In 1975, 22-year-old Marilyn Waring became the youngest member in the New Zealand Parliament. At the age of 24, she became Chairperson of the prestigious Public Expenditures Committee, which reviewed all the parliamentary budgets of her government. She travelled to over 35 countries in this capacity, and discovered that the rules which governed the finances of her own country were operating worldwide. By approaching politics from the viewpoint of an average citizen, Waring challenges the assumption that the systems that currently determine how the world does business are adequately meeting the needs of both local and global communities. Using plain language laced with ironic humor, Waring makes it clear that classic economics work to benefit one particular group, while the rest of us--the vast majority--pay the price.