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...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Rocky Anderson writes me a letter and I respond.

I just received an e-mail from Rocky Anderson that I would like to share along with my response:


On Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 10:56 AM, Rocky Anderson wrote:

Alan - I really don't want to spend one more minute on all the nonsense of the past couple weeks.  However a couple things are really bothering me and I'd appreciate your response:

1.  Casino workers are apparenly paying dues to the union that employs you.  Do you work full-time for that union?  If so, was participation on the NSC part of your job?  Were you really spending all those hours maligning several good people who have been supportive of the Justice Party while you're supposed to be working on behalf of those who actually work for a living and pay their union dues?  Or is this sort of "political activism" part of your job?

2. What basis do you have for claiming that I was so "dirty" the Democratic Party threw me out? Or that I was so "dirty" I couldn’t run for re-election as mayor.  Or that I took bribes?  Or that I was involved in a shady real estate deal?  What union people in SLC did you speak with about me?  And what do you know about Jonathan Ruga that led you to call him a "shyster," "fraud," "schemer," and such?  Or do you just make such sweeping insults without having any facts to support them?

******
Rocky Anderson
418 South Douglas Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84102
801.557-9007
rockyanderson.justice@gmail.com


My response:


Yes, Rocky; everything I do is part of my job. I work 24/7 365 days a year for the Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council. I am responsible and accountable to the casino workers I represent.

When you answer the question I posed to you first about your stand on the "government being responsible for full employment" I will be happy to respond to each and every question you have posed here.

If you have a problem with the way I do my job, file a complaint.

I do find it interesting this is the very first time you have ever mentioned casino workers.

Perhaps if you would have spent as much time campaigning for President as what you are spending time attacking me you might have actually received a respectable number of votes.

I will also answer each and everyone of your questions very publicly.

Looking forward to receiving your answer to my question,

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

CC:
Patti Bird, President, Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council
Sonya Melbye, Secretary-Treasurer, Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council



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

58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell: 651-587-5541

Primary E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net
E-mail: alan.maki1951mn@gmail.com

Blog: http://thepodunkblog.blogspot.com/

The controversy surrounding my being "expunged" from the National Steering Committee of the Justice Party.


  • Who were the three "left wing" cowards who joined with the right wing reactionaries to "expunge" me from the Justice Party's National Steering Committee in the name of becoming a party "beyond progressive" open to John Birchers and Social Credit in the name of "populism?"

    There were three left wingers who joined the right wingers:

    Lenny Brody from Chicago.
    Dave Jette from the State of Washington
    Luis Rodriguez from California

    Some people are attempting to organize "the progressive tendency in the Justice Party;" I seriously doubt they can be successful unless they can get rid of these right wingers Rocky Anderson was so sneaky about bringing in.

    Of course, the Justice Party doesn't need Rocky Anderson and his "star power;" we could have run Charlie Brown and Lucy carrying signs for peace, against racism and for full employment and received more votes than Rocky ever could.


    As progressives we are looking for votes along with building a progressive movement so why would we want to bring into a party a bunch of right-wing racist and anti-Semitic reactionaries who are also anti-labor?

    I don't believe how some people, including even some very confused leftists, argue this is a matter of "freedom of speech and belief" that these John Birchers and Social Credit be allowed into a party that is supposed to be "progressive."

    Political parties are built by people who share common ideas, goals and objectives--- this has nothing to do with "freedom of speech and belief;" these bigots have the right to organize their own political party centered around their racist and anti-working class views, goals and objectives.

    There is a very sharp battle of ideas underway in our country and around the world. Political parties reflect this battle.
    The initial calls to "expunge" me for my declared left wing views by the Georgia and Texas Justice parties was joined by Rocky Anderson.

    So, on the one hand these people are hypocritically insisting they have a right to take over a small "progressive party" turning it into some kind of perverted "populist party" claiming this is the only way to get votes because a declared "progressive party" limits the number of votes while out of the other side of their mouths they talk about "expunging" those they disagree with.

    Have these people forgotten who the backers of Joe McCarthy were, and remain?

    The John Birch Society has been the base for the continuation of McCarthyism.

    I called for each and every member of the National Steering Committee to submit something in writing concerning the government being responsible for full employment as a way to assure accountability to progressive views.

    How do you build a "progressive party" when those working with you are actually against what progressivism stands for?


    And wow! Did these people, including Rocky Anderson, go into a tizzy. But, what better way to maintain accountability than to have something in writing--- especially when you see these people posting articles from John Birch Society publications and stating they are supporters of Social Credit and then when challenged they claim the magazine "The New American" is the voice of "real progressives."

