You see adults on the train playing games on their smartphones, and one question naturally comes to mind: “Is our future going to be okay?” Your concern is not ‘whether or not we should throw our smartphones away and read books instead’. The issue here should be, ‘how to make sure that things with high value are selected in the market’.
The Wall Street Journal reported on the 8th that the Church Commissioners for England manages around 7 billion pounds of church assets, and last year they had a return of 8.2%. Their returns have grown by an average of 9.7% per year for the last 30 years.
According to the article, the reason for these high returns is because as a perpetual fund the Commissioners need to have a long-term view. They are also upholding an ethical approach to investing: they avoid areas like pornography and continually invest in ethical and socially acceptable ventures.
What are Products with High Value Added?
This reveals one exemplary facet of the market.
Modern economics does not place value judgments on the things that produce profit. Things that corrupt people and things that bring happiness to people are all bunched together to calculate the year’s GDP. Just because something sells well does not mean that it has high added value, meaning it brings happiness to people: the smartphone game from earlier is one example.
The gross GDP should be an actual reflection of the sum total of happiness that one country’s people brought about around the world. From a religious perspective, happiness does not refer to satisfying your desires, but comes about through the joys of when the spirit is lifted towards God. In order to get closer to God, society needs the market to adopt the idea that “the closer to God the higher the value”.
The following is an excerpt from a book “The Science of Happiness” Master Ryuho Okawa founder of Happy Science:
“Innovation in economics will be relative to how much Happy Science values are incorporated into the study. The principles of the economy have no choice but to close in and eventually coincide with the values of the spiritual world: the Truth. Values based on how close or far something is from God. Following this idea will bring spiritual economic values about in this world.”
How to Purify Rather Than Regulate the Market
Some people may think that to achieve an ethical market, the government needs to tighten regulations. Working with a government intervention system will result in government expansion and the people will lose their freedom. To avoid this we need to aim for a market that can purify itself.
The key to the future market lies in investors like the Church Commissioners who focus on social responsibility to produce high profits. When investors place high value on companies that aim for customer satisfaction and contribute to society, this will allow religious and moral principles to spread throughout the market.
Increasing the number of business owners who aim for God-loved economic success, and genuine investors who want to nurture them: this is what we need in order to stop evil and promote good in the market.