• Raising the Floor

  • How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream
  • By: Andy Stern, Lee Kravitz
  • Narrated by: Chris Sorensen
  • Length: 10 hrs and 14 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (64 ratings)

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Raising the Floor  By  cover art

Raising the Floor

By: Andy Stern,Lee Kravitz
Narrated by: Chris Sorensen
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Publisher's Summary

Andy Stern, the former president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), spent four years traveling the country and asking economists, futurists, labor leaders, CEOs, investment bankers, entrepreneurs, and political leaders to help envision the US economy 25 to 30 years from now. He vividly reports on people who are analyzing and creating this new economy - such as investment banker Steve Berkenfeld; David Cote, the CEO of Honeywell International; and Andy Grove of Intel.

Through these stories, we come to a stark and deeper understanding of the toll technological progress will continue to take on jobs and income and its inevitable effect on tens of millions of people. But there is hope for our economy and future. The foundation of economic prosperity for all Americans, Stern believes, is a universal basic income. The idea of a universal basic income for all Americans is controversial, but American attitudes are shifting. Stern has been a game changer throughout his career, and his next goal is to create a movement that will force the political establishment to take action against something that many on both the right and the left believe is inevitable.

©2016 Andy Stern (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"[Stern] does a solid job of making his case without waxing too wild-eyed...This is a book eminently worth talking about." ( Kirkus)

What listeners say about Raising the Floor

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narrator should find another job.

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Change the narrator.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Couldn't get to the end.

Would you be willing to try another one of Chris Sorensen’s performances?

Yes. If another narrator.

Do you think Raising the Floor needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Don't know I couldn't get through it.

Any additional comments?

This narrator is extremely distracting, to the point that I couldn't even concentrate on the material presented. He sounds like a robot. Every sentence is read like it is the ultimate statement of the entire book, and also ends with drawing out last word. He excessively over-articulates. Very annoying!!

2 people found this helpful

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This voice actor needs to be fired

This fellow makes it almost impossible to listen to this book!
His voice is like nails across a chalk board!!!
I cannot be the only person that feels this way.

1 person found this helpful

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Couldn’t finish it

I’m just going to read this myself. This narrator sounds like a machine and it’s incredibly distracting.

1 person found this helpful

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More about Progressive Social Agenda then UBI

Would you try another book from Andy Stern and Lee Kravitz and/or Chris Sorensen?

Probably not.

What was most disappointing about Andy Stern and Lee Kravitz ’s story?

First 3/4 of book is about writers career in unions. Then instead of discussing UBI individually it blends it into a multi-faceted proposal including ideas such as raising the minimum wage, universal health care, shortening the work week and stronger unions.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Chris Sorensen?

Probably not.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not really.

Any additional comments?

I gave it a fare chance. I wanted to expand my understanding of universal basic income and challenge my thinking. Unfortunately the subject was buried so deep in other ideological topics it was difficult to do so.

1 person found this helpful

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Bad narration

The narrator was terrible. He would add inflections at the wrong points and his rhythm was so sing-song and repetitive that it made focusing on the points being made very difficult. I would not recommend this book as a book on tape.

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Andy Stern is the man,!

loved it and his book is so relevant in today's time. universal basic income is going to happen soon.

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a deep dive into the future of work

I loved this book. there is a sense of urgency for this country moving toward UBI

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Convincing and Digestible Argument for UBI

Ended up at this book after reading The War on Normal People by Andrew Yang, which i loved. This is a similar similar structure but a different writing style. Less reliant on long sections of data and graphs, this is has more anecdotal conversations and concepts as Andy Stern goes through the revelations himself that lead him to UBI. Although somewhat anecdotal and conversational, it comes from the perspective of someone that clearly has proven credentials as someone looking out for the average american worker and the book is written in that context.

Highly recommended book about the consequences our present and future economy will have on every day workers, and why Universal Basic Income is the best solution.

Especially recommended for those who are interested in the topics of Automation and UBI, but don't want to be go through long, dry segments of data and graphs.

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This is checking fire

UBI many be able to be grasped very soon. Andrew Yang Freedom Dividend. Love it.

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interesting views

Not sure how a UBI would ultimately effect us as a country money wise but I do find the idea intriguing.

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  • Anthony
  • 11-21-20

Great Book, UBI is the game changer

Really enjoyed listening to this book even though it was prescribed in the America context blah blah blah.

The author made valuable points for and against UBI whilst allowing the audience to make the own mind up.

In a world were we currently have US$60 Trillion of Debt and enslavement on a global scale with 85% of people disliking their day job the reality is that not only is UBI needed in America it is needed globally.

Even in the US where it's a Dominant Free Market Economy 16% of the population live in the welfare state with no hope of getting out and continuously creating a new generation of welfare state citizens who are unhappy and stressed out.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-19-18

An important voice

Andy Stern's book, Raising the Floor, joins the chorus of progressive voices in favour of Universal Basic Income. What sets this book apart is the personal story of its author, which is prominent on its pages and which gives me hope. The author's point of view feels very refreshing, since it's so rare to find a union guy - let alone a big league ex union boss! - who understands how obsolete the old labour markets are in responding to rapid structural changes.

Stern isn't afraid to challenge many taboos of the American left while retaining the spirit of solidarity that animates the labour movement. He sees how New Deal social democracy needs to change as a result.

I don't think he goes far enough in abandoning the piecemeal legislation, pro regulation, pro big government mentality, since he advocates for raising the minimum wage and mandating a shorter work week, but at least he acknowledges that these are, at best, short term policy solutions, while a UBI ought to be the long term solution.

Even if, as a libertarian, I disagree with him on many details, I admire his commitment to bipartisan dialogue and open-minded attitude into assessing the risks and rewards of the future. This should be mandatory reading for all social democrats across Europe and the United States.

Note about the audiobook: The voice performance sounds a bit strange in its accents and inflections, but it's perfectly adequate.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-16-18

Book good, narrator not so much

The narrator was putting me off for the whole book, made it difficult to listen, but that is just my personal taste I guess. The book is worthwhile to read and the experience of the lead author definitely puts some weight behind the concepts discussed in the book.