    I have never come across such sleazy bastards.
    These "left wingers" who defend this as "freedom of speech and beliefs" definitely have no place in leadership in any progressive national organization or political party which makes me wonder why the organizations which they belong to pay so little attention to what these people are doing?
     I would also point out that fascist movements have only always made headway and come to power by wrapping themselves in the pretense of progressivism and leftism because if they peddle their racist and reactionary ideas straight up very few people will buy into their hateful message. Although there are exceptions--- here in North America, Social Credit came to power in the Province of Alberta in Canada and plunged that province into darkness for around three decades until courageous labor leaders like Dave Werlin, who was President of the Alberta Federation of Labour, took these dirty bastards on.

    Canada's very racist and anti-labor Prime Minister, Steven Harper who hails from Alberta, is the embodiment of what these Social Credit movements create.

There Will Be No Peace Dividend After Afghanistan

The price we pay for Wall Street's imperialism...

There Will Be No Peace Dividend After Afghanistan

Financial Times
January 24, 2013
Pg. 11


By Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes

Nearly 12 years after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan began, a war-weary America is getting ready to leave. But there will be little in the way of a peace dividend for the US economy once the fighting stops.

The direct costs of the war are already $700bn. The original mission was to root out al-Qaeda and the Taliban. But in 2003, the US shifted nearly all of its attention and resources to Iraq. The Taliban regrouped and strengthened in Afghanistan, making the conflict far more expensive. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda shifted operations into Pakistan, Yemen and Mali, where France this month sent troops.

US forces have struggled in Afghanistan’s mountainous terrain, where getting supplies and munitions has been a complex logistical exercise. Then came the ill-fated “surge” strategy, which put 30,000 more US troops on the ground with little if any military gain. There were 3,000 attacks on US and allied forces in 2012 – a figure little changed from 2009, when President Barack Obama’s administration decided on the change in strategy.

The surge itself was expensive. But the way we conducted the war unnecessarily increased its costs. For instance, the closure of the land route through Pakistan for eight months in reprisal for a US drone attack in November 2011 that inadvertently killed 24 Pakistani soldiers added billions to the transport bill. Another $90bn has been devoted to “reconstruction” aid in Afghanistan – the largest amount spent by the US since the Marshall plan, with little to show for it. Endemic corruption among local contractors and officials has drained money from the budget.

Much of this red ink will dry up once Nato troops withdraw. But the true cost of the war is only just beginning. Indeed, the costs after withdrawal may exceed those during the war. Choices made in the past decade mean high costs for years to come – and will constrain other national security spending.

In 2008, when we wrote The Three Trillion Dollar War, our book on the costs of the Iraq war, we predicted that costs of disability and healthcare benefits for recent war veterans would grow enormously. With nearly one in two returning troops suffering some form of disability – ranging from depression to multiple amputation – the reality far exceeds our estimates. The number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans receiving government medical care has grown to more than 800,000, and most have applied for permanent disability benefits. Yielding to political pressure, the White House and Congress have boosted veteran’s benefits, invested in additional staff and technology, expanded mental health treatments and made it easier to qualify for disability pay. But the number of claims keeps climbing. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs struggles to cope with its backlog.

The VA’s budget is likely to hit $140bn this year from $50bn in 2001. In previous wars, the bill for benefits came due decades later – the peak year for paying second world war benefits was 1969. Now, with much higher survival rates, more generous benefits, and new, expensive treatments, the eventual costs of caring for veterans of the Afghanistan war will exceed $1tn. To put these numbers into perspective, the debate surrounding the fiscal cliff has centred on expenditure cuts over 10 years of $1tn-$2tn.

There are other costly legacies. To recruit volunteers to fight in highly unpopular wars, the military adopted higher pay scales and enhanced healthcare benefits both for those serving and their families and for those who retired. Even though the Pentagon – watching its personnel costs soar – is asking Congress to roll back some of these benefits, they are politically untouchable. The result is that total personnel costs will soon reach one-third of the total defence budget. Spending on Tricare, the healthcare programme for the US military and their families, is likely to reach $56bn this year. Tricare is growing even faster than Medicare or Medicaid, and will soon consume 10 per cent of the defence budget.

