Ethical Economies

Two Thai Buddhist Economic Models

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Though Buddhist economics was presented as a theory in the previous post, two operational models actually exist in Thailand: 1. The Royal Thai Sufficiency Economy Model, which operates on the principles of  moderation, reasonableness, self-immunity, wisdom and integrity, was publicly introduced by the King of Thailand following the 1997 economic  crisis and is now championed […]

Ethical Economies

The “Buddhist” Part of Buddhist Economics

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This post reviews some aspects of Buddhist ontology and the practical teachings that serve as the foundation for Buddhist economics. If you had some questions while reading the previous post, “Is Buddhist Economics an Oxymoron?” then this might help. Buddhism’s central doctrine, the Four Noble Truths, teaches that there is suffering (dukkha); the cause of suffering […]

Ethical Economies

Is Buddhist Economics an Oxymoron?

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Buddhist economics and mainstream Western economics are not as radically opposed as suggested by their stereotypes, the monk and the stockbroker. Like its Western sibling, the Buddhist model is based on individual rational choices concerning material wellbeing. The accumulation of wealth is allowed, and in many cases even encouraged. Significant differences emerge, however, upon closer […]

Wellbeing

Specifying Elements of Wellbeing…Democractically

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As I was writing yesterday’s post, How to Thrive: Specifying the Universal Elements of Wellbeing, I started thinking about this paper I had presented at the International Conference on “Happiness and Public Policy” in Bangkok several years ago. It elaborated a democratic procedure through which communities could create a list of capabilities they wanted to […]

Wellbeing

Why Wellbeing?

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When most people think about the wellbeing of society, they tend to think in financial terms—how is the economy doing? Is it growing? By what percent? Yet there are fundamental problems with the overemphasis on economic growth as THE path to prosperity. Besides the fact that it’s based on Western values of material accumulation and […]

Wellbeing

Measuring Wellbeing: Exploring Alternatives to GDP

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With the GDP turning 80, this year is sure to bring fruitful discussions on alternatives that will better measure wellbeing. These discussions are already happening, not just on the fringes of public discourse but in initiatives sponsored by world leaders in government and premier global organizations like the United Nations (UN) and the Organization for […]