Please note I have a new phone number...

512-517-2708

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...

http://peaceandsocialjustice.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-progressive-program-for-real-change.html


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...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fixing What Is Wrong With Our Economy

The AFL-CIO says what is wrong with the U.S. economy stems back 30 years.

On its face this is a blatantly and patently false statement.

If the real facts be told the problem goes back to when this land and its resources--- the wealth of an entire continent--- were stolen from First Nation Peoples. But, no one it seems ever wants to go back this far because we would have to right a lot of wrongs in moving forward with a real agenda for change.

This is when the most massive accumulation of wealth began with the most savage and bestial acts leading to indentured servants and slavery then the further massive accumulation of wealth from the brutal exploitation of the working class as industrialization began with further massive accumulation of wealth taking place during recessions, depressions and horrible wars.

Okay; forget the past like the AFL-CIO wants us to do. Don't even discuss the events of the late 1940's and early 1950's when labor had its head chopped off losing the ability to think with muddle-headed charlatans pretending to be labor leaders appointed by capital to head up the new "labor movement."

Let's just forget that the left-wing led unions organized the mines, mills and factories and since 1948 the "leaders" of organized labor haven't been able to organize their way out of cheap brown paper bags let alone flimsy card-board boxes manufactured in India and China in defending the gains of the past while limiting their "leadership" to closing their eyes to the never-ending assault on the living standards and rights of working people leading to the point where we now have labor "leaders" who have been "educated" at the leading universities attended by the likes of Barack Obama where they, like Obama, were trained to manage capitalism to Wall Street's benefit.

These are labor leaders who talk about a mythical "middle class" because their standard of living derived from betraying the working class puts them in league with the well-heeled over-paid middle class intellectuals in the universities and think tanks whose job it is to keep working people confused and disoriented--- which includes convincing working people Obama is on their side when he is on the other side.

Okay; forget past history. For a moment just pretend what these over-paid, well-heeled labor "leaders" with PhD's have to say: Our problems started thirty years ago.

Well, how come labor was unable to effectively respond to what was, and is, going down?

The fact is, these labor "leaders" comprising the leadership of 57 unions in this country all support this rotten capitalist system.

Richard Trumka and Leo Gerard will attack me but they don't have the courage to debate me. Leo Gerard even launched into a vicious public personal attack on me in his trade-mark red-baiting tradition. But, when Leo gerard sees me in person as he did at the NetRoots Nation Convention in Minneapolis he runs the other way. Just a bunch of big-mouth chicken shits cackling and scratching for scraps from the bosses is all these fraudsters are.

If these two-bit, half-assed, university degreed labor "leaders" were one bit concerned with the plight of working people and working class whose dues pay their big fat salaries they would have occupied, and held their winter meeting, in the St. Paul Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant demanding Obama bring forward policies that would keep the plant operating under public ownership and agreeing to do the same with the more than fifty-thousand closed and shuttered mines, mills and factories in this country where millions of workers have lost their jobs as Wall Street vultures sought out cheap labor markets overseas.

Where are the working people in this country clamoring to become "competitive" with Germany or China or competitive with workers anyplace in the world? I see no working people demanding the "right" to become "competitive" with their brothers and sisters in other lands. What I do see and hear are working people demanding an end to Wall Street's dirty imperialist wars so a big, huge peace dividend can be spent creating jobs for the unemployed solving the problems of the working class like free access to health care and child care befitting a civilized society. Yet we don't read one word from these worthless union bureaucrats about the adverse impact of militarization and wars on the economic well-being of this country; not one single word.

Just as there is not a mention of the racist impact of unemployment in communities of people of color requiring the enforcement of Affirmative Action. Not a mention of Affirmative Action during this winter meeting taking place at a luxurious hotel in Florida where just blocks away there is massive poverty created because so many people are either unemployed or forced to work for poverty wages.

These labor fakers talk about the need to "index the minimum wage" but they lack the moral or political courage to defy the employers represented so effectively by Barack Obama by calling for indexing the minimum wage to all cost of living factors collected by the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics. These over-educated labor "leaders" are so damn dumb they don't understand workers paid poverty wages are going to be poor no matter how many poverty wages jobs the employers who own Obama create.

Their stupidity doesn't stop or end with failing to advance the demand for a real living--- non-poverty minimum wage indexed to inflation and all cost of living factors in order to achieve a decent standard of living for all working people.