Meanwhile, there is a huge price tag for replacing ordinary equipment that has been consumed during the wars – not least because of our policy of outsourcing maintenance to sometimes dodgy local contractors. There is also the US pledge to help prop up the Afghan police and army for the next decade – expected to run to $5bn-$8bn a year. The legacy of expensive commitments will force the Pentagon to make difficult choices – for example, reducing the size of the army and investing in more unmanned robotic weapons.

The US has already borrowed $2tn to finance the Afghanistan and Iraq wars – a major component of the $9tn debt accrued since 2001, along with those arising from the financial crisis and the tax cuts implemented by President George W. Bush. Today, as the country considers how to improve its balance sheet, it could have been hoped that the ending of the wars would provide a large peace dividend, such as the one resulting from the end of the cold war that helped us to invest more in butter and less in guns. Instead, the legacy of poor decision-making from the expensive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq will live on in a continued drain on our economy – long after the last troop returns to American soil.

The writers are respectively a recipient of the 2001 Nobel Prize in economics, and a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School.

"Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" is all the talk but where are the jobs?



Please note: Send me your questions at: amaki000@centurytel.net
Bookmark this blog post because I will be answering your questions often.

"Jobs, jobs, jobs" is all the talk coming out of Washington and from the State Houses as well as being all the hype from the over-paid "economists" and media pundits.

There isn't a single politician running for office who doesn't promise "jobs, jobs, jobs;" but, what happened to the idea the United States government is responsible for maintaining "full employment?"
 


Question:


How come the words "full employment" never appear in what Robert Reich is writing? (See below: Why jobs must be our goal now)

Question:

Do you hear Barack Obama talk about his responsibility for "full employment?"


Check this out; seems to me Robert Reich's beloved Obama could do at least as good as Wright Patman:

This on-line book (Full Employment Act of 1945) available for downloading for free may be of interest to you:

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015081304209;seq=10;view=1up

(Note: If the above link does not work you will have to copy and paste the link into your browser. I can not emphasize enough how important it is for anyone concerned about jobs and unemployment to read this transcript of the hearing--- which includes the Act itself--- the "Full Employment Act of 1945")

This link above is to the entire transcript of the Congressional Hearing on the original Full Employment Act of 1945 which includes the actual Act brought forward by liberal populist, Wright Patman---

 

Wright Patman was a U.S. Congressman from Texas in Texas's 1st congressional district and chair of the United States House Committee on Banking and Currency. 

Born: August 6, 1893, Hughes Springs, Texas
Died: March 7, 1976, Bethesda
Party: Democratic Party

We have to ask why Obama's supporters aren't pushing for the enactment of this "Full Employment" legislation today?
  


All we get from Wall Street's politicians in the Democratic and Republican parties is "talk, talk, talk" instead of "jobs, jobs, jobs."

The working class needs its own political party just like labor in Canada has the New Democratic Party. 

Without a strong, vibrant and active Communist Party made up of grass roots activists and rank-and-file workers defending the interests of the working class in the streets and in the electoral and legislative arenas; a Communist Party providing the catalyst for real change with movement building while pushing for the broadest possible working class and all people's united action we will not be able to win full employment here in the United States.

Consider organizing a Communist Club in your neighborhood, where you work or go to school.    
It will be up to left wing working class rank-and-file activists together with liberals, progressives and leftists finding common ground and a "meeting of the minds" to bring forward and advance "Full Employment" legislation; no political party or organization is going to do this unless pushed even though the American people expect this from their government.

Wall Street reactionaries from the Chamber of Commerce to the National Association of Manufacturers united to defeat the "Full Employment Act of 1945" as the United States government was carrying out political repression against working class activist as Republicans and Democrats acted in collusion bringing forward the most reactionary and anti-labor Taft-Hartley Act intended to criminalize and destroy the Communist Party USA.

Common sense tells us working people without jobs are going to be poor; this is so basic it shouldn't have to be stated.

"Jobs, Jobs, Jobs;" but what happened to the idea embodied in the defeated "Full Employment act of 1945" that the United States government is responsible for maintaining "full employment?"

This is from the Wall Street Journal:
Prospects for a stronger upturn, at least in the first half of 2013, remain slim. Many economists worry about losing even more ground, especially as lawmakers launch a potentially risky political battle this winter over raising the federal debt ceiling. The U.S. economy grew at an average annual rate of 3.6% from 1950 through 1999 but has since slowed to less than 2% ... Since the recession ended 3½ years ago, economists have been divided over long-run growth prospects after the downturn pushed millions of Americans out of the labor force. Looking forward five to 10 years, the argument goes, annual U.S. growth may reach a ceiling of 3% and unemployment could settle at a rate above the 5.7% annual average recorded during the last half of the 20th century. 

