Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Two views. Which way for organized labor and the working class.

Listen to this. Richard Trumka's main speech to the AFL-CIO's National Convention:

Then check out this; has Richard Trumka responded to the problems of the working class and the problems we as a Nation face:

Sisters and Brothers, Fellow Workers;

Uniting People (UP) is a new national organization for Peace, Equality, Full Employment, Universal Health Care and Protection of the Environment. We appreciate the invitation extended by the AFL-CIO to all people and organizations to comment on its White Paper, “Prosperity Economics, Building An Economy For All” by Jacob S. Hacker and Nate Loewentheil, intended to create discussion about the direction of organized labor and the kind of country we all want to live in where peace, social and economic justice for working people prevail.

Democracy--- as well as social, economic and environmental justice--- require no less than a full and broad discussion of these important concerns and issues.

We agree with the concept of “prosperity economics” by “building an economy that works for everyone.”  There are several very basic facts left out of this “White Paper” and it is very hazy, vague and nebulous as to what our concrete and specific goals and objectives are to be and what kind of movement and struggle it will take for the working class--- organized and unorganized together--- to create a prosperity economics for us all.

The “White Paper” does not clearly articulate our main enemy: Wall Street. The “White Paper” doesn't reflect the fact that we, as working people, are engaged in a social, political and economic struggle for power with the intent to replace Wall Street's dominance over every aspect of our lives--- in our schools, at work and in our communities.

Let's state right up front workers create all wealth but workers have had no say in how this wealth is distributed and used. This needs to change. Democracy requires no less.

Let's also put it right out there before the American people that militarism and wars are squandering the wealth of our Nation to such a large extent we don't have the resources to solve our many domestic problems. These dirty imperialist wars are killing our jobs and our standard of living just like they kill people.

Militarism and wars are a major contributing factor to the world-wide collapsing capitalist economy. No nation can continue to endlessly use the wealth of its nation to prepare for wars and to fight wars. This is sheer insanity.

Wall Street's greedy drive for profits results in wars which exacerbates our problems. 

Detroit goes broke; the rest of our cities are sure to follow as Wall Street wallows in profits.

Working people go without adequate health care; insurance and pharmaceutical companies get fabulously wealthy. Shorter workweeks/longer vacations with no cut in pay create jobs and would keep us healthier, too.

Our public institutions like public education fall apart, crumble and collapse just like our roads, highways and bridges because we are constantly feeding a war machine intended to fight never-ending wars waged to protect Wall Street's assets and profits.

Prosperity for all begins with the recognition peace is required to achieve full employment.

Full employment is about the government seeing to it that jobs are created for all at real living wages. It is about putting people to work by creating massive universal social programs like Medicare for All, not job destroying legislation like Obama-care as detrimental to our health and jobs as wars without providing real health care reform while pushing the price of health care up instead of its stated intent to push prices down. 

Eliminating militarism and wars eliminates the largest carbon footprint contributing to global warming and climate change as the Military Industrial Complex wastes our precious resources in a huge, monstrous complex that ruins our environment---  power generation, mining, manufacturing, the resources like oil and gas required to fight wars. Preparation for war, and war itself, creates a mammoth sized carbon footprint destroying our living environment while creating massive joblessness and poverty and ill health for our people as our air, water and land gets polluted.

The Wall Street selected politicians talk about “jobs, jobs, jobs” when their hidden agenda is really “profits, profits, profits” and “war, war, and more war.”

The time has come to make politicians legislatively responsible for full employment and peace because prosperity economics requires: peace and full employment--- a healthy people and a healthy environment.

Therefore, we propose that a central goal of the American labor and working class movement needs to be the building of an economy for all that is inseparably linked to peace and full employment which must include:

A Minimum Wage tied to all cost of living factors indexed to inflation. Jobs or a living income for all.

Medicare for All. Protect, defend and expand Social Security programs.

Legislation prohibiting lockouts and scabbing. Repeal of “At-Will Employment” legislation--- the primary obstacle to worker empowerment and union organizing.

Price controls are needed for food, gas, home heating fuels and electricity.

A healthy economy means a healthy living environment and a healthy planet. We need a quality of life index.

The two-party system is a trap for working people. We must free ourselves from the Democrats and Republicans. A working class based people's party is required if we are going to have a prosperity economics that works for all of us. We can learn a thing or two about health care and politics from our Canadian Brothers and Sisters.

We are now at a crossroads.

We will have an economy that serves Wall Street or we will have an economy that works for the rest of us--- we can't have both just like we can't have both war and full employment.

We encourage the use of the proposed Full Employment Act of 1945 pushed by the CIO unions and authored by liberal Texas Congressman Wright Patman and the associated hearing testimonies to broaden this discussion:;seq=10;view=1up

We also call to your attention the excellent Op-Ed piece by Bob Herbert, “Losing Our Way,” his last piece in the New York Times (March 25, 2011), which declares:

"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."
We ask: What ever happened to William Winpisinger's "Rebuild America Act" and the “peace dividend?” The AFL-CIO should bring back to life its Committee on Conversion--- from military production to producing for human needs; swords into plowshares is what was advocated by the International Association of Machinist's former President, William Winpisinger. Where is this advocacy for peace and reordering our Nation's priorities now?

