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Raise the Floor: Wages and Policies That Work For All Of Us Paperback – September 1, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0896086838 ISBN-10: 0896086836

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: South End Press (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896086836
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896086838
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,540,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

In Raise the Floor: Wages and Policies That Work for All of Us, the authors make a persuasive case for raising the minimum wage to a living wage. That would not only benefit the "working poor," the authors say, but would greatly benefit those who employ them. Holly Sklar, Laryssa Mykyta, and Susan Wefald say the minimum wage should lift people out of poverty, not perpetuate it, and they outline the policy changes needed to set this change in motion. Raise the Floor is a moving book. -- Steve Powers, Dallas Morning News

In Raise the Floor: Wages and Policies That Work. For All of Us, Holly Sklar, Laryssa Mykyta and Susan Wefald deftly blend the latest data and real-life stories, to show what it takes to make ends meet in today's America. In addition to telling workers' stories, presenting original data and proposing comprehensive policies, Raise the Floor spotlights large and small businesses that demonstrate how good wages are good business -- in good economic times and bad. -- Des Moines Business Record

Raise a cheer for Sklar, Mykyta and Wefald! Raise the Floor sets out the arguments for a higher minimum wage and other policy changes so clearly and persuasively that only the most cold-hearted could ignore them. This is a commanding work and powerful tool for the living wage movement that is gaining ground everywhere. -- Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed

Some books tell the story of the working poor. Some give the numbers. Others stress policy solutions. This book does it all, with passion and precision. It's a tremendously valuable resource. -- Jared Bernstein, Economic Policy Institute

This book sends a clear message to America that the minimum wage should lift people out of poverty, not perpetuate it. -- U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro, Member of Congress

About the Author

Holly Sklar's standout commentaries on economic and political affairs have appeared in hundreds of newspapers nationwide. She is the coauthor of Shifting Fortunes: The Perils of the Growing American Wealth Gap and author of Chaos or Community? Seeking Solutions, Not Scapegoats for Bad Economics. Sklar's other books include Streets of Hope: The Fall and Rise of an Urban Neighborhood (coauthored), the remarkable story of how the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative is rebuilding a long impoverished Boston community as a dynamic urban village. Sklar is the director of MediaVision, a strategic research, analysis and communications firm based in Boston.

Laryssa Mykyta is a senior policy analyst at Solutions for Progress. While her primary interest lies in labor market policy and effective anti-poverty policy, she has also applied her research and database management skills to projects on health care and education policy. Mykyta's past research addressed the effects of inequality on labor market outcomes for female and minority workers and examined the impact of racial divisions on society. Mykyta also teaches at Temple University where her courses include “Women and the Economy.”

Susan Wefald is director of institutional planning at the Ms. Foundation for Women and coordinator of the Raise the Floor campaign. Wefald previously ran a community development consulting business, where she conducted training in the U.S. and Russia. As former staff director of the Naugatuck Valley Project, Wefald coordinated the organizing and economic development work of a coalition of unions, churches and community organizations in Western Connecticut. She is the former assistant director of the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board and taught “Community Organizing and Community Economic Development” at New Hampshire College. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jim Stark on September 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
As Congress prepares to debate the national minimum wage this Fall, there couldn't be a more timely or compelling book. At first I was a bit surprised to see this coming from the Ms. Foundation for Women, and while it may be an expansion of their advocacy work, they seem to have assembled an experienced, knowledgable group of researchers and writers to put this study together. It is clear, readable, convincing. Even the manner in which tables and data are presented is easy on the eye (and the head). But as I was drawn into the book, I began to see that looking at an issue like the minimum wage, one needs to do so understanding its history (and the authors do this compactly but thoroughly) and its relevance today (and the tie-in to the Living Wage movement is vivid and convincing). This is a book not only about female or male workers, but families, and beyond that, to the values this nation is supposed to stand for...and it made me so fired up that this country still keeps hard working people poor that I wrote both my senators about it. I hope they read it, and I hope you do too...
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Duncan on November 25, 2005
Format: Paperback
For the past 5 years, even with all the corporate scandals and a worse than Vietnam war killing America, never before in U.S. history has our government recklessly hit the gas pedal on giving more "tax cut" handouts for the wealthy elite and big business scoundrels. I'd rather socialize wealth than socialize poverty and terrorism any day. Anyone who thinks otherwise is only looking forward to turning America into a business concentration camp.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rob Johnston on August 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
Though published in 2001, Raise the Floor addresses an issue that still affects millions of Americans. And it makes the case for anyone who believes that the government should play a role in reducing poverty. The authors show the need for new policies, and they outline the required steps. They show how good wages are good business, and in spite of fear mongering, that states that are good for small business also offer better wages.

If you believe that work should help raise people from poverty, not keep them in it, this book will inform, anger, and inspire you.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By James Charnock on August 4, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
By stating that the minimum wage should be at a certain level, the authors dated their book, erasing some of the impact it could have.

Unfortunately, it reads too much like a report to Congress--or as an extensive research-term paper. The authors quote author Barbara Ehrenreich's NICKEL AND DIMED (2001), but they didn't get their message across as emotionally as she.

There are just too many charts and repetitive figures thrown at the reader. I could not plow through the whole book of predictable dry prose. And it really doesn't say much more than the better-written NICKEL AND DIMED.

Though sympathetic with the authors' causes (but basically to raise the minimum wage) and even outraged by the research, I found my eyes glazing over. I assigned the book three stars not because of the freshness of the writing, but because of the importance of the subject.
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3 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
From the editorial review:
"In a January 2002 poll of likely voters, Americans overwhelmingly identified raising the minimum wage as key to stimulating the economy."
And of course, this poll result should translate into federal policy, for surely each one of those likely voters has a strong background in economic theory.
"...$8 an hour-the amount a single, full-time worker needs to meet minimum needs."
Minimum needs...like the "religious services" mentioned above?
For the rational Homo sapiens seeking an understanding of how minimum wage laws affect the economy, I recommend Capitalism by George Reisman.
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