Texas Longhorns with newborn calf in Bluebonnets

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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...

Monday, April 14, 2014

Keynesian hypocrisy.

My thought for the day...

Does anyone see the pattern developing here?

All of a sudden Robert Reich comes out saying he is for a $15.00 an hour Minimum Wage while not so much as suggesting working class families are experiencing a "cost-of-living crisis."


I never heard such a hypocritical crock of shit.

Will even $15.00 an hour solve the "cost-of-living crisis" for any working class family, in spite of this being a hefty increase in the Minimum Wage? No; and Robert Reich more than anyone knows this.

What we have here is these Democratic Party hacks and the millionaire labor leaders along with the foundation-funded outfits comprising the "partnership" between them kept in line by the hacks on the one hand before legislation is passed using their name recognition "influence" to undermine the struggle advocating real and specific solutions to problems to buy the Democrats time to get their Wall Street approved legislation through and then after its a "done deal" these shit-asses come talking about "it really wasn't enough" as if these Dumb Donkeys are going to go back and rescind the bad legislation and do what is right by the people.

We got the same shit with single-payer; now we get the same shit with the Minimum Wage.

We get the same shit with these people saying there is a need for a new political party but their utterances are only deception intended to make people think they are planning a new political party so grassroots and rank-and-file working class activists will not take the initiative on their own to become the catalysts for organizing a working class based progressive people's party.

Well, any raise is always better than no raise at all, workers understands this--- especially in the era of millionaire labor "leaders" negotiating nothing but concessions for the members paying the dues--- but this isn't the point.

And who asked these millionaire labor "leaders" who can't negotiate an improved standard-of-living for their own members to be the voice of poverty-waged unorganized workers who these union leaders have never offered assistance to organize?

The point is, these Democrats promised a living--- non-poverty--- wage and they should have kept their promise.

A living wage is not the same as "a raise."

Typical "bait and switch" bullshit we get from the Democrats and their partners.

As for this idea of Robert Reich's that there are "lousy jobs" this is just outright bullshit, too.

Any job that needs to be done is a good job provided it pays a real living wage, the health and safety of workers doing the job is protected, workers have rights and a voice at work and when there are decent benefits like adequate vacations, etc.

I don't include health care benefits because these same worthless millionaire labor leaders are the ones who hoodwinked workers into believing that health care should be part of collectively bargained agreements instead of fighting for what we really need: a National Public Health Care System.

We see what this bargaining for health care with individual employers has resulted in--- the health care mess we have now.

What these worthless millionaire labor leaders who now are nothing but negotiators of concessions did was to divide the working class over the health care issues when the struggle for real health care reform should have remained a point of unity as the left-led CIO was pushing for.

Not having decent pay and benefits with rights on the job and a voice at work is what makes a job "lousy."

Workers being forced to work under the "Doctrine of At-will Employment" is what makes a job "lousy."

Of course, Robert Reich did his part in the Clinton Administration to make sure millions of workers in other countries got "lousy jobs"--- low pay without any rights--- while making sure the jobs that remained here in the United States became "lousy jobs"--- poverty wages without many or any rights.

Come on, really; what kind of rights can a worker forced to be employed under terms of "At-will Employment" have? None.

What excuse is there here in Minnesota that the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party doesn't use its super-majority status to make every job a good job with real living wages as they promised to get the votes of workers? I would really like an answer, not excuses, to this question.

What excuse is there for the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party not to rescind and repeal "At-Will Employment" replacing this Draconian, repressive, anti-labor legislation with "Just Employment" legislation protecting workers from unjust and unfair terminations?

What excuse does the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party have for not passing anti-scab and anti-lockout legislation?

Is there any excuse for the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party failing to lobby Congress to enact real full employment legislation with teeth?

Robert Reich has now come forward supporting a $15.00 an hour Minimum Wage. Where has his voice been since 2008 when it was needed?

Good for Robert Reich; he know comes out for a $15.00 an hour Minimum Wage knowing this will not resolve the "cost-of-living crisis;" not some, but all working class families are experiencing and being subjected to by politicians bribed by Wall Street employers using the levers of government (legislation) to keep all wages down--- thus creating poverty instead of eliminating poverty as promised... again, "bait-and-switch." 

The only problem is, this guy, Robert Reich, if anyone, should know what a real living wage is--- after all, he was Secretary of Labor and completely understands the idea of what it means for wages to be living wages those wages must correspond to, and be in line with, all cost-of-living factors.

Robert Reich and the rest of these well-heeled, over-paid, muddle-headed upper-middle class intellectuals have not one iota of the fact of life that finds every single working class family in this country caught up in a "cost-of-living crisis" struggling just to make ends meet--- many struggling from day-to-day, others struggling from pay-check to pay-check with some 90 million workers being one or two pay-checks from poverty with some forty-million working class people living in poverty during a period when their labor has created the very wealth resulting in record high corporate profits for Wall Street money-bags--- greedy shit-bags.

It was Robert Reich's job as Secretary of Labor to make sure the Bureau of Labor Statistics was compiling the facts accurately for the Consumer Price Index which is the one and only valid set of statistics on which to base a real living wage in line with cost-of-living.

So, this begs the questions:

Why would Robert Reich keep proposing Minimum Wages that are substantially less than what it costs working class families to survive?

Why would Robert Reich, or anyone else for that matter, expect any worker to work for less than what it costs to live?

