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...

Friday, September 30, 2011

The American people are thoroughly fed up

Obama admonished people to, "...stop your grumbling and put on your marching shoes." What a worthless, two-faced, hypocritical demagogue Obama is. Obama has never marched for anything. Let's see how Obama and his crooked and corrupt Chicago crowd handle those who put on their marching shoes in opposition to Obama bringing together the G8/NATO warmongers trying to shove austerity measures down our throats to pay for their dirty imperialist wars in mid-May.

In fact, people are fed up with Obama and his Wall Street agenda.

In fact, people have put on their "marching shoes" to protest Obama's Wall Street agenda. Just ask anyone:

How is Barack Obama's Wall Street war economy working for you?

The struggles in Wisconsin are far from over. I just traveled across Wisconsin talking to people.

The struggles in Michigan continue.

Now people have occupied Wall Street.

In another week, on October 6, demonstrators will hit the streets of Washington D.C.

Everyplace people are on the move because they are fed up.

I would encourage people to watch these YouTube videos with author/activist Michael Parenti explaining what is going on:

The Face of Imperialism-Michael Parenti

Part I


Part II


What we need to consider is an anti-capitalist/anti-imperialist commentary that could be used to further educate the public about the "Occupy Wall Street" demonstrations which seem to be spreading to other cities across the country including pointing out the need for organized labor to become involved, and the need for those in the streets and labor to come together to build a political party advocating at the ballot box what is being demanded in the streets as we work towards a General Strike.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The racist execution Troy Davis

The racist execution of Troy Davis proves how bestial and barbaric this entire system has become. There is no longer even the pretense of justice left. How hypocritical for Obama and most Democratic Party elected officials to have remained silent in the face of such an injustice. One more example of how racism, corruption and attacks on the very basic democratic traditions we hold dear are destroying our country. An innocent man was allowed to be legally lynched in the racist state of Georgia as those who could have stopped this execution remained silent. Tells us a lot about how rotten this government really is.

Friday, September 9, 2011

For good jobs with real living wages provide the American people with free health care and free child care

For good jobs at real living wages provide the American people with free health care and free child care.

Why this subservience by organized labor to Obama and the Democrats? There are plenty of working people, including union members, who are fed up with both the Democrats and the Republicans and workers have a right to expect that organized labor will show the courage to lead and not follow Obama and the Democrats into the abyss of wars and poverty.

Obama made the most politically self-serving speech I have ever heard using the problems of the people in a most demagogic way that only a Hitler or Mussolini could appreciate.

While I support Medicare For All as a step towards a National Public Health Care System, I fail to see why we should continue to advocate it since the Wall Street bribed crowd of politicians is never going to budge or bend in accepting it.

In fact, it is the private delivery of health care with Medicare For All that has failed to bring out the American people in large enough numbers to force Congress to consider it.

People see how greedy doctors are in milking and bilking Medicare; the fraud in the system by the doctors and others who aren’t satisfied with the enormous profits the government provides them with to begin with is disgusting that they then have to engage in outright fraud is well-known to all, and hundreds of these crooked doctors are being prosecuted for this fraud.

The solution is a National Public Health Care System— everybody in, nobody out; no-fees/no-premiums, comprehensive and all-inclusive, pre-natal to grave, universal— publicly funded, publicly administered, publicly delivered.

Such a health care system would require over 30,000 primary health care centers in communities and neighborhoods where primary health care would be provided for free.

Want jobs?

You got jobs; jobs, jobs and more jobs— over ten-million new good paying union jobs.

All this crap about “private industry” is just that; elephant and donkey dung.

The government providing public sector jobs where private profiteers gorging themselves at the public trough has to end.

A National Public Health Care System would be funded by ending these dirty imperialist wars and taxing the rich. The alternative— or in combination— would be financing the National Public Health Care System the same way that Social Security or our public schools or the Post Office is funded.

Isn’t it obvious to all that for any change to take place in this country we are going to have to build massive and powerful movements in the streets supported by a new third party capable of challenging Wall Street for power?

