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...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Barack Obama and the politics and philosophy of "pragmatism"

We now see what kind of president Barack Obama will be now that he has clearly articulated his philosophical world view as being defined by the "politics of pragmatism."

As the brutal and beastial carnage of the Palestinian people by the U.S. backed Israeli government continues, Barack Obama continues to frollick in silence on the beautiful, moonlit, sun-warmed, sandy beaches of Hawaii in complete indifference to the Gaza bloodshed.

Indifference to human suffering is a basic and fundamental hallmark of the "politics of pragmatism."

And, during this same period of continuing bloodletting in Gaza, Barack Obama and his handlers along with his sleazy apologists like those muddle-headed middle class intellectuals associated with the outfit "Progressives for Obama" have shamefully chosen this time to define Obama's politics as "the politics of pragmatism."

In the name of the "politics of pragmatism" Obama and his handlers excuse his indifference to the bloodletting taking place in Gaza.

The "politics of pragmatism" has been used to cover-up and excuse the crimes of imperialism and capitalist exploitation for over one-hundred years.

For over one-hundred years, the "politics of pragmatism" has been the official philosophy and world view (in opposition to socialism and Marxism) of the imperialist camp and the warmongers of every nation including those in the United States of America.

The muddle-headed middle class intellectuals like Carl Davidson, Tom Hayden and Bill Fletcher try to hide Obama's imperialist aims behind a cover of the "politics of pragmatism."

Just one more "inkling" that Obama will be no different from George Bush with whom he shares this imperialist world view of the "politics of prgamatism;" a philosophical world view of capitalism's "dog-eat-dog" system of competition which Obama also shares with the likes of Henry Ford, Harry Truman, Rockefellar, DuPont, George Wallace, Ronald Reagan, Benito Mussolini, Adolph Hitler, Francisco Franco, Hirohito and the rest of the most despised exploiters, warmongers and fascists of the world.

The "politics of pragmatism" is the world outlook of choice for all the capitalist soothsayers.

Is Obama's "politics of pragmatism" the change we need?

I think not.

Should we ask the inhabitants of Gaza?

Something to think about and discuss around the dinner table.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Controversy continues to swirl around the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant

I have blogged several articles about this story making its rounds on the Internet:

How Closing Manufacturing Plants Can Be Transformed into Community-Saving Business Ventures

By Angela Walker , AlterNet. Posted November 12, 2008.


This was one of my blog postings:


I have been getting numerous responses to my blog posting. Many of the people I am hearing from agree with me about using public ownership to save the Ford Plant, others do not.

First, allow me to apologize for something I published which is inaccurate along with an e-mail I received this morning.

Regarding the high-priced, upscale Lund's Supermarket next to the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant.

I made the statement that Lund's Supermarket is non-union.

I heard from four people now about this including a person in Lund's Supermarket management who assures me that Lund's Supermarket is a union store and workers are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 789 (UFCW). I heard from two members of UFCW Local 789 and a member of another union who first brought this concern to my attention.

I walked the strip of businesses from the Ford Plant on Ford Parkway for four days about two years ago asking people how much they made and if they were in a union.

I spoke with 13 employees of Lund's Supermarket... one butcher told me how much he made was none of my business... two were management, while the others were baggers and employees carrying groceries out for people. So, after now being informed that Lund's is union I began to wonder how it was that no one told me they were in the union when I asked them.

Then I open my e-mail this morning and I have this e-mail in my in-box from a woman who works at Lund's Supermarket which might explain some of this. She asked that I not use her name:

Mr. Maki- a friend forwarded me your blog posting. I work at the Lunds next to Fords. We do have a union if you can call it that. Most of us working here get so low wages we might as well not have a union for all the good the union does us. Let me put it to you this way my full time job at Lunds can't support a family. I have another part time job and my husband works seven days a week. It is possible that the employees you spoke to dont know they were in a union because the union wont do nothing for us. I hope the Ford plant can be saved.

I also heard from Brandon Knight who covers the Midwest for Global Exchange out of Lansing, Michigan. Brandon tells me that he is sure he can trust all information provided by Lynn Hinkle even though he never read S.F. 607 nor does he know if UAW Local 879 has ever informed its membership that they are part of this "ARISE" coalition. As an explanation as to why the twenty or so students from the local college, McAllister University, working through Global Exchange never bothered to ask the past or present workers at the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant what they wanted to see happen, Brandon explained that the students weren't aware they should or needed to do this. Brandon chalks up all the inaccuracies in the story to Angela Walker being a volunteer reporter.

Brandon also insists that the proposal for this new green community that ARISE is advocating does not call for the demolition of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant even though he can't explain how this new "green" development can be constructed with the plant not being removed.

Nor can Brandon Knight explain why Global Exchange did not get behind the effort to push S.F. 607 through the Minnesota State Legislature.

I spoke with Angela Walker, also, she cannot explain how it is that she did not report the fate of S.F. 607 having been defeated in committee long, long before her story was written.

With this out of the way, let's look at the issue about this article originating from Global Exchange and disseminated by Alternet.org and spread all over by organizations like "Progressives for Obama" headed up by Carl Davidson, Tom Hayden and Bill Fletcher, Jr. who is also aware of the developing movement to save the Ford Plant through public ownership.

I would point out that Carl Davidson went ahead and posted this article knowing that there were problems with this article since he has been kept fully informed of the developments around the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant--- but, Davidson went ahead and posted this article anyways on the "Progressives for Obama" web site. What motivated him to post it is for Davidson to explain... perhaps simply because it fit in with the kind of skewed and convoluted progressivism he advocates on behalf of Barack Obama, I don't know.

I am glad to hear from so many people no matter what their views because I think that discussion is healthy and controversy helps to build movements with people bringing forward all kinds of ideas.

My primary concern in writing what I did centers on one specific paragraph written by Angela Walker of Global Exchange:

"Yet something unusual is in the works that could change the future of this 140-acre manufacturing site and convert it into a model for green manufacturing. A coalition of the local UAW 879, McAllister University students, and affordable housing and environmental groups have formed the Alliance to Reindustrialize for a Sustainable Economy (ARISE) to design a green manufacturing site. The ARISE project is currently being considered by the Minnesota Legislature under Senate File 607 as a way to transition workers into a mixed-use facility for green manufacturing."

This paragraph, as I am sure everyone will agree, is the crux of this entire article. If there is anything not true in this paragraph, the entire pretext for writing this article is obviously flawed.

Now, I don't know if Angela Walker set out to intentionally write an article intended to mislead her readers... only she can explain if she did this or not.

Nor do I know if someone put her up to writing an article filled with misinformation.

Nor do I know if Lynn Hinkle used this group, Global Exchange, to promote misinformation.

One thing for certain though, I haven't heard an explanation from Lynn Hinkle even though I sent him everything I wrote.

Let me go through this paragraph once more, point by point, so we all understand exactly what is at issue:

"Yet something unusual is in the works that could change the future of this 140-acre manufacturing site and convert it into a model for green manufacturing. A coalition of the local UAW 879, McAllister University students, and affordable housing and environmental groups have formed the Alliance to Reindustrialize for a Sustainable Economy (ARISE) to design a green manufacturing site. The ARISE project is currently being considered by the Minnesota Legislature under Senate File 607 as a way to transition workers into a mixed-use facility for green manufacturing."

If any of the following is actually true, yes, something unusual is definitely in the works:

"Yet something unusual is in the works that could change the future of this 140-acre manufacturing site and convert it into a model for green manufacturing."

But, is this statement true: "A coalition of the local UAW 879, McAllister University students, and affordable housing and environmental groups have formed the Alliance to Reindustrialize for a Sustainable Economy (ARISE) to design a green manufacturing site."

Is UAW Local 879 part of this coalition? If it is, none of the elected leaders will own up to it. And for good reason they will not own up to this even if it is true. The elected leaders of UAW Local 879 have a responsibility to work to protect the jobs of the members first and foremost. The elected union leaders never even bothered to inform the members of Local 879 that the Ford Motor Company had taken the profits made from working them ten hour days and invested those profits building a new Ford Ranger plant in Thailand. And, Lynn Hinkle and Global Exchange have omitted this one small detail as did Angela Walker in her article.

In fact, it was Lynn Hinkle who pushed for ten-hour days at this plant in the name of "green manufacturing." Any progressive union leader would have pushed to shorten the work week to thirty or thirty-two hours with forty hours pay so employment could be created for more workers... anyone who thinks ten hour days working in this factory or any other factory can be construed as "progress" has never worked in a factory. There is a reason the working class in this country led the international struggle for the eight-hour day.

Isn't it nice to go around advocating the building of nice new green communities built at the expense of the present workers losing their jobs! All in the name of "green."

Before I go any further, for the record, let it be noted that S.F. 607 was killed in Committee over a year before Angela Walker wrote her article for Global Exchange which is now being distributed by Alternet.org and posted on a myriad of web sites and blogs like "Progressives for Obama."

It is kind of strange and it would seem to me difficult to explain how this "ARISE" coalition could be now claiming to be working with the very same legislators who killed S.F. 607.

And, anyone taking the time to read S.F. 607 clearly sees that the unambiguous language of S.F. 607 is in complete contradiction to what this "ARISE" coalition is pushing for as S.F. 607 clearly calls for keeping the plant and hydro dam intact as an industrial unit; in no way, shape or form can anyone--- not even Lynn Hinkle--- twist S.F. 607 to mean that this plant should be demolished and replaced with some kind of "green community."

In fact, if it is a "green community" that "ARISE" wants to create in an urban environment; why don't they choose a run-down, dilapidated, rat-infested slum area of the Twin Cities of which there are many areas far larger than the 140 acres the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant is located on to construct their new "green community"--- where the creation of such a visionary community would actually do people some good.

But alas, here is part of a letter from the former Secretary-Treasurer of UAW Local 879 to me:

Alan Maki. I have been reading some of the Green Party propaganda you have been been espousing. These types of attacks lend no credibility to your cause by accusing good people of bad things. Your accusations against Senator Metzen are both untrue and uncalled for. Jim has had a long standing relationship with the UAW which continued with his full support of our Ford Plant Legislation that called for the Fo Mo Co to keep TCAP in saleble condition for a period of 2 years after its' closing. This bill would have given us time to find other manufacturers to take over the property and keep good paying jobs in St Paul. If you had asked I would have told you our legislation was doomed because of pressure the St Paul Building Trades put on legislators to oppose our bill. Their goal, although shortsited, was to create short term building trades jobs by tearing down our plant and building condos. The St Paul Mayor was a huge ally of theirs in shooting down our bill. Other Senators who helped us were Tomassoni and Sparks. The true culprits were all Republicans on the committee - Bonoff, who is running for Congress in the 3rd district, and Saltzman. Murphy and Bakk got up and left the hearing just before the vote.My point is please refrain from attacking Senator Metzen. He is a good freind of the UAW and our family of members.

Bob Killeen Secretary-Treasurer UAW Local 879

First of all, does this sound like someone representing a union local who would now be pushing "green?"

Second, why didn't UAW Local 879 form a massive coalition with community organizations, church groups and other unions to get S.F. 607 pushed through the Minnesota Legislature? This is a question requiring an answer to; and why does the leadership of UAW Local 879 continue to drag its feet on such an initiative while this plant is still operating? One might ask Lynn Hinkle why he has not sought to develop nation-wide support for such an undertaking as he now makes presentations across the country on "greening" what is left of America's industrial base." Presentations that Brandon Knight of Global Exchange is so enamored with that he will take every word uttered by Lynn Hinkle as the gospel truth.

This was my response to Robert Killeen:

Brother Killeen;

Thanks for this letter. I was by your office several times to talk about this vote. You weren’t in.

I am sorry about any confusion. I do not take back anything I have said about Senator Metzen.

I did not “accuse” anyone of “bad things.” I simply have written and spoken based upon information I received from Senator Metzen’s office. I sent several e-mails, made numerous phone calls; and stopped at Senator Metzen’s office twice before I ever wrote or spoke a single word to anyone about this. I can asure you, if there is any confusion it is of Senator Metzen’s own making.

Since I notice this e-mail from you was not Cc’ed to Senator Metzen I have not sent it to him. You may send it to him if you chose; or with your permission I will forward this entire correspondence to him.

You should also know that two members of Senator Metzen’s staff have contacted me claiming that I am not telling the truth. Again, I asked them to provide me with minutes from this hearing which would clarify things. They refused. And I am not going to go through the trouble of suing a State Senator to obtain records which should be public and provided to the public upon request to begin with.

In fact, Metzen’s Committee is overwhelmingly dominated by Democrats… all of whom your local has supported.

