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Clair Brown on Buddhist Economics at Diesel, A Bookstore in Oakland


When experts talk about global economics, it often boils down to acronyms such as GDP, or vague percentages like the unemployment rate. The same vocabulary applies to individuals and how they spend their income, as well. In a time where widespread economic anxiety was seen as a factor in electing Donald Trump, some are looking for a new ways to discuss the complexities of economics. UC Berkeley professor Clair Brown has a suggestion: Buddhist Economics. Her approach is based on her experience as a practicing Buddhist, and is founded on the notion that quality of life is beyond simple national income, and that the indexes to measure quality of life should include interdependence, shared prosperity, and happiness into her vision. Perhaps, Brown hopes, the turn in focus on how we see economics will help people seek positive habits and values than pure drive for capitalistic gains.