No; their stupidity, their unanimous stupidity, extends to turning around and endorsing Obama for re-election without asking the workers they are supposed to be paid to represent the most basic and fundamental question which would need to be answered: How is Barack Obama's Wall Street war economy working for you?

Richard Trumka and Leo Gerard are so concerned about "covering Obama's backside" they don't even notice Obama and the Democrats working with the Republicans shoving the shaft up the working class' collective ass.

These degenerate morons like Richard Trumka and Leo Gerard who will remain silent as our fellow workers and their children are slaughtered in these unconstitutional, illegitimate, illegal and dirty imperialist wars around the world defending Wall Street's access to cheap resources including labor also turn their backs on our own working class now engaged in a daily struggle for survival which they don't understand because their style of lavish living which mirrors that of the rich and famous combined with the brainwashing they received at the hands of Wall Street's selected professors who in their ivory towers have no understanding beyond book-reading of what poverty, racism and war is. and even less understanding of just how rotten this capitalist system is which is the very "heart of the problem."

Here we have labor "leaders" pretending to represent millions of workers still apologizing for capitalism while ignoring its most barbaric and cannibalistic stage of imperialism supporting the this Wall Street charlatan, Barack Obama--- the epitome of everything in the world that is evil.

These phony labor leaders have the audacity and unmitigated gall to talk about correcting "our mistakes" when referencing this capitalist economy that is on the skids to oblivion even though working people had no part in any of the decision-making processes. But now these labor fakers take up the line pushed by Obama talking about "our mistakes." Mistakes my ass. There have been no "mistakes;" this has been Wall Street's agenda all along; an agenda pushed along by both Democrats and Republicans enabling Wall Street coupon clippers to stick their greedy fingers into every single aspect of our lives in quest of greater profits.

And here we go again--- it is election time--- with these labor "leaders" calling for "tax the rich" when they refused to mobilize their memberships to implement and enforce the needed legislation required. 

Once again being election time, all problems are blamed on the Republicans as we are supposed to be led to the polls believing "Obama understands" our problems and what needs to be done. This statement is one big crock of shit completely devoid from the reality of the working and living conditions being imposed by Wall Street as these labor leaders try to lead us anywhere and everywhere except to a united struggle against our enemies--- Barack Obama, the Democrats and Republicans all nothing but puppets on strings manipulated Wall Street--- to defend and protect our rights, livelihoods and living standards.

This bunch of labor fakers must take us all for complete dumbies as they talk about outsourcing jobs. Obama's largest bundlers--- and biggest bunglers--- are the ones continuing to close down the mines, mills and factories in this country.

The Chinese never took one single job away from one single U.S. worker--- Wall Street shipped the jobs to China by design and intent in quest of maximum profits. This is the nature of parasitic imperialism.

There is only one solution beyond the needed reforms like a real living minimum wage indexed to the cost of living and inflation, real health care reform and a national public child care system required to help workers survive--- socialism; workers' control of the economy--- nationalization under public ownership of the mines, mills and factories.

Instead of working class leaders guiding us into struggle to defend our rights, livelihoods and standard of living we have 57 over-paid union bureaucrats paid for with the dues of union members who are working for our class enemy--- Wall Street.

Obama is part of the problem not part of the solution.

And with all the money these over-paid capitalist sooth-Sayers are paid to hoodwink working people into voting for Obama, the best reason they can come up with is that Obama isn't as bad as the Republicans even though Obama has been worse than Bush.

There isn't one specific step outlined in this statement that would lead towards solving any of the problems being experienced by working people and the working class--- not even a call for a moratorium on home foreclosures and evictions.

Furthermore, these fools parading around as labor "leaders" don't even have any promises from Obama in hand that would help working people before endorsing him for re-election.

Rank-and-file working class activists need their own think tanks and action centers which need to focus on the politics and economics of livelihood.

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








AFL-CIO Says 30 Years of Policies for the 1% Caused
Crisis, Outlines Steps to Fix Economy

By Mike Hall
AFL-CIO Now
March 14, 2012

http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/Economy/Council-Says-30-Years-of-Policies-for-the-1-Caused-Crisis-Outlines-Steps-to-Fix-Economy

The crash of 2008 and the Great Recession were
inevitable consequences of three decades of economic
policies designed by and for Wall Street and the
wealthiest Americans. At the heart of the problem, says
the AFL-CIO Executive Council, was:

    the hollowing out of American manufacturing, the
    growing dysfunction of our financial sector and a rapid
    increase in economic inequality, all of which crippled
    the growth engine of the U.S. economy.