I have in fact noted numerous times Senator Tomassoni’s support for this important legislation; in fact, the record of this hearing clearly shows that he was the one and only Democrat to support this legislation… The record clearly shows one thing: Tomassoni moved for support of this proposed legislation and the record states the motion failed. If you have any written record of the proceedings from Sen. Metzen’s Committee Hearing in question to substantiate what you are now saying, please provide me with the official minutes of this hearing as recorded by the Committee Clerk/Secretary. The only Senator’s name I find in writing from the minutes of this hearing, such as they are, is that Senator Tomassoni was the lone, sole supporter of this legislation. This is based upon the records I received from Senator Metzen’s own Legislative Assistant.

I have charged that the minutes of this particular Senate Hearing were probably kept in such a shoddy fashion so that no one would be able to tell from reading the minutes what went on in this hearing. If this is the case it raises an even larger issue which goes right to the heart of attempting to subvert democracy and the right of people to expect honest and open government from those whom they elect. Again, I stated all of this in an e-mail to Senator Metzen to which he never responded.

I find it strange that, at this late date, you are providing an account of this Senate Hearing that the clerk should have noted in the official minutes from the hearing at the time she provided me with the minutes.

Please feel free to request that Senator Metzen provide you with all correspondence I made with his office and that which was sent to me. I give him the right to release all such documents to you provided he releases everything without any omissions.

For the record, I have not been espousing any “Green Party propaganda.” Nor do I support the Green Party, even though I am strongly leaning towards supporting who I consider to be the best Democrat in the Presidential race, Cynthia McKinney; who, as you know was forced from Congress largely by the same grouping of business oriented Democrats who are pushing for the closing of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant.

The St. Paul mayor you refer to is a Democrat. Representative Paymar is a Democrat. Murphy is a Democrat. Rod Skoe is a Democrat.

There is something seriously wrong with a Democrat who you say is a big supporter of the UAW when he is the Chair of the Committee and he can not control his own Caucus members when it comes to such an important vote. In fact, the UAW has supported every single DFL member of this Committee. I do not have to draw any conclusions from this; the facts speak for themselves.

I have worked in the Democratic Party in several states over a period of some thirty years--- since I could vote, in fact; never have I seen such betrayal except over these “Compacts” creating casinos sending 20,000 Minnesotans to jobs in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any of the rights your own members enjoy protected under state or federal labor laws.

You can call me when ever you like about any issue or concern you have; I have been to the Plant often. I have left every leaflet I have distributed at the Plant at your office.

I am a member of the Minnesota DFL State Central Committee, not a member of the Green Party. You will not find anything that I have written contrary to this. In no way, shape, or form have I distributed anything in the nature of “Green Party propaganda;” nor anything which approximates such.

I do not understand how you can say the “The true culprits were all Republicans on the committee…” when all the evidence in the minutes of the meeting as recorded by the clerk of the Committee clearly shows it was Democrats who are the culprits. In fact, even if all Republicans had refused to attend the hearing and refrain from voting, the Democrats would not have voted for this legislation.

Again, what I write and what I say is based upon the minutes I received from Senator Metzen’s own Legislative Assistant.

In fact, the building trades unions provide Metzen with more campaign contributions than does the UAW. I am very concerned about the role of the building trades unions in all of this; however, I know from experience that their position on this issue can easily be reversed should your local clearly articulate the issue involved here in a way that people understand. If you choose to do this, by the time you are done, the building trades leaders will be hanging their heads in shame; seen by everyone as very pathetic as they pander for jobs by taking away the jobs of other working people.

I have tried to speak with Senator Metzen about this prior to the Committee Hearing, the day after the Committee Hearing, and as recent as yesterday. Senator Metzen, if he is concerned about anything that I am saying or writing can call me, sit down and talk with me, or send me an e-mail just as you have done.

I would be more than happy to sit down with you and Senator Metzen to discuss where we go from here.

I talked with Senator Cohen’s Legislative Assistants on several occasions, including yesterday; she tells me Senator Cohen plans no further legislative action. This is not right that the Democrats are dropping the ball in trying to save the Ford Plant.

As long as this Plant is still standing this will not be a “done deal” no matter how loudly the proverbial fat lady sings. Working people never give up, and working people never give in to corporate domination and greed; if they do, they lose.

If the Democrats snooze; working people lose. If the Democrats acquiesce, working people lose. There needs to be accountability here; there is no accountability; not from Senator Metzen, not from Representative Paymar; not even from Ron Gettelfinger or Bob King.

I would encourage you to invite the leadership of the Minnesota DFL and all DFL legislators and the U.S. Senate candidates to tour the plant with you so they know exactly what is at stake; and, encourage them to talk with rank and file workers about what a job means to a worker and his/her family. I think one of the very big problems is that most of the politicians with the power to save this Plant are so far removed from the life of working class families and their daily struggles to survive that they can look the other way, and then later say, “I didn’t know.”

I would also encourage you to insist that the Minnesota DFL take a position in support of public ownership of this plant; there is simply no other way to save it. This is not a “far out idea” as some of those looking for excuses to take the wrecking ball to this plant have stated. Public ownership has been very successfully used as a tool by the labor movement to save plants and jobs all over the world, including in Canada… the huge bus plant in Winnipeg being one very good example. I would also encourage you to talk with Bob King and Ron Gettelfinger about supporting public ownership of this plant… we can’t do any worse than the legislation which failed.

WE haven’t even explored the possibility of a joint China-Minnesota government venture to save this plant. Why not? Your Local supported Mark Dayton, you mean to tell me that Mark Dayton can not broach this issue with the Chinese; the Chinese aren’t afraid of public ownership. What about George Lattimore? Your local supported him for years; he has all kinds of connections in China.

As long as we are talking about some differences of opinion we may have over this entire matter of what happened in Metzen’s Committee where this legislation was defeated; I am of the opinion that you should have mobilized your entire membership including those working and those retired to turn out for this hearing in support of this legislation since you knew there was going to be strenuous opposition. Large numbers do not always assure legislative victories over the well-heeled, corrupt Summit Hill crowd; however, it never hurts to bring along a great big crowd… your dad must have agreed with this concept as he was a big supporter of the demonstrations aimed at closing down the Schools of the Americas… something that really should be shut down.

Yes, close the “School of the Americas”--- this killing machine--- and fund the continuing operation of the Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant; tax-payers would be the real winners and humanity would be the better for it.

I think if we sat down and talked about all of this and tried to work out a common strategy aimed at saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant we would be further ahead.

In case you missed my letter to the editor in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on saving the Plant (Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007; Page OP 4), here it is:

Your excellent editorial (Sunday, Nov. 25, 2007) on saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant missed one important point.

For all practical purposes there is little chance of saving this plant unless it is brought under public ownership; free enterprise has failed to save the plant and the jobs.

Tax-payers already have a huge investment in this plant. More tax-dollars should be invested to save this plant and these important manufacturing jobs.

What tax-payers finance they should own.

Minnesota legislators have a fiduciary responsibility to see to it that this plant survives through public ownership.

Alan L. Maki

Warroad, Minnesota

Our approach to saving the Ford Plant is that we are willing to work with anyone and everyone towards this end; this includes you, your local, the Greens, the Democrats, the Reds, Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists and those who have no party or organizational affiliations at all.

Saving this Plant is an issue dear to many, many Minnesotans; not only the members of your local.

As a result of my activities I have had people contacting me from all over Minnesota, the country, Canada and other parts of the world wanting to know how they can help. Just last week I heard from an eighty-seven year old former St. Paul resident, now retired and living in Arizona, who broke down and cried when she told me what this plant meant to her family and her family’s friends--- a lifetime of a decent life won through struggle. And our conversation ended with her saying: “Why did our families fight so hard; just to end up losing it all.”

We are working with very limited resources in order to encourage dialogue, debate and discussion on this issue while working towards creating the greatest possible unity on this issue; it is not my intent to burn any bridges; I would much rather build bridges of open communication… towards these ends I would be happy to sit down and discuss this issue with you, Senator Metzen and any other interested parties, and adjust tactics as called for.

I will be in the Cities early next week if you would like to meet.

Yours in the struggle to save the Ford Plant through public ownership,


Alan L. Maki

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541

E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

The paragraph in question goes on to state:

A coalition of the local UAW 879, McAllister University students, and affordable housing and environmental groups have formed the Alliance to Reindustrialize for a Sustainable Economy (ARISE) to design a green manufacturing site.

First of all, Lynn Hinkle, Leo Gerard, President of the United Steel Workers, and none other than top-dog environmentalist, Carl Pope who heads up the Sierra Club, have all assured us that the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant is a certifiable green manufacturing operation and the largest green industrial manufacturing operation in the world which is powered by, according to Carl Pope, "clean, green, hydro."

So, one has to ask, "Why would this "coalition" want to demolish the largest, greenest manufacturing operation in existence in the world and "design a green manufacturing site?" Should not these "environmentalists" be interested in fighting to keep this plant in operation and saving two-thousand jobs while bringing those environmentalists from all over the world to see that green manufacturing in a huge industrial operation is really possible?

One would think that this ARISE "coalition" (if there is really even such a coalition) would choose a more appropriate manufacturing facility to turn "green." Perhaps they should take a look at Alliant Tech and how they could turn a war industry "green;" "swords into ploughshares."

In closing I would just like to point out what most people already know; fighting against these huge corporations for what is right and to save jobs is a very difficult struggle.

Organizations like Global Exchange should understand that struggling against these global capitalist giants requires more than a vision.

Winning requires the building of real coalitions focused on solving real problems impacting the lives of real living, breathing human beings.

Saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant and two-thousand jobs is a struggle which can be won.

I find it very interesting that those groups bringing forward such sweeping visions for change are so focused on demanding of the rest of us that we pause from our daily struggles for justice to share their vision of what they think our vision should be, that they remain on the sidelines of the real struggles of the people for justice and dignity.

Lynn Hinkle and Global Exchange are entitled to their visions of "green communities," but, the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant is located in a residential community which includes very good housing, there are all the shopping and amenities one would want and expect in such a "green community;" all anchored with a modern public library, a huge Planned Parenthood facility, doctor's offices, restaurants... all situated along the banks of the Mighty Mississippi River with beautiful huge parks part of the landscape where people fish, swim and lay in the sun; and most importantly, the people of this community and of the Twin Cities and people from all over Minnesota understand how important saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant is to saving all of this.

There might be a more diverse, greener community in America than the Highland Park community of St. Paul, but I don't know where.

Why would the advocates of "green communities" not want to fight and struggle to save this very important model of a "green community?"

The "vision" of the "green community" is here. All that Global Exchange members and others have to do is wake up from their dreams and open their eyes and the community they are talking about is before them... it just needs to be saved from the wrecking ball the real-estate speculators can't wait to bring in.

The problem is this: "free enterprise" has failed to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant. Public ownership of this plant is the only alternative.

Now, it is time to take real concrete action to save this plant.

We have been working diligently with very limited resources to save this Plant; and, in the process, save an existing model green community.

The Ford Motor Company should not be allowed to sell pick-up trucks in the United States if they do not keep this Plant open. Congress can see to that. It is time for James Oberstar to shut his big mouth for once and put action behind his words. We are sick and tired of hearing him talk about, "Jobs, jobs, jobs" as miners on the Iron Range and auto workers in the Twin Cities continue to lose their jobs by the tens of thousands.

Outfits like Global Exchange and the Campaign for America's Future should put up the resources to organize a real fight to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant. The UAW needs to flex its muscle and we need to ask where the AFL-CIO has been hiding out as this plant goes down.

Certainly John Sweeney understands the difficulty of such struggles and the resources required to wage such a struggle if we are going to save jobs. Let Sweeney put some money and resources where his mouth is, too.

John Sweeney knows something about "arm-twisting" when it comes to politics even if the president of the Minnesota AFL-CIO and the leaders of Local 789 do not... let the "arm-twisting" begin starting with Democratic Minnesota State Senator James Metzen who Chairs the powerful Committee on Business, Industry and Jobs... modify S.F. 607 to ten years to give this all a chance to work as we go through the hoops to bring the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant under public ownership.

The hydro dam should be placed under public ownership immediately and without any further delay. The Ford Motor Company should have to pay their electric bill just like the rest of us do. Excess power should be provided to the public schools for free.

It makes no sense to demolish a perfectly good factory.

Who is Lynn Hinkle and Global Exchange expecting to bank-roll their vision of an alternative "green community?" You got it, tax-payers, of course. Tax-payers who still owe millions for refurbishing the hydro dam and building the UAW-Ford-MnScu Training Center and who have subsidized Ford's production--- even to the extent of paying wages and for training its employees who they now want to throw out on the street.

It is almost a joke to have to win the battle to convince politicians that public ownership is the only feasible alternative left to saving this plant because the entire operation of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant has been so thoroughly subsidized by the public already who have picked up the tab repeatedly for any of the problems while the Ford Motor Company has walked off with all the profits including enough profits to build new plants in Thailand, Brazil and China.

