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...

Sunday, December 29, 2013

More on the Minimum Wage.

I am hearing more and more from those who think we need to "compromise" on the Minimum Wage issue.

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and Minnesota State Senator Kathy Sheran keep accusing me of "tightening the springs" in insisting on the Minimum Wage being a real living wage.

Some Democratic Party big-wigs banded together under the "leadership" of MN DFL Chair Ken Martin for a private meeting to discuss "how are we going to handle Maki on this thorny Minimum Wage problem."

The problem isn't with me; it is with them.

I'm not for cutting the Democrats one bit of slack on this very important issue. There will be no other issue that affects so many working people as this one.

DFL Chair Ken Martin says I should be smeared for not attacking the Republicans on this issue. What do the Republicans have to do with anything? It is the Democrats who have the super-majority--- a Democratic Governor, a Democratic majority in the State House and a solid Democratic majority in the State Senate. The only thing Republicans can do is cry.

Martin and Company are crying about my "Letters to the Editors" appearing in newspapers across the state accusing the Democrats of "Bait and Switch."

They say I am not taking on the Republicans. This is an outright lie. When these morons were capitulating and acquiescing to the Republicans, as an elected member of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party's State Central Committee, my voice was more often than not the only voice publicly heard coming from the Minnesota DFL challenging the Republicans. The facts of this are plain as day for anyone who reads the newspapers, listens to the radio or watches the news on television to see and hear.

I have actually had quite a lot to say about the Republicans on this issue of the Minimum Wage, though, in my writings and speeches.

However, because, like everyone, I am forced to work within the number of words these newspapers allow, I can't get into the issue as I would want to in "Letters to the Editor."

So, I am content in leaving it to Minnesota Chair Ken Martin and Governor Dayton to explain to Minnesotans how these dirty Republicans are preventing them from passing real "Living Wage Legislation."

Anyone can write in following up on my letters pointing out what the problem is with the Democrats--- and I have stated this time and time again in relation to the Minimum Wage issue so I don't really find any need to waste my space allotted in a "Letter to the Editor" attacking Republicans when it is the Democrats we need to focus on.

I have made this clear about the Republicans--- over and over again:

1. The Republicans will not support an increase in the Minimum Wage;

2. Most Republicans in Minnesota are for doing away with Minimum Wage legislation altogether.

For years, many decades, the DFL has stated that if they were given a super-majority by the voters they would enact what amounts to a Minimum Wage that is a real living--- non-poverty--- wage.

It is not true that I would be opposed to anything the Democrats do in increasing the Minimum Wage as is being asserted to malign me.

If the Democrats enact real living wage legislation I welcome this.

A "living wage" means a non-poverty wage.

We, the tax-payers, are paying big money to two government agencies--- U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics--- responsible for compiling and collecting data relating to "cost of living."

It is not up to me to state what the Minimum Wage should be in order for the Minimum Wage to be a non-poverty wage.

A non-poverty wage is based on actual "cost-of-living" factors.

When I see my name on the paycheck for who is being paid to tell us what a living, non-poverty, Minimum Wage actually is, I will provide the detailed calculations of how I arrive at my figures--- but, my figures are irrelevant; it is the politicians, not me, who have to be held accountable for the figures they are bandying about.

It is not I anyone should be seeking this explanation from as to what a non-poverty Minimum Wage should be.

It is from the politicians like Governor Mark Dayton, State Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, State House Leader Erin Murphy and Senator Tony Lourey who Chairs Health and Human Services Committee or State Senator Kathy Sheran who Chairs Health, Human Services and Housing.

I do know a little something about what the Minnesota DFL Platform has to say about "living wages" because I helped to write this part of the Platform, which states in no uncertain terms what the rank-and-file and grassroots base of the DFL stands for on this issue; and I quote from the MN DFL Party's Platform:

"A minimum wage that keeps pace with inflation and provides full time workers with an income above the poverty level."

ANY Minnesota DFL politician who is not going to use the DFL's super-majority to enact Minimum Wage legislation in line with this part of MN DFL Party's Platform should be sitting with the Republican Party's legislative caucus.

I think we are all very aware that DFL super-majorities are very rare and when achieved they should not be frivolously squandered.

