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...

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I am working on a proposal for a presentation to the "How Class Works" Conference... I am looking for suggestions.

I would like to make a presentation to the "How Class Works Conference" on the following. I am looking for suggestions:

Class dimensions of poverty. To explore why and how poverty is something that happens to the working class, not some marginal "other" at the bottom of society.

This is my proposal which I would work from:

If workers are paid a poverty wage they are going to be poor.
Some of my ideas would include an expansion of my thoughts in the below Letter to the Editor and the comments which are responses to questions and comments on what I wrote in the Letter...

Link to my letter:

Minnesota politicians, business people and even labor "leaders" are concerned that raising the Minimum Wage to a real living wage would be too hard on "small businesses."

There is a solution to this concern if "small business" is really their concern.

Exclude all the relatives of the owners of small businesses from Minimum Wage enforcement and protection.

Let the owners of "small businesses" pay their spouses, great grand-parents, grand-parents, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles and cousins whatever wages they want to do their work for them. Exempt politicians and all their relatives from Minimum Wage protections, too, and let the people vote on how much politicians should be paid. In my opinion, politicians shouldn't be paid any more than the lowest paid workers--- this would provide these politicians to improve the standard of living for everyone. According to these politicians people need incentives; what better place to start incentive based pay than with the pay of politicians?

But, for all other workers, the Minimum Wage should be nothing less than a real living wage based on ALL "cost of living" factors which would provide working people with a decent standard of living.

We have a billionaire governor, Mark Dayton, whose inherited wealth has been derived from paying Minnesotans poverty wages for over a century.

There is a way to reduce the Minimum Wage. Institute universal social programs providing people with free health care, free child care, free higher education, low-cost public transportation, controlling the prices of food, housing, electricity, gas and home heating fuels.

Please read my "Letter to the Editor" in the Northern Light Region. Share this e-mail and my "Letter to the Editor" with your friends and fellow workers:


By the way; there isn't a union "leader" in this country who would work for the pathetically miserly Minimum Wage the Democrats in Minnesota are proposing.

If we can't get a real living wage out of a Democratic super-majority, what can we ever expect to get from these Democrats?

Even Richard Nixon supported a guaranteed annual income; although he never spoke of a real living income.

But, with the anniversary on the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights coming up on December 10 it would behoove us all to engage in a discussion about what kind of standard of living and quality of life working people are entitled to living here in the richest country in the world.

Is it right and just that a billionaire Governor like Mark Dayton whose inherited wealth is derived from poverty wages should be talking about forcing a miserly poverty Minimum Wage and hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans assuring the families of these workers will continue to live in poverty?

Many of the union "leaders," like Elliot Seide of AFSCME, who are multi-millionaires themselves have turned their unions into organizations that are little more than unions on paper as they refuse to struggle to improve the standard of living of their own members and force concession contracts down the throats of those paying dues so "leaders" like Elliot Seide can make Minnesota-nice with billionaire politicians like Mark Dayton.

What gives these union "leaders" who won't even stand up and fight for the workers whose dues go to pay their big, fat salaries the right to claim they have a right to shove poverty wages down the throats of other Minnesotans?

Would Elliot Seide or any public workers he represents agree to work for $9.50 an hour? No. So why should anyone else?

Keith Ellison would never work for $9.50 an hour. His fellow member of Congress, multi-millionaire Rick Nolan, would never work for $9.50 an hour.

The Minimum Wage should be based on all cost-of-living factors; the cost-of-living factors tracked and monitored by the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Don't let a bunch of over-paid labor "leaders" and a billionaire governor tell you that you should work for poverty wages while they live high-on-the-hog at our expense.

And I have a message for all those members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees who collected signatures on petitions at the Minnesota State Fair urging that their fellow workers should be paid a lousy $9.50 an hour poverty wage--- it is workers being paid these kinds of poverty wages who are paying your wages. Something you might just want to think about. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. What makes you think you are entitled to a living wage but other workers are not entitled to the same living wages? Perhaps at next Minnesota State Fair you should consider circulating a petition backing a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" so all workers have a shot at living decent lives.


But, the award for "The Epitome of Hypocrisy" in all of this discussion over the Minimum Wage should go to the Leader of the Minnesota State Senate, DFL'er Tom Bakk who stakes claim to being a leader in the building trades unions--- Bakk says he wants even less than the pathetically miserly Minimum Wage being proposed by the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party and its union "partners" and non-profit foundation-funded front groups of $9.50 an hour because Senator Bakk feels sorry for the Minnesota hospitality industry--- the casino managements and those who made the Forbes Fortune 500 "List."

People have become billionaires as a direct result of paying workers poverty wages. Had the wealthy been paying workers real living wages no doubt they would remain mere multi-millionaires.

I am sick and tired of hearing about the poor "small businesses" who will suffer if the Minimum Wage is increased to a real living wage--- exempt the small businesses and the relatives they hire from enforcement and protection of the Minimum Wage.

Let State Senator Tom Bakk clean the hotel rooms for a poverty wage.

Billionaires telling workers they should be satisfied with $9.50 an hour. Union "leaders" who have turned trade unionism into a racket getting big fat salaries. Politicians who have never worked a day in their lives. All telling us what the Minimum Wage should be. When do we hear from the workers and their families who are forced to live in poverty with the decisions made by all of these people living high-on-the-hog more often than not on the backs of poverty wage paid workers.

A poverty Minimum Wage as proposed by Minnesota Democrats with their super-majority and their front groups like Growth & Justice, Take Action Minnesota and the AFL-CIO affiliated unions discriminates most against people of color, women, youth and the elderly. And undocumented workers suffer as they are at the very bottom when it comes to being paid poverty wages and new immigrants don't fair much better.

Minnesota Education endorsed the most reactionary, right-wing Republican State Representative, Tony Cornish, for re-election. Cornish has been a major opponent of a living Minimum Wage.

The AFL-CIO has endorsed Democratic State Senator Tom Bakk time and time again and Bakk has joined the Republicans in opposing an increase in the Minimum Wage.

We all know the unions would be without any paid staff if people like Jim Gleb and Tamara Jones who rent the scab facilities of the Indian Gaming Industry had to work for a miserly poverty wage of $9.50 cents an hour and the foundation-funded outfits would be without any staffs.

Remember, the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party with its super majority didn't raise the Minimum Wage a plug nickle in the last legislative session--- thus providing billionaires with extended super-profits.

All discussions about the Minimum Wage should center around: "Cost of Living" and "Standard of Living."

Perhaps these union "leaders" who are trying to shove a poverty Minimum Wage down the throats of working people would like to submit papers for your consideration on the topic:

Class dimensions of poverty. To explore why and how poverty is something that happens to the working class, not some marginal "other" at the bottom of society.

Michael, isn't it time to bring your gatherings out into the nitty-gritty of the class struggle where the discussions will have some real impact outside the sheltered life of academia?

What we need is a united working class struggle for a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity."


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