Well, why not make a National Public Health Care System and a National Public Child Care System the centerpieces of our struggle for people’s power?

A National Public Child Care System would provide another five-million new good-paying union jobs. Fund it the same way. Tax-the-hell out of the rich until they cry real tears— after all, it is the wealth that we, as working people, have created.

I am sure all the great “philanthropists” like Warren Buffett will be pleased.

Peace + tax-the-rich = Health Care + Child Care + 15 million Jobs; it is a very simple equation any child can understand— all it takes is for us to understand that it takes a powerful people’s movement creating a ruckus in the streets backed up by a working class led people’s party at the polls to achieve.

We really do have to educate and organize to unite the American people to fight against Wall Street for the kind of country we really want.

We need to understand what the Dumb Donkeys like Obama are desperately trying to obscure: The way to create jobs is by putting people to work solving the pressing problems of the people where the government becomes the employer— not of second choice or last choice— but where the government becomes the employer of first choice. I have yet to hear a teacher or any other public employee complain about receiving a nice government check with good benefits… in fact, I have never seen any of these politicians who decry government programs and “big government” turn down their government issued checks.

Think about it; if every single member of the House and Senate was a politician just like Barack Obama would we have the kind of country we want? Hell no!

The Democrats, even the "best" of them offer no more than "economic populism" free from any discussion about the role played by war and militarism when what we need is an anti-imperialist politics which brings to the American people the true cost of these dirty wars and how they kill jobs just like they kill people as we are deprived of health care and child care and the rest of our social programs and our standard of living is decimated through austerity measures to pay for these dirty wars that no one wanted to begin with and even fewer people support as the bills come due.

How is Barack Obama's Wall Street war economy working for you?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Taking apart the Wall Street web to create a beautiful tapestry

I kind of like the comparison of the tapestry and the threads to our society that I read in a posting here on FaceBook but there is a lot left out.

It isn't so much that "we didn't see how the threads are connected;" most of the problem is that we didn't see that the threads now are put together to create a web rather than a tapestry.

There has been so much governmental repression against a way needed to examine what was, and is, going on in this country and around the world that people have feared articulating the problem/s. 

Marxism has been the best and most effective critic of capitalism. This is the only country in the world where socialism has been successfully "purged" from the body politic, and as a consequence there is no socialist alternative political party critiquing the consequences of first capitalism, and then state monopoly capitalism in its imperialist stage.

Following on this government repression as mass opposition is arising to Obama's Wall Street policies and agenda resulting in the emergence of a left that has being resuscitated because of the vicious attack on the standard of living of the working class required to pay for imperialist wars; now, again, the FBI, the New York Times, the New Republic along with all the MainStreamMedia and Public Radio and Television is once again on the attack against "the left."

The attack on the left was first initiated by Obama, his campaign staff and his Administration, then picked up by the Tea Baggers and now we get this massive effort under the guise of "what the left doesn't understand about Obama." Like in the late 1930's, into the 1940's and then throughout the 1950's, this attack is broad and sweeping in scope branding everyone including liberals and progressives together with the Marxists as "leftists."

It was interesting to see how Naomi Klein's "soft" socialist analysis was welcomed enthusiastically in Canada and all over the world but here in the United States her "soft" socialist critique of capitalism was downplayed with most liberals, progressives and the left refusing to use the opening she created to open up a full-scale attack on capitalism.

We saw how the phony liberals, progressives and the left who used their "credibility" to create and provide Obama a false image of being something he was not--- liberal, progressive and left--- latched on to Naomi Klein in order to marginalize her in this country within a small circle rather than use her popularity to bring socialist ideas out into the public square.

Marxism not only provides the "magnifying glass" to closely examine the tiny threads of the tapestry or what holds the system together and how it works; but it enables people to articulate alternatives to the reactionary Wall Street agenda--- which has created not so much a beautiful rug, but a strong web trapping us all--- to free ourselves from this trap.