In a broad statement today at its annual winter meeting
in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on "How to Fix What Is Wrong
with Our Economy," the council details the step-by-step
policy decisions by business and government and the
rise of corporate power over the past decades that
brought the economy to its knees.

The council says President Obama has shown he
understands the problem.

He has said clearly that 'we are not going back to an
economy that's all about outsourcing and bad debt and
phony profits,' we cannot return to a 'bubble and bust'
economy propped up by 'fleeting bubbles and rampant
speculation.'

The statement outlines several significant steps that
need to be taken to build an economy that can compete
with world economic powers like Germany and China and
that works for all, including:

    Significant investment over the next decade in
    education and apprenticeship programs for young
    people, infrastructure, energy, manufacturing,
    transportation, skills training and new
    technologies;

    A fair share from Wall Street and the wealthiest
    Americans, who have benefited most from the
    economic policies of the past 30 years-pass a
    financial speculation tax, let the Bush tax cuts
    for the wealthy expire and tax capital gains at the
    same rate as ordinary income;

    Tackling the problems of wage stagnation and
    economic inequality by reforming labor laws so that
    all workers who want to form a union and bargain
    collectively have a fair opportunity to do so,
    making full employment the highest priority of our
    economic policy, increasing and indexing the
    minimum wage, shrinking the trade deficit and
    eliminating incentives for offshoring;

    Reviving U.S. manufacturing by bringing the trade
    deficit under control, enhancing Buy America
    safeguards, aggressively enforcing trade laws and
    ending incentives for offshoring;

    Once again regulating Wall Street, eliminating tax
    advantages for leveraged buyouts and finding other
    ways to favor strategic investment over short-term
    speculation;

    And working toward a global New Deal that
    establishes minimum standards for the global
    economy, prevents a race to the bottom, creates
    vibrant consumer markets in the global South and
    creates new markets for advanced U.S.
    manufacturing.

In other jobs and economy action today, the council
urged Congress to reject the cynically named JOBS Act,
which aims to deregulate Wall Street, and a measure (S.
1747) that would strip overtime pay protection from
large numbers of high-tech workers. The Computer
Professionals Update Act would affect computer systems
analysts, computer programmers, software engineers and
other high-tech employees and, as the Congressional
Research Service says, "effectively eliminate[s]
overtime protection for all IT professionals." Instead,
the council said, Congress should "update and index the
overtime salary thresholds so workers do not lose
overtime protection as wages and salaries rise with
inflation."
_______________

AFL-CIO Executive Council Statement Text

Fixing What Is Wrong With Our Economy

March 14, 2012

http://www.aflcio.org/About/Exec-Council/EC-Statements/Fixing-What-Is-Wrong-With-Our-Economy

The economic policies that led to the financial crash
of 2008 and the subsequent Great Recession should have
been permanently discredited by their epic failure.
Instead, the Republican presidential candidates are now
resurrecting the same failed policies and pretending
the crash never happened.

America cannot afford to go down this path again. If we
want to fix what is wrong with our economy, we have to
learn from our mistakes and avoid repeating them.

The crash of 2008 and the Great Recession were
inevitable consequences of three decades of economic
policies designed by and for Wall Street and the
wealthiest Americans. At the heart of the problem was
the hollowing out of American manufacturing, the
growing dysfunction of our financial sector and a rapid
increase in economic inequality, all of which crippled
the growth engine of the U.S. economy.

Starting in the 1980s, corporate America decided to
boost profits by shipping U.S. jobs overseas. NAFTA and
the admission of China into the World Trade
Organization (WTO) accelerated the drive to relocate
production to "export platforms" in foreign countries
that would ship goods back to the U.S. market.
Corporations that sent jobs overseas became forceful
proponents of a "strong" (overvalued) dollar, which
enhanced the profitability of their overseas operations
but at the same time made much of the U.S.
manufacturing sector uncompetitive and led to perennial
U.S. trade deficits.