Former leader of the Minnesota Senate, Democrat Roger Moe, while campaigning for governor declared that the tax-payer subsidies he had pushed through the state legislature assured continued operation of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant "for the next seventy-five years." Well, Ford no longer wants to keep this Plant in production so legislators should take the appropriate action to bring the plant under public ownership--- workers at the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant assure me that they don't mind getting a pay-check signed by the Governor of Minnesota.

Not only are we talking about saving a model green community here built around what has become a model of green manufacturing... we are talking about creating a model for saving America's industrial base which includes first and foremost the auto and steel industries... after all, isn't this the direction real progressives claim they want to see our country move towards?

In conclusion I quote the final sentence of the paragraph in question:

"The ARISE project is currently being considered by the Minnesota Legislature under Senate File 607 as a way to transition workers into a mixed-use facility for green manufacturing."

I think I have explained that this is an outright lie. Why would any politician put forward S.F. 607 if they were working with this "ARISE" coalition to demolish the Plant?

If, in fact, such a scheme is taking place, let us all here the complete details, including who is involved so that everyone can take part in the decision-making process for a change.

In closing, let me point out one very important fact:

At one time the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant was one of the dirtiest most unhealthy workplaces in the world. There were no homes or other businesses located anywhere near this plant.

From the inside of this plant the workers fought like hell to force better working conditions and for a better working environment against a money-grubbing greedy employer motivated only out of profit while outside the plant the community fought tooth and nail to force the Ford Motor Company to clean up its act; often the struggles of the workers and the community merged as labor and the community came together to fight this huge corporate giant.

As conditions in and around the plant began to improve an entire community, the community of Highland Park, sprung into existance around this plant... until today the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant and the entire Highand Park community in the City of St. Paul is a very liveable community and the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant is one of the more decent places for human beings to work--- all of this a product of successful struggles of workers and the community against a corporate giant... struggles which many predicted would fail... the people won some very important battles... now comes the greatest challenge of all, to protect what THE PEOPLE have created, a truly complete green community; today, the struggle which continues is over ownership and control of what has been created from the struggles of the past.

Karl Marx observed that all history is the history of class struggle... need we say more.

Just something for everyone to think about as you re-read this article by Angela Walker written for Global Exchange and distributed by Alternet.org:



How Closing Manufacturing Plants Can Be Transformed into Community-Saving Business Ventures

By Angela Walker , AlterNet. Posted November 12, 2008.

Ford's oldest plant in operation, which is set to close in 2011 will be the epitome of the changes to come.

Hit hard by the slowdown in the marketplace and higher fuel prices, Ford Motor Company recently experienced its largest quarterly loss in its 105-year history. With people evacuating their fuel-inefficient vehicles, Ford is experiencing its delayed rude awakening about the unsustainability of an auto industry geared towards producing pickups and sport utility vehicles. Despite plans to introduce six small cars made in Europe to the U.S. market, Ford today announced another 10 percent reduction in salaried payroll costs and will cut as many as 2,200 salaried jobs by January.

The oldest Ford plant still in operation -- the Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minnesota -- will be the epitome of the changes to come. With plans to shut down in 2011, an additional 900 jobs will be lost in a plant that used to employ 2,000 workers. Communities throughout the state have already experienced the brunt of the country's economic downturn, Minnesota having lost 50,000 manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2006 alone, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

"We're just hemorrhaging," states former United Auto Worker (UAW) official, Lynn Hinkle, who retired over a year ago from a 30-year career at the Twin Cities Ford plant.

Yet something unusual is in the works that could change the future of this 140-acre manufacturing site and convert it into a model for green manufacturing. A coalition of the local UAW 879, McAllister University students, and affordable housing and environmental groups have formed the Alliance to Reindustrialize for a Sustainable Economy (ARISE) to design a green manufacturing site. The ARISE project is currently being considered by the Minnesota Legislature under Senate File 607 as a way to transition workers into a mixed-use facility for green manufacturing.

ARISE is re-envisioning how people look at industry, which historically has collided with the environmental movement. Their reindustrialization plans serve as an opportunity for industry to play a key role in the green economy.

"It is becoming increasingly clear to people in the union movement that our job security is dependent upon the new energy economy," states Hinkle. "If you're about family sustaining jobs, you have to connect global warming solutions and jobs otherwise you're going to have neither."

Ford's current training center would be converted into a green jobs training program for onsite wind turbine manufacturing and installation, and light rail car production. A plan to expand the light rail system is in the works to reach out to surrounding, traditionally low-income communities, which have been working with ARISE on the reindustrialization plans.

The Ford plant, located on the Mississippi River, is already connected to a hydroelectric system, which produces 18 megawatts of hydropower, and has powered the plant for over 80 years. Additionally, there exists a maze of tunnels onsite that were originally dug out for silica, used in making glass for windshields. These tunnels may be used for ground-source heating.

"We believe there's enough green energy sources on site to go totally noncarbon," says Hinkle.

With 140 acres, the coalition has the space to get creative with its envisioning and holistic approach. Businesses would be brought in to develop retail shops on the lower levels of buildings with affordable, residential units above. Walkways up and over the buildings would connect rooftop restaurants and bars to urban gardens with beautiful views of the Mississippi River. To connect the shops to the light rail, small electric vehicles would be produced onsite.

Throughout the last century, manufacturing jobs and industry have played a significant role in the growth of cities and development of communities by providing families with low entry-level jobs. Communities cannot afford to continue experiencing the off-shoring of their manufacturing jobs, especially during the current economic downturn. ARISE's plan is to develop this site as a prototype for turning brown fields, or old industrial grounds, into green manufacturing sites to support green jobs and sustainable community development.

Student group Summer of Solutions -- in partnership with economic justice organization, Global Exchange -- sees the future of their generation invested in this project.

"If we're going to build the green economy, we have to start here," says McAllister graduate Joseph Adamji. "The green jobs movement and the whole idea of shifting and expanding economic opportunity are to make social changes happen. As much as this project is about the Ford site, we need to use it as a model for how we develop communities, intentionally and sustainably."

City planners hope to see this space used as a central hub for sustainability projects for St. Paul and beyond.

"We could redevelop old manufacturing cities like Detroit and bring economic opportunities and prosperity," states Adamji. "We're trying to say that industry can play a role in the green economy."

Decarbonize, reindustrialize, equalize, is what ARISE is saying. The new energy economy can be used to battle lagging economic opportunities and social inequity. ARISE hopes to inspire communities -- from Flint, Michigan to Richmond, California -- to decide how they want to develop a new sense of community. Reindustrialization can be part of this process by formulating ways to generate green energy, mass transit, higher density and energy efficient buildings, and affordable housing.

"This is an opportunity to change the landscape literally and figuratively," says Hinkle. "What a great basis to rebuild the union movement. It's an opportunity for the green union movement to emerge, where unions can stand center stage and create aspirations for our entire society."

Angela Walker is the media director for Global Exchange.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Canadians are fed up with the Conservatives...

Green jobs

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan Maki [mailto:amaki000@centurytel.net]

Sent: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 12:40 PM

To: 'David Shove'; 'WCS-A@yahoogroups.com'; 'ddepass@startribune.com'; 'Randy Furst'

Cc: 'angela@globalexchange.org'; 'sen.david.tomassoni@senate.mn'; 'rep.dave.olin@house.mn'; 'rep.tom.anzelc@house.mn'; 'rep.bill.hilty@house.mn'; 'rep.maryellen.otremba@house.mn'; 'rep.tom.Rukavina@house.mn'; 'rep.tony.sertich@house.mn'; 'Joan Vanhala'; 'Jennifer@headwatersfoundation.org'; 'joan@metrostability.org'; 'Lynn Hinkle'; 'Chris Spotted Eagle'; 'Christine Frank'; 'info@jamesmayer.org'; 'info@jamesmayer.org'; 'info@peoplestribune.org'; 'info@autoworkercaravan.org'; 'info@insightnews.com'; 'djrie@visi.com'; 'mzweig@notes.cc.sunysb.edu'; 'rachleff@macalester.edu'; 'Charles Underwood'

Subject: Re: H.I.R.E., Global Exchange, ARISE, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability and the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant


I found it interesting saving the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant is not even mentioned in this posting in your “Progressive Calendar” by its organizers. Nor is support for Senate File 607 mentioned.

I find all of this very alarming, especially seeing as how the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability has been working in league with Lynn Hinkle and Global Exchange using Alternet.org to disseminate false and very misleading information.

Since the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability and Global Exchange are working to get the Ford Plant demolished under the guise of projecting a new “green” community in place of the Ford Plant in what appears to be simply a front working on behalf of the Ford Motor Company as the pretext to taking the wrecking ball to the plant I have very little confidence that this H.I.R.E. Minnesota is anything other than one more front for the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party’s arm controlled by the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, the insurance industry and a bunch of greedy contractors waiting to get their money-grubbing fingers in the trough, again.

I think the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability has a lot of nerve and gall claiming to be advocating for creating and saving millions of jobs when they can’t even convince their Democratic friends in the Minnesota state legislature to pass S.F. 607 to save the two-thousand jobs of workers at the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant as Ford took the wealth created by these workers and built a new Ranger plant in Thailand.

And, as far as energy is concerned, ARISE, the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability and Global Exchange have been completely silent when it comes to the future of the hydro dam that tax-payers have subsidized to the hilt which has powered the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant since it was built with power left over for the Ford Motor Company to sell and profit from rather than supplying this electricity for the cities and public schools--- I guess we should tremble at the thought of public institutions not having to pay for the same electricity the Ford Motor Company received for free.

At some point, these promoters of these conferences are going to have to be held accountable to the working people of Minnesota and the Twin Cities not to the philanthropists providing them with funding to support Obama’s meaningless platitudes.

Here is the article being distributed by Global Exchange via alternet.org and others like “Progressives for Obama.”


Outright lies and misinformation. As anyone knows, the only intent of S.F. 607 is to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant and hydro dam intact as an industrial unit. S.F. 607 is not about destroying the plant or any part of it to create this “pie-in-the-sky” vision of what a “green community” is.

Half the businesses and even the banks in this community are teetering on the verge of bankruptcy as it is and these people want to bring in competition to drive the existing small businesses out. It makes no sense at all.

Does anyone really believe the vision of these people is to create a “new green economy and community” by taking the wrecking ball to a perfectly sound and usable plant and that new factories are going to be built in its place? No. The Ford Motor Company and land developers are using these fairy-tales pushed by the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability and Global Exchange as the cover to take the wrecking ball to the plant after which they will proceed as intended to build their high-rise upscale and racially segregated housing.

What the heck, neither the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability nor Global Exchange have been anywhere to be seen as people in St. Paul and Minneapolis are victims of home foreclosures and evictions, leaving thousands of homes vacant and unoccupied for years now as they deteriorate and rot.

Or that these people will fight for real living wage jobs when over two thousand poverty paid workers are presently employed within a six-block area immediately adjacent to the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant with its nearest business neighbor the upscale, high-priced Lund’s Supermarket which pays its employees a miserly minimum wage right across from UAW Local’s hall and not one single step has been taken to organize Lund’s employees?

To top it off, Barack Obama came to the Twin Cities and was so arrogant he didn’t even mention the plight of the workers who will be losing their jobs if the Ford Motor Company has its way… I guess workers need to occupy the plant to save it if they want to get Obama’s attention.

In fact, the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability and Global Exchange are so arrogant that they are proceeding with these forums and bringing forward their grand schemes of new green communities without so much as even asking those employed at the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant what it is they want. Apparently they know the answer they will get will not be pleasing to the ears of the philanthropists funding their little think tanks to come up with these hair-brained schemes.

As far as “tax-breaks,” no corporation in Minnesota has received more tax-breaks than the Ford Motor Company in the name of creating a green manufacturing operation with the promise that the plant and the jobs would stay… one would think that the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability and Global Exchange would be organizing in the community to force politicians to coerce the Ford Motor Company to keep its promises rather than abscond with the profits to Thailand.

To what extent any of these other organizations are willing participants in undermining the struggle to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant behind mobilizing people into supporting more calls inviting other corporations to perpetrate the same fraud on tax-payers that the Ford Motor Company is being allowed to get away with needs to be explored.

Certainly many of the other organizations must not be aware of the struggles for equality which have been won over the years that are “people’s investment” in and of themselves… for where else in the Twin Cities can people of color and women find such jobs where they receive equal pay for equal work and most all known institutionalized discriminatory barriers against people of color and women in the workplace have ended.

Finally, workers fought long and hard for the eight hour day. Workers at the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant were forced to accept ten-hour days four days a week often forced into five, six, and even seven day work weeks by management working under conditions of brutal speed-up as the precondition for this plant remaining in operation. Working under such conditions takes a brutal toll on the human body hard for anyone to imagine who has not had to endure such terms of employment. But, workers needed these jobs to survive and they put their bodies and their families through this ordeal with the understanding their jobs would be secure.

