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Ending Poverty As We Know It: Guaranteeing A Right To A Job Paperback – June 1, 2003
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A key problem Quigley doesn't even address: the globalization of labor. It's not just low-skilled manufacturing jobs that American companies outsource to China et al. nowadays. It's white collar desk jobs too; highly educated Indians gladly take $5,000/year for a job that would cost $50,000 in the US. It's a king's ransom for them, but for us, it's illegally below minimum wage. This is a problematic anomaly which stands as a major threat to America's economy. If we implemented Quigley's constitutional amendment, the threat might loom closer still. The author's utter silence here was most disappointing.
Despite that lapse, I recommend a reading. Its diverse facts and figures, while often repetitive, can be eye-opening. The numbers suggest we pay for poverty one way or another. At present, we subsidize parasitic employers and grant wealthy corporations obscenely generous loopholes. Redeploying our public assets to help the less fortunate into dignified employment might be a good idea. I smile at the simple beauty of it.
Lani Guinier, Harvard Law Prof and co-author of Miner's Canary says:
�Bill Quigley draws on the common sense of Thomas Paine, the moral inspiration of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the political wisdom of Franklin Delano Roosevelt to issue a bold challenge for our society: to guarantee people who want to work the right to a job at a living wage. In a brave and witty book that is both visionary and practical, Quigley reminds us that if once-radical ideas like social security and the abolition of slavery can become realities, then the current partnership between poverty and work can be upended too.�
Sr. Helen Prejean, social activist and author of Dead Man Walking says: "Bill Quigley's book makes us believe that America can really change for the better and provide a decent job and a fair wage to hard-working families. This is a very important book. Bill brings a lifeteim of knowledge and commitment to this; and he really shows us, step by step, how it can be done."
This book points out that over 45 million people in the US live in poverty. Over 30 million work and earn less than $8.20 an hour and another 15 million people are either out of work or working part-time and would like to be working full-time. I review the real facts and stories about poverty in the US today, especially among the working poor. After reviewing our history and surprising public and religious support for the right to a job and the right to a living wage, I call for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing every person the right to a job at a living wage.
Hope this helps explain what it is about. Peace!
The book lists commonly held but untrue myths about poverty and poor people, and gives evidence that such attitudes are the heritage of English law established nearly 500 years ago and carried forward into the colonies and later states. Think of "Oliver Twist" and the social norms and attitudes toward poor people of that time - that's out heritage.
The book is a comprehensive deflation of the overwrought fear mongering, character assination, and easy dismissal of the poor. It proposes a down to earth, realistic focus on and admission thatlow wages are the root cause of most poverty in America today. The author, Bill Quigley proposes adoption of a constitutional amendment to establish a right to a job that pays a living wage to all Americans who can work. Polly Anna? That's what was said about Child labor laws, minimum wage, mandatory overtime pay, social security and many other rights and protections we now take for granted. Additionally, the book details the cost of poverty to Americans, who in truth are now subsidizing commercial enterprises. That subsidy comes by way of their taxes, used to supplement the income and the survival of workers paid so little that they and their children cannot live without "public assistance". Most poor work!
If you are opposed to the concept, I urge you to read the book nonetheless, if only to know more about how history has shaped our views, prejudices and laws dealing with poverty issues and the poor. If you have a better answer to reducing poverty and its costs - go for it!! But learn a little reality before you define the problem. Read this book.