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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...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

About springs wound too tight...

People always ask me what exactly are the things the Minimum Wage should be attached to.

This is from the site of the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

 The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has classified all expenditure items into more than 200 categories, arranged into eight major groups. Major groups and examples of categories in each are as follows:

    FOOD AND BEVERAGES (breakfast cereal, milk, coffee, chicken, wine, full service meals and snacks);
    HOUSING (rent of primary residence, owners' equivalent rent, fuel oil, bedroom furniture);
    APPAREL (men's shirts and sweaters, women's dresses, jewelry);
    TRANSPORTATION (new vehicles, airline fares, gasoline, motor vehicle insurance);
    MEDICAL CARE (prescription drugs and medical supplies, physicians' services, eyeglasses and eye care, hospital services);
    RECREATION (televisions, cable television, pets and pet products, sports equipment, admissions);
    EDUCATION AND COMMUNICATION (college tuition, postage, telephone services, computer software and accessories);
    OTHER GOODS AND SERVICES (tobacco and smoking products, haircuts and other personal services, funeral expenses).

These things taken together are what I am referring to when I say "cost-of-living."

If anyone can tell me a better method in establishing what the Minimum Wage should be based on I would like to hear it.

I have asked Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and numerous state and federal elected officials what they are using to justify their proposed "increase" (their numbers vary from who you ask--- from $7.50 to $10.10--- but not one of these politicians will tell you where they get these figures from.

Why not?

Why would anyone expect a working man or working woman of any age to work for wages that won't allow them to purchase the basic necessities of life?

Any wage that doesn't allow the basic necessities of life to be purchased is not a "living wage" no matter what "spin" is placed on the explanation.

When anyone states they are for "living wages" this means something very specific. It means the necessities of life can be purchased. Again, there is no other way to "spin" this although Minnesota Democrats are trying very hard to tell us, after pounding us with the message they all support a "living wage" that "something is better than nothing."

And when we challenge them they get extremely angry.

I have been accused--- in writing--- by Minnesota State Senator, Kathy Sheran of "winding the spring too tight" in insisting that the Minimum Wage must correspond to a real living wage BASED ON ALL COST-OF-LIVING factors from the eight categories above.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has told his Democratic Party Caucus that "We need to get some kind of increased in the Minimum Wage passed real quick as soon as the legislative session opens because Maki is winding the spring so tight it is going to bust and break into pieces and hit us."

Working people want a real living wage and these politicians are only concerned about their political futures.

What they fear is that if they enact Minimum Wage Legislation assuring employers are forced to pay workers at least a real living non-poverty wage these employers will only lavish their campaign contributions on the Republicans.

Who is "winding the spring tight?"

Not me; it is the employers who reap huge super-profits by paying workers poverty wages.

As I travel across Minnesota the only thing I am pointing out is what a real living wage consists of.

Mark Dayton came to me in person begging for our support when he was trying to get the DFL nomination--- now he is stooping to blaming me because his credibility, and that of the Democratic Party, is at stake.

I am not the one who suggested Mark Dayton and these other politicians pull a Minimum Wage figure from a hat for self-serving political expediency--- they are the ones who did this all on their own.

Let these Democrats come up with a Minimum Wage based on scientific and empirical facts and data.

If they don't think the Bureau of Labor Statistics is doing their job properly in the way they compile these cost-of-living factors let them come forward with proof.

But, any working class family can easily figure out by a trip to the grocery store, being robbed at the gas pump, being stiffed when paying for home heating fuel and having to pay increasing rents or trying to keep up with mortgage payments that these Democrats are not providing a Minimum Wage that is a real living wage.

If these union leaders and foundation-funded groups fronting for the Democrats shamefully pushing these poverty wages down our throats can't understand this then they should not be pretending to represent working people who never asked them to intervene in the first place.