Cover image for Raise the floor : wages and policies that work for all of us
Raise the floor : wages and policies that work for all of us
Sklar, Holly, 1955-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Ms. Foundation for Women, [2001]

Physical Description:
244 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD4975 .S485 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



"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."â__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."â__Jared Bernstein, Economic Policy InstituteMost Americans believe a job should keep you out of poverty, not keep you in it. Raise The Floor: Wages and Policies That Work for All of Us show us how we can translate that belief into reality by raising the minimum wage. Authors 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 businesses, large and small, that demonstrate how good wages are good business - in good economic times and bad.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This collaborative effort serves as a useful document for backing up advocacy on minimum-wage campaigns at the national and state level, living-wage campaigns at the local level, and implementation of a national guaranteed floor for living standards. Researchers have calculated budgets detailing minimum reasonable standards for families of different numbers of adults and children, with and without health care coverage. They estimate that a minimum wage of about eight dollars an hour (in 1999 dollars) is necessary for an adult without employment health benefits to be self-supporting. A set of useful appendixes details the calculations and provides a list of successful living-wage campaigns through May 2001. This is not a scholarly work per se; other than the budget calculations, most of the research reported is from other work, and no effort is made to characterizing arguments against raising wages as having any validity. The book is keyed to critiquing current political conditions; as such its shelf life is limited, although the calculational techniques it details can serve as a helpful primer for those wanting to create future budgets or calculate budgets for regional labor markets. Recommended for public, undergraduate, and professional library collections. J. P. Jacobsen Wesleyan University

Table of Contents

Marie C. Wilson
Overviewp. 1
Moving Backward
Executive Summary
1. It Just Doesn't Add Upp. 25
Official Poverty Measure
Alternative Poverty Measures and Needs Budgets
The Need for a National Floor
2. A National Minimum Needs Budgetp. 37
Budget Categories
Below the Minimum Needs Budgets
3. Shortchanging The Minimum Wagep. 49
The Incredible Shrinking Minimum
Productivity Outpaces Wages
Profits Outpace Wages
CEO Pay Outpaces Wages
Minimum Wage Workers
4. Good Wages Are Good Businessp. 65
Minimum Wage Hikes Do Not Cause Unemployment
What About the Economic Slowdown?
Living Wage Evidence
Business Volatility
Businesses Benefit With Higher Wages
Small Business Can Raise Wages
Higher Wages Benefit Low-Income Urban Communities
5. $8 Minimum--Make It A Livingp. 89
Where Work Does Not Pay
Women's Work
A Closer Look at $8 By Industry
Educational and Social Services
Household Employment
Wage Policy And Poverty
6. Policies To Make Ends Meetp. 115
Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit
Toward Universal Health Care
Care Giving
"A Decent Home"
Unions and Labor Laws
Pay Equity
Education and Training
Savings and Investment
7. Turning Pointp. 165
Mortgaging Our Future
Afterwordp. 175
Appendix A Background Tablesp. 177
Appendix B Minimum Needs Budget Methodologyp. 189
Appendix C Regional Variations in Minimum Needs Budgets: New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; Des Moines, IA; Kansas City; MO and Gadsden, ALp. 195
Appendix D Summary of Successful Living Wage Campaignsp. 207
Appendix E Methodology for Computing Minimum Wage Increasep. 217
Notesp. 221
Partner Organizationsp. 243
About the Authorsp. 245
About the Ms. Foundation for Womenp. 246