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, November 1, 2010

Some thoughts about the "populist economics" being pushed by the Democrats as a way to evade any mention of wars and real health care reform, etc...

Democrats are making a futile last ditch effort to defeat Republicans using a sham "economic populism" which goes like this... Obama made a mistake putting healthcare reform before job creation. So, all of a sudden in time for Election Day Democrats have conveniently discovered the "jobs issue."

To listen to most Democrats one would not even know that two wars are raging with people dying and resources being wasted.

Democrats have concocted a form of "economic populism" tailored to their needs for the 2010 Election which finds almost half the Democrats saying they don't want to see Obama run for a second term... this "economic populist" talk has been concocted to evade any discussion about war and peace and social and economic justice and the fact that the economic picture for the future is not as rosy as what is being portrayed.

In fact, health care and child care should have become free universal public programs and together between these two programs over 15 million new jobs could have been created.

Of course, the Democrats could have financed health care and childcare by ending these dirty wars and taxing the hell out of the rich.

Creating public universal social programs meeting the needs of the people is the way to create jobs... instead, Democrats, like Republicans, continue to pander to the false idea that small business creates the most jobs.

We will need a massive coalition of liberals, progressives and the left to articulate real job creation programs based on solving the problems of the people as an alternative to what the Democrats and Republicans have to offer.
Both Democrats and Republicans are pushing the false idea that by helping small business expand this is the way to create the most new jobs... both Democrats and Republicans tout supporting "private enterprise" and the "free market" as the ...way to create new jobs which is just as false as relying on small business to create jobs because the fact is, private enterprise and the free market destroyed all these jobs to begin with and the corporations continue to use the economic collapse to try to get fewer workers to produce more through speed-up and longer hours as they continue to lay off more workers as they push fewer workers to produce more.

Only massive government job creation programs will put people to work, and we might as well have these unemployed workers providing working people with healthcare and childcare... thus solving our unemployment problems and healthcare and childcare problems at the same time.
Small businesses are going bust left and right as the economy continues to collapse so more jobs are being lost than created in the sphere of small business. Plus, the majority of jobs created by small business are poverty wage jobs seldom providing working people with decent benefits and usually very poor working conditions... the idea behind having a job is to have a real living income and a quality life not to have a job that keeps you in conditions of poverty. Millions of working people in this country have to work two or three poverty wage jobs in the small business sector and they still can't feed their families and pay the rent.

I hardly call workers providing healthcare and childcare being "on the public dole." Public employees who work providing us with universal social programs are entitled to real living wages and a decent quality of life... we should be looking at providing all workers with a standard of living comparable to most public employees not trying to drag public employees down; the idea is to provide better lives and livelihoods for ALL working people.

We need a FULL EMPLOYMENT ECONOMY which would also solve any problems being encountered with Social Security and would enable the Social Security program to be expanded with more and better benefits.

Frances Perkins, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor, placed all of this in proper perspective... when red-baited by the Tea Baggers of her day, she responded by stating: I would rather see the words in the Communist Manifesto become part of government programs helping people instead of remaining in obscurity on the pages of a pamphlet." Perkins, together with Harry Hopkins and Henry Wallace--- kindred progressive spirits--- took up the struggles of the people from the powerful liberal-progressive-left coalition and successfully brought forward the "New Deal" which included Social Security, the minimum wage and the right of workers to organize unions.

Liberals, progressives and the left need to formulate an alternative to Wall Streets warmongering agenda abroad and austerity at home and we need to wage struggles in every local community across the Nation in the streets and at the ballot box.

I believe I have correctly framed the way we should be articulating this agenda to where public policy becomes part of solving real problems instead of mere posturing around framing issues not intended to solve problems but intended solely to get votes.
There is no doubt that politicians have to a large extent perverted the public sector by trying to turn it into one more form of corruption where they seek to provide their friends with easy and often unnecessary jobs as a way to shore up a very corrupt political system... we see good examples of this kind of corruption from one end of the country to the other. But, I think public education, the Social Security Administration, Veterans Administration and the Indian Health Service are good examples of public programs where jobs are created in the public sphere providing services required by people and society. There are many other such examples, too--- from garbage collection to water and sewage, etc.

Of course, we want to advance progressive, not regressive, tax policies: tax the rich.
The age of retirement should be lowered so as to provide jobs for the unemployed and a better quality of life for working people. This can be accomplished very easily by the redistribution of wealth. 
Democrats are playing their old games with our lives. In this election, the Democrats actually want us to believe there are no wars raging claiming many innocent lives and wasting our tax dollars and resources when the fact is these wars ar...e destroying the economy as they kill jobs just like they kill people.

In fact, it is not a matter of viewing issues like these wars, unemployment and healthcare and childcare as separate and distinct issues because it will take the tremendous resources now being consumed in carrying out these wars to fund universal public programs like healthcare and childcare which will provide the American people--- especially working people--- with services needed for quality lives which at the same time create millions of new jobs.

I would never support just any Democrats. I too have called many people to support ONE Democrat--- Mark Dayton for Governor of Minnesota who has made "tax the rich" the centerpiece of his campaign as he calls for enforcement of affirmative action.

If I lived in Michigan I would be calling for support for Virg Bernero the Democrat for Governor because he has had the courage to call for the creation of a state bank like the State Bank of North Dakota.

Both Dayton and Bernero understand the relationship between a crumbling capitalist economy and these dirty wars. Both Dayton and Bernero understand the need to struggle against racism and discrimination, and both Dayton and Bernero understand the need to support--- not attack--- public employees who are the front-line defenders of our universally needed public programs.

I would never support nor waste my vote on any Democrat who tries to use jobs versus healthcare while pretending these dirty wars don't exist as they vote to continue funding the deadly, racist and genocidal Israeli killing machine.

There are definitely--- in my opinion--- a few (not many) good Democrats worth supporting but we need to give Democrats our support very selectively as we move to find a way to create a new political movement backed by a new political party giving voice to liberals, progressives and leftists seeking real change... the kind of change that puts the needs of people for peace, jobs and social & economic justice before Wall Streets drive for greater profits enhanced by a voraciousness and rapacious greed achieved through wars abroad and austerity measures at home on top of the "normal" exploitation of working people.

The simple fact is that most Democrats are just as big warmongers and Wall Street apologists as your run-of-the-mill thoroughly reactionary Republicans... I challenge anyone to prove me wrong by providing a list of U.S. Senate and House candidates and those Democrats running for state and local offices and where they stand on the issues.

Even Mark Dayton and Virg Bernero are very weak when it comes to articulating support for massive public programs like healthcare and childcare as the way to create jobs instead of relying on the "private sector and free market" to create jobs when we know that unemployment is caused by this "private sector" and the way it operates in this "free market economy."

We need to push pro-people, pro-peace, pro-worker solutions based on the expansion and development of universal programs to problems inside of the Democratic Party while simultaneously trying to free ourselves from this two-party trap set for us by Wall Street while building a new political party reflecting the liberal, progressive and left views comprising the overwhelming majority of the working class wanting peace and social and economic justice.

The solutions to our problems won't be found in struggles in the streets alone but when we creatively find a way to take our struggles from the streets into the voting booth and then backing up our candidates again out in the streets... I don't see the solutions as either we struggle in the streets or we take our struggles to the voting booth... we need to find ways where one method of struggle is constantly complementing the other; thus providing our movements for real change with greater strength.
We need to constantly point out that a full employment economy is the solution to any problems associated with Social Security, too...when everyone is paying in, everyone gets more out.