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...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Minnesota legislators and the governor, working in cahoots with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, try to pull a fast one on the Minimum Wage issue; they promised a living wage but deliver increased poverty.

I have circulated this letter today about the Minimum Wage to a diverse group of people including Minnesota State Legislators:

I know, given the circus atmosphere surrounding Minnesota state politics, trying to figure out what these politicians are doing with the Minimum Wage is really hard.

I get different answers from different legislators.

They want this confusion so they can pull off a bogus Minimum Wage increase.

This three tiered crap with the Minimum Wage is wrong when it comes to employer size. 

The lower "training wages" can be lived with provided its for a short duration of time (3 to 6 months) which corresponds to the employer's current probationary period but wrong if it is just giving the employer lower wages for a year or two or more. By defining the jobs as "training" this also provides huge tax breaks for employers.

As far as the tables they want to use this is a joke because what they are doing is tying the Minimum Wage increases (there would also be severe decreases) to two things: a.) production and b.) consumption, instead of the actual prices of goods and services as reflected by the Consumer Price Index. In other words, because people earning more have restricted purchasing power, the same or worse restrictions would be placed on the lowest paid workers meaning they will have even less access to goods and services than they have now.

In other words, as long as the capitalist economy is going downhill, the Minimum Wage would remain very low, and the worse the economy gets the lower the Minimum Wage goes.

What this means is the lowest paid workers will bear the brunt of economic collapse.

All of this is part of a strategy by business to drive down the overall standard of living of working people--- more enforced austerity.

They don't expect working people to be able to figure out what they are doing.

This is something like Alan Greenspan would want for the Minimum Wage.

Do they mention the names of any of the "think tanks" they are getting their information from?

What the Democrats with their super-majority are trying to pull off here is just plain mean and cruel they need to be exposed but it is going to be difficult to expose this because I doubt most legislators are competent (and intelligent enough) to understand what is going on here. This is all part of Mark Dayton's "secret" deal with the Chamber of Commerce to keep the Minimum Wage below $8.00. Knock off 15 cents to 50 cents an hour and this is where the "compromise" will bring the final Minimum Wage "increase" in at. Democrats "negotiating" and "compromising" with themselves at the expense of working people when the Republicans have no say about anything given the MN DFL's super-majority: a Democratic governor, Democratic majority in the State House and a Democratic majority in the State Senate... Democrats controlling almost every major city council and county commissions.

Even sadder is the fact that those pushing "15 or fight" don't understand any of this.

What is happening here is a perfect example of what happens to the working class when the left can't get past its sectarianism and go after the employers instead of one another.

I have been trying to put together a "letter to the editor" in about 250 words explaining what they are trying to get away with but I haven't figured out how to do this yet. Maybe someone else can. But, the other problem we have is the unwillingness of so many activists to take on these Democrats out of fear they will be retaliated against.

I tried to get a woman sympathetic to labor from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota to write an Op-Ed piece for the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press exposing all of this and she won't do it because she doesn't have tenure.

The silence on the part of the Minnesota AFL-CIO is just disgusting and shameful and shows just what kind of unprincipled dim-wits head up that outfit and their "allies" in these foundation-funded think-tanks.

I have shared our correspondence with others because I think it is very important that people know how these Democrats are betraying working people on this Minimum Wage issue--- I don't think any of these people should be allowed to get off the hook by saying they didn't understand or know what is going on.

The entire process has been intended to restrict and limit worker/citizen participation while hidden behind a thin veneer of "democracy"--- holding hearings in places people could not even find, refusing to provide video/audio transcripts of hearings, failing to provide adequate photo copies for the public and media attending, the refusal and unwillingness of legislators to communicate in a timely manner with constituents, the dishonest manner in which the Minimum Wage is being discussed in relation to everything under the sun EXCEPT for actual "cost-of-living" factors.  

That the Democratic Party and the unions would allow a stupid bozo like Senator Tom Bakk who claims to be a voice for labor together with a billionaire like Governor Mark Dayton whose wealth has been almost wholly derived from paying workers poverty wages and then meets in secrecy with the Business Caucus of the Democratic Party (the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce) can get away with this all under the "watchful eyes" of a "free" media is just the epitome of what betrayal looks like.

Even a very impoverished Indian Nation like the Leech Lake Indian Nation, with its tribal council, the Leech Lake Business Organization recently enacting, under tremendous citizen pressure, a Minimum Wage of $10.25 an hour for all of its employees--- including its casino workers... no hideous strings attached.

The levers of government should be used to improve the standard-of-living for everyone; not to assure employers this huge pool of cheap labor, which, in conjunction with massive unemployment, drives all wages down more effectively than any union-busting policeman's billy club.

We need to return to the original purpose of the Minimum Wage which was intended to protect working people from greedy employers--- not enable this important legislation to be used by employers to derive super-profits from the exploitation of working people.

These politicians are trying to tie the Minimum Wage to the Implicit Price Deflator and National Data for Personal Consumption Expenditures from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis instead of the COLA and the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

These same legislators just passed a huge tax cut for the very wealthy together with a largely insignificant tax cut for the well-heeled upper middle class to shut these selfish people up and keep the campaign coffers filled instead of the "tax the rich" that was promised.

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