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...

Friday, March 21, 2014

I submitted this Op-Ed Piece for publication to the Grand Forks Herald on March 20, 2014

We hear a lot about how people are "free" because they have the right to vote.

When you think about this "right" to vote though, do you ever think about what we have the right to vote on and vote for?

Do you ever think about how what we vote for is just ignored?

Democrats have a platform their candidates are supposedly beholden to when they are running to get elected--- this is the "bait;" but when it comes to platform positions once they get elected, like making the Minimum Wage a real living wage, they just cleverly pull a "switch"--- in the retail world this is called "bait and switch"... we all hate "bait and switch" in the retail sector, right? Do we like it any better in politics?

This is the platform the candidates of the Minnesota DFL ran on--- I know it well because I wrote the resolution in the Lake Township Roseau County Minnesota Precinct Caucus; it was later approved by delegates to the Roseau County DFL Convention and then approved by the delegates to the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party's State Convention of which I was a delegate along with being a member of the MN DFL State Central Committee at the time:


We promote the American labor movement and the rights of all workers.

We Support:

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

Is there anything ambiguous or difficult to understand about this?

I thought I wrote it out plain and simple.

Now here we are with a Democratic governor, a Democratic majority in the State House and a Democratic majority in the State Senate--- a DFL super-majority.

Mark Dayton came begging to me in front of over two-hundred people and the news media for my support declaring that he was for a real living Minimum Wage... and a couple other things he said he was for and has since reneged on, too.

It's time for these politicians to increase the Minimum Wage to a real living wage and we find that the Minnesota DFL with the super-majority voters have given them with not one single DFL member of the Minnesota state legislative caucus or the Governor willing to legislate what the Platform calls for and what most working class Minnesotans support.

Is it any wonder participation in recent Precinct Caucuses was at an all-time low? Why bother if no one listens?

In fact, if there is anyone amongst us who doesn't believe every worker is entitled to a living wage for the work they do, let them stand before Minnesotans and explain their thinking.

What should the Minimum Wage be?

The Minimum Wage should be based on all "cost-of-living" factors; this is just plain common sense.

We pay people employed by the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics big money to track and record all of this on a quarterly basis. Eight categories and two-hundred sub-categories under each of the eight categories are monitored for goods and services--- this is called the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Inflation is also monitored very closely. All of this is monitored for each region of the country.

Does anyone doubt the accuracy of the work done by the Bureau of Labor Statistics? If so, let them step forward with empirical data to prove their point. I doubt I have any takers.

If we want the Minimum Wage to be a real living wage, which justice requires, all that needs to be done is legislatively tie the Minimum Wage to these findings along with providing a periodic increase to improve everyone's standard-of-living.

It isn't the role of public elected officials to use the levers of government to provide employers with a huge pool of cheap labor from which they reap huge super-profits--- especially at a time when corporate profits and business profits are at an all-time record high.

It is the responsibility of government to provide for the common good.

A group of Minnesota DFL politicians recently grandstanded pulling a stunt saying they were going to try living on the pathetically miserly federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 an hour. What kind of experiment was this? We all know no one can live on $7.25 an hour. Why didn't they try living on the $9.50 an hour they are proposing? Because they know they wouldn't have been able to live on this, either.

Getting the Minimum Wage in line with actual "cost-of-living" is what is key in this controversy over the Minimum Wage; nothing else matters, yet this is the one issue most avoided.

Like many people, I get calls every single day asking that I make a campaign contribution to this or that politician.

From now on, this will be my response to these over-paid employer-bribed politicians:

You want my donation?

Vote to raise my wages!

Until then, go away.

I'm broke.

After all, it's not like we are asking for the Minimum Wage to increase like the price of propane. On second thought, maybe we should.

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