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...

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Obamacare must go. Don't let Republicans replace Obamacare with something just as bad. Stand up and speak out for a National Public Health Care System.

I have been explaining from day one why Obamacare is a reactionary piece of legislation.

I have also repeatedly pointed out that Barack Obama said he was for single-payer while first campaigning for president; the proof is here:

In fact, Trump and the Republicans have demagogically seized on this because you and others helped create a political vacuum in refusing to bring forward the real solution to this health care mess: a National Public Health Care System.

And then we had those traitors like Roger Hickey, Robert Borosage, Richard Trumka and all these others who undermined and sabotaged the single-payer movement... including John Conyers who was supposed to carry the ball for H.R. 676. Together with the Progressive Democrats of America, Conyers helped to keep single-payer out of the National Democratic Party Platform in 2008 just like Bernie Sanders did in 2016... Bernie Sanders' supporters are on the right track.

If you are demoralized to the point of being demobilized because of the set-backs single-payer has suffered, perhaps you should try getting involved in starting some kind of citizens' committee pushing for a National Health Care System because otherwise the Republicans are going to have a free ride in enacting another phony "solution" to this health care mess.

I assume there would be a basis for united action between those diehards still insisting on single-payer with those of us pushing for a National Public Health Care System provided single-payer would legislatively become a short-lived (couple years) to get us to a full-fledged National Public Health Care System.

Obviously, we must learn from the single-payer system the Canadian Liberals saddled the people with that the single-payer system is not sustainable over the long-haul like a National Public Health Care System is. We have seen and experienced the durability over the long-term of public education and it should be much easier--- and a lot less costly--- to sustain a National Public Health Care System.

Obamacare is a complete and total disaster because it is truthfully the "Health Insurance and Pharmaceutical Industry Bailout and Profit Maximization Act" based on private, for-profit healthcare which has no way of providing everyone with health care--- "affordable" or otherwise; and what someone may consider to be "affordable" might be pushing another family into poverty.

Single-payer is publicly financed but partially privately administered and wholly privately delivered so the for-profit motive still drives health care. In fact the insurance companies assume the role of administrators and the doctors set the prices for providing the care; and, the pharmaceutical companies continue to gouge the people.

A National Public Health Care System would be based on the very successful model of public education which has served the people here and all over the world so well; it is:

Publicly financed.

Publicly administered.

Publicly delivered.

I challenge ANYONE to prove there is a better health care system than a National Public Health Care System.

No other health care system can provide us free health care inexpensively through a network of neighborhood and community centers like a National Public Health Care System can while creating some twelve-million new good-paying jobs under union contract.

Everyone would be in; nobody would be left out.

We would be provided:

General medical.


Ears (including hearing aids).

Full dental.

All for a cost far, far less than we are collectively paying now.

All of this could be financed by a peace dividend derived from ending this insane militarism and these dirty imperialist wars and maintained in the same way we finance Social Security but with a much lower tax on employers and employees.

This will take a huge, massive united people's movement to win. But if we put our heads and resources together in united action we can win.

What is required is:

Education... talk about all of this with family, friends, neighbors and fellow workers.

Write a letter to the editor.

Table and leaflet.

Meet with you member of Congress.

Organization... get organizations you belong to to take up the struggle for a National Public Health Care System.

Unity... encourage united action.

Education, Organization, Unity and Action has always been the key to people winning reforms.

The American Medical Association has attacked National Public Health Care as a "Bolshevik plot" every since President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins first proposed it should be part of the New Deal. We can expect to face attacks from the AMA and all those who reap huge profits from the private, for-profit delivery of health care. So what; let these people scream and cry.... our health is more important than their profits.

When Frances Perkins was viciously red-baited by those piously hiding behind their "Christianity" claiming she was advocating what was written in the Communist Manifesto... Perkins courageously responded that she would rather see good ideas helping people rather than left in an old pamphlet with pages yellowing from age.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. repeatedly pointed out, health care is one of the most basic and fundamental human rights... just like public education, the right to a job with living wages and freedom from war.


"Of all the forms of inequality,
injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane."

–Martin Luther King, Jr.

The United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights sets out clearly and definitively that we are entitled to health care. Eleanor Roosevelt helped to make sure this was included:


Together we can win this.

Gather a few friends around the kitchen table and let's get moving.

We are like a little raindrop... alone we don't amount to much... but let it pour!

We need to steal the thunder from Trump and the Republicans on this health care issue.