Also by the 1980s, the U.S. financial sector was
failing to perform its essential function of channeling
savings to productive investment in the real economy.
Financial firms on Wall Street focused instead on
making a quick buck by stripping assets from existing
businesses and downsizing their workforces, and on
various forms of complex financial engineering that had
little economic value. Financial firms also provided
critical support for a "strong dollar" policy that
diverted productive investment away from the U.S.
manufacturing sector toward overseas operations.  By
the eve of the crash of 2008, the manufacturing sector
had shrunk to half its 1960 size, while the financial
sector had doubled in size and accounted for 40 percent
of corporate profits.

The deindustrialization of America and the substitution
of speculation for productive investment were not
accidents, they were not inevitable, and they were not
the outcome of natural forces.  They were the
predictable results of mistaken policy choices made by
politicians of both parties for more than a generation.
These policy choices had victims with first and last
names: millions of displaced workers, shuttered
factories and hollowed-out communities across the
country hobbled by shrinking tax bases that no longer
could support vital public services.

Both deindustrialization and the dysfunction of finance
contributed to a remarkable rise in economic inequality
starting in the late 1970s. Trade deficits and
offshoring wiped out millions of well-paying, middle-
class jobs, and the threat of offshoring held down
wages for all workers. But a long list of other
deliberate policy choices also played key roles in the
rise of inequality. These included the abandonment of
full employment in favor of fighting inflation, the
prolonged attack on workers' right to organize and
bargain collectively with their employers, the erosion
of the minimum wage and other labor protections and
massive tax cuts for the wealthy.  In the end, nearly
two-thirds of the pre-tax income gains after 1979 were
captured by the richest 10 percent and more than half
was captured by the richest 1 percent.

The experience of the past 30 years shows that rising
inequality is bad not only for workers, but also for
the economy as a whole. Less affluent households tend
to spend more of their income, generating more economic
activity, while more affluent households tend to
consume less. Wage stagnation undermines political
support for the levels of taxation necessary to support
public investment in things like roads and schools,
which underpins future economic productivity. And high
levels of inequality are associated with political
decision-making that leads to slower growth. In short,
the upward redistribution of income throws sand in the
gears of the economy.

The combination of all these policy mistakes caused the
growth engine of the U.S. economy to sputter. Starting
in the early 1980s, the economy's average annual growth
rate slowed considerably in comparison with the postwar
period. The expansion of the Bush years was the weakest
since World War II in terms of output growth,
investment growth, employment growth and wage growth.
In fact, the Bush expansion was the first since World
War II in which real income for the typical middle-
class family actually declined. There was clearly
something wrong with the U.S. economy long before the
crash.

The weakness of the economy was temporarily papered
over by a bubble in real estate prices at the turn of
the 21st century, which was made possible by the
deregulation of Wall Street. Instead of broad-based,
sustainable growth fueled by rising wages and
investment, the U.S. economy was artificially inflated
by complex financial engineering that made credit more
easily available and exposed the entire economy to
enormous risk. The bubble allowed working families to
maintain their standard of living, despite stagnant
wages, by borrowing against the value of their homes
and going deeper into debt. But of course households
could not keep increasing their debt loads forever.
When the real estate bubble finally burst, the house of
cards came crashing down and working people were once
again forced to pay for the sins of Wall Street with
their homes, their dreams and their children's futures.

We are still digging our way out from the rubble of the
crash. It typically takes years to repair the damage
from the collapse of speculative asset bubbles. When
the U.S. real estate bubble burst, households lost more
than $10 trillion in wealth from the plunge in housing
and stock prices, and they were heavily indebted to
begin with. Even today, households are still digging
their way out of debt, and it may take years for them
to see daylight. This helps explain why progress toward
closing our jobs deficit has been so difficult, and why
the economic recovery is still so fragile.  Another
drag on the recovery has been the loss of 765,000 jobs
at the state and local levels between 2007 and 2011,
more than in any modern downturn.

The Republican presidential candidates not only failed
to learn anything from Wall Street's mistakes, they now
want to double down on more of the same. They propose
to deregulate the financial sector yet again, pass more
trade agreements that encourage the offshoring of U.S.
jobs, suppress wages by intensifying the assault on
unions, prioritize inflation-fighting over full
employment and perpetuate overvaluation of the dollar
and the U.S. trade deficit. We already tried this
approach, and it already failed spectacularly.

