Rational Vs Irrational Economics: “I don’t like reality”.
Now what has this got to do with Buddhism? A lot actually. The rational economics viewpoint assumes people make rational thought out decisions based on their own calculated best interests.
Buddhism tells us that most of the time most people have no idea why they are doing what they are doing: Out of the boiling pot of their unconscious mind some thought bubbles float up into consciousness, the mind clings to them, makes a story around them and this leads to action. Modern psychological theories of cognitive dissonance agree and so does M. Scott Peck in his seminal work “The Road Less Travelled”. Actually he says 99% of people don’t know why they are doing what they are doing 99% of the time.
Buddhism tells us that people are conditioned by their upbringing, society, culture, language and experience into who they are and identify with a false identity, sense of self or “ego”, that consists of these false identifications or clinging.
Irrational economics tells us people are irrational in their decision making but that this irrationality is predictable. Buddhism agrees. This makes sense. We can predict irrational behaviour in around 99% of people most of the time according to M. Scott Peck and he’s a very well respected Psychiatrist and writer.