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(? )” 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 examples showed us that the lack of supervision is the most common reason for financial crises. What are wrong with our supervision system and moral cognition? We cannot obtain every single penny from the world. If so, our desire will never be satisfied and it can lead us to blot up the resource from our descendants in the future. Money is not the purpose of our life; it is only a tool that services our life. However, this is not meaning that we should avoid wealth.
The Confucius said, “If the search for riches is sure to be successful, though I should become a groom with whip in hand to get them, I will do so. As the search may not be successful, I will follow after that which I love. ” (Confucius, 551-479 BCE, p. 38. ) From this sentence we can see that Confucius is perfervid to earn gain via being an official. Therefore, if it is the right way of getting gain, then he would love to do it, even only being a low- level official with physical labor. Moreover, The Confucius said, “The mind of the superior man is conversant with righteousness; the mind of the mean man is conversant with gain.
” (Confucius, 551-479 BCE, p 19. ) A gentleman should understand and familiar with righteousness. In the orientation of value, the first thing a gentleman should consider is “Yi”; also, for a gentleman’s virtue and morality, “Yi” is the value of life and it is very important for Confucian. Therefore, virtue and morality will be the gentlemen’s first pursuit. In addition, the Confucianism is always in a moral and political perspective to deal with problems. The Confucius said, “If a superior love propriety, the people will not dare not to be reverent.
If he loves righteousness, the people will not dare not to submit to his example. If he loves good faith, the people will not dare not to be sincere. Now, when these things obtain, the people from all quarters will come to him, bearing their children on their backs; — what need has he of a knowledge of husbandry? ” (Confucius, 551-479 BCE, p. 76. ) From Confucius’ words, we can see that personality trait is most important in the Confucianism. If we can build a wonderful moral system, then we will be able to obtain a political stability, and then, to have a stabile economy.
In addition, even though the economy is very tied to people lives and development, it still does not become above to the moral and politician’s primary task in the Confucian. That is an upside down relationship with what we thought today, because we all treat the economy as the most important part of our society. Furthermore, one of Confucius’s points of view is advocating a frugal society and stand against luxury. He thinks that if a government wants to govern the country well, then saving and reduce spending are most important. He said, “Administration is saving. ” (Confucius, 551-479 BCE, p. 72.)
This is not meaning that spending it bad, but we should also do saving as well. Our earth needs a balance as well as we does. However, it is going to lead to a severer resource shortage if we do not change our spending behavior right now. In addition, the Confucius also encourages the government into universal education after they have a stabile economy. He thinks that in order to improve the quality of people we should improve the extent and quality of education, which is a sustaining way to keep our society stabile. According to The Analects of Confucius, “‘and when they have been enriched, what more shall be done?
’ The Master said, ‘Teach them. ’” (Confucius, 551-479 BCE, p. 77. ) Therefore, we should make our education system stronger as well as our morality system. As economic globalization from today, we are not only need abundant economic resource as our supporter; we also need to be sustained with ideological and ethical system because that is the true basis of our life. Even though there are many different kind of economic activates, productive activate is still one of the most important activates. Also, the Confucius teaches his students that economic activities should be amenable to ethics. We should regain the time which is frugal.
Don’t we be touched from him? In addition, here is a sentence shows an epitome of the Confucianism “There were four things which the Master taught, — letters, ethics, devotion of soul, and truthfulness. ” (Confucius, 551-479 BCE, p. 39. ) The Confucius also teaches his students that every choice, which related to praise or blame, and publicity or suppression, depends on whatever they conform to the establishment of the Confucian moral laws and political criterion. As Chinese economy growth today, we may try this “traditional Chinese medicine” which is from the Confucianism; see if it can help our economy to get better.