--Wall Street Journal, Jan 4, 2013
  
Without the United States government becoming responsible for "full employment" in this country where does this leave working people? In poverty.

Robert Reich and his fellow Democratic Party economists--- among them: Paul Krugman, Joseph Stiglitz, Dean Baker and their "linguist" George Lakoff--- are wrong to focus solely on "jobs" without bringing forward the need for the United States government to be responsible for "full employment;" our goal, the goal of the working class movement, must be to get the United States government to assume its responsibility to the American people for maintaining a "full employment economy" just like the immensely popular liberal populist United States Congressman from Texas, Wright Patman, proposed.

Check out what Robert Reich has written below at the very time the Wall Street Journal made the dire prediction above.

Does anyone really believe we can solve the problem of unemployment in this country unless the United States government assumes its responsibility to the American people for "full employment?"

The United States government is going to have to create millions of jobs by re-establishing proven government programs like WPA, CCC and C.E.T.A.

How we pay to create these jobs is an equally important question which people have the right to have answers to:

1. End the wars and occupations which will yield huge "peace dividends."

2. Tax the rich; tax corporate profits; tax Wall Street transactions.

Another huge benefit derived from "full employment" is Social Security will be placed on a solid financial footing; as long as everyone pays in, everyone will get from Social Security what they are entitled to receive in benefits--- plus, we can reduce the age at which people can retire while increasing the benefits to provide pensioners with real living incomes... this, too, will create more jobs as aging workers retire, young workers find a place in the workforce.

We will derive numerous other benefits from "full employment" which include reducing crime and pushing all wages up instead of having this huge pool of unemployed people dragging wages down. Workers will have maximum power in their places of employment which will assure the protection of rights and a decent standard of living for everyone.

The best union-busting and strike-breaking weapon Wall Street has is this huge pool of unemployed labor.

Check out the budget priorities of Obama and the Democrats. These budget priorities are not conducive to creating "full employment;" in fact, such priorities squandering the wealth of our nation on militarism and wars can only lead to making most Americans poor because wars kill jobs just like they kill people:


No; as Robert Reich is suggesting, the American people should not have to pay an increase in Social Security taxes; but, more importantly--- and the point Robert Reich refuses to bring forward--- is that the American people should not have to pay these "war taxes" for militarism and wars most people in this country don't even want. What happened to democracy of "We, the People?"

We have a government working for Wall Street instead of a government working for the American people.

What more proof do we need of this than the wrong-headed budget priorities combined with the fact this government with Democrats and Republicans at the helm shirk their responsibility to the American people in refusing to maintain "full employment."

These politicians want our votes; shouldn't working people at least get jobs in return for our votes?

"Full employment" is all about governmental accountability to the people.

"Full employment" is all about peace and democracy.


"Full employment" is all about the most fundamental human right of all--- the right to a job at a real living wage.



Alan L. Maki
Co-Chair,
Lake-of-the-Woods Communist Club

 
 


Why Jobs Must Be Our Goal Now


By Robert Reich
blog
January 3, 2013

http://robertreich.org/post/39656182596

The news today from the Bureau of Labor Statistics
is that the U.S. job market is treading water. The
number of new jobs created in December (155,000),
and percent unemployment (7.8), were the same as
the revised numbers for November.

Also, about the same number of people are looking
for work (12.2 million), with additional millions too
discouraged even to look.

Put simply, we're a very long way from the job
growth we need to get out of the gravitational pull of
the Great Recession. That would be at least 300,000
new jobs per month.

All of which means job growth and wage growth
should be the central focus of economic policy, not
deficit reduction.

Yet all we're hearing from Washington -- and all
we're likely to hear as Republicans and Democrats
negotiate over raising the debt ceiling -- is how to
cut the deficit.

The typical American worker's paycheck will drop
this week because his or her Social Security tax will
rise, from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent. That's
nonsensical.

We need to put more money into the pockets of
average workers, not less. The first $25,000 of
income should be exempt from Social Security taxes
altogether, and we should make up the difference by
eliminating the ceiling on income subject to Social
Security taxes.
__________

Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public
Policy at the University of California at Berkeley,
was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton
administration.

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

58891 County Road 13 
Warroad, Minnesota 56763 

Phone:  218-386-2432 
Cell:  651-587-5541 

Primary E-mail: amaki000@centurytel.net 

E-mail: 
alan.maki1951mn@gmail.com 

Blog: http://thepodunkblog.blogspot.com/