The "new" attack on "the left" (liberals, progressives and the left) is taking on the creation of this straw-man of what the left is and what the left believes in order to knock down this straw-man without having to debate--- or acknowledge--- the real left.

It goes like this: The left doesn't understand Obama. The left says Obama should have focused on the economy and instead he focused on solving the health care problems and then the left tries to toss these wars into the mix even though the wars have nothing to do with health care or the economy--- this left just has a moral objection to wars and tries to work the wars into everything else. This attack then goes on to say, "Yes, alright; the left has a point that Obama should have been more vigorous in pushing more taxes on the wealthy but the left doesn't understand that the presidency is just one branch of government and Obama has all these Republicans he has to work with because, after all, the Republicans represent an important segment of society, too."

What is ignored in this straw-man argument now making its rounds through the MainStreamMedia is that the real left said what we needed to do is create a National Public Health Care Program which would have create over ten-million new jobs providing the American people with free primary health care through a vast network of over 30,000 neighborhood health care centers--- in other words, health care would be publicly funded, publicly administered and publicly delivered just like public education or the United States Postal Service--- which, perhaps not coincidentally, has over 30,000 local post offices across the country now under attack by the very forces that refused to use the creation of a public health care system to create jobs and solve the problems of unemployment all at the same time; all financed by ending these dirty imperialist wars and taxing the rich... the only thing we need is our own socialist working class people's party made up of those of us under attack--- liberals, progressives and the left--- to explain all of this to the American people and advocate such a progressive alternative agenda to Obama's reactionary Wall Street's agenda of wars paid through austerity measures intended to decimate the standard of living of the U.S. working class.

In the past liberals, progressives and the left retreated when under attack--- this time we need to mount an attack of our own.

Together, we can take the fine threads that have been spun to create this "web" that now serves as a trap for the parasitical Wall Street coupon clippers to suck the life-blood from the working class, and turn these fine threads into a beautiful tapestry.

Some people object to my using Marxist terms like "imperialism" to describe these dirty wars. But, Mark Twain who was well on his way to developing a Marxist analysis declared--- "Before the Spanish American War I was not an anti-imperialist but after seeing what we have done to the Philippines and Puerto Rico after the war I am now an anti-imperialist." (the quote is not exact but it conveys accurately what Mark Twain thought and said)

Well, before the Spanish American War the United States was not a full-fledged imperialist Nation even though the campaign of genocide in the way the land and wealth of this country was stolen from Native Americans and how slavery was imposed reflected the embryonic stage of imperialism--- the highest and most barbaric and cannibalistic stage of capitalism.

Today Mark Twain is on a new "Forever Stamp;" the government would like Twain to be remembered as a teller of tales not a person of great political and economic understanding and vision.

Just like these same people would like us to remember Albert Einstein for his work with the atom and not his involvement in the struggles against racism and war and his socialist politics and vision.

Just like the people in power would like us to remember Abe Lincoln as the president who saved the union and not as the liberal who was strongly influenced by Marxist thought when it comes to the struggle between labor and capital.

It sounds to me like there are a lot of people who are really fed up; this might be a good time for people to read a little essay by Albert Einstein, "Why Socialism?," in which Einstein explained why he was a socialist:

Another good read is a new book by socialist Howard Pawley who had been the Premier of Manitoba, Canada--- elected on the socialist New Democratic Party ticket. His book is, "Keep True, A Life In Politics."

Here is an interesting recent interview of Pawley:

Pawley and his NDP government started to tear apart the "web" using the threads to begin weaving together a beautiful tapestry for the people of Manitoba.

