Friday, March 21, 2014
Economy: Buddhist Economics - What We Could Learn From Ancient Asian Wisdom
(Drivebycuriosity) - The University of California in Berkeley offers a class in "Buddhist Economics" (berkeley.edu). I think this is an interesting idea. Yes, Buddhism is a nontheistic religion and stands for incarnation, Karma and the infinity of everything. But there is a lot of ancient Asian wisdom in it. And Buddhists are not out of this world. Some Buddhist monasteries - especially the Shaolin - developed the art of martial self defense. They are now masters in martial art and they are making money with it. And Zen, a Chinese/Japanese version of Buddhism, practices to stay calm and being relaxed, which is helpful in every situation.
Karma refers to the principle of causality: What you do today, will shape your situation in the future, in this life or in another. I guess the idea of sustainable economics is connected with the Karma concept: Avoid wasting commodities and don´t pollute if you don´t want to destroy your future.
There are some companies who behave in a kind of Buddhist way. Amazon`s CEO Jeff Bezos doesn`t care much about the now, he focuses on the future which might be years away. He doesn`t pursue short term profits and ignores the stock price, instead the company is investing into the satisfaction of their customers which should generate long term growth.
Google has a similar strategy. The company is investing in self-driving cars, Google glass and a lot other technologies which could play out in some years. Tesla, the producer of electric cars, and other companies do they same.
Stock market investors could also learn from the Buddhist. They could ignore the daily news and noise and focus on the long term. History shows the US stock market rises on average 7% annually, which creates a fortune for patient investors who can wait over decades.
Disclosure: I am an investor in Amazon.com