We Need a Traditional Chinese Medicine
Kelly Ross said, “The U.S. economy was broken long before the Crash of 2008, but its weakness was temporarily papered over by a real estate bubble in the Bush years.” (Ross, 2012) It seems like that we are experiencing a financial crisis right now, but the truth is that our economy system is weaker than what we thought. How do we resolve the underlying problems? Think about China, why is China doing so well? Cheaper labor cost, lager export, or huge householder savings? Anyway, let’s go into Chinese’ core values first and then figure out the reasons which may useful for us. The Confucius is the core of Chinese culture and he is also one of the earliest economists in China. His Confucian theory has been used by Chinese governments to control their people as long as thousands years. Here is the question for today. How does the Confucius’ economics become an antidote to our economic recession?
First of all, let’s talk about the Confucius’ view of wealth. His theory is based on morality and it is also the foundation of his economic thought. According to Confucius, “Riches and honours are what men desire. If it cannot be obtained in the proper way, they should not be held. Poverty and meanness are what men dislike. If it cannot be avoided in the proper way, they should not be avoided” (Confucius, 551-479 BCE, p 17.) The Confucius is teaching his students that even though we all want to get wealth, but we cannot get it via sharp practice. We should think about “Yi(义)” first which comes before gain. “Yi” can be seen as the word “righteousness” in English which is also based upon the idea of reciprocity. This idea looks like an opposite idea of self-interest. On the other hand, Adam Smith told us that “self-interest is ‘good’” (Class ppt. Kuiper.) Self-interest can stimulate economic growth in the short run but can also bring moral issues for a long term implication. Take a look at our economy today, there are many...
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