The Politics of Minimum Wage

The Politics of Minimum Wage

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Description

Arguing for recasting the debate over the minimum wage in terms of a political economy of citizenship, Waltman not only examines the history and details the processes of determining a miniumum wage, he advocates dealing with the issue out of a communal sense of responsibility.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 192 pages
  • 146.6 x 217.7 x 20.3mm | 348.35g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0252025458
  • 9780252025457

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The minimum wage appears to be a standard economic regulatory measure, yet a politics of symbolism more than anything else defines the political contests that periodically erupt over it. Detractors abhor its corruption of market principles, while supporters see it as a measure of society's symbolic commitment to the poor.Tracing the history of the minimum wage and exposing its inherent contradictions as a political issue, Jerold Waltman proposes an alternative to the economic arguments that now dominate debates over it. Citing overwhelming public support for the minimum wage as evidence of an enduring civic consciousness and humanitarianism, Waltman advocates recasting the discussion in terms of a political economy of citizenship. Such a perspective would focus on the communal value of work, the need for citizens to have a stake in the community, and the effects of economic inequality on the bonds of common citizenship.Positioning the minimum wage as a fulcrum for the most basic conflict underlying America's unique combination of democracy and a market economy, The Politics of the Minimum Wage shows how a defense of the minimum wage built on a communal sense of responsibility rests on a strong tradition of civic republicanism and strengthens the hope for a truly democratic society.show more

Review quote

"A good description of the politics surrounding [the minimum wage] as well as those who are affected by it. Waltman also adds to the literature on agenda setting through his examination of enablers -- people essential for pushing issues onto the agenda and through to successful passage." -- Choice ADVANCE PRAISE "Does citizenship include the right to a decent wage? Jerold Waltman's succinctly written and well-researched book on the minimum wage answers a definitive yes. Rich in history, survey data, policy analysis, and incisive social and cultural study, this book demonstrates how the symbolic politics over the minimum wage needs to be taken seriously if this beleaguered but critical idea is still to make a contribution to the mix of contemporary policies designed to 'make work pay.'" -- Sanford F. Schram, author of Words of Welfare: The Poverty of Social Science and the Social Science of Povertyshow more

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