Of course, the history books have totally eliminated any mention of the socialist governments here in Minnesota led by Floyd Olson--- if you want to learn about Floyd Olson and the socialist Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party you have to go dig through the archives of the Minnesota Historical Society:

Jobs, jobs, jobs--- flushed down the St. Paul sewers into the Mississippi River

Ford is closing the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant this year here in Minnesota.The Plant is built on the high banks over-looking the Mighty Mississippi River where over two-thousand workers were employed assembling Ford Ranger pick-up trucks. Compliments of the U.S. tax-payers who built and maintained a hydro-dam, Ford powered this plant FOR FREE for over 80 years and Ford was allowed to sell for its own profits, huge amounts of "excess" electricity which could have been used to light the public schools for free, too. Ford got all kinds of tax-breaks and tax-abatements and tax-payers even foot the complete bill for a college-training center just recently built and physically attached to the plant. Now Ford intends to bulldoze everything over and go into the upscale apartment rental real-estate business. Where will Ford now build and assemble the Ford Ranger? In a brand new plant it just opened up in Thailand. This after the Democrats gave Ford millions more, including money to pay its workers' wages!

These Democrats said the hand-out would result in this plant continuing to operate until 2085!

It is not only the present workers who will lose their jobs but over the projected promised another 85 years of operation this plant would have employed well over 20,000 workers.

Obama was in Minnesota campaigning and he was just here twice over the last month talking about, "jobs, jobs, jobs."

Local and state politicians say they can't afford to bring the plant under public ownership where some kind of joint venture between Minnesota, China, Japan and Canada could most likely be worked out producing clean green vehicles and other "green" energy equipment--- no money they say; not even to protect over twenty-thousand jobs.

Too much money being squandered on wars and no taxes on the rich--- oh, yes, Ford has absconded to Thailand to build its Rangers without paying a lot of their property taxes because for years--- over 80 years--- some absent-minded assessors forgot to put the property on the books.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My response to Leo Gerard's call for no protests and demonstrations on Labor Day

United Steel Worker's President, Leo Gerard, has offered (see his blog posting below) a very typical example of what is wrong with organized labor in this country today.

Gerard, in advising and counseling against protests on Labor Day is “covering Obama’s back;” a pledge Leo Gerard made to Obama while backing Obama during the 2008 campaign. How would it look for Obama to be addressing a hundred-thousand workers at Detroit's Labor Day march and rally with the leaders of the AFL-CIO and Change To Win promoting his re-election with workers in Detroit and across the country protesting Obama's wars which he is trying to pay for by shoving the most Draconian austerity measures down the throats of working people?

Gerard knows that labor protests will result in working people making demands for peace and jobs on Obama which would call into question workers supporting Obama.

Gerard knows that Obama’s response to these protests will be to unleash the police against workers just like what happened in Haymarket Square many years ago.

In fact, the head of the Chicago Police Department has already publicly stated that his police department is preparing for mass arrests of protesters during the G-8/NATO meetings to be held in Chicago at Obama’s request May 15 to 19.

Gerard is afraid that his members will show up at protests and demonstrations with signs asking:

How is Obama’s Wall Street war economy working for you?

Gerard is irate that members of his union showed up with signs like this Tuesday as Barack Obama addressed the national convention of the American Legion at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Leo Gerard doesn’t want to see workers protesting in the streets demanding an end to these dirty wars that kill jobs just like they kill people because these kinds of protests aren’t conducive to Obama’s re-election campaign.

I don’t know if any labor leader in this country has ever had the “brass” or “the balls” to undermine the struggles of working people to protect the jobs, lives, rights and livelihoods like Leo Gerard has done in this disgraceful essay which he arrogantly placed on the FireDoglake web site not intending to respond to anyone.

Labor Day and May Day are two days where the actions of workers should strike fear in the hearts of every employer and serve as notice to the blood-sucking, parasitical Wall Street coupon clippers that they are being challenged for power.

Working people would be well advised not to take Leo Gerard’s advice and bring their concerns and demands into the public square where they rightfully belong.

A good start would be for Obama to receive the kind of welcome to Detroit he really deserves during the Labor Day march and rally.

Obama should be met with signs calling for:

* Dump Obama.
* Primary Obama!
* Wars kill jobs the same way they kill people.
* How is Barack Obama’s Wall Street war economy working for you?

