The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics

Berrett-Koehler Publishers
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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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About the author

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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Additional Information

Publisher
Berrett-Koehler Publishers
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Published on
Nov 10, 2008
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9781609943264
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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The investment advice and management industry is built on fraud: the idea that professional advisors can predictably and consistently help you get a better rate of return on your investments. The industry sells us on this lie using manipulative tactics that are studied, refined, Wall Street minted, and Madison Avenue packaged. And extraordinarily effective. Here, Michael Edesess exposes the shocking truth that, in fact, behind the success of nearly every prosperous investment professional lies not the ability to procure higher rates of return on investment for his or her clients but the ability to procure astoundingly high fees from those clients and nothing more. Through fascinating and sometimes humorous anecdotes and straightforward explanations of investment theory and scientific evidence, Edesess reveals just how badly investors are being scammed by The Big Investment Lie. He examines how the master salespeople that make up the industry sell their cleverly concocted distortions of truth--to the tune of $200 billion a year--to unsuspecting consumers who swallow them hook, line and sinker. He then shines a spotlight on the true cost of the industry's useless advice, showing that a prudent independent investor, following a conservative strategy, can reap anywhere from 40 percent to over 100 percent more than an investor who falls for The Big Investment Lie. Detailing the Ten New Commandments for Smart Investing--practical advice for how, where, and when to invest your money to maximize wealth--The Big Investment Lie provides the guidance you need to secure your financial future without throwing your hard-earned money away on the fraudulent investment advice industry.
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head.

Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.

Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of . . . well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.

What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.

Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.

Bonus material added to the revised and expanded 2006 edition

The original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J. Dubner, which led to the creation of this book.

Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August 2005 and April 2006.

Selected entries from the Freakonomics blog, posted between April 2005 and May 2006 at http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/.

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