For last couple of years, I have been buying stuff (mostly grocery and vegetables) from where I get a bill (invoice), even if I have to pay a bit more. Reason has been straightforward – I am fine paying more because presumably the one who gives me bill pays tax. It reduces burden on my tax and thus country can improve and prosper. Straightforward logic. However, another thought runs in mind – things are getting automated, be it agriculture or industries. Technology based jobs are likely to get automated too. This will create a scarcity of jobs. We should support roadside vendors otherwise how will they sustain their livelihood.
Next level challenges for Governments and even for private sector will be job creation at grass root. The other thought says possibly there would not be a need of job creation. Things will happens automatically due to automation. On a philosophical level as Ramana uncle keeps on quoting – Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes and the grass grows by itself. ~ Basho. This no one would require to do job, the same possibility suggested by Keynes.
The world thus would be a kind of utopia, we hopefully wont require ruling over the other. It would be a time of soul searching, digging inside doing inner revolution. I strongly believe prosperity of each individual is the best way to reach the Utopian world. Economics, fails at such Utopian world, because where there is scarcity there is demand and supply. However, if everyone is prosperous probably no one will feel wealthy. Feeling of being wealthy at that time would be defined by some other measures – not necessarily by money. Currently too we are on the verge of redefining wealth, money is not what you have in your pockets or home is no more the only wealth. Wealth is – stocks you have, count of zeros in your accounts, may be in future we would look at bitcoins in your electronic wallets.
Possibly, the Buddha was disillusioned by wealth – he was a prince after all, wealthiest of kingdom – when he saw a sick old man, a dead body etc. Likelihood of seeing a Buddha like person is far higher in prosperous economy. India was at peak of its economic, scientific and spiritual knowledge. The world now and in future needs to think about spirituality and economics in same plane. The world we are creating for our coming generations should have growth, livelihood, sustainability and spirituality together. This requires learning a couple of concepts of Buddha’s teachings deeper – i. interdependent co-arising ii. the middle path and iii. righteousness (speech, action, livelihood,efforts, mindfulness, concentration, view and resolve).
I think we need to think beyond jobs creation, wealth, we need to think about a holistic development of human race because the grass grows by itself.
Happy Buddha Purnima, may everyone become The One soon.