Outfits like the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability and Global Exchange owe it to Ford Workers and the community they are trying to influence to struggle with the rest of us to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant rather than running these types of diversions around this important issue.

Ironically these outfits like Global Exchange have been touting a dubious and very questionable “fact” that they are working in alliance and coalition with UAW Local 879 when in fact a number of the officers of this local viciously attacked me only recently for “distributing green propaganda” at the plant.

I think we need to find out why the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability and Global Exchange did not get their members in motion to organize a massive push to get Senate File 607 through the Senate Committee on Business, Industry and Jobs dominated by their Democratic Party friends including committee chair, Senator James Metzen who had an eleven to seven Democratic majority and Senator David Tomassoni’s motion to move it out of Committee failed.

I, like many others, are now curious as to how these people now say they are working in coalition with UAW Local 879 in support of their new green vision under the aegis of S.F. 607?

Does anyone know of any discussion at a UAW Local 879 meeting authorizing the local to work in coalition to demolish this plant and destroy these jobs… workers at the plant who I have spoken to know nothing about their union participating in such dirty deeds… but then again they went to work everyday thinking the sacrifices they--- and tax-payers made--- assured them of job security… never did they think their own leaders would refuse to tell them that the Ford Motor Company was building a new Ranger Plant in Thailand with the wealth they created only to put them out of a job onto the street.

And, I don’t quite understand how it is that these student “organizers” with Global Exchange and their “coalition,” ARISE, have operated at a Macalester College under the watchful eyes of Peter Rachleff a labor historian and activist without getting any counsel.

Anyways, perhaps someone attending this conference will discuss some of these concerns. And perhaps Global Exchange will have the moral courage to admit that the information they provided concerning S.F 607 was just plain wrong and not true… perhaps due to shoddy journalism, perhaps motivated by something more sinister.

It is unfortunate that the struggle to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant got off to a bad start with a big-shot from the Minnesota AFL-CIO, Mark Froemke, proclaiming this was all a done deal and nothing could be done. Since people rejected this defeatist attitude, now we have to contend with the fairy-tale illusions being brought forward about how we need to demolish a certified green plant to make way for some kind of Disneyland/Epcott Center sci-fi community imagined in one of Lynn Hinkle’s extraordinary dreams which he hawks from conference to conference as plant after plant closes and gets demolished smothering more jobs in the debris.

Alan Maki

As posted to David Shove's "Progressive Calendar"

--------3 of 15--------

From: Maura Brown and Jennifer Jimenez-Wheatley

Subject: Green jobs December 16 @ 6:30pm

Alliance for Metropolitan Stability

How do you grow the economy and ensure thousands of JOBS for Minnesotans? H.I.R.E Minnesota (Healthcare, Infrastructure, and Renewable Energy)

Town Hall Meeting

Tuesday, December 16

6:30-8:00 pm

Minneapolis Urban League

2100 Plymouth Avenue N, Minneapolis, MN 55411

As America rebuilds its economy, green industries will be a major factor in creating jobs and refueling our economic growth:

* Governor Tim Pawlenty wants $3.65 million in tax breaks for companies investing in Minnesota green jobs from 2010-2011

* President-elect Barack Obama wants 10 percent of electricity to come from energy-efficient sources by 2010 and 1 million homes in low-income neighborhoods

It makes sense! Smart green investments in infrastructure will


* CREATE and PRESERVE millions of JOBS



JOIN the conversation!! BE Heard! BE Involved!

Come and learn about green collar jobs and local construction opportunities in our communities Light dinner will be served and there will be musical entertainment RSVP online to let the Alliance know you're coming

H.I.R.E. Minnesota is a coalition of community groups led by the Summit Academy OIC (SAOIC). Coalition members include: American Indian OIC, East Metro OIC, Anishinabe OIC, Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota, Minnesota Baptist Convention, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, Stairstep, ISAIAH, Insight News. For more information on the campaign, read the recent article in the Insight News.

Maura Brown and Jennifer Jimenez-Wheatley
Alliance for Metropolitan Stability
2525 E Franklin Avenue, Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55406

Alan L. Maki
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763
Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell phone: 651-587-5541
E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

Check out my blog:

Thoughts From Podunk


Monday, December 15, 2008

Discussion with an advocate of tax-payers bailing out the auto industry

I received this e-mail from Jane Cassady in Detroit from several different people in Michigan. I responded... this is our correspondence:


You wrote:

Mr. Maki,

I don't know who you are or why you are writing me, but as much as I may agree in principle to much of what you said, living in Detroit and seeing the suffering of working families might jar your ideology a bit. The failure of this "bailout" is utterly anti-union and the suffering here in Detroit will be enormous.

Jane Cassady



I received this… written and distributed by you:

Sent: 12/11/2008 6:28:45 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: HELP!

Michigan's Gov, Jennifer Granholm, just went on TV to ask everyone in Michigan to contact people in other states who have Republican senators and ask you to call your senator's office immediately and let them know you want them to approve Big 3 help without the sudden union busting amendment these hypocrites just tacked on. It apparently was fine to give their ultra-rich friends billions in the financial sector without strings, but now they want auto workers to take HUGE concessions to get any $ for the companies. It's just outrageous. I am sending this to people in Michigan as well, so you can contact your friends also. The worst senators so far in this is Shelby (Alabama), Kyl (AZ), McConnell (KY) and actually just about every other Republican. Please pass this on to your friends also. It may happen as soon as tonight.

All you have to do is google your senator, or go to the US senate website if you can't remember the name...use the # to call (You'll either get some staff person or a voice mail, and also send an email if you can. ). All you have to say is that you want your senator to support Bridge loans to the Auto companies without the anti-union, anti-worker amendment.

Thanks everyone,


Jane Cassady



I am writing you because your call for support of this fiasco and boondoggle reached my desk--- as you obviously intended your call for support of the auto bailout to be distributed widely.

When you distribute such material it is kind of arrogant of you to assume that people with contrary views will not state their opinions in response to you.

You say you don’t know me. So what? What does knowing me have to do with what I sent you? You were not concerned that your cry for this bailout and tears for the demise of the auto industry and loss of three million jobs would reach those like me who you do not know.

However, now we are somewhat acquainted; so, allow me to speak frankly with you.

I think if auto workers and their union leaders acting under the guise of their union are going to mobilize behind a scheme initiated by their employers in a way that drags the rest of us in we all have a right to express our views.

Who am I?

I work with casino workers trying to organize in the Indian Gaming Industry. I am constantly chasing UAW members out of these casinos. Apparently the UAW has no sympathy, empathy nor concern for solidarity with other workers struggling for justice.

I requested of Ron Gettelfinger that he instruct Nadine Nossal--- the UAW’s lead lobbyist in Lansing, Michigan--- to “vigorously oppose” the Gun Lake Casino “Compact;” another “Compact” that will send another two-thousand workers in the Indian Gaming Industry into smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights under state, federal or tribal labor laws who will join some two-million other workers employed under the same Draconian conditions at over 450 such casino ventures strung out across the United States. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger did nothing as far as acting on my request to him… now he expects the entire nation to respond in support of turning billions of tax-payer dollars over to a pack of crooks and exploiters who mis-managed their industry into oblivion as they raked in tremendous profits. Where are these billions of dollars in profits generated over the last one-hundred years… this wealth has not disappeared into thin air. Those who have adamantly opposed little children getting free lunches in school and have pushed pan-handlers off the streets into prison cells and turned their backs on the hungry and homeless are now begging for billions of dollars in handouts from tax-payers.

Since Ron Gettelfinger and Nadine Nossal have no concern for the plight of casino workers I couldn’t care less if the auto workers see their standard of living brought down to the level of casino workers in the Indian Gaming Industry... then we will all be in the same sinking boat.

Don’t expect us to pay for something the UAW will not support for us. Don’t cry to me about the future of auto workers in Detroit when Ron Gettelfinger has not demonstrated any concern for the plight of their sisters and brothers in the casino industry in outstate Michigan.

I have put forward suggestions to save the auto industry that would be in EVERYONE’S best interest, including auto workers. We all invest… we all own what we invest in… auto workers come out ahead with their contract intact and their livelihoods and standard of living protected as the profiteers and exploiters are pushed out of the picture as vehicles required by society are produced… Wall Street coupon clippers lose; auto workers and tax-payers win.

You reject my suggestions. You come back with you may agree with me in “principle;” I would suggest that you organize people with your “principles” in mind to stand up and fight for those “principles” rather than making the rest of us suffer… and make no mistake about this: the real intent of the Big Three CEO’s bringing forward this bailout request is because they see an opportunity to get out from under their contractual obligations… the auto industry “broke?” Give me a break. They took the profits they made from North American workers and invested those profits overseas in cheap resource and labor markets; and now, not one single congress person, nor one single leader of the UAW has forced these swindlers to even prove they are broke by demanding they open up their books, including of their international operations.

If you really believe that handing over billions of dollars to the Big Three CEO’s will resolve anything; I suggest that the UAW invest its pension and health care funds in this bailout and leave the rest of us out of this.

The other thing autoworkers could do is re-open their contract with the Big Three and agree to work for seven dollars an hour like casino workers do until the management of the Big Three feel they can pay them back with some interest.

The math is really very simple; figure it out.

Three weeks ago I explained to a leader of a large auto local in Detroit the injustices casino workers are being subjected to as he plunked his quarters into a slot machine at the Odawa casino in Petoskey, Michigan. He told me, “Leave me alone; I came here to have fun. Now, if you don’t get out of here I am calling security to toss you out. Buddy, I don’t know who you are.”

So I gave him my card and told him that the next time I catch him sitting at a slot machine wearing his nice fancy UAW jacket I am going to take his picture and plaster it all over the Internet.

Further, I would point out that for over five years we have been fighting to save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant and Ron Gettelfinger would not even bring the weight of the UAW into the struggle by supporting a very basic piece of legislation brought forward by a group of progressive Democratic state legislators which would have prevented Ford from demolishing the plant until we could find a new venture for the plant--- either public or private or a combination of the two.

I do not mean to sound rude nor uncaring; but, I suggest that you fight for nationalization of the auto industry under public ownership because you know as well as I do that we are in the midst of a very serious economic crisis--- a depression--- and most working people just will never be able to afford a thirty-thousand dollar vehicle under these circumstances--- so, who is going to purchase the vehicles that autoworkers will build?

Only fools would support the present bailout package aimed at bailing out the Wall Street coupon clippers, bankers and top corporate management.

By the way, because the auto industry has been operated for the sole purpose of profit is the reason Detroit is mired in poverty. The wealth created by workers has been systematically stolen… this is what capitalism is all about.

Beyond the very mild reform--- given the depth of this crisis--- of nationalizing the auto industry; you might want to extend your principles to getting rid of this thoroughly rotten and corrupt capitalist system which has morphed into a parasitical imperialist beast bringing misery to billions of working people across the globe.

Oh, you might want to contact Governor Granholm and suggest to her that she call on the Michigan Senate to reject the Gun Lake Casino “Compact” so it can be renegotiated to include protection of rights for casino workers… we are all, sisters and brothers in struggle together for a better life, right?

Also, could you remind Ron Gettelfinger that many of us have concerns, in addition to the future of the auto industry, which extend to trying to create a better life for the rest of us, too.

Perhaps the auto industry should be turned over to the managers of the Indian Gaming Industry under the terms of these “Compacts?” What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

You might want to check out this blog about the future of the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant which I created before you start lecturing me as if I don’t care about the plight of auto workers and the communities they live in:


Now, let’s act on the principles we have in common and fight like hell to save the jobs and livelihoods and protect the standard of living of auto workers as we fight like hell to do the same for the entire working class and all working class communities.

I would suggest you consider what the management of the Big Three really want along with their “bridge loan”:

“But McConnell said the measure "isn't nearly tough enough." The Kentucky Republican also called for a different bill — one that would force U.S. automakers to slash wages and benefits to bring them in line with Japanese carmakers Nissan, Toyota and Honda — in return for any federal aid.”

See complete article:


United States Steel announced they are closing down a huge taconite operation on the Iron Range. Will Ron Gettelfinger call for a bailout of United States Steel, too?