* W- Wasted
   A- American
   R- Resources

What the hell is wrong with Leo Gerard? The AFL-CIO Executive Council, of which he is a member, just four weeks ago pointed out that these wars need to end so we can use that money to create jobs putting people to work solving the problems of our own country.

How does Gerard think we are going to take this from AFL-CIO statement to government policy without protests and demonstrations after he has the unmitigated gall to admit that, like the Employee Free Choice Act and every other promise for “change” that Obama made, there will now be no jobs programs?

Oh, yes; according to Gerard the problems are all the fault of the Republicans— but, even if this is true— which it is not— it will for sure take one hell of a ruckus in the streets to turn this country around.

Leo Gerard has traversed the country talking all militant and tough; but, now that it is time to act he counsels that Labor Day is no time to act. And he backs up his stupidity with quoting fellow "Progressive for Obama," Frances Fox-Piven when he should be quoting Marx encouraging the working class to step up the class struggle.

Of course, the AFL-CIO and Change To Win have seen fit to turn the Detroit Labor Day march and rally into a mammoth effort to launch Barack Obama’s re-election campaign when this should be a militant display of working class anger calling for a Primary challenge to Obama with Obama’s opponent speaking instead of Obama who will use his oratorical skills to try to hoodwink the working class, again; again with the help of labor “leaders” like Richard Trumka and Leo Gerard who sold working people this Wall Street flim-flam man in the first place— what a couple of cowardly, two-faced, worthless hypocrites.

And what do Trumka and Gerard propose for a working class response to Obama inviting the G-8/NATO to Chicago to make plans to enforce austerity measures and plan more wars? All we hear is defeaning silence.

No doubt Trumka and Gerard would like us to forget the kind of struggles it took to win the Eight Hour Day— remember Haymarket, Mr. Gerard?

Left to labor “leaders” like Leo Gerard, May Day never would have been born out of the struggles for the Eight Hour Day which originated in Chicago— but, oh yes, we are talking about Labor Day, not May Day; yes, by all means, workers should applaud Wall Street’s president as he prepares for more war paid through austerity measures destroying the standard of living of the working class. Do not Leo Gerard and Richard Trumka understand that these wars are making us all poor as Wall Street coupon clippers amass greater wealth?

Better check out your dictionary, Mr. Gerard, for the definition of “class collaboration.”

Leo Gerard and Richard Trumka have not offered one single solution to what it will take to save U.S. plants being closed like the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant where Leo Gerard and Carl Pope held a press conference at the plant gate when Ford announced the closing of the plant. Gerard and Pope pledged at this press conference that they would "fight to save the plant and two-thousand jobs." Neither Gerard nor Pope were ever to be heard from again after this press conference--- the plant is now closing as a special Labor Day "gift" from Ford Motor Company to its employees. And Gerad counsels workers: No Protests.

What we need to do is to begin using Labor Day, May Day and protests and demonstrations during the G-8/NATO meetings in Chicago as building blocks toward a general strike--- a global general strike by workers would be appropriate considering that Wall Street is working with Bay Street, The Square Mile and the other financial centers against working class interests in creating massive unemployment leading to growing poverty as a way to depress wages on a global scale as workers are deprived of the rights won over years through tremendous sacrifices and struggles.

"Workers of the world unite!"

In struggle and solidarity,

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

Labor Day: Build Esprit de Corps for Action
By: Leo W. Gerard Wednesday August 31, 2011 8:44 am

"San Francisco Labor Temple Wall Painting" by xeeliz on flickr. The San Francisco Temple of Labor was built to house the San Francisco Labor Council and labor union offices and to provide a meeting hall for San Francisco's unions.

Celebrate Labor Day. Really, celebrate. It’s important.

Wear a t-shirt announcing to the world the name of your union and march in a parade, chanting and whooping it up about how glad you are to belong to an organization whose members are devoted to looking out for each other. If you’re among those without a union, proclaim your profession and declare your pride in the hard work you do. Make some happy noise. Infect your fellow marchers with your zeal.

