A battle of ideas takes shape in the true tradition of democratic dialog, discussion and debate deserving of democracy.
Note: Following my letter are all the letters to the editor on this issue as they were published in The Bemidji Pioneer.
Published March 29, 2012, 12:00 AM
Ending poverty should be primary focusCommon sense tells us paying casino workers or any workers poverty wages is going to result in these workers and their families being drowned in poverty.
Common sense tells us paying casino workers or any workers poverty wages is going to result in these workers and their families being drowned in poverty.
Anyone with an ounce of common sense understands workers suffering adverse health conditions due to being forced to work in these smoke-filled casinos and as a result suffering heart and lung problems, cancers and complications from diabetes are going to be pushed even further into poverty. There are no two ways about this fact of life: working people in this country who become seriously ill are going to become poor seeing as how health care is an even bigger racket and rip-off than these casinos.
I question whether Jourdain, LaRose or Vizenor give two hoots about those people they claim to represent because if they had just a modicum of concern for people, they would immediately halt smoking in their casinos.
Why not expand beyond the casino industry as Nicole Beaulieu suggested in her letter to the editor (March 21)?
Are there possibilities in doing this?
There are myriad possibilities from cooperatives raising vegetables, beef, hogs, chickens and turkeys to reforestation, and fishing cooperatives to green energy production, home building and renovation, manufacturing slot machines to a joint tribal-state venture that would save the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant, creating thousands of jobs.
Real wealth creation is in mining and manufacturing. Why are the Indian nations systematically and intentionally excluded from these industries? Racism is the only explanation.
I would note the wise words of one candidate for White Earth Nation Chair, Char Lee-Ovaldson, who writes “…The economy needs to be improved. Poverty and unemployment have stifled our voices and have kept our people in hopelessness too long. We need to build a strong economy.”
Well, we all know what a strong economy is. A strong economy is a diverse economy centered on solving the problems of the people by meeting the needs of the people which means paying people real living wages to accomplish this.
Poverty and unemployment are our common problems.
Jobs for all by strictly enforcing the Tribal Employment Rights Ordinance (T.E.R.O.) and Affirmative Action while paying casino workers — and ALL workers — real living wages is the solution.
Will the chairs of the Red Lake, Leech Lake and White Earth Tribal Councils join me in insisting that the minimum wage be indexed to all cost of living factors and inflation?
Alan L. Maki
The other letters I was responding to in the order they were published:
White Earth’s casino plan misguided
Claims political, not substantive
Questions on American Indian poverty must be addressed
Ending poverty should be primary focus