The Republican candidates pretend that tax cuts for
corporations and the wealthy are the answer to wage
stagnation and the economic crisis, but the Bush years
taught us that these obscenely wasteful tax cuts only
make the problem worse. They are the equivalent of
eating our seed corn, because they starve the kind of
public investment in education, infrastructure and
innovation that is indispensable for long-term economic
growth.

President Obama has shown that he understands the
problem. He has said clearly that "we are not going
back to an economy that's all about outsourcing and bad
debt and phony profits," we cannot return to a "bubble
and bust" economy propped up by "fleeting bubbles and
rampant speculation," and we "must make sure such a
crisis never happens again."  He has called for
rebuilding an economy "built to last" through a
sustained program of public investment in
infrastructure, education and innovation. He has called
economic inequality the "defining issue of our time"
and sounded the alarm at the decline of the American
middle class over the past 30 years. He has opened a
national conversation about encouraging businesses to
bring jobs back to the U.S. instead of shipping jobs
overseas. He has acknowledged that America can no
longer "serve as the consumer engine for the entire
world," and called on trading partners that run trade
surpluses every year to rebalance their economies by
consuming more of what they produce.

What we need now is an economic program as serious and
far-reaching as the problem President Obama has
correctly diagnosed. We must start by shifting the
focus of U.S. economic policy from one of maximizing
the competitiveness and profitability of corporations
that happen to maintain headquarters somewhere on U.S.
territory to one of maximizing the competitiveness and
prosperity of the human beings who live and work in
America.

First, if we want to be competitive with Germany and
China in the 21st century, we will need trillions of
dollars in productive public investment over the next
10 years in affordable education and apprenticeship
programs for young people, who have suffered greater
income loss than any other demographic; infrastructure;
energy; manufacturing; transportation; skills training
and upgrades; and new technologies; all of which have
been starved by successive rounds of tax cuts for the
wealthy and inaction on long-term federal investment
initiatives. Wall Street and the wealthiest Americans,
who have benefitted most from the economic policies of
the past 30 years, will have to start paying their fair
share. We need to pass a financial speculation tax, let
the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire, tax capital
gains at the same rate as ordinary income and establish
a minimum effective tax rate of 30 percent for
households earning more than $1 million.

Second, to encourage domestic investment and lay a
stronger and more stable foundation for long-term
growth, it is essential that we tackle the problems of
wage stagnation and economic inequality. This will
require reforming our labor laws so that all workers
who want to form a union and bargain collectively have
a fair opportunity to do so, making full employment the
highest priority of our economic policy, increasing and
indexing the minimum wage, shrinking the trade deficit
and, again, eliminating incentives for offshoring.

Third, we need to start making things in America again.
We cannot hope to revive U.S. manufacturing without
bringing our trade deficit under control, which means
ending the overvaluation of the U.S. dollar and
combating currency manipulation by our trading
partners.  We will also need to enhance Buy America
safeguards, aggressively enforce our trade laws and end
incentives for offshoring in the tax code and in our
trade agreements.

Fourth, we need to shrink our bloated financial sector
and make it serve the real economy once again. We can
no longer afford a financial sector that squanders
scarce resources on unproductive gambling and exposes
the entire economy to the intolerable risk of
speculative bubbles. This means reregulating Wall
Street, eliminating tax advantages for leveraged
buyouts and finding other ways to favor strategic
investment over short-term speculation.

Fifth, if we expect other countries to stop relying on
trade surpluses as their source of growth, we will have
to make it easier for them to rely on domestic incomes
as their source of growth. This will require a global
New Deal that establishes minimum standards for the
global economy, prevents a race to the bottom, creates
vibrant consumer markets in the global South and in the
process creates new markets for advanced U.S.
manufacturing.

We also have unfinished business in digging out from
the rubble of the crash. America wants to work, and
decisive action to close our jobs deficit must not be
delayed any further. An immediate multi-year program of
public investment in infrastructure and clean energy
would draw in business investment and buy time while
households dig their way out of debt. To stop the
foreclosure epidemic and stabilize housing prices,
broad-based reductions in mortgage principal will also
be needed. The U.S. economy cannot recover until the
housing market-the single largest market in the
country-is healthy again, and the banks must be held
accountable for their contribution to the crisis.

