Sunday, May 1, 2011

Distress Signal

Fighting for a Living Wage by Stephanie Luce
Weight: 4.8 oz
Method of Disposal: Donate or give away

It is May 1st. A hugely huge and important day. It is May Day or International Workers’ Day. It is the Day of Remembrance for the Holocaust. And, according to my peace calendar, it is Beltane, a Wiccan Festival of Fertility. It is also the start of Asian American Awareness Month.

In honor of May Day, I have decided to get rid of a book on Living Wage laws and campaigns. If you are not familiar with the Living Wage Campaign or what a living wage is, here is the following definition from Wikipedia:

“Living wage is a term used to describe the minimum hourly wage necessary for an individual to meet basic needs, including shelter (housing) and other incidentals such as clothing and nutrition, for an extended period of time or a lifetime. In developed countries such as the United Kingdom or Switzerland, this standard generally means that a person working forty hours a week, with no additional income, should be able to afford a specified quality or quantity of housing, food, utilities, transport, health care, and recreation.”

It is important. And, it is not the same thing as a minimum wage.
This book is informative, and it is important, but I will be the first to admit that it was a little difficult to slog through. There is a lot of information in 266 pages. The author explores several Living Wage Campaigns, noticing how they are different and how they are similar. She wants to know why some have varying levels of success and some fail altogether. She brings all of her information together in the end for a helpful discussion on implementation and the future of Living Wage Campaigns. If you can do it, read this book. If you cannot get through it then talk to the people who are involved in the Living Wage Campaigns where you live. You might be surprised about how much you have to learn about poverty, money, your neighbors, yourself, and what it takes to make it in this world.

I hope you have a meaningful May Day, and I hope we can all improve together.

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