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, February 21, 2014

The struggle for a living wage.

The answer is to make the Minimum Wage a real living wage. There is only one way to do this. Legislatively tie the Minimum Wage to the real and actual "cost-of-living" calculated from the Consumer Price Index; then index this living wage to inflation; and, in addition, provide everyone getting the Minimum Wage with periodic increases in the Minimum Wage so everyone's "standard-of-living" continually improves.

The whole idea behind having a Minimum Wage in the first place is not to provide employers with a huge pool of cheap labor but to improve the lives and "standard-of-living" of working people. Some people, including many of those pushing for a "Living Wage" are confusing the purpose of the Minimum Wage and this is not helping our struggle.

Federal "Minimum Wage" legislation was passed in 1938 as part of the "Fair Labor Standards Act."

Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary of Labor, had been working with liberals, progressives and leftists for many years pushing for this most progressive legislation.

Wall Street business interests have perverted the Minimum Wage for just the opposite purpose--- using it to keep wages down for all workers by having this huge pool of millions of poverty waged workers; thereby undermining the progressive intent of the federal Minimum Wage Act.

$15.00 is only a minor reform which has about as much chance of being enacted as single-payer universal health care.

I believe very faulty logic has gone into this "$15.00 or Fight" movement because we, as leftists, should be demanding what is the real solution.

This "$15.00 or Fight" is based on the false poverty level established by the U.S. Census Bureau, Democratic Party front groups and the foundation-funded anti-poverty organizations.

It is just like single-payer universal health care; we couldn't sustain a movement for real health care reform because we didn't organize around the specific required solution: a National Public Health Care System.

It is the same thing with the Minimum Wage; we should be organizing around the real solution... if we end up getting a lesser real reform like $15.00 for the Minimum Wage because we feel we can't get any more in the way of justice which is what the advocates of the Minimum Wage felt in 1938 then so be it--- but, because we win a reform does not mean we stop advocating for the complete required reform; which, in this situation is legislatively tying the Minimum Wage to the real and actual "cost-of-living" calculated from the Consumer Price Index; then index this living wage to inflation; and, in addition, provide everyone getting the Minimum Wage with periodic increases in the Minimum Wage so everyone's "standard-of-living" continually improves.

The same thing goes for full employment. We can't start out advocating for some kind of half-ass reform calling for the voluntary intent to achieve full employment. We need legislation that will require the president and Congress to work together to attain and maintain full employment. None of this bullshit where there is a target of 5% unemployment being the same as full employment. Everyone who wants to work is entitled to a real living wage job--- if private enterprise can't, or won't, provide jobs then the government is going to have to come up with universal social programs putting people to work solving the problems people and society are experiencing.

It is mind-boggling that these politicians, political hacks and pundits who can't figure out that workers paid poverty wages and workers without jobs are going to be poor are the very same ones who can't figure out that the way to create jobs is putting people to work solving our problems.

Just as mind-boggling is the fact that these politicians, political hacks and pundits who talk about "jobs, jobs, jobs" and tell us they are for single-payer universal health care and affordable health care someplace down the line when they are looking for votes can't figure out that we can put 12 million to 15 million people to work in a National Public Health Care System providing the American people with free health care for much less than these costly, stupid, dirty, barbaric, savage and never-ending imperialist wars are costing us while this madness and insanity of the Military-Industrial Complex leaves in its wake the most damaging carbon footprint at the very time when everyone except the most dense people incapable of thinking logically and using common sense know we are on course for complete environmental catastrophe.

A National Public Child Care System would create another 3 to 5 million new jobs.

What about WPA, CCC and C.E.T.A.--- millions of more jobs through government programs proven to work.

If leftists aren't willing to come forward with this kind of analysis becoming the catalyst for action we will never see any meaningful reforms let alone socialist revolution.

This kind of thinking needs to be brought into the proverbial public square where we can enter into a dialog with the American people.

Anyone who thinks that these Wall Street bribed politicians can be convinced and reasoned with about anything unless they are being challenged for power is living in some kind of la-la land.

We need to state right up front our intent is to challenge Wall Street for political and economic power.

We need an anti-monopoly political movement and party to accomplish this so people in the streets, fighting for their rights and livelihoods in the workplace have a political party on their side.

There are far too many small leftists parties and organizations doing their own thing without talking to those outside their parties and organizations.

We need some kind of organized national round-table discussions which include all leftists (and any liberals and progressives who want to join us) to hash these things out.

Uniting People is organizing a national conference call to discuss the Minimum Wage on the evening of April 27. This will include a panel discussion with completely interactive communication between panelists and callers. Everyone is welcome to join in.

Horror of horrors... President Scott Walker.

Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush...

Now President Scott Walker?

Could it be?

How much worse could it possibly get?

There is no light at the end of the tunnel. We are on the road straight to hell.

Wall Street will keep on dishing out this crap as long as we are willing to take it.

Hillary Clinton versus Scott Walker.

Do you suppose we will be hearing: "You have to vote the lesser evil."

Oh, ya; I know... now is not the time to be talking about a working class based progressive people's party--- the consequences of a Walker presidency are just too much to bear... or is it bare.

We are told we can't get along without the Democrats.

The phony "liberals," "progressives" and "leftists" will be telling us Hillary Clinton is a liberal with a progressive agenda as they tell us how much they would like single-payer, real living wages, jobs for everyone and what a great idea Tom Paine had with his Basic Income Guarantee and how drone warfare is better than dying U.S. soldiers and how we should just overlook how all these Democrats back the Israeli killing machine.

If only we have patience real reforms and peace are sure to come.

Even real liberals, progressives and leftists appear ready to accept legalization of marijuana as the only achievable victory possible as it is easier and less controversial to advance the legalization of pot than a National Public Health Care System, National Public Child Care, real living wages based on cost-of-living, Basic Income Guarantee and a full employment act. Don't talk about and advance these social programs through a new party and then sit around smoking joints complaining we don't get any of this.

Hippies without politics, hippies without struggle is what passes for liberalism, progressivism and leftism.

I think it is pathetic more "activists" will turn out for a demonstration to legalize marijuana then will turn out to demonstrate for peace.

Minnesota's Democratic Governor with a Democratic super-majority says the main controversial issue in the upcoming legislative session will be the legalization of pot.

Needless to say, Governor Dayton doesn't want his campaign promise for a real living--- non-poverty--- Minimum Wage to become the point of controversy in this legislative session when the Minimum Wage comes up--- he wants another poverty wage passed and wants to see us jumping for joy that whatever passes is better than the present $6.15 an hour.

Like suckers, activists will take Dayton's bait on marijuana.

And the claim is: Marijuana doesn't affect the thought process.

Then again, we have a Democratic Governor who admits he is an alcoholic who can't shake the bottle and who acknowledges he suffers from severe depression while using heavy-duty psychiatric drugs but says he is opposed to the legalization of marijuana.

What a circus.

Wall Street just loves the show.


Thanks for the gift...

Expect to be seeing big changes in me. Someone sent me a gift subscription to "GQ" magazine. Just what I needed. I guess the intent has to be appreciated. Must be some kind of subtle message for me. Now, if I could just afford to "look sharp" and "live smart." Maybe the anonymous gift giver will send me a check, too.