The Real Wealth of Nations acknowledges unacknowledged wealth

While we eagerly await Russ Volckman’s review of the book in the Integral Leadership Review, here is already a summary of what promises to be a landmark book by Riane Eisler:

“An economy is more than the market, the government, and the military, says Eisler, eventually citing chapter and verse from a long list of other scholars to create a very persuasive case. A complete picture of a national and global economy must include the whole range of vital caring and caregiving activities—mostly undervalued, undercounted, and either severely underpaid or totally unpaid; and mostly performed (surprise!) by women—that take place in the community and in the home.

Eisler, a meticulous cross-disciplinary researcher, presents a good deal of cheering evidence to fortify her recommendations. What we spend to maximize the value of so-called human capital, for example (i.e., caring for and educating our children and youth), should be considered not a burdensome expense but a capital investment, insists the author; and as such, it should be amortizable over twenty years—the time frame for nurturing a generation of healthy, high-performing human beings. To back that up, she presents research outcomes showing that, e.g., early childhood educational interventions produce a 200 percent return on investment, and that actual companies that have adopted a comprehensively caring orientation to their workforce more than recoup their considerable investment in health care, exercise facilities, onsite child care, parental leave, and so forth, with better motivated employees, lower turnover and training costs, and higher productivity.”

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