We are going to need a new working class based peoples' party that can articulate and advance our needs. This party must be anti-monopoly and anti-imperialist with the stated and declared purpose of challenging Wall Street for political and economic power

To set the tone for the kind of debate we now need in this country, I suggest reading this commentary from Bob Herbert, his last column published in the New York Times, "Losing Our Way:"


The Opinion Pages | Op-Ed Columnist

Losing Our Way

So here we are pouring shiploads of cash into yet another war, this time in Libya, while simultaneously demolishing school budgets, closing libraries, laying off teachers and police officers, and generally letting the bottom fall out of the quality of life here at home.

Welcome to America in the second decade of the 21st century. An army of long-term unemployed workers is spread across the land, the human fallout from the Great Recession and long years of misguided economic policies. Optimism is in short supply. The few jobs now being created too often pay a pittance, not nearly enough to pry open the doors to a middle-class standard of living.

Arthur Miller, echoing the poet Archibald MacLeish, liked to say that the essence of America was its promises. That was a long time ago. Limitless greed, unrestrained corporate power and a ferocious addiction to foreign oil have led us to an era of perpetual war and economic decline. Young people today are staring at a future in which they will be less well off than their elders, a reversal of fortune that should send a shudder through everyone.

The U.S. has not just misplaced its priorities. When the most powerful country ever to inhabit the earth finds it so easy to plunge into the horror of warfare but almost impossible to find adequate work for its people or to properly educate its young, it has lost its way entirely.

Nearly 14 million Americans are jobless and the outlook for many of them is grim. Since there is just one job available for every five individuals looking for work, four of the five are out of luck. Instead of a land of opportunity, the U.S. is increasingly becoming a place of limited expectations. A college professor in Washington told me this week that graduates from his program were finding jobs, but they were not making very much money, certainly not enough to think about raising a family.

There is plenty of economic activity in the U.S., and plenty of wealth. But like greedy children, the folks at the top are seizing virtually all the marbles. Income and wealth inequality in the U.S. have reached stages that would make the third world blush. As the Economic Policy Institute has reported, the richest 10 percent of Americans received an unconscionable 100 percent of the average income growth in the years 2000 to 2007, the most recent extended period of economic expansion.

Bob Herbert Credit Damon Winter/The New York Times

Americans behave as if this is somehow normal or acceptable. It shouldn’t be, and didn’t used to be. Through much of the post-World War II era, income distribution was far more equitable, with the top 10 percent of families accounting for just a third of average income growth, and the bottom 90 percent receiving two-thirds. That seems like ancient history now.

The current maldistribution of wealth is also scandalous. In 2009, the richest 5 percent claimed 63.5 percent of the nation’s wealth. The overwhelming majority, the bottom 80 percent, collectively held just 12.8 percent.

This inequality, in which an enormous segment of the population struggles while the fortunate few ride the gravy train, is a world-class recipe for social unrest. Downward mobility is an ever-shortening fuse leading to profound consequences.

A stark example of the fundamental unfairness that is now so widespread was in The New York Times on Friday under the headline: “G.E.’s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes Altogether.” Despite profits of $14.2 billion — $5.1 billion from its operations in the United States — General Electric did not have to pay any U.S. taxes last year.

As The Times’s David Kocieniewski reported, “Its extraordinary success is based on an aggressive strategy that mixes fierce lobbying for tax breaks and innovative accounting that enables it to concentrate its profits offshore.”

G.E. is the nation’s largest corporation. Its chief executive, Jeffrey Immelt, is the leader of President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. You can understand how ordinary workers might look at this cozy corporate-government arrangement and conclude that it is not fully committed to the best interests of working people.

Overwhelming imbalances in wealth and income inevitably result in enormous imbalances of political power. So the corporations and the very wealthy continue to do well. The employment crisis never gets addressed. The wars never end. And nation-building never gets a foothold here at home.

New ideas and new leadership have seldom been more urgently needed.

This is my last column for The New York Times after an exhilarating, nearly 18-year run. I’m off to write a book and expand my efforts on behalf of working people, the poor and others who are struggling in our society. My thanks to all the readers who have been so kind to me over the years. I can be reached going forward at bobherbert88@gmail.com.


From Franklin D. Roosevelt, Henry Wallace and Frances Perkins pushed, prodded and backed by the Farmer-Labor Party and a huge popular front movement of the people we got the New Deal....

From Donald Trump and his cabal of morons we will get a Raw and Rotten Deal... unless we act in unity for what we need to live healthy and decent lives...