I am reading a book right now that really has me excited. It's called "The Real Wealth of Nations" by Riane Eisler. It is really hard to sum up this book so far, but I'll try. First, she argues that sexism is embedded in our culture, including the way we view economics, and that because of this, traditionally "feminine" values such as childcare are undervalued or, indeed, not given a financial value at all. She also argues that both capitalism and socialism rely on a dominator model (at this point, I feel the need to point out that Marx's original communism would not have relied on a dominator model, but the practical way it panned out, such as in the USSR, did) to operate: that there are only two choices, to dominate or to be dominated. This results in a system where those at the top do all they can to maintain their position and those at the bottom are essentially powerless. She suggests a new system called partnerism, where people of all sexes are valued and treated with respect, and where traditionally "feminine" values are given real economic value. She argues that the cost of providing high-quality preschool/childcare to young children is actually less than the cost of not doing so in the long-term, in terms of lost productivity, jail-time, etc. She backs up everything she says with numerous studies, statistics, and examples of current nations that lean more towards partnerism than the US.
The one annoyance is that she refers to nature/the eco-system as "Mother Earth". I feel that this is a distraction from the academic and rational tone of her work.
But to me, this feels like the next logical step after reading Smith and Marx. I highly, highly recommend this book to anyone at all interested in economics, politics, feminism, current events... basically, I highly recommend this book to everyone.