Unless we have hugely different interpretations of what is meant by a "living wage" I don't see where there is a problem.

Unless anyone has reason to believe we shouldn't be able to trust the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics to compile data for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) than it seems to me WHAT the Minimum Wage should be is rather cut-and-dried.

Why should any working man or working woman be satisfied with anything less than a real living wage which is determined by analyzing all "cost-of-living" factors?

In fact, to do otherwise leaves people of color, women, the handicapped, youth and now even seniors forced back into the workforce holding the shitty end of the stick forever.

If the Minimum Wage should be $7.60 as Wisconsin Democrats claim, or $8.50, $9.50, $10.10 or $11.00 as various Democrats here in Minnesota are claiming--- all they have to do is show us the data from either the U.S. Statistical Abstract compiled by the United States Census Bureau or the CPI monitored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to prove these figures to be a "living wage."

Obviously all these figures can't be correct; and any working man or working woman can tell you that none of these figures are correct because no one can live a "non-poverty" life on any such pathetic miserly wages.

Is a $10.00 an hour Minimum Wage "better than" Minnesota's current Minimum Wage of $6.15?

Democrats did not promise "better than;" Democrats campaigning for public office do not promise "better than."

The promise of the Democrats and their Platform calls for "living wages" which can only be interpreted as, "A minimum wage that keeps pace with inflation and provides full time workers with an income above the poverty level."

Their own words:

"Above the poverty level."

Do you see any government agency stating that $8.50, $9.50, $10.10 or $11.00 an hour is "above the poverty level?"

Republicans have no say in any of this; however, apparently, the lobbyists for the employers are the only ones Minnesota politicians are listening to--- which means Minnesotans are going to have to speak with one clear voice on this issue: for a Minimum Wage that is a real living wage.

We are entitled to this in return for our votes.


It is about accountability which is as fundamental to democracy as a living wage is as basic and fundamental to human rights.

We must not tolerate "Bait and Switch" politics anymore than we would tolerate the highly illegal practice of "Bait and Switch" in the retail marketplace.

In addition to my long-standing disdain for the reactionary Republican Party, my views regarding Minimum Wage legislation and small business is also well known--- I think small business should be excluded from Minimum Wage legislation when it comes to these employers hiring family members and relatives... if these people want to pay their grandmas and grandpas poverty wages and all parties are agreeable to this than so be it--- eliminate the enforcement of the Minimum Wage in these circumstances; we don't want a bunch of selfish small business people shedding a trail of tears out in the suburbs and gated communities which seems to be where the Minnesota DFL is picking up most of its campaign contributions from.

The DFL with its super-majority should accommodate both workers and small business people as part of being accountable to voters and even larger campaign contributors--- but, compromise with the lobbyists representing the largest corporate employers? No way in hell.

Connecting the dots.

About "connecting the dots:"

There is massive unemployment, so many people forced to live on poverty wages--- and then people wonder why the Democrats and the mining companies make headway in their destruction of our living environment from peat mining and sulfide mining under the guise of promoting all of this as "jobs, jobs, jobs."

Think about this:

If people were being paid real living wages and everyone had a job, what would be the appeal of these Democrats and mining companies to promote environmental destruction in the name of "jobs, jobs, jobs."

They would have to promote all of this in the name of what it actually is:

"Profits, Profits, Profits."

It is all about divide and conquer--- labor gets exploited; Mother Nature gets raped.

And people are kept confused and fighting amongst themselves... as the mining companies profit and the politicians collect their bribes for doing dirty work for the mining companies.

Make the Minimum Wage a real living wage and provide jobs at decent living wages and people would begin to look at the need for protecting the environment in a different way.

And, as the mining companies destroy more pristine wilderness, habitat for wolves and other animals is destroyed and along comes the DNR with their wolf hunts to "ward off over-population."

But, who wouldn't want to work in a mine instead of a loud, noisy, smoke-filled casino at poverty wages and without any rights?

And, environmentalists and labor activists think they can win their battles without supporting one another because neither is looking to see how the "dots are actually connected."

As Wall Street seeks to expand into other countries, the process repeats--- and people object and wars ensue.