. This will help others immeasurably.

  • 1
    This was posted as an answer, but it does not attempt to answer the question -- please see Answers vs Advice on Meta.
    – ChrisW
    Feb 22 '16 at 11:27
  • It answered a more relevant question and brought the focus back towards Buddhism. Answering people's questions all the time is just feeding their craving for power over intellectual knowledge. It does not help them.
    – Cameron
    Feb 23 '16 at 0:25
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    Did you read the meta-topic I linked to? If someone wants to ask a question about Buddhist art (or culture, or economics, or about a school or practice of Buddhism that you don't agree with) then site policy is to answer that question (or refrain from answering it if you don't want to answer it), but if you can try to avoid posting a non-answer.
    – ChrisW
    Feb 23 '16 at 16:27
  • How exactly are you meant to help someone if you aren't allowed to tell them they're asking the wrong questions? Or is this place more about feeding the ego's desire for intellectual knowledge rather than helping humanity? Hmm?
    – Cameron
    Feb 24 '16 at 2:26
  • Well Mr.Cameron, Lord Buddha gave the teaching for one purpose and that is to be free from suffering and reach true happiness. Lord was also kind enough to give us tips to make it in the world while we are at it. If anything Buddhism is about being happy and how to be happy in a temporary manner until a person reach permanent happiness. @Cameron
    – Theravada
    Feb 24 '16 at 23:47

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