One thing is clear: We can no longer rely on household
debt, real estate bubbles, tech bubbles, stock bubbles
or any other kind of bubbles to fuel our economic
growth. We cannot go back to a low-wage, high-
consumption economy. We need bold leadership to draw
the right lessons from the mistakes of the past 30
years and forge a new model of economic growth in which
we make things in America again, workers can form a
union and bargain collectively if they want to, working
people can afford to buy the things they make, the U.S.
economy produces as much as it consumes, everybody who
wants to work can find a good job and prosperity is
broadly shared.
_____________

Economix

Labor's Take on the Economy

By Steven Greenhouse
New York Times
March 15, 2012

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/15/labors-take-on-the-economy/

ORLANDO, Fla.

When labor leaders talk publicly, it's often to make
angry, off-the-cuff statements to denounce a company
that is taking a tough line on wage increases or to
lambaste a lawmaker who is sponsoring anti-union
legislation.

But when the nation's union leaders gather each winter
at the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s executive council meeting, the
statements they issue are usually far different. They
often approve carefully crafted resolutions that the
labor federation's staff members - some have Ph.D.'s -
have spent weeks preparing in close consultation with
union leaders. Clearly much work and thought went into
the resolution on the economy that the labor federation
approved on Wednesday, titled "Fixing What Is Wrong
With Our Economy."

The resolution is in part cri de coeur on behalf of
embattled workers, but it is mainly a full-throated
liberal-left take on what's ailing the American economy
and what caused those ailments. As one would suspect,
organized labor's analysis is not sympathetic to Wall
Street, deregulation and free trade.

The A.F.L.-C.I.O., representing 57 unions and with
considerable influence on the White House, said that
the recession and financial crisis that the nation
plunged into four years ago were three decades in the
making. The labor group's economic resolution asserted
that the North American Free Trade Agreement, admitting
China into the World Trade Organization and a long-
overvalued dollar had fueled the relocation of American
operations overseas.

Decrying "the hollowing out" of the economy, the
resolution added that by the 1980s the nation's
financial sector was failing to perform its "essential
function" of channeling savings to productive
investment in the real economy, focusing instead on
various forms of complex financial engineering and
"making a quick buck by stripping assets from existing
business and downsizing their work forces."

"The deindustrialization of America and the
substitution of speculation for productive investment
were not accidents, they were not inevitable, and they
were not the outcome of natural forces," the A.F.L.-
C.I.O. said. "They were the predictable results of
mistaken policy choices made by politicians of both
parties for more than a generation."

The labor federation asserted that many factors had
fueled America's growing inequality, including the loss
of well-paying manufacturing jobs, the rise of finance,
"the abandonment of full employment in favor of
fighting inflation," corporate attacks on the ability
of workers to unionize, "the erosion of the minimum
wage" and "massive tax cuts for the wealthy."

"In the end, nearly two-thirds of the pretax income
gains after 1979 were captured by the richest 10
percent and more than half was captured by the richest
1 percent," the resolution said.

The A.F.L.-C.I.O. argued that rising inequality was bad
for the economy as a whole, causing less affluent
households to spend more than their income and rely on
borrowing to an unhealthy degree.

"The weakness of the economy was temporarily papered
over by a bubble in real estate prices at the turn of
the 21st century, which was made possible by the
deregulation of Wall Street," the resolution said.
"Instead of broad-based, sustainable growth fueled by
rising wages and investment, the U.S. economy was
artificially inflated by complex financial engineering
that made credit more easily available and exposed the
entire economy to enormous risk."

To restore the economy to health, the labor federation
had several recommendations. First, it said, "if we
want to be competitive with Germany and China in the
21st century, we will need trillions of dollars in
productive public investment over the next 10 years" in
education, apprentice programs, retraining, and
infrastructure for the energy, manufacturing,and
transportation sectors. It added, "We need to start
making things in America again." To revive
manufacturing, it called for bringing the nation's
swollen trade under control and ending "the
overvaluation of the U.S. dollar" as well as "currency
manipulation by our trading partners."

"One thing is clear," the resolution concluded. "We can
no longer rely on household debt, real estate bubbles,
tech bubbles, stock bubbles or any other kind of
bubbles to fuel our economic growth. We cannot go back
to a low-wage, high-consumption economy. We need bold
leadership to draw the right lessons from the mistakes
of the past 30 years."