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...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Minimum Wage

Questions surrounding the Minimum Wage continue to persist.

Should we just pick a poverty wage number out of the hat and allow the politicians to carry on with their own self-serving political interests?

Yes, $15.00 would definitely "help" many people; but, the fact remains that is still a poverty wage.

The Chair of the Minnesota Select Committee on Living Wage Jobs, Democratic State Representative Ryan Winkler, after calling me a liar for over a year, has finally acknowledged that here in Minnesota, which is one of the lower cost-of-living states, requires a Minimum Wage somewhere between $24.00 and $28.00 an hour for the wage to be considered a "living wage."

There is the argument that the Minimum Wage can't be raised so drastically from $6.15 to $24.00 in one fell swoop... well, why not?

Haven't these employers been pocketing the wages they have been cheating workers out of over these many years the Minimum Wage has been a poverty wage?

Just think of the hardship and suffering working class families have had to endure for all these years because of the pathetic miserly Minimum Wage. This has to count for something.

Quite frankly, employers and these politicians should be very happy workers would be satisfied with getting a real living wage and aren't going to initiate a class action lawsuit to get the back-pay they are entitled to.

If we can't get a real living wage out of this Democratic super-majority we have here in Minnesota with each and every one of these Democrats making the boast that they are "progressive;" then what can we ever expect to get out of the Democrats except for their dirty wars--- and Obamacare... the "Health Insurance and Pharmaceutical Industry Bailout and Profit Maximization Act of 2010?"

We have to step up the struggle for a real living wage based on cost-of-living; we must take this struggle into the proverbial "public square" in a way people will have the opportunity to mull all of this over.

Democracy and the standard of living of the American people requires no less than this kind of open and frank discussion with the involvement of working people.

Pete Seeger... communist.

What I find interesting about Pete Seeger is that he dropped his membership in the Communist Party but remained active with his friends in the Communist Party.

This is something that isn't being talked about much, in fact not at all, as we mourn Pete Seeger's passing.

This is all part of the very malicious and pernicious slander of the Communist Party by some of those on the left and it is detrimental to working class unity. In fact, to do this is a slander of Pete Seeger himself.

I find it quite dishonest not to consider this fact.

Pete Seeger, unlike many who for various reasons--- most not anti-Communist reasons, dropped his membership in the Communist Party but remained a "small 'c' communist" until the day he died... part of a "circle of friends." Or, as Minnesota's socialist Governor Elmer Benson liked to call himself, "a fellow traveler."

It's really a shame people have to use the death of someone of the stature of Pete Seeger to twist what he stood for to support their own hollow views.

Living wage

What is a "living wage?"

Here is how most dictionaries define a "living wage:"

liv·ing wage
noun: living wage; plural noun: living wages
  1. 1.
    a wage that is high enough to maintain a normal standard of living.

But, is this definition sufficient to explain what we are fighting for?

What is missing from this definition when it comes to our livelihoods and our struggles for a real living wage?

Think about this; what is missing?

What is missing is the fact that a living wage can only be defined and considered in relation to:


There is only one way to define what is a living wage and this is to compare wages to "cost-of-living."

For working people wages earned mean absolutely nothing except in relation to what can be purchased with wages.

Employers will always run away from any discussion which becomes focused on what workers can purchase with the wages they pay.

Compare your wages to the price you pay for the necessities required for and decent life--- your "cost-of-living":

home heating fuels
gas for your car
health care
toys for the kids
... and so on and so forth--- the list goes on and on.

The United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks all this down into 8 categories and 200 sub-categories; often we don't keep track of our actual "cost-of-living" in this detailed way. A lot of people, including our own government and the employers (one and the same thing?), would rather we not track and follow the actual expenses we have which taken together is our "cost-of-living." 

Why should anyone have to work at any job and be paid less than the actual "cost-of-living" by any employer?

Don't be tricked by the employers and the politicians these employers' lobbyists bribe along with the polical hacks and Wall Street employed linguists, also known as pundits, who twist and pervert the meaning of words like "living wage."

Are you being paid a real "living wage?"

Determine your "cost-of-living" and you will find the answer to this question.

The State of Minnesota's Department of Labor and Industry created this report on the "Minimum Wage;" it doesn't even use the term "cost-of-living:"


Here is a "Letter to the Editor" I wrote on the struggle for a real living Minimum Wage:


Miserly minimum wage creates poverty

I also wrote this "Letter to the Editor" which was published in the Albert Lea Tribune:

Where is the real minimum wage?

Published 9:00am Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Holiday shoppers and voters should beware of the bait and switch.

Bait and switch is an illegal advertising gimmick in the retail world; but, in politics bait and switch has become the way of life, the new normal.

For example: Obama campaigned for the Democratic Party’s nomination telling everyone, everywhere he went, he was for a single-payer universal health care system like they have in Canada; this was the bait.

Once elected, Obama pulled a switch and delivered Obamacare/Romneycare or as it should be known, the Health Insurance and Pharmaceutical Industry Bailout and Profit Maximization Act of 2010.

Another example: Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party Gov. Mark Dayton campaigned for office saying he would raise the minimum wage to a real living wage — this was the bait. Once elected, Dayton, a multibillionaire, is now pushing a miserly increase in the minimum wage which would keep the minimum wage a poverty wage — the switch.

Buyer (voter) beware of bait and switch.

The Minnesota DFL Party has a super-majority. Republicans have no say about anything; all they can do is cry.

We should at least be able to get a real living minimum wage out of these Democrats corresponding to actual cost-of-living factors as tracked and monitored by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics — the minimum wage should also be indexed to inflation with periodic increases to improve the living standards of working people.

Working people are entitled to this in return for their votes, especially from a political party which makes the claim that it is for labor.

If there are any obstacles the Democrats are encountering that would prevent them from implementing a real living — non-poverty — minimum wage, I would like to hear what the impediment is.

Alan L. Maki
director of organizing
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council
There can be no talk of eliminating poverty without legislation:

- For a real living Minimum Wage based on actual "cost-of-living"

- For a "Basic Income Guarantee"

- For a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity."


What is the main reason we have this "income inequality?"

Poverty wages.


How is this fixed?

Pay working people real living wages.

Create jobs. Put people to work in massive government universal social programs designed to improve the lives of people.

For less than the cost of these dirty imperialist wars we can put people to work providing the American people with free health care and free child care in a National Public Health Care System and a National Public Child Care Program which would be: publicly funded, publicly administered and publicly delivered... just like public education.