Robert Reich was silent on the Minimum Wage issue for years into the Obama Administration. Only a few short months ago, Reich was pushing a $9.50 Minimum Wage. Then he supported Obama's $10.10. Now he is backing $15.00 at the very time he lauds Minnesota's super-majority for passing a miserly pathetic poverty wage of $9.50 after Minnesota politicians refused to raise the Minimum Wage from $6.15 an hour for ten years.

Had these same politicians in Minnesota pushed for a yearly Minimum Wage increase of just 25-cents an hour tied to a measly 2.5% capped inflation adjustment, workers would have a Minimum Wage higher than the present $9.50 they just passed if we want to really put things in perspective.

Here we have a former Secretary of Labor, playing games with the lives of working class families when all he has to do is stand up and say, "Here is the empirical data on cost-of-living so here is what the Minimum Wage should be and we should keep the Minimum Wage legislatively tied to this data."

It is very simple; no guessing; no pulling figures randomly from a hat for self-serving political expediency.

Let Robert Reich have the courage to bring these figures forward--- when he does this I will be satisfied; until then, he is nothing but one more worthless Democratic Party hack enabling these Democrats to carry out "bait-and-switch."

Simple honesty requires Robert Reich to stop playing around with this important issue.

Let Robert Reich produce a video with his scribblings, doodlings, drawings and graphs based on the actual figures from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index.

Also, notice that Reich sidesteps the fact that these Minimum Wage "increases" won't take effect until future years which means all the purchasing power of these increases will have already been eaten up by rising costs of goods and services together with inflation at the time they come into effect.

And what is with Reich's refusal to call a poverty wage just what it is: A POVERTY WAGE?

A worker paid a poverty wage will be living in poverty along with their family.

And, Reich--- while mentioning Minnesota--- doesn't mention that here in Minnesota, and he did mention Minnesota increasing the Minimum Wage, that the maximum inflation increase is only 2.5%--- get out your calculator and figure out what this comes to at $9.50 an hour.

Plus, this inflation indexing, as pathetic as the $9.50 itself is miserly, doesn't even kick in until 2018!

The $9.50 doesn't kick in until 2016!

Of course, Reich never mentions that he sat in cowardly silence as Bill Clinton knocked millions of impoverished working class families off welfare to make sure there was a huge pool of poverty workers that would be "eager" (read: forced) to work in lousy poverty waged jobs from which Wall Street has reaped trillions upon trillions in super-profits; nor does Reich mention that this Clinton "welfare reform" set back people of color and women many decades as Clinton also gutted Affirmative Action--- another "little" fact Robert Reich with his "populist economic message" which also omits how militarization and these dirty imperialist wars are making us all poor.

Robert Reich peddles this Wall Street Keynesian bullshit as "economic populism."

President Franklin D. Roosevelt called John Maynard Keynes a "quack."

Instead of buying tickets to Reich's movie, working people would be better off taking the time to study a little Karl Marx.

Graphic artist Hugo Gellert made studying Karl Marx very easy to do--- maybe someone should turn these lithographs into an animated movie with background music from Nina Simone, Woody Guthrie and Leonard Cohen's "Democracy Is Coming to the U.S.A."

Here are the Hugo Gellert lithographs making Karl Marx very easy for anyone to understand:


We don't need Robert Reich to confuse things more than they already are when we have Karl Marx to explain in very simple everyday common language why what is happening is happening.

Something you might want to think about:

Any job paying a wage that isn't a real living wage in line with all cost-of-living factors is going to be a "lousy" job.

And, by the way; I do think "flipping burgers" should pay a real living wage which would make jobs at McDonald's and Burger King good jobs.

Any employers who don't want to pay workers a real living wage should just do the lousy job themselves instead of living as parasites off the labor of others.

What we need is a national campaign of united struggle in the  streets, at places of employment and at the ballot box to make the Minimum Wage a real living wage.

Employers will never increase wages one single penny without a struggle.

"Bait-and-switch" politics we get from the Democrats...
What Governor Mark Dayton and the DFL state legislative candidates campaigned for while seeking our votes:

The Bait:



     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.

The Switch:

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's statement on raising the Minimum Wage:


The Governor's "Fact Sheet:"


Fact: Minnesota Democrats campaigned for a "living--- non-poverty--- wage;" not a "raise" that is another poverty wage.

Fact: Democrats did raise the Minimum Wage.

Fact: Democrats did not raise the Minimum Wage as promised to a real living wage.

Quote: "No worker should have to live in poverty." Governor Mark Dayton

Question: Why did Governor Mark Dayton sign into law a Minimum Wage leaving workers mired in poverty?

Comment: This is the epitome of hypocrisy laying bare everything that is wrong with the political and economic system in the United States today.

The Keynesian economists work for Wall Street not the working class.

The Keynesian economists want workers with just enough money to spend in their pockets to keep the economy humming along but do not want wages to increase to the point where workers will have a decent standard-of-living.

Wages down = profits up.

Thus, the Keynesian economists want millions of workers languishing in poverty as a club used to keep most workers' wages down with the majority of working class families living pay-check to pay-check, always a pay-check or two away from poverty.

The Keynesian economists fail to recognize the "cost-of-living crisis" all working class families are experiencing because this is just what these mean-spirited, over-paid economists want for their Wall Street employers.