The following are some very helpful suggestions that were sent to me by a man we’ll call DW, who showed up at the Seattle reading the other night:
Democracy’s Edge by Frances Moore Lappe offers a positive take on things and shows the “living democracy” that many people are practicing in the US, On pages 139-144 alone she talks about:
- Mondragon in Spain, an $8 billion cooperative of 100 worker-owned businesses
- Bi-Mart’s good wages and benefits when compared to the crap Wal-Mart’s workers get
- The McKay Nursery in Waterloo, WI, mostly owned by seasonal workers who make a lot more money and have more say than the average seasonal worker
- Cooperative Home Care Associates from the Bronx, a home health care co-op with better wages, plus health benefits and paid vacations
- Colors Restaurant in Greenwich Village, owned by immigrant survivors of 9/11, to provide a place of comfort for people in the area of Ground Zero.
The Quickening of America, another of Lappe’s works, is a workbook focused on action. Like the previous book, this one offers a list of organizations working for positive economic change. It must be noted that Democracy’s Edge is a little more recent and thorough.
Raise the Floor: Wages and Policies that Work for All of Us by Holly Sklar covers a lot of the practical information about current economic realities for those without much money and the policies of how to correct that.
The Pathology of the U.S. Economy by Michael Perelman and The Great U-Turn by Bennett Harrison and Barry Bluestone both look at how the U.S. government and businesses deliberately started shipping jobs overseas in the ’70s.
Economic Apartheid in America: A Primer on Economic Inequality & Insecurity by Chuck Collins and Felice Yeskel uses cartoons, graphs, sidebars, and blurbs to make the analysis of income disparity accessible to readers.
The Ultimate Field Guide to the US Economy by James Heintz and Nancy Folbre of The Center for Popular Economics is similar in that they present issues to readers from a non-academic point of view.
American Pictures: A Personal Journey Through the American Underclass by Jacob Holdt was done by Holdt, a Danish man hitch-hiking around the US meeting and taking powerful and evocative photographs of working class America. It’s a thought-provoking browse.
Thanks a lot DW.
I also received the following link to the Research Institute and Economic Policy’s Living Wage and Minimum Wage Report.
Anyone who has suggestions for further reading on these topics, please post them in a comment. We’re off to a good start–I get a lot of things sent to me daily. I can’t say I’ve had time to check them all out very thoroughly, but for now, I’ll post everything that passes the two-second vet and seems like it’s maybe interesting. The idea is to amass a list of resources online for people interested in these issues and then later maybe go through them and categorize things for easier perusal. Thanks.