Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

Please note I have a new phone number...


Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

Let's talk...

Let's talk...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

China to Upgrade Rail System; Will Minnesota Workers Get Jobs?

The Friday, February 16, 2007 Wall Street Journal (Page 4) reported in a lengthy article that China has begun to upgrade its rail system, and will be the world leader in rail (freight and passenger) in less than 15 years.

Canadian, European, and American business will make a bundle selling China what it can't produce itself cheaper, everything from rails and signaling devices to locomotives... for both diesel and electric.

There is no reason why the Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant shouldn't be producing much of this equipment.

Gearing up the Twin Cities Assembly Plant to produce energy efficient "green" rail transportation could easily employ over 14,000 workers in four shifts working six hour days (30 hours a week) at forty hour pay. Rail is a high profit, labor intensive industry requiring highly skilled workers.

An additional 2,000 jobs would be created on the Iron Range in the mining industry.

In fact, what the Iron Range needs is a modern steel mill; one that can supply the Chinese with rails cheaper then they can get them anyplace else... and creating a state-wide world class rail system in Minnesota to transport freight and people is something that we need, too.

The time has come to talk to the Chinese about investing in joint enterprises... publicly owned enterprises.

Private enterprise has wreaked havoc with the livelihoods of workers and the environment of Minnesota... it is time to seriously investigate the possibility of public enterprises as Minnesota's two socialist governors (and most popular governors) Floyd B. Olson and Elmer Benson suggested... they were right then and such an approach is right now.

We are talking "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs;" Jobs with top pay and excellent benefits.

The time is right for Minnesota legislators to broach a joint venture with the Chinese; time is of the essence. As the Wall Street Journal points out, China is developing very rapidly and they are making economic decisions very quickly... If Minnesota Legislators continue to snooze, Minnesota's workers are going to lose.

If legislators are not going to act, maybe it is time for the United Auto Workers, the United Steelworkers, and the International Association of Machinists to send their own delegation to China... I would be willing to bet that George Lattimore will help set up the connections; someone should ask him.

Business has been making all the decisions at the expense of working people for far too long; the time is now for workers to take some initiative to protect their jobs and their livelihoods.

Will Minnesotans stand for the perfectly good Twin Cities Assembly Plant to be demolished by Ford Motor Company? If so, this will be the worst decision ever made in the history of Minnesota.

I would urge every Minnesota Legislator to read yesterday's Wall Street Journal page 4... it wouldn't hurt for Ray Waldron the President of the Minnesota AFL-CIO to read it too; I hear his little buddy, Mark Froemke, had a few friends that just visited China and met with some high level Chinese government and Communist Party officials... maybe they could make the connections over there if no one else is going to.