Jen Marin's Reviews > The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics

The Real Wealth of Nations by Riane Eisler
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's review
Nov 28, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: nonfiction-balanced-living, nonfiction-psychology, nonfiction-spirituality, evergreen-books
Read in November, 2011

In The Real Wealth of Nations, Riane Eisler contrasts the way that modern economics is tallied with the bigger picture that is often ignored. In the real world, paid labor is supported by the unpaid labor of cooking, cleaning, and caretaking. Under all of this is the unpaid and unaccounted contribution of natural capital.

Our current accounting system ignores these contributions, and instead focuses only on money as the metric for success. Unfortunately, this metric creates a situation in which the Valdez oil spill is counted as a plus in our economy. Pharmaceuticals are counted as more valuable than wellness approaches, and even auto accidents add to our GDP.

Somehow, we have disconnected our ideas of wealth from our ideas of well-being. This is unfortunate. Eisler shows that countries that value their natural and human capital and invest in it are happier and healthier than those that don't. Companies that develop caring policies find that they save money as their employees become loyal and turnover rates plummet.

We can have our cake and eat it too. If we invested in education and caregiving activities to the degree we invest in military spending, the outcomes for future generations could be extraordinary.

Reading this book during Autumn of 2011 was politically poetic. The Occupy Wall Street movement is looking to change the paradigm that is destroying our world. Eisler shows us that there are other ways of doing things that can create more happiness and well-being for more people. When we make caring our compass, we can all be better off. By stepping out of the dominance paradigm of the dominant paradigm, we can stop looking at all relationships as competition, and begin looking at ways to network, connect, and contribute to a world that we would want to leave for our children.
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