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Buddhist Economics as a Environmental Movement

            -Buddhist Economics- som en grÖn rÖrelse.
             At its most basic level economics is about the allocation of a society's scarce resources. Different theories on how this should be done and the manner in which they resources should be distributed exist. This particular question deals with SEA-centric economies which implicates deviation from a norm. What is the norm, or perhaps more importantly, is there a norm? It is fair to say that Western (capitalist) interpretations of economics are at present dominant. Therefore the starting point is in a quick run-through of its more significant characteristics. Orthodox economics deal with aspects of efficiency, self-regulation, rationality and the like. Inherent is a belief in a "perfect market- which is self-regulatory (with regard to, for example, price due to supply and demand) thanks to the "invisible hand- of the market itself. Furthermore, the Western notions of consumer freedom of action and consumer rationality require free and fair competition to fully function. That all individuals act in "enlightened self-interest- is also basic to orthodox appreciation. In comparing the way in which the above characteristics have manifested themselves in euro-centric economies to the way they have in SEA three major differences become apparent:.
             1. the presence of an economically strong minority (the Chinese).
             2. formation of conglomerates.
             3. the strong presence of the state in economics.
             In Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia the Chinese play a large part in the economic life and they exert more economic power than any other ethnic group. Conglomerates such as the Salim Group or Siam Cement are typical SEA:n results of the 1960-70's boom. Such conglomerates are usually very diversified and tend to dominate especially banking, thereby reversing the traditional role of banks. A strong state presence in economics can be seen through cronyism. Companies like Pertamina Oil can perhaps be used as examples of both! Although further discussion of this would be interesting, what is of importance is the nature of SEA-centric economies in comparison to Western.

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