Invite your most beleaguered neighbors, friends and co-workers over for a picnic. Raise a pint, braise some burgers and praise your companions for their skill, devotion and compassion. Recognize them for all they’ve persevered through since this relentless recession began in December of 2007. Build esprit de corps among your fellow workers.

This is one day devoted to labor, to the middle class, to the majority. One day out of 365. On this holiday, everyone gives an obligatory nod to workers. So don’t fret this Labor Day. Don’t waste it away in apathetic doldrums. Don’t let the minority rich and their purchased politicians take this celebration away from us too.

Some, including former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, have called for protests on Labor Day. They say workers must use this opportunity to demand that Washington solve the real crisis debilitating this country – dogged joblessness.

Reich is right. But it’s too early for that. Ultimately, workers must flip this ugly situation upside down so that once a year it’s Rich People’s Day. Once a year, the middle class gives the frivolous Kardashians and tax-shirking GEs of the world an obligatory nod. But every other day, 364 days a year, is labor day.

Then, we would have a country committed to the wellbeing of the majority, the middle class, the workers, whose labor creates wealth.

Getting there is a long haul from where we are now, though. We must develop some self-confidence before we start protesting. Achieving the change we want requires an uprising of hope and anger. There’s plenty of anger out there.

The populace is seething after suffering years of “no, not-for-you” politics from country club conservatives:

No more unemployment insurance extensions. No more Social Security and Medicare as you and your parents know it. No public option, providing health insurance for all. No end to tax breaks for corporations that off-shore jobs. No more Trade Adjustment Assistance workers who lose their jobs because of off-shoring. No end to tax breaks for corporate jets. No end to tax breaks for oil companies making billions. No end to income tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.

No extension of the payroll tax break for the middle class. No reasonable restrictions on the big Wall Street banks that got bailed out with taxpayer money. No help for unemployed homeowners threatened with foreclosure. And no, there won’t be any jobs program. The country club conservatives must sustain high unemployment to regain the White House.

So too bad for the jobless.

These unremitting attacks on the middle class have left workers feeling beaten up and beaten down. Workers are suffering from what author, psychologist and social critic Bruce E. Levine calls “battered people syndrome.” Exhausted, depressed, and blaming themselves for the country’s problems, too many workers feel unable to challenge the elite overlords.

This combination of anger and hopelessness produces destruction and self-destruction, like the riots that left London burning last summer. Hopeless about their future and angry at the rich for bilking the poor and at expense-padding British politicians imposing “austerity,” the city’s jobless ruffians abandoned morals, just as the wealthy and the ruling class had.

Frances Fox Piven counsels in her book, Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America that hope is crucial, that constructive change arises from the mix of hope and anger. In places like Libya and Egypt this Arab Spring, wealth proved insufficient to overpower the majority invigorated by hope and anger.

The bitch for the rich in a democracy like America’s is that majority rules. And, frankly, the rich and corporations (newly dubbed persons by the U.S. Supreme Court) are a tiny minority in America.

Even though we’re the majority, workers can’t win until we hope we can, until we feel some assurance that we can overcome. It’s a long haul to hope from resignation and pessimism.

So let’s put some effort into fostering optimism. Let’s strengthen each other this Labor Day. We must raise that hope before we organize Reich’s protests.

Rile yourself up and pump up a friend this Labor Day so we can unite in anger and hope to push back the naysayers and make every day Labor Day. This video helps.

Leo W. Gerard also is a member of the AFL-CIO Executive Committee and chairs the labor federation’s Public Policy Committee. President Barack Obama recently appointed him to the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations. He serves as co-chairman of the BlueGreen Alliance and on the boards of the Apollo Alliance, Campaign for America’s Future and the Economic Policy Institute. He is a member of the IMF and ICEM global labor federations and was instrumental in creating Workers Uniting, the first global union. Follow @USWBlogger

Leo Gerard was responding to this blog post by Robert Reich:


Robert Reich's Blog---
This Labor Day we need protest marches rather than parades

It's been the worst decade for American workers in a century. That hardly calls for a celebration.