You might also want to check out what I wrote on my blog on the Obama website concerning the “Main Street Recovery Program:”


Check out the quote in this pamphlet by Frederick Engels… this is what he wrote in “Socialism: Utopian and Scientific:

"Commerce is at a standstill, the markets are glutted, products accumulate, as multitudinous as they are unsaleable, hard cash disappears, credit vanishes, factories are closed, the mass of the workers are in want of the means of subsistence, because they have produced too much of the means of subsistence; bankruptcy follows upon bankruptcy, execution upon execution. The stagnation lasts for years; productive forces and products are wasted and destroyed wholesale, until the accumulated mass of commodities finally filter off, more or less depreciated in value, until production and exchange gradually begin to move again. Little by little the pace quickens. It becomes a trot. The industrial trot breaks into a canter, the canter in turn grows into the headlong gallop of a perfect steeplechase of industry, commercial credit and speculation, which finally, after breakneck leaps, ends where it began--in the ditch of a crisis. And so over and over again. We have now, since the year 1825, gone through this five times, and at the present moment (1877) we are going through it for the sixth time.... The fact that the socialised organisation of production within the factory has developed so far that it has become incompatible with the anarchy of production in society, which exists side by side with and dominates it, is brought home to the capitalists themselves by the violent concentration of capital that occurs during crises, through the ruin of many large, and a still greater number of small, capitalists. The whole mechanism of the capitalist mode of production breaks down under the pressure of the productive forces, its own creations. It is no longer able to turn all this mass of means of production into capital. They lie fallow, and for that very reason the industrial reserve army must also lie fallow. Means of production, means of subsistence, available labourers, all the elements of production and of general wealth, are present in abundance. But "abundance becomes the source of distress and want" (Fourier), because it is the very thing that prevents the transformation of the means of production and subsistence into capital. For in capitalistic society the means of production can only function when they have undergone a preliminary transformation into capital, into the means of exploiting human labour power.

Frederick Engels's---
Socialism: Utopian and Scientific/
part of his...
Anti Dühring/
New York: International Publishers, 1935, pages 64-65

How much longer are we going to endure such a rotten capitalist system that creates so much human misery over and over and over again?

With, or without, this bailout, auto workers and the people of Detroit are going to suffer immensely--- just like the rest of us.

Take care.

Yours in solidarity and in struggle,

Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council

58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763
Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell phone: 651-587-5541
E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

Check out my blog:

Thoughts From Podunk


-----Original Message-----
From: BHTURTLE@aol.com [mailto:BHTURTLE@aol.com]
Sent: Friday, December 12, 2008 6:13 AM
To: amaki000@centurytel.net
Subject: Re: auto bailout

Mr. Maki,
I don't know who you are or why you are writing me, but as much as I may agree in principle to much of what you said, living in Detroit and seeing the suffering of working families might jar your ideology a bit. The failure of this "bailout" is utterly anti-union and the suffering here in Detroit will be enormous.

Jane Cassady

In a message dated 12/11/2008 11:28:55 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, amaki000@centurytel.net writes:

This Letter to the Editor is submitted to the Star Tribune for publication; writer grants Editor the right to edit as seen fit.

November 12, 2008

First Wall Street Bankers. Now the Big Three automakers. Who is coming for a handout and free lunch next? The lobbying industry?

The government is prepared to let the St. Paul Ford Twin City Assembly Plant and two-thousand jobs go down the river because there was no money to save this one plant and now tax-payers are being told, not even asked, that they will be bailing out the entire auto industry.

Obviously free enterprise has failed. Why should tax-payers bailout the Big Three when in a few months the price of each of the Big Three's stocks should be less than one-dollar a share.

Tax-payers will have the opportunity to purchase the entire automotive industry for a real bargain for far less than what the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are costing us.

A board consisting of all the stake-holders could be brought together and we could finally produce quality products which are environmentally friendly... not to mention affordable.

Capitalism hasn't worked; socialism will.

The Big Three cry poverty after they have taken the wealth created by North American workers and invested that wealth in quest of cheaper labor and resources overseas.

I don't believe politicians would even consider turning over one penny to these greedy corporations without even having had the opportunity to see their books... all the books, including their international operations.

What tax-payers finance, tax-payers should own.

Nationalization under public ownership is the solution to the problems of the auto industry.

The time has come to put People, Jobs and the Environment Before Corporate Profits!

Alan L. Maki
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763
Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell phone: 651-587-5541
E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net

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Thoughts From Podunk


Sunday, December 14, 2008

I don't trust a single weasel in Washington

Barack Obama has yet to take office and his Wall Street handlers are up to their eyeballs in corruption... from the corrupt Illinois governor to Bernie Madoff the biggest swindler in American history and Bill Richardson who hires hit-and-run killers.

Working people shouldn't trust one single Democrat or Republican to do anything other than swindle us out of everything.

Just when we get rid of the most corrupt government in American history headed up by George Bush and Dick Cheney... along comes the flim-flam man and con-artist extraordinaire... Democrat, Barack Hussein Obama.

All we need is for President-elect Barack Hussein Obama to hold a summit meeting with the heads of the Afghan government in Red Lake with Melanie Benjamin, Stanley Crooks and Floyd Jourdain explaining the benefits of sovereignty... let the poppies flourish and the drugs flow through our children's veins.

What a great time we are in for... brother, can you spare a dime.

Maybe Jesse Jackson Jr. should buy a U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota.

I understand U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison told Jesse Jackson Sr. to drop by his office for a chat.

Alan L. Maki

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Obama faces heady challenges, and they're growing

The media continues to prepare the nation for a real let down because Barack Obama has no intent in solving any problems for Main Street as he will continue to dish out "free lunches" to Wall Street and no matter how sleazy, crooked and corrupt the recipients of public funds--- one whom was helped out by the bailouts was good old Bernie Madoff.

Look at this:

"Not only is Obama saddled with lingering wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that he is inheriting from President George W. Bush, but he also must deal with:

_a deepening recession in the U.S. and a spreading global economic crisis.

_an automotive industry on the brink of collapse and soaring national debt.

_increasing unemployment and its ripple effects.

_the threat of terrorism amid a historic transfer of power.


"Not only is Obama saddled with lingering wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that he is inheriting from President George W. Bush..."

This is an outright lie. Obama, the Democrats and Bush are wholly and totally and completely responsible for these dirty imperialist wars for oil, dope and regional domination. These wars are every bit Obama's wars as they are George Bush's wars.

This country doesn't face any threat of terrorism that any other country in the world doesn't face; and, it is the barbaric, parasitic and cannibalistic policies of the United States government and the multi-national corporations in quest of greater profits that give terrorism life.

We now know that this rotten government--- Democrats and Republicans--- were fully aware of the dire economic situation well over one year ago and they with held this information from the rest of us as if they were guarding the secrets of the A-Bomb in order to try to get through the Election without having to address these economic issues. We are still being fed lies--- lie after lie just like the lies about the Iraq war; but now the lies are about the economy, too... an economy that is on the skids to oblivion, and if we remain on this road we will be on the road to perdition just like those poor people crossing the I35-W Bridge who thought they could do so safely because they thought, wrongly, the government was looking out for them.

Nothing short of nationalization can save the American auto industry. Allowing this industry, that has been subsidized to the hilt by the American tax-payer already, to remain in the hands of Wall Street coupon clippers is a recipe for complete economic ruin... not only for the auto industry, but for the steel industry and the Nation.

Obama has not remained "mum" during this transition because Obama does not intend to deviate from George Bush's policies... Roosevelt was setting the stage for a complete break with Herbert Hoover's reactionary policies because massive, massive militant opposition to Herbert Hoover's policies were well organized with people on the move on every front with a broad popular people's front developing with many people ready for revolution... Obama intends a smooth transaction thinking that his nice sounding, meaningless words will lull the American people into acquiescing in the same way that Democrats acquiesced to George Bush every step of the way for the last eight years.

What has been forgotten--- more likely intentionally ignored--- is that alongside Roosevelt's election thousands of communists and socialists were elected to public office in this country... from village mayors and county commissioners to state legislatures and a few in Congress... all with a progressive agenda demanding real solutions to the problems working people and the working class was experiencing.

The media is in high gear trying to convince us that we should not expect change.

Worse yet, the main stream media has refused to allow a full and free discussion, dialogue and debate to ensue as to what needs to be done by trying to convince us that there are no alternatives outside of capitalism which can solve our problems when in fact the only solutions lie outside of the capitalist way of doing things which got us into this mess.

Wall Street coupon clippers profit and the working class is stuck with this mess.

Working people let Roosevelt know in no uncertain terms that a massive redistribution of wealth was required to solve the problems of working people and today this is even truer than in the 1930's.

In the final analysis this unjust social system of capitalism enabled wealth to concentrate in the hands of the very few and any one with an once of common sense understands that a massive redistribution of wealth to working people who created this wealth in the first place is what is required.

It is interesting that the biggest Wall Street scoundrel of them all, Bernie Madoff, is linked to all of Obama's inner circle starting with Charles Schumer and the main stream media seems to ignore the corruption already swirling around Obama... including the Illinois governor. And then Obama has the audacity to appoint a worthless pimp to his economic transition team!

Obama faces heady challenges, and they're growing

By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama, relatively young and inexperienced, is facing a rapidly growing list of monumental challenges as he prepares to take the reins of a nation in turmoil.

"I do not underestimate the enormity of the task that lies ahead," Obama said after his historic election a little more than a month ago.

It was a sobering assessment at the time, but the country's problems have only worsened since then. Now, Obama sounds dire, particularly as he talks about the economy: "We're in an emergency."

He spoke during a week in which Congress killed a bailout of the failing auto industry, the government reported that jobless claims spiked to their highest levels in more than a quarter-century, and the Treasury Department said the nation registered a record federal budget deficit for November.

With woes foreign and domestic on more fronts than even Franklin Delano Roosevelt encountered when he took office in the midst of the Great Depression, Obama will be sworn in as the country's 44th president in January.

His leadership will be tested immediately and in many ways. His performance from the outset could well set the tone for his presidency.

Not only is Obama saddled with lingering wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that he is inheriting from President George W. Bush, but he also must deal with:

_a deepening recession in the U.S. and a spreading global economic crisis.

_an automotive industry on the brink of collapse and soaring national debt.

_increasing unemployment and its ripple effects.

_the threat of terrorism amid a historic transfer of power.

At the same time, Obama may be drawn into an unfolding political scandal over Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's alleged efforts to trade the president-elect's former Senate seat for personal gain. The ongoing federal investigation could ensnare some of his top advisers and taint the self-styled reformer who has tried to steer clear of notorious Chicago politics.

The president-elect says he's "absolutely confident" his aides did not try to cut deals with Blagojevich, but at the very least, the scandal is a distraction for a leader facing the magnitude of problems on Obama's plate.

Obama also has promised an ambitious foreign and domestic policy agenda that includes withdrawing most U.S. combat troops from Iraq, cleaning up government, overhauling the health care system, fighting global warming and developing alternative energy sources.

Some priorities may fall to the wayside or be done piecemeal. But, so far, he has signaled an intent to move forward on much if not all of those plans. The question is how quickly he can accomplish his goals, while simultaneously confronting the growing list of major problems.

"There's a lot of ground giving under him. It's a terrific challenge," said Fred Greenstein, a Princeton University professor emeritus of politics and a presidential historian.

"From one perspective, it's as if he's about to take over the captain's job on a sinking ship. From the other perspective, he could be on a glide path to Mount Rushmore if he does a combination of morale building and energizing people while dealing with the economic distress by producing some constructive changes in the society and in the economy."

"The striking thing is he doesn't seem scared," Greenstein added.

Indeed, Obama exudes confidence. He has surrounded himself with people in his incoming White House and Cabinet who have decades more experience than him in government, as well as foreign and domestic policy. They include big names such as Hillary Rodham Clinton, Larry Summers, Tom Daschle and Robert Gates, longtime Washington insiders.

Comparatively, Obama has been on the national stage for a short time. He was introduced to the country during the Democratic convention in 2004 when he was in the Illinois Legislature and running for the U.S. Senate. Age 47, he will become president after serving just four years in the Senate

Most historians liken the situation facing Obama to that which confronted Roosevelt — but the comparison does not seem to do justice to the colossal challenges Obama is facing.

Roosevelt was already an established politician when he came into office at the depths of the Great Depression in a society with no safety net for the suffering. And the economy was much worse then than it is now. But he did not have two wars on his plate, nor a political scandal swirling nearby. And Roosevelt did not have a planet suffering from global warming and watching its natural resources dwindle.

He also let his four-month transition pass by keeping his distance from Republican Herbert Hoover. The two men had sharp policy differences over how to address the Great Depression, and Roosevelt stayed mum between his election and his inauguration.

Not Obama. He's been extraordinarily active since his election.

With each new bit of bad economic news, he makes his views known — though he always is careful to defer to Bush when it's decision time. As president-elect, however, Obama's words now carry the power to move financial markets — perhaps even more so than those of Bush.

He has held regular news conferences to announce his Cabinet, and he gives the Democratic radio address on most weekends.

"Part of what he's doing is paying lip service to the notion that there's only one president while sucking up all the oxygen," Greenstein said.

Politically, with things so bad, Obama can claim any change for the better as a success. If the economic and security situation deteriorates further, he can rightly say he inherited a mess.

Obama won the election with more than 50 percent of the popular vote, and nearly three-fourths of people in an AP-GfK poll last week said they approved of how Obama has been handling the transition.

