Looking Up At The Bottom Line by Richard R. Troxell - Book review
Looking Up At The Bottom Line
The Struggle For the Living Wage
By: Richard R. Troxell
Published: September 16, 2010
Format: Paperback, 308 pages
Publisher: Plain View Press
"Fairness, a sense of morality of what is fair, needs to come into the work place as it relates to wages", writes advocate for the homeless and social engineer Richard R. Troxell, in his groundbreaking and societal transformational book Looking Up At The Bottom Line: The Struggle For the Living Wage. The author shares a personal memoir, stories of real homeless people, and provides an alternative to social programs that reaffirms the dignity of people, helps the economy, and saves money for the taxpayer.
Richard Troxell understands the pain and suffering experienced through homelessness, and has devoted his life to restoring a sense of respect and dignity to the less fortunate. The problem of homelessness, according to the author, goes far beyond the usual myths and stereotypes. Part of the problem, writes Richard Troxell, is that in a land of plenty, minimum wage workers simply can't afford even a small, modest apartment. The author shares stories of people without homes, attempting to change their lives through hard work, but are unable to escape the homeless trap. Richard Troxell describes how laws and regulations work against homeless people, through moving them from locations near their workplace, obstructing the reuse of closed military bases and other public properties to house homeless people. He also points out that instead of building self reliance, the various government policies and agencies create dependency rather than provide a leg up toward personal and family independence.
Richard R. Troxell (photo left) recognizes that the cost of renting a modest apartment varies from city to city, and the amount of wages required to pay the monthly rent must be different in every location. As a result, the author proposes his revolutionary concept of the Universal Living Wage. The universal wage rate is determined by a cost of housing valuation for every city. The wage guideline forms a base where people can earn sufficient income to achieve the independence of having their own apartment. Richard Troxell describes the idea not as one that is damaging to small business and to the economy, but as having the opposite effect. The Universal Living Wage adds money to the economy, increases spending and consumption, assists landlords in filling their rental units, and lowers the amount of taxpayer funds needs to sustain the formerly homeless person. The principle transforms people from needing social services to becoming taxpayers and supporters and full members of the local economy.
For me, the power of the book is how Richard R. Troxell combines his personal narrative, with first hand accounts of homeless people, as a background for building his case for the Universal Living Wage. The concept of the Universal Living Wage is based on common sense, and the principle that a job should pay enough to provide food, clothing, and shelter. The author points out that the reason many jobs are not filled by Americans is simply because the wage offered doesn't cover the basic essentials of life. The result of that failure of the market is to force people who are willing and able to work into homeless conditions. The author demonstrates, through the Universal Living Wage formula, that accepting a low paying job does nothing to change the homeless state. Instead of being self sufficient, and having the life affirming benefit of one's own home, an underpaid person is trapped into using social services that cost taxpayers money and time. The alternative offered in the book provides a system that saves taxpayers' money while building a stronger overall economy that works for everyone.
I highly recommend the revolutionary and must read book Looking Up At The Bottom Line: The Struggle For the Living Wage by Richard R. Troxell, to anyone seeking a workable and common sense solution to homelessness in America. After reading this book, and reading the stories of real people trapped in the limbo of not being able to afford a modest apartment, a person can no longer look at a person without a home in the same way. Instead of the homeless individual being the problem, the author points to a broken economic system that needs repair so all can enjoy its benefits.
Read the important and mind changing book Looking Up At The Bottom Line: The Struggle For the Living Wage by Richard R. Troxell, and begin the quest for a Universal Living Wage. Instead of social services and homelessness, work toward a living wage structure that reflects the real cost of apartment rentals, and provides for the basic needs of life. The result is a stronger economy, dignity for all members of society, and a saving of taxpayer dollars. The concept works for everyone.
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