SOURCE: Riane Eisler

April 16, 2007 08:49 ET

Bestselling Author Riane Eisler Introduces "The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics"

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 16, 2007 -- Dr. Riane Eisler first captured world attention with her bestselling book, "The Chalice and the Blade." With her new book, "The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics" (Berrett-Koehler Publishers; ISBN-13: 9781576753880, $24.95, April 2007), she offers a new way of thinking by transforming "the dismal science of economics" into a practical plan for solving global warming, poverty, and terrorism. Hailed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu as "a template for the better world we have been so urgently seeking," by business guru Peter Senge as "desperately needed," by Gloria Steinem as "revolutionary," and by Jane Goodall as "a call to action," "The Real Wealth of Nations" proposes a "caring economics" that is more cost-effective, humane, and sustainable.

"My work has been moving more and more toward practical solutions," said Eisler. "Present economic systems, both capitalist and socialist, aren't solving our problems -- from chronic poverty and environmental devastation, to the loss of good jobs in the US and the stress put on families by the absence of decent parental leave. We have to start with basics: that the real wealth of nations isn't financial; it's the contributions of people and nature."

"The Real Wealth of Nations" details a new strategy for an economic system that gives visibility and value to the most essential human work: the life-sustaining work of caring and caregiving whether it's done in the home or the workplace. Eisler cites powerful statistics regarding the real value of the unpaid work in households. A 2004 Swiss government survey reported the value of this work at 162 billion Euros or 190 billion dollars (US) -- 70 percent of Switzerland's reported gross domestic product. Salary.com estimated that a fair wage for a typical stay-at-home parent would be $134,471 (US) a year. But while this is compelling, Eisler says that there is much more that we have to pay attention to. In "The Real Wealth of Nations," Eisler provides examples of how the current economic system in the US is achieving negative results: In its 2004 Global Competitiveness Report, the World Economic Forum found that the US trailed the much smaller Finland in economic competitiveness, which Eisler shows is largely due to the fact that Nordic nations, where women have higher status, invest in their human capital, starting in early childhood and the US does not. According to a 2006 CIA report, the US ranked 42nd in child mortality, behind Cuba and many other poorer nations because money is allocated for prisons, weapons, and wars, and not healthcare, childcare, and other caring activities.

Eisler provides in her book a structure for business leaders and politicians to transform our economic system into one that values human effort and nature and leads to improved levels of health and education among people of all socioeconomic strata, reduced employee turnover and absenteeism, environmental health, and greater productivity for businesses and our country. She provides hard evidence to show that companies with caring policies achieve a higher return on their investment for shareholders. For example, one study showed that offering employees childcare yielded a return on investment of 521 percent in four years.

Eisler, who as a child fled Austria with her family during Nazi occupation, has been on a lifelong quest to probe the human condition, examine the root causes of many of society's challenges, and provide solutions for them. Her other books include the award-winning "The Power of Partnership," "Tomorrow's Children," and "Sacred Pleasure," a reexamination of sexuality and spirituality, and "Women, Men, and the Global Quality of Life," which documents the key role of the status of women in a nation's general quality of life.

Eisler holds degrees in sociology and law from the University of California, taught pioneering classes on women and the law at UCLA, and is a founding member of the General Evolution Research Group (GERG), a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and World Business Academy, and a commissioner of the World Commission on Global Consciousness and Spirituality, along with the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and other spiritual leaders. She is co-founder of the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence (SAIV), www.saiv.net and president of the Center for Partnership Studies, www.partnershipway.org, dedicated to research and education. She is also the author of over 200 essays for both popular and academic publications.

"The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics" will be available April 16 at major booksellers everywhere.

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