Judging by those numbers, he has plenty of political capital to spend as he tackles the country's mounting problems.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The "Main Street Recovery Program"

Some thoughts on the "Main Street Recovery Program"

By Alan L. Maki - Dec 11th, 2008

This "Main Street Recovery Program" initiated by the Campaign for America's Future lacks many specifics and intentionally omits support for H.R. 676 and socialized health care; with the biggest drawback being that no resources have been made available by these organizations aimed at empowering working people in their communities and where they work... but, the general thrust here is something we all need to support and get behind.

Also lacking is any clear program relating to legislation for a real living minimum wage which is the real, fundamental and basic way to redistribute wealth in this country in order to solve the problems of working class poverty as we seek a more just socialist alternative to capitalism.

In fact, the capitalist system which is now obviously on the skids to oblivion is not even challenged in this statement.

It is not that I disregard the fundamental weaknesses in this statement as I endorse the "Main Street Recovery Program," but, rather, on the basis of its many strengths in bringing forward a new direction for our country.

It would be naive to assume that even such a modest liberal program as that being floated here will take shape under the Obama Administration unless all those who supported, and than voted for Obama, along with the millions of liberals and progressives who supported other candidates or did not vote at all are brought into the decision-making process to correct the glaring weaknesses relating to specific solutions to specific problems with the full and complete empowerment of the people forcing action out from the government through mass pressure tactics as employed during the depression years under the leadership of the left--- most notably the Communist Party, left in general and the emerging network of trade union activists.

The Campaign for America's Future who put this together is known for its outstanding statements which remain on paper to only be filed away without any action.

We can change this through education, organization, unity and action... learning from the struggles of the Thirties and the present struggles like those heroic workers in Chicago at Republic Windows and Doors who have demonstrated the importance of working people taking bold, militant action in defense of their own livelihoods and for the rights of all working people.

In fact, we are facing are living in a depression growing worse by the day; not in a recession. Over a year ago the recession was well underway and in this time has come a full-blown depression from which "economic recovery" is not possible--- not for the working class. We are now well into a severe capitalist crisis caused by "over production" in a world where people are starving and require the basics of life which they are presently being deprived of here in the United States and across the globe.

It will be interesting to see just how much the Campaign for America's Future and the endorsers of this program are willing to bend to the real needs of the working class for real solutions to their problems; and, then, how much Obama will listen.

There is far too much emphasis here on middle class and middle income when the primary emphasis should be on creating a society with living wages and incomes for the entire working class.

There is something very wrong with a distinguished group of middle class intellectuals not taking to task the need to eliminate poverty in this country... the wealthiest country in the world.

We need to keep in mind as we live in the midst of this economic depression that wealth may be disappearing from sight and from our view, but this wealth exists all the same as it is only in the process of changing hands as the wealthiest come to control and dominate even more. This is very important for us to remember because it is this wealth that we need to be concerned about; along with the ownership and control of the mines, mills and factories where this wealth has been created.

The time has come to bring the failing auto, steel and power generating industries as well as banking under public ownership through nationalization so wealth becomes the property of society rather than of the few... another problem the "Main Street Recovery Program" fails to address... common sense dictates that tax-payers should own what the finance through bailouts... including owning and controlling the wealth created.

There is a fear here in this statement of touching the "sacred cow" of private ownership of the means of production.

Also overlooked in importance is the question of peace and the need to end these dirty imperialist wars for oil and regional domination so we can transfer funds from war-making which subsidizes the profits of a thoroughly rotten and corrupt military-financial-industrial complex to financing human needs--- from health care to education and a massive jobs program... we simply can't tolerate plunging our Nation into debt even further than it already is to finance an even modest program as suggested below.

But, when all is said and done, the "Main Street Recovery Program" is an excellent new beginning towards a real new New Deal... with some tweaking here and there we should be able to turn it into something a real new People's Front can mobilize support for built on the foundation left to us by the old Left which served the working class so well.

Perhaps the single most important omission in the "Main Street Recovery Program" is a real sense of urgency which is so typical of this liberal intellectual community.

Understandably, people losing their jobs, homes and having their utilities turned off in the middle of the winter have a greater sense of urgency and a greater desire to see problems resolved than middle class intellectuals... this sense of urgency is what adds the kind of militancy to struggles built around these kinds of ideas which brings such ideas to reality in the form of, not only government policy, but in pushing the government to establish programs... and this, after all, is the kind of change we all seek.

This is why it is so important that people be empowered at the grassroots and rank and file level... the only sure way we will win the real change we are seeking as the Wall Street crowd, which at this point has the primary influence over Obama and is prepared to fight tooth and nail to defend their profit system.

It would have brought credibility and strength to the "Main Street Recovery Program" to have had the endorsements of the Republic Door and Window workers who seized control of the plant in Chicago in defense of their rights as endorsers of this progressive agenda with their action being cited as one of the ways to force government to act.

In fact, these middle class intellectuals should have had the common sense to insist on obtaining initial endorsements from grassroots community activists and rank and file working class activists.

Overall, the initiative taken by the Campaign for America's Future in bringing forward the "Main Street Recovery Program" is to be lauded and supported.

Of course we need to be sure that any and all programs don't become just another profit orgy for Wall Street coupon clippers and the banks. The programs should all be publicly funded and administered.

In the past some of the endorsers of the "Main Street Recovery Program," like Carl Pope and Leo Gerard have abandoned people in the midst of struggles... others like John Sweeney have been all talk and no action; never allocating the kind of resources required to bring a progressive agenda to reality--- while still others from among the endorsers have fought attempts by the left and progressive forces to merge issues of peace with social and economic justice. Still others cling to a faith that capitalism can be turned into a "kinder, gentler" form of some kind of "people's capitalism," and still others are laboring under the illusion that some tinkering here and regulation there will resolve the present economic mess. Others like Robert Borosage who colluded with the Democrats to derail the peace movement are working in the same way to try to derail the grassroots and rank and file movements developing around single-payer universal health care as embodied in House Resolution 676.

Alan L. Maki

Director of Organizing,

Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council

A MAIN STREET RECOVERY PROGRAM from the Campaign for America's Future; provided here for your consideration and for further dialogue, discussion and debate.

Executive Summary

Our economy now faces the most serious crisis since the Great Depression. The financial crisis that was triggered by the bursting of the housing bubble has now spread to the real economy, and we face a sharp downturn that is spreading across the globe. A serious recession now seems unavoidable in the United States, as well as Europe and Japan. The developing world is already struggling with financial turmoil and economic decline. For the first time since the 1930s, we face a real risk of deep worldwide economic contraction.

Restoring economic growth will require a bold, multifaceted plan. This must begin with a recovery program for Main Street – substantial fiscal expansion to revive the real economy.

With a deep and long global downturn now likely, any plan for reviving the economy
should be substantial, strategic, and sustained. It should also be coordinated with
simultaneous efforts across the world.

Reviving our nearly $15 trillion economy will require substantial fiscal expansion. With interest rates already low, monetary policy can provide little help. The decline in consumption brought by the collapse of housing and stock prices has already been dramatic.

Now states and localities must cut spending or raise taxes to balance budgets. Exports are declining as the world economy slows.

Three percent of GDP – about $450 billion each year for two years, a total of $900 billion – should define the floor, not the ceiling, of what needs to be done.

The plan must be strategic, focused on public investment in areas vital to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. Public investments are far more efficient at stimulating the economy than tax cuts for individuals or businesses. The money allocated will be spent and will produce jobs here. And public investment provides a long-term return in the higher productivity of transport on modern roads and rail, the higher productivity of better-trained workers, and the new technologies spawned from higher research and development funds.

Central to the plan should be investment in green technology, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and addressing the rising threat of global warming. It must also target the states, funding vital health care and public programs so the recession is not worsened by local budget-cutting. This will also help to maintain the income of the people most likely to spend in the economy.

Finally, the recovery plan must be sustained. Two years of deficit-funded stimulus should help the economy recover. But it will take many years of fiscal expansion to move us from an economy driven by booms and busts of asset bubbles to one of sustained and balanced growth.

□ □ □


We now face the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The collapse
of the housing bubble, followed by a credit freeze and stock market collapse, has erased over $10 trillion in paper value in the U.S. alone. The debacle in housing exposed, in the words of Noriel Roubini, a subprime global financial system that was recklessly overleveraged, laden with exotic securities of unknown value, and now facing staggering losses. Massive, and at times desperate, efforts by central banks across the world have served only to stave off collapse.

This financial contagion has now infected the real economy. A serious recession
now seems unavoidable in the United States as well as in Europe and Japan. And the
developing world, which we were told was “de-coupled” from the U.S. and Europe, is
facing enormous strains of its own. For the first time since the 1930s, we face a real risk of worldwide deflation and substantial economic contraction.

Restoring economic growth will require a strong and multifaceted plan. Reviving
the financial system itself will require far more than the hastily assembled and badly designed $700 billion bailout passed in September. We must

(1) remedy the costly defects in the current plans;

(2) put in place a systematic program of real mortgage relief
for homeowners, and

(3) enact comprehensive reform of financial markets.

It is not possible, however, to simply clean up this mess and return to business as
usual. Stabilizing the housing and financial markets and staving off a deep downturn
must be part of a broader, systemic effort to address the roots of this crisis.

For too long, our economy has been based on consumption sustained through
asset bubbles and easy credit, with the vast majority of new wealth accumulated only
by those at the very top. We must chart a strategy to move towards sustainable, longterm growth, with blessings that are widely shared. This will require increased
government investment in public education, in research and development of new
technology, and in the modern infrastructure that is vital to building a competitive
economy. It must also include raising the minimum wage and reviving the right of
employees to organize and bargain collectively, so that workers may once again capture a fair share of the productivity and wealth they help generate.

The new strategy must include access to comprehensive and affordable health
care for all Americans. It must include a system of taxation that produces the revenue necessary for supporting a vital public sector in a fairer and more progressive manner.

We will also need a new global initiative to reform currency and financial regulations, to place the financial system in its proper role as servant to the real economy. And this strategy must be accompanied by a global trade regime that reduces unsustainable trade imbalances and ensures that trade benefits workers in all participating countries.

In the coming weeks, we will address each of these issues. We begin below with
an analysis of the steps needed to counter the deepening recession and get the real
economy going again.

The Immediate Need: Reviving Main Street

The need for substantial fiscal expansion to revive the real economy is clear and
present, as a long and deep downturn now seems inescapable. The economy has been
losing private-sector jobs for 12 months. Unemployment is already at a five-year high
and continues to rise, and many employees are working fewer hours than they wish,
facing pay and benefit cuts, or dropping out of the workforce in discouragement.

After taking into consideration workers who take part-time jobs out of necessity and those who are otherwise marginally attached to the labor force, the effective unemployment rate at the end of November was an extraordinary 12.5 percent.

Consumers are cutting back, as their confidence has been shaken by staggering
losses in housing and stock-market values. Manufacturing has been relentlessly
shedding jobs over the last seven years and is now in a near-free fall. Construction has been decimated by the bursting of the housing bubble and the freezing of credit. Retail stores are girding for a grim holiday season. Exports, which had risen with the falling dollar, will now be slowed by the global economic downturn. States and localities that had increased public employment over the past year now face declining revenues and rising deficits which will force layoffs and cutbacks in needed services. Our economy is in trouble and needs action now.

While more monetary loosening is likely, its effects will be limited, as interest
rates are already at low levels. A major fiscal stimulus is essential. Though the $700 billion Wall Street bailout may have been necessary, it was not stimulative. In the end, banks will only lend at needed levels when there is a growing economy in which to lend. And while budget deficits have already risen, they pose no immediate danger as the global crisis has witnessed a flight of investment back to the dollar, allowing for relatively low-cost financing.

With a deep and long global downturn now likely, any plan for reviving the
economy should be substantial, strategic and sustained. It is also imperative that it be coordinated with similar efforts across the world. The U.S. cannot be expected to lift the global economy alone.

Reviving our nearly $15 trillion economy will require substantial fiscal
expansion. The consumption effects of the collapse of housing and stock prices have
already been dramatic, as reflected in the bottoming of consumer confidence. When
gross domestic product growth fell to negative levels at the end of 2000 and America
was hit by the shock of 9-11, the U.S. general government budget (federal, state and
local combined) went from reporting a surplus of approximately 1.3 percent of GDP to
running a deficit of about 4.9 percent GDP by the end of 2004 – the equivalent of over $900 billion in fiscal stimulus. Even that stimulus – which was bolstered by extremely low interest rates, a thriving financial system, a housing asset bubble, and a growing global economy – produced only a slow recovery and stagnant incomes. Today’s crisis is worse, and fiscal expansion must do much more of the heavy lifting. Although not directly comparable, China recently announced a stimulus plan focused entirely on the internal investment of 7 percent of their GDP each year for two years.

