The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics

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Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Nov 10, 2008 - Business & Economics - 336 pages
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Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations provided the first, most influential and lasting explanation of the workings of modern economics. But with his focus on "the market" as the best mechanism for producing and distributing the necessities of life, Smith's concepts only told part of the story, leading to flawed economic models that devalue activities that fall outside of the market's parameters of buying and selling. The real wealth of nations, Riane Eisler argues, is not merely financial, but includes the contributions of people and our natural environment. Here, Eisler goes beyond the market to reexamine economics from a larger perspective--and shows that we must give visibility and value to the socially and economically essential work of caring for people and the planet if we are to meet the enormous challenges we are facing.

Eisler proposes a new "caring economics" that takes into account the full spectrum of economic activities--from the life--sustaining activities of the household, to the life-enriching activities of caregivers and communities, to the life-supporting processes of nature. She shows how our values are distorted by the economic double standard that devalues anything stereotypically associated with women and femininity; reveals how current economic models are based on a deep-seated culture of domination; and shows how human needs would be better served by economic models based on caring. Most importantly, she provides practical proposals for new economic inventions--new measures, policies, rules, and practices--to bring about a caring economics that fulfills human needs.

Like her classic The Chalice and the Blade, The Real Wealth of Nations is a bold and insightful look at how to create a society in which each of us can achieve the full measure of our humanity.

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The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics (Bk Currents)

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Eisler (president, Ctr. for Partnership Studies;The Chalise and the Blade ), a notable feminist social scientist, here proposes a new economic model that supports the work of care giving. Eisler ... Read full review

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This is a book for the echo chamber. It will not convince or much inform anyone on the other side of the debate. It will be loved by those who already agree with the perspective presented as it purports to put "science" on their side, but it will provide those who agree with precious little in the way of analysis, rationale, data or facts despite the use of footnotes. 

Selected pages


We Need a New Economics
Economics Through a Wider Lens
It Pays to Carein Dollars and Cents
The Economic Double Standard
Connecting the Dots
The Economics of Domination
The Economics of Partnership

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About the author (2008)

Riane Eisler is president of the Center for Partnership Studies and author of The Chalice and the Blade, Sacred Pleasure, Tomorrow’s Children, and The Power of Partnership. Dr. Eisler is a pioneer in the study of complex systems and the recipient of many honors, including the Humanist Pioneer Award and membership in the World Commission on Global Consciousness and Spirituality.

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