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, June 10, 2014

Why no discussion about the relationship between wages and cost-of-living?

Once again, the AFL-CIO and their think-tank, the Economic Policy Institute, are "leading" the struggle to increase wages.

Read all about it here--- it all sounds so good:


Until you read the "study" that will provide the support for this "campaign" to raise wages:


Initiating a struggle to raise wages sounds real good.


How does the AFL-CIO explain how it is that they could hire a liberal think-tank to draft a 76 page document backing up their "campaign" to raise wages and the study does not so much as mention "cost-of-living" in relation to wages?

This is a good study hitting on a lot of important issues including pointing out that wages have not kept pace with the rapid rise in productivity; but, when mapping out a "campaign" to raise wages one has to wonder how it can be that the relationship between wages and "cost-of-living" is completely ignored.

This "campaign" and this "study" backing this "campaign" are what working people get when millionaire labor "leaders" and over-paid, well-heeled, muddle-headed, upper-middle class intellectuals get together to do the thinking for working people.

It is relatively easy to predict what this "campaign" will lead to--- not the kind of united, militant, mass working class struggle required to win real living wages; but, support for these worthless Dumb Donkeys who talk about how no worker should have to work for less than real living wages with their families mired in poverty as standard campaign rhetoric that fits in well with their hypocritical talk about "jobs, jobs, jobs" for stump speeches to get votes but once elected they turn around and legislate a Minimum Wage "increase" that is just one more poverty wage when what is required is to legislatively tie the Minimum Wage to all cost-of-living factors and provide legislation making full-employment the mandatory responsibility of the president and Congress.

But, one has to wonder how it can be that such a study intended to provide the backing of a campaign to raise wages does not so much as mention "cost-of-living" nor the all-important relationship between wages and cost-of-living--- what workers can purchase with their wages which comprises, together with benefits and universal social programs, that which determines what kind of "standard-of-living" working people will have.

There are several other interesting aspects as far as what this "study" leaves out.

First, taking their cue from all the other racist think-tanks, the plight of Native American Indians is completely ignored in spite of the fact that over 95% of Native American Indians are working class and the poorest of the poor. How can any "campaign" to raise wages move forward by ignoring the plight of a people who are the primary victims of everything wrong in our country?

Second, this study fails to use the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a guide to action even though organized labor "celebrates" its anniversary once a year and upholds it during these once a year celebrations as the primary document upon which we should judge whether or not the government and economy work for working people.

In fact, this "campaign," just like the "study" backing it, lacks specifics based on what needs to be done to win real living wages here in the United States...

First and foremost in any struggle to win real living wages it must be noted that central to this struggle is addressing the relationship between wages and cost-of-living which determines the standard-of-living and quality-of-life workers, working class families and the entire working class will have.

Call the Economic Policy Institute and ask them how it can be that they have created a "study" that is central to a "campaign" that will take up the task to raise wages without so much as one single mention of "cost-of-living" and the all-important relationship between wages and cost-of-living?

Here is the EPI phone number: 202-775-8810

One more superficial campaign backed by a superficial study.

Grassroots and rank-and-file activists need to organize their own think-tanks which will provide the backing for a new working class based progressive people's party which will be an integral part of the struggles in the workplaces, in the streets and in working class communities.

We can't win a raise through press conferences announcing these kinds of liberal studies omitting the relationship between wages and cost-of-living which must become our primary focus.

How can any study purporting to be the intellectual backing for a working class campaign to raise wages and the Minimum Wage to real living wages completely ignore the "Cost-of-Living Crisis" every single working class family in the United States and across the world is experiencing?

Do these labor "leaders" and the "intellectuals" they hire have no understanding of the crisis of everyday living working class families are caught up in? A crisis from which Wall Street reaps huge profits.

Do these labor "leaders" and the over-paid "intellectuals" they hire to create these kinds of superficial studies not understand that poverty is a state of not being able to attain the necessities required for a decent life which should be the result of "working for a living?"

If this is your idea of a "campaign" to "raise wages" be prepared to live in the abyss of poverty for the rest of your life and to saddle future generations to living in even worse poverty.

We are being pushed into a national discussion leading up to the upcoming elections where a superficial and meaningless form of "economic populism" is being passed off as the framework for curing what ails our country; an "economic populism" that provides no specific programs required to resolve our problems and an "economic populism" which tries to omit the adverse impact of imperialist militarism and wars on our lives.

Why would any study note the high levels of productivity that have been achieved by the U.S. working class and then fail to advocate for a real living wage based on all cost-of-living factors? This doesn't even make any sense if they are sincere about improving the lives and livelihoods of working people as they lay claim to--- unless they aren't sincere and are only using us and our problems in order to get a bunch of worthless Democrats elected. This wouldn't be the first time this has happened.

For further discussion of these issues check out: