I've never heard of Raj Patel until now thanks to some kind soul on Twitter. Look for his book The Value of Nothing in early January. I expect we'll be hearing a lot more from Raj with its release. Judging from the video, he has a talent for boiling down complex ideas into palatable nuggets, which is handy if not without its problems. And who can argue with his swashbuckling delivery! He's a veritable Neil Diamond of economics.
All kidding aside, the premise of the book has merit – that "we inflate the cost of things we can (and often should) live without, while assigning absolutely no value to the resources we all need to survive."
While the first part of the book lays out the problem, the second half of the book shows:
…how social organizations, in America and around the globe, are finding new ways to describe the world’s worth. If we don’t want the market to price every aspect of our lives, we need to learn how such organizations have discovered democratic ways in which people, and not simply governments, can play a crucial role in deciding how we might share our world and its resources in common.
That's squarely within our rubric here at Shareable. I look forward to reading about new ways of valuing and democratically managing essential resources.