By Robert Reich, Guest blogger / August 25, 2011

"Labor Day is traditionally a time for picnics and parades. But this year is no picnic for American workers, and a protest march would be more appropriate than a parade."

Robert Reich
[Robert is chancellor's professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Clinton. He has written 13 books, including 'The Work of Nations,' 'Locked in the Cabinet,' and his most recent book, 'Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future.' His 'Marketplace' commentaries can be found on publicradio.com and iTunes.]
    Not only are 25 million unemployed or underemployed, but American companies continue to cut wages and benefits. The median wage is still dropping, adjusted for inflation. High unemployment has given employers extra bargaining leverage to wring out wage concessions.

    All told, it’s been the worst decade for American workers in a century. According to Commerce Department data, private-sector wage gains over the last decade have even lagged behind wage gains during the decade of the Great Depression (4 percent over the last ten years, adjusted for inflation, versus 5 percent from 1929 to 1939).

    Big American corporations are making more money, and creating more jobs, outside the United States than in it. If corporations are people, as the Supreme Court’s twisted logic now insists, most of the big ones headquartered here are rapidly losing their American identity.

    CEO pay, meanwhile, has soared. The median value of salaries, bonuses and long-term incentive awards for CEOs at 350 big American companies surged 11 percent last year to $9.3 million (according to a study of proxy statements conducted for The Wall Street Journal by the management consultancy Hay Group.). Bonuses have surged 19.7 percent.

    This doesn’t even include all those stock options rewarded to CEOs at rock-bottom prices in 2008 and 2009. Stock prices have ballooned since then, the current downdraft notwithstanding. In March, 2009, for example, Ford CEO Alan Mulallyreceived a grant of options and restricted shares worth an estimated $16 million at the time. ButFord is now showing large profits – in part because the UAW agreed to allow Ford to give its new hires roughly half the wages of older Ford workers – and its share prices have responded. Mulally’s 2009 grant is now worth over $200 million.

    The ratio of corporate profits to wages is now higher than at any time since just before the Great Depression.

    Meanwhile, the American economy has all but stopped growing – in large part because consumers (whose spending is 70 percent of GDP) are also workers whose jobs and wages are under assault.

    Perhaps there would still be something to celebrate on Labor Day if government was coming to the rescue.

    But Washington is paralyzed, the President seems unwilling or unable to take on labor-bashing Republicans, and several Republican governors are mounting direct assaults on organized labor (see Indiana, Ohio, Maine, and Wisconsin, for example).

    So let’s bag the picnics and parades this Labor DayAmerican workers should march in protestThey’re getting the worst deal they’ve had since before Labor Day was invented – and the economy is suffering as a result.

    [The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. This post originally ran on www.robertreich.org.]

    As I have been pointing out there are alternatives to paying for wars through austerity measures---

    A program for real change...

    * Peace--- end the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya and shutdown the 800 U.S. military bases on foreign soil.

    * A National Public Health Care System - ten million new jobs.

    * A National Public Child Care System - three to five million new jobs.

    * Works Progress Administration - three million new jobs.

    * Civilian Conservation Corps - two million new jobs.

    * Tax the hell out of the rich and cut the military budget by ending the wars to pay for it all which will create full employment.

    * Enforce Affirmative Action; end discrimination.

    * Raise the minimum wage to a real living wage

    * What tax-payers subsidize in the way of businesses, tax-payers should own and reap the profits from.

    * Moratorium on home foreclosures and evictions.

    * Defend democracy by defending workers' rights including the right to collective bargaining for improving the lives and livelihoods of working people.

    * Roll-back and freeze the price of food, electricity, gas and heating fuels; not wages, benefits or pensions

    * Defend and expand Social Security.

    * Wall Street is our enemy

    How is Barack Obama's Wall Street war economy working for you?

    Let's talk about the politics and economics of livelihood for a real change.