Three percent of GDP -- about $450 billion each year for two years, for a total
of $900 billion -- should define the floor, not the ceiling, of what needs to be done. The plan for reviving the economy must be strategic, focused on public
investment in areas vital to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness, not
simply on giving consumers or businesses a temporary boost through tax rebates. As
we detail below, central elements of the plan should include investment in green
technology, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and addressing the rising threat of global warming. We should also move to repair and modernize our intellectual and
physical infrastructure and to provide temporary financial assistance to workers most
in need. This approach will generate jobs immediately and contribute to greater
productivity and international competitiveness.

Public investments are far more efficient at stimulating the economy than tax
cuts for either individuals or businesses are. First, all investment spending will in fact be spent, whereas data suggests that only 20 percent of the recent tax rebates went into consumption; the remainder was saved or used to reduce consumer debt.

Second, more of the jobs generated through public investment will be created
here. In contrast, a good portion of the tax rebates were spent on goods manufactured
abroad, creating jobs in China and elsewhere. Infrastructure funding targets
construction workers, who have been hit hardest by the housing market’s collapse.
Infrastructure projects are tangible and visible, helping to generate needed confidence in recovery. Economic models, such as the one used by Mark Zandi of Moody’s Economy.com, show that in the first year, stimulus investments in the form of
infrastructure spending, aid to state governments, and extended unemployment
benefits or food stamps generate more GDP growth per dollar than do tax cuts or

1 And public investment is just that: an investment. Money spent earns a return in
the form of higher productivity from workers who take advantage of broader and
cleaner transportation choices and faster broadband connections, and from students
whose ability to learn is improved by modernized schools or attendance at otherwise
unaffordable colleges.

Critics argue that public investment takes too long to begin, claiming that
recessions end before infrastructure money has been spent. This argument has little
relevance now, as we face a recession that is likely to be deep and long if we do not
provide a sustained response. Moreover, in recent recessions, labor markets recovered
far more slowly than other elements of the economy. In the recession of 2001, for
example, it took more than two years for employment rates to bottom out and four
years before they rose above pre-recession levels. In addition, there is a significant backlog of infrastructure projects that are ready to go and lack only the resources to move forward. Governor John Corzine of New Jersey testified that his state alone has $1.5 billion of projects ready to start in 90 days. A survey by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials found over 3,000 projects totaling $17.9 billion that are ready to launch within 90 days of receiving funding. A compilation by the Economic Policy Institute found $20 billion worth of school projects that are ready to begin.

Any recovery plan must also be sustained. Ending the recession, however difficult, is
not sufficient. It will take many years of fiscal expansion through public investment to move us from an economy driven by the booms and busts of asset bubbles to one driven by sustained and balanced growth. During the initial two-year period of
increased deficit spending, we should be formulating a multiyear plan to change our
economic priorities. After the first two years, this program should be permanent,
productive and paid for. Long-term investments in public education and training, in
health care, in modernizing our infrastructure, in urban reconstruction, and in research and development should be sustained not by deficit spending but by changes in how we use our resources.

Returning to a more progressive tax code – by closing corporate loopholes such as the
egregious carried-interest tax break and by collecting the $300 billion a year that the IRS is owed but does not collect – could easily raise over $600 billion a year.

Core Elements of the Recovery Plan

At $450 billion a year for two years, a recovery plan should focus on the
following core elements:

Green Investment.

A first priority should be a green investment agenda designed to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and address the rising threat of global warming.
Green Recovery, a report by Robert Pollin of the University of Massachusetts’ Political Economy Research Institute, and the Center for American Progress, documents
opportunities for creating two million green jobs over two years by investing nearly
$100 billion in six green infrastructure areas: retrofitting buildings to improve energy efficiency, expanding mass transit and freight rail networks, constructing “smart” electric-grid systems, increasing capacity for generating power from wind and solar energy, and developing carbon capture technologies and next-generation biofuels.

2 This amount should be considered a minimum and could be expanded if appropriate plans can be rapidly developed. We designate $50 billion of this package for investment in green projects that will generate jobs and growth in the near term.

3 Infrastructure Modernization and Repair. A second priority is major investment in state of-the-art national infrastructure, including everything from roads and bridges to schools, airports, and sewers. These investments generate jobs while providing the foundation for greater productivity for our factories and offices, better health for all citizens and a better education for our children.

In an America that is literally falling apart, the need for this investment is
apparent. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, over two-thirds of
America’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition, resulting in billions wasted on
automobile repairs and traffic delays.

4 More than one in four bridges are rated structurally deficient or obsolete and half of waterway locks are functionally obsolete.

5 The Department of Education found that 43 percent of schools are in a state of disrepair so severe that it “interferes with the delivery of instruction.”

6 The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that getting the nation’s infrastructure in good working condition would require $1.6 trillion spent over five years, or more than $300 billion per year.

7 The Economic Policy Institute has compiled a range of infrastructure projects –
including building high-quality drinking water and wastewater systems, and
modernizing and repairing schools and roads – that total about $40 billion and are
“ready to go.” There is an estimated $32 billion backlog of repairs and rebuilding
needed to bring public housing into good condition. A $75 billion investment program
in the first year could easily be expanded to $150 billion, still less than the amount deemed justifiable by the Congressional Budget Office in the second.

8 Aid to States. The economic downturn has left state and municipal finances in dire
straits. Tax revenues are plummeting as demand for services is rising. The Center for
Budget and Policy Priorities reports that at least 41 states face shortfalls in their budgets this year or will face shortfalls next year. Twenty-nine states closed shortfalls totaling $48 billion in their fiscal year 2009 operating budgets largely by drawing on “rainy day funds.” In fiscal year 2010, CBPP estimates that a total deficit of $100 billion will have impact on virtually every state. In previous recessions, the financial pressures on states continued building at least two years after the onset of the recession.

9 In past recessions, states have responded to budget gaps by reducing children’s
health care services, cutting spending on child care and education, restricting Medicaid eligibility, cutting back or deferring construction projects, increasing taxes and publicuniversity tuition, and by slashing aid to localities, a move which often results in layoffs of police officers and firefighters. All of these actions add to the severity of the downturn, bringing lay offs of even more workers and further burdens to citizens.

We suggest spending $50 billion on state aid in the first year and increasing
spending to $75 billion in the second. The most effective measures would split funds
between flexible block grants for general revenue sharing (in order to prevent cuts in funding for education and other vital state programs), and a temporary increase in
federal matching funds for Medicaid (in order to address the increase in demand for
Medicaid and avoid cuts in health care that would lead to a sharp rise in the number of uninsured).

As the Zandi modeling shows, aid to states has a relatively high stimulus impact
per dollar spent, since the money is put to use immediately, and forestalls cutbacks and
tax increases that would reinforce the downturn.

10 The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured also studied the role Medicaid plays in state and local economies and found that Medicaid spending generates economic activity, including jobs, income and state tax revenues, while reductions in state and federal Medicaid will lead to
declines in economic activity at the state level.

11 Investment in Public Education. Across the country, states are limiting or cutting back
aid to universities. America’s great public universities, which allowed millions to join
the middle class, no longer get most of their funding from state appropriations. This has
led to sharp increases in the costs borne by students and their families. Federal aid
programs have not kept up with these rising costs.

In 1979, the highest level of Pell Grants, which provide aid to the students most
in need, covered up to three quarters of the average cost of attending a four-year public
college. To return to that level of support, and to make college affordable for thousands
more students by expanding eligibility for Pell Grants, would cost $35 billion

12 This aid could be dispensed quickly through existing mechanisms and
would help to reduce downward pressure on labor markets by bringing potential
students into school. The importance of a college education will only grow in the years

Many middle-class and low-income families rely on federally-subsidized student
loans to help pay for college education, and more are expected to seek federal loans as
their investments and income suffer during the economic downturn. Despite passage
and extension of the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act, federal student
aid programs—which include Stafford, Perkins, and PLUS loans—currently face a
budget shortfall of approximately $5 billion.

13 We recommend fully funding federal student aid programs, while expanding direct lending to secure the student loan market. Not only will this investment provide needed support to students and schools, it will generate a positive return as the loans are repaid.

14 Research and Development. Public investment in research and development – both
military and non-military – now represents less than one-half the share of GDP that it
did at its height in the 1960s.

15 Increased productivity and national income growth is inherently linked to R&D investment that stimulates innovation and facilitates transmission of new technologies. For this country to compete and thrive in a global economy, staying on the cutting edge of research and development is vital.

This expansion should be continued even after the economy recovers, and will be paid for by
rising revenues. There is no better investment in our future.

The Association of American Universities is currently gathering figures from the
national research centers to estimate the level of funding these agencies could easily
absorb in one to two years. We conservatively estimate an increase of $5 billion in the
first year and $10 billion in the second.

Health Care. In addition to meeting a very real need, this crisis provides an
opportunity to increase access to and lower the cost of health care. Providing federal
support to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and increasing access
to Medicaid would help reduce state-budget shortfalls and strengthen the health-care
safety net at a time when more families will be forced to rely on it. There is also
potential to use stimulus investments to promote systemic changes that will spur
economic growth in the short-term and improve quality and cost-effectiveness of care in
the long-term. For instance, providing incentives for hospitals and physicians to adopt
electronic medical record systems could yield more than $80 billion in annual savings.

16 We recommend investing a total of approximately $15 billion in targeted health care
projects in the first year and $55 billion in the second, as a down-payment on
comprehensive health care reform.

Aid to Those in Need. Economic downturns hit the weakest and poorest families
hardest. The poorest families have the fewest resources on which to draw in the event
of a job loss or drop in income. Assistance given to them will be spent immediately on
food and medicine, and on rent and car loans.

17 Providing aid to those most in need is not only the morally right thing to do, it makes the most economic sense. Estimates by Moody’s Economy.com indicate that each dollar in tax cuts that include low-income households increases real GDP by $1.29, whereas tax reductions for capital gains and dividends yield less than 40 cents of real GDP growth on the dollar.

18 Providing jobless workers with assistance affording COBRA health insurance
premiums would help families avoid drawing down their savings to remain healthy.
Based on Congressional Budget Office modeling, offering a 75 percent subsidy to all
eligible workers is estimated to cost $11.75 billion over two years.

19 Modernizing the unemployment insurance system to meet the needs of the
contemporary workforce would cost approximately $7.5 billion.

20 Funds for this investment will be provided by an extension of the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) surtax. A temporary 20 percent increase in the food stamp benefit would cost approximately $15 billion and would enable millions of low-income families to cope with rapid increases in food costs.

21 The Center for American Progress’ Task Force on Poverty estimates that the number of Americans living in poverty could be reduced by more than a quarter through an annual investment of $38 billion to increase the Earned Income and Child Tax Credits, raise the minimum wage, and expand access to child care.

22 Pre-K Now recommends the federal government invest about $1 billion a year in
incentive grants to states to extend their pre-kindergarten programs. The Center on
Budget and Policy Priorities believes states could spend an additional $1 billion in the first year and $1.5 billion in the 2nd year, in child care and an equivalent amount in Head Start for a total of $5 billion over 2 years for these two programs. In all, $80 billion would be devoted to the purpose of reducing poverty.

Tax Cuts. A total of $450 billion of spending in the first year is the minimum
necessary to provide a real stimulus. Public investment provides the most stimulus
effect, but a decade of starvation has left many public entities without the capacity to absorb all of the needed spending in the first year. Moreover, although the tax cut earlier this year did not adequately translate into consumer buying, the rapidly deteriorating job market since then suggests that millions of low- and middle-income Americans are struggling to meet their daily obligations, and therefore are more likely to spend the proceeds of any tax relief they get.

The Economists’ Policy Group on Women’s Issues calls for the expansion of
public support for paid home-care workers; tax credits for family members providing
for their own disabled, elderly, and infirm; and a significant increase in the child credit, making it fully refundable, to provide tax relief to those who need it most. We therefore propose $145 billion of tax relief in a refundable rebate targeted to low- and middleincome taxpayers in the first year, replaced by increased public investment in the second.


Properly designed, the recovery program can not only help the economy get
back on its feet, but also provide a down payment for a more productive and just
society. The deficits involved in the first two years – along with those incurred by the financial bailout – will be significant, but they will be far less costly than allowing this recession to descend into a depression—a direction in which we could very well be headed.

