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...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

An interesting article about the Minimum Wage/Living Wage Movements by Steven Greenhouse in today's New York Times... BUT---


But, are these real living wages?

More to the point: Will these be real living wages at the time they go into effect?

This is the trap we are led into by the "$15.00 NOW!" movement. Instead of demanding that these wages be tied to actual cost of living, the "$15.00 NOW!" movement assures employers of poverty wages and rising profits.

Workers are always thrilled with any wage increase; nut, being thrilled is not the issue.

The issue is eliminating poverty wages which eliminates poverty.

Furthermore, all of these schemes are attached to leaving thousands of workers without the wages being held up as advances.

We need universal Minimum Wage legislation which assures non-poverty, real living wages tied to actual cost of living factors... and we need a powerful coalition to accomplish this but as a first step we need to widely promote the idea of wages being linked to cost-of-living.

Most unions are opposed to making this link simply because most of the contracts that have been shoved down workers throats since the late 1940's have been poverty wage--- or near poverty wage--- contracts with COLA not being anywhere near the actual rise in cost-of-living.

As Mark Froemke, a leader of the Minnesota/Dakotas AFL-CIO blatantly stated: "We aren't going to advocate anything higher (higher than $10.10) because we aren't getting any dues from these workers." This is the way millionaire labor leaders and their flunkies in the labor movement think.

I was recently thrilled to get a forty-cent an hour increase in my pay... but I'm still getting a poverty wage under a union contract! And I make far less than the pay in this NYT's article.

I would point out that the intent of the Minimum Wage is to get workers to a real living wage in line with actual cost-of-living and not to provide employers with low wages from which they reap huge super-profits.

Steven Greenhouse obviously understand "the big squeeze" workers in this country are being subjected to but does he understand every single working class family is trapped in a COST-OF-LIVING CRISIS and the only way out is through full employment and a real living Minimum Wage based on actual cost-of-living?

What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" where swords will be beat into plowshares and instead of manufacturing multi-billion dollar Gerald R. Ford Aircraft Carriers with massive cost overruns (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_R._Ford-class_aircraft_carrier) we need to invest our resources in National Public Health Care and Child Care Systems which will create meaningful jobs providing the American people with the requirements for decent lives and livelihoods.

An argument is made that these adjustments in the Minimum Wage will eventually get us to real living wages. This simply is not true. Nor will the advocacy piecemeal reforms result in the reforms required.

The Full Employment Act of 1947 was defeated by a vicious red-baiting assault launched by Wall Street. It is time for rank-and-file workers, organized and unorganized to unite and fight for what is needed:a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity."

We should be asking what happened to the AFL-CIO's Committee on Conversion that was brought into existence as a result of the work done by the IAM's William Winpisinger.

Also see:

I find it interesting that the Wall Street merchants of death and destruction are always allowed by the government to implement whatever cost overruns they want to claiming rising prices and costs but when it comes to workers needing wage increases to meet their rising cost-of-living requirements the employers and the politicians they elect cry.