Total Proposed Stimulus Spending for Two Years
(in billions of dollars)
Green Investment23 $50 $50
Infrastructure24 $75 $150
Aid to States25 $50 $75
Education26 $40 $40
Research and Development27 $5 $10
Health Care28 $15 $55
Unemployment Insurance
and COBRA Subsidy29 $15 $15
Food Stamps30 $15 $15
Poverty Reduction31 $40 $40
Middle-Class Tax Cut32 $145 -
Total Over Two Years $900 billion

The undersigned have endorsed the Main Street Recovery Program:

Robert Borosage, Co‐Director, Institute for Americaʹs Future

Leo Gerard, International President, United Steelworkers (USW)

Dean Baker, Economist, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)

Anna Burger, Chair, Change to Win

Jane DʹArista, Financial Markets Center

Jeff Faux, Economist & Founder, Economic Policy Institute (EPI)

James Galbraith, Economist

Heidi Hartmann, President, Institute for Women’s Policy Research

Robert Johnson, Economist

Robert Kuttner, Co‐Editor, The American Prospect, Senior Fellow, Demos

Julie A. Matthaei, Professor of Economics, Wellesley College

Gerald W. McEntee, International President, American Federation of State, County and
Municipal Employees (AFSCME)

Lawrence Mishel, President, Economic Policy Institute (EPI)

Susan Ozawa, Economic Studies Fellow, Institute for Americaʹs Future

Robert Pollin, Department of Economics and Political Economy Research Institute
(PERI), University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Carl Pope, Executive Director, Sierra Club

Andrew Stern, President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

John J. Sweeney, President, AFL‐CIO

Dennis Van Roekel, President, National Education Association (NEA)

Mike Wessell, Senior Advisor, Alliance for American Manufacturing

Clayola Brown, National President, A. Philip Randolph Institute

Randi Weingarten, President, American Federation of Teachers (AFT)

Maria Somma, National President, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APLA)

Frank Hurt, International President, Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and
Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM)

Christopher Chafe, Executive Director, Change to Win

William Lucy, President, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

Marsha Zakowski, National President, Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW)

Larry Cohen, President, Communications Workers of America (CWA)

Matthew D. Loeb, International President, International Alliance of Theatrical Stage
Employees (IATSE)

Gregory Junemann, President, International Federation of Professional & Technical
Engineers (IFPTE)

Milton Rosado, National President, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement

Gabriella D. Lemus, Executive Director, Labor Council for Latin American
Advancement (LCLAA)

Terence M. O’Sullivan, General President, Laborers’ International Union of North
America (LIUNA)

Michael Sacco, President, Seafarers International Union (SIU)

Michael Sullivan, General President, Sheet Metal Workers International
Association (SMW)

James C. Little, International President, Transport Worker Union of America (TWU)

Robert A. Scardelletti, International President, Transportation Communications
International Union (TCU)

Bruce Raynor, General President, UNITE HERE

Ron Gettelfinger, President, United Auto Workers (UAW)

Steve Kest, Executive Director, ACORN

Rebecca Haag, Executive Director, AIDS Action

Nan Aron, President, Alliance for Justice

Mary Beth Maxwell, Executive Director, American Rights at Work

Amy Isaacs, National Director, Americans for Democratic Action

Jim Campen, Executive Director, Americans for Fairness in Lending

Linda Brown, Executive Director, Arizona Advocacy Network

Bill Moyer, Executive Director, Backbone Campaign

Kevin B. Zeese, Executive Director, Campaign for Fresh Air & Clean Politics

Karen Dolan, Director, Cities for Progress

Lynda Delaforgue, Executive Director, Citizen Action of Illinois

Karen Scharff, Executive Director, Citizen Action of New York

Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director, Coalition on Human Needs

Don Mathis, President & CEO, Community Action Partnership

Tom Swan, Executive Director, CT Citizen Action Group

Miles Rapoport, President, Demos

Heidi Shierholz, Economist, Economic Policy Institute

Bill Newton, Executive Director, Florida Consumer Action Network

Larry Pellegrini, Executive Director, Georgia Rural Urban Summit

John Cavanaugh, Director, Institute for Policy Studies

Betty Ahrens, Executive Director, Iowa Citizen Action Network

Sarita Gupta, Executive Director, Jobs with Justice

Ben Manski, Executive Director, Liberty Tree Foundation for the Democratic

Linda Teeter, Executive Director, Michigan Citizen Action

Jackie Kendall, Executive Director, Midwest Academy

Christine L. Owens, Executive Director, National Employment Law Project

Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Foundation

Ali Noorani, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum

Kim A. Gandy, President, National Organization for Women (NOW)

George Goehl, Executive Director, National Peopleʹs Action

Jo Cromerford, Executive Director, National Priorities Project

Don Morrison, Executive Director, NDPeople.org

Phyllis Salowe‐Kaye, Executive Director, New Jersey Citizen Action

Sarah L. Johnson, Organizer, NH Citizens Alliance

Sarah Chaisson Warner, Civic Engagement Director, NH Citizens Alliance

Karen Malcolm, Executive Director, Ocean State Action

Gary D. Bass, PhD, Executive Director, OMB Watch

Andrew Gillum, Director, People For Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network

Rev. Rolen Womack, Chair, People For Foundation’s African American Ministers
Leadership Council

Kathryn Kolbert, President, People for the American Way Foundation (PFAW)

Brad Martin, Political Director, Progressive Future

Sean Dobson, Executive Director, Progressive Maryland

Brian Rothenberg, Executive Director, ProgressOhio

Nate Lowentheil, Executive Director, Roosevelt Institution

Tom Peters, Executive Director, Tennessee Action Network

Steve Gutow, President & CEO, The Jewish Council for Public Affairs

Charlie Clements, President & CEO, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC)

Lee Farris, Federal Tax Policy Coordinator, United for a Fair Economy

Carmen Berkley, President, United States Student Association

Jeff Blum, Executive Director, USAction

Will Pittz, Executive Director, Washington Community Action Network

Page Gardner, President, Women’s Voices. Women Vote Action Fund

Paula Brantner, Executive Director, Workplace Fairness

Gary Zuckett, Executive Director, WV Citizen Action Group

Tanweer Akram, Ph.D.

Randy Albelda, Professor of Economics and Senior Fellow, The Center for Social Policy

at University of Massachusetts ‐ Boston

Marcus Alexis, Professor Emeritus, Northwestern University

Sylvia A. Allegretto, Ph.D., Economist, Institute for Research on Labor & Employment,
University of California, Berkeley

Gar Alperovitz, University of Maryland

Marcellus Andrews, Barnard College, Columbia University

Patricia A. Atkinson, Professor of Economics, Portland State University

M. V. Lee Badgett, Director, Center for Public Policy & Administration, University of

Ron Baiman, DePaul University

Nina Banks, Bucknell University

Dr. Michael H. Belzer, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Wayne State

Gunseli Berik, University of Utah

Carole Biewener, Professor of Economics and of Womenʹs and Gender Studies,
Simmons College

Cihan Bilginsoy, University of Utah

Colin S. Cavell, Ph.D., University of Bahrain, Sakhir Campus

Oliver Cooke, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Economics, Richard Stockton College of
New Jersey

David R. Cormier, Ph.D., Institute for Labor Studies and Research Extension Service,
West Virginia University

Brendan Cushing‐Daniels, Assistant Professor of Economics, Gettysburg College

James M. Cypher, Professor of Economics, California State University, Fresno

Anita Dancs, Assistant Professor of Economics, Western New England College

William Darity, Jr., Duke University

Gregory DeFreitas, Professor of Economics, Hofstra University

Ranjit S. Dighe, Associate Professor of Economics, SUNY College at Oswego

Robert Drago, Professor of Labor Studies and Women’s Studies, Penn State University

Niev Duffy, Ph.D., President, Eastern Economic Research

Gerald Epstein, Professor of Economics and Co‐Director, Political Economy Research

Institute (PERI), University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Susan F. Feiner, Professor of Economics, University of Southern Maine

Deborah M. Figart, Ph.D., Dean, School of Graduate and Continuing Studies and
Professor of Economics, The Richard Stockton College of NJ

Gerald Friedman, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

William Ganley, Ph.D., Professor of Economics & Finance, Buffalo State College

Angel Garcia Banchs, Professor, New School University/Universidad Central de

Carole A. Green, University of South Florida

Karl D. Gregory, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Economics, Oakland University

Robert Guttmann, Professor and Chair of Economics, Hofstra University

Martin Hart‐Landsberg, Professor of Economics, Lewis and Clark College

Susan Helper, Professor of Economics, Case Western Reserve University

Conrad M. Herold, Associate Professor of Economics, Hofstra University

Adam S. Hersh, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Economics, University of
Massachusetts, Amherst

Barbara E. Hopkins, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, Wright State University

Michael D. Intriligator, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, Political Science, and Public
Policy, University of California, Los Angeles

Sanford M. Jacoby, Professor of Economics, UCLA

Mark A. Johnson, Associate Professor of Economics, Chicago State University

A.J. Julius, Assistant Professor, UCLA

Andrew I. Kohen, Professor of Economics, James Madison University

Benjamin Kohl, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Chair, Temple University

Douglas Koritz, Ph.D., Department of Economics & Finance and Assistant Dean for
Intellectual Foundations, Buffalo State College

Rachel Kreier, Assistant Professor of Economics, Hofstra University

Peter Karl Kresl, Professor of Economics – Emeritus, Bucknell University

Supriya Lahiri, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Economics, University of
Massachusetts, Lowell

Margaret Levenstein, University of Michigan

Chuck Levenstein, Professor Emeritus of Work Environment, University of
Massachusetts Lowell

Victor D. Lippit, Professor of Economics, University of California, Riverside

Robert G. Lynch, Professor of Economics, Washington College

Catherine Lynde, Professor, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Arthur MacEwan, Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Massachusetts,

Mark H. Maier, Glendale Community College

John Mannah, Ph.D., Candidate, New School for Social Research

Patrick L. Mason, Department of Economics and Political Economy Research Institute
(PERI), Florida State University

Thomas Masterson, Research Scholar, Levy Economics Institute of Bard College

Thomas F. Mayer, Professor of Sociology, University of Colorado at Boulder

Elaine McCrate, Professor of Economics & Womenʹs Studies, University of Vermont

Patrick A. McGuire, Professor of Economics, Hobart & William Smith Colleges

Hannah McKinney, Professor of Economics and Business, Kalamazoo College

Martin Melkonian, Department of Economics, Hofstra University

William Milberg, Associate Professor Dept. of Economics, New School for Social

Tracy Mott, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Denver

Jamee K. Moudud, Ph.D., Economics Faculty and Chair, Social Science Group, Sarah
Lawrence College

Eric Nilsson, Professor, Economics Department, California State University, San

Laurie Nisonoff, Professor of Economics School of Social Science, Hampshire College

Aaron Pacitti, American University

Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College

M. Stephen Pendleton, Associate Professor of Economics, Buffalo State College (SUNY)

Michael Perelman, California State University

Joseph Persky, Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago

Karl Petrick, Assistant Professor of Economics, Western New England College

Mark A. Price, Ph.D., Labor Economist, Keystone Research Center

Paddy Quick, St. Francis College, Brooklyn

Miguel D. Ramirez, Professor of Economics, Trinity College

Cordelia Reimers, Professor Emeritus of Economics, Hunter College & The Graduate
Center, CUNY

Joseph Ricciardi, Professor of Economics, Babson College

Malcom Robinson, Ph.D., Professor of Economics, Thomas More College

Charlie Rock, Professor of Economics, Rollins College

James M. Rock, Professor Emeritus, University of Utah

Sergio Romero, Ph.D., Boise State University

Michael Rosen, Milwaukee Area Technical College

Hector Saez, Ph.D., Economist, Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources,
Northwest Research and Extension Center

Helen Scharber, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Dr. Ted P. Schmidt, Chair & Associate Professor, Department of Economics & Finance,
Buffalo State College

Juliet B. Schor, Boston College

Sanford F. Schram, Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, Bryn Mawr

Joel Scott

Stephanie Seguino, Associate Dean, Professor of Economics, College of Arts and
Sciences, University of Vermont

Barry Shelley, Economist, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Vince Snowberger, Economist (retired)

Mary Huff Stevenson, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts, Boston

James B. Stewart, Professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations and
Management and Organization, Penn State University

Jeffrey Stewart, Doctor, University of Cincinnati

David Terkla, Professor, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Frank Thompson, Lecturer in Economics, University of Michigan

Chris Tilly, Director, Institute for Research Labor and Employment and Professor of
Urban Planning (IRLE)

John E. Tower, Professor Emeritus, School of Business Administration, Oakland

Leanne Ussher, Assistant Professor of Economics, Queens College, CUNY

Marjolein van der Veen, Economics Instructor, Bellevue Community College

Matias Vernengo, Professor of Economics, University of Utah

Paula B. Voos, Rutgers University

Norman J. Waitzman, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Economics, University of Utah

David F. Weiman, Alena Wels Hirschorn ʹ58 Professor of Economics, Barnard College,
Columbia University

Thomas Weisskopf, Professor of Economics, University of Michigan

Christian Weller, Professor of Public Policy, University of Massachusetts Boston

Linda Wilcox Young, Southern Oregon University

Max Fraad Wolff, Graduate Program in International Affairs, New School University

Martin H. Wolfson, University of Notre Dame

June M. Zaccone, Professor of Economics, Hofstra University

Ajit Zacharias, The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College

John J. Zink, Franklin and Marshall College

Ben Zipperer, University of Massachusetts, Amherst