Thank you for allowing us to offer our critique of the AFL-CIO's “White Paper” and our alternative perspectives.

In solidarity and struggle. Uniting People (UP) for peace, equality, full employment, universal health care and protection of the environment.

Contact by e-mail:

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Two presidential speeches--- one with no solutions; one with solutions that were implemented.

One speech buried in history complete with specifics that led to real action; the other published all over the place without any discussion of solutions to problems.

Read the speeches for yourself...

FULL TRANSCRIPT: President Obama’s speech on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington

By Washington Post Staff,August 28, 2013
President Obama delivered the following remarks at the “Let Freedom Ring” ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 2013, at the Lincoln Memorial.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: To the King family, who have sacrificed and inspired so much, to President Clinton, President Carter, Vice President Biden, Jill, fellow Americans, five decades ago today, Americans came to this honored place to lay claim to a promise made at our founding.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

In 1963, almost 200 years after those words were set to paper, a full century after a great war was fought and emancipation proclaimed, that promise, those truths remained unmet. And so they came by the thousands, from every corner of our country -- men and women, young and old, blacks who longed for freedom and whites who could no longer accept freedom for themselves while witnessing the subjugation of others. Across the land, congregations sent them off with food and with prayer. In the middle of the night, entire blocks of Harlem came out to wish them well.

With the few dollars they scrimped from their labor, some bought tickets and boarded buses, even if they couldn't always sit where they wanted to sit. Those with less money hitchhiked, or walked. They were seamstresses, and steelworkers, and students, and teachers, maids and pullman porters. They shared simple meals and bunked together on floors.

And then, on a hot summer day, they assembled here, in our nation's capital, under the shadow of the great emancipator, to offer testimony of injustice, to petition their government for redress and to awaken America's long-slumbering conscience.

We rightly and best remember Dr. King's soaring oratory that day, how he gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions, how he offered a salvation path for oppressed and oppressors alike. His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time.

But we would do well to recall that day itself also belonged to those ordinary people whose names never appeared in the history books, never got on TV.

Many had gone to segregated schools and sat at segregated lunch counters, had lived in towns where they couldn't vote, in cities where their votes didn't matter. There were couples in love who couldn't marry, soldiers who fought for freedom abroad that they found denied to them at home. They had seen loved ones beaten and children fire- hosed. And they had every reason to lash out in anger or resign themselves to a bitter fate.

And yet they chose a different path. In the face of hatred, they prayed for their tormentors. In the face of violence, they stood up and sat in with the moral force of nonviolence. Willingly, they went to jail to protest unjust laws, their cells swelling with the sound of freedom songs. A lifetime of indignities had taught them that no man can take away the dignity and grace that God grants us. They had learned through hard experience what Frederick Douglas once taught: that freedom is not given; it must be won through struggle and discipline, persistence and faith.

That was the spirit they brought here that day.

That was the spirit young people like John Lewis brought that day. That was the spirit that they carried with them like a torch back to their cities and their neighborhoods, that steady flame of conscience and courage that would sustain them through the campaigns to come, through boycotts and voter registration drives and smaller marches, far from the spotlight, through the loss of four little girls in Birmingham, the carnage of Edmund Pettus Bridge and the agony of Dallas, California, Memphis. Through setbacks and heartbreaks and gnawing doubt, that flame of justice flickered and never died.

And because they kept marching, America changed. Because they marched, the civil rights law was passed. Because they marched, the voting rights law was signed. Because they marched, doors of opportunity and education swung open so their daughters and sons could finally imagine a life for themselves beyond washing somebody else's laundry or shining somebody else's shoes. (Applause.) Because they marched, city councils changed and state legislatures changed and Congress changed and, yes, eventually the White House changed. (Cheers, applause.)

Because they marched, America became more free and more fair, not just for African-Americans but for women and Latinos, Asians and Native Americans, for Catholics, Jews and Muslims, for gays, for Americans with disabilities.

America changed for you and for me.

And the entire world drew strength from that example, whether it be young people who watched from the other side of an Iron Curtain and would eventually tear down that wall, or the young people inside South Africa who would eventually end the scourge of apartheid. (Applause.) Those are the victories they won, with iron wills and hope in their hearts. That is the transformation that they wrought with each step of their well-worn shoes. That's the depth that I and millions of Americans owe those maids, those laborers, those porters, those secretaries -- folks who could have run a company, maybe, if they had ever had a chance; those white students who put themselves in harm's way even though they didn't have to -- (applause) -- those Japanese- Americans who recalled their own interment, those Jewish Americans who had survived the Holocaust, people who could have given up and given in but kept on keeping on, knowing that weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning -- (cheers, applause) -- on the battlefield of justice, men and women without rank or wealth or title or fame would liberate us all, in ways that our children now take for granted as people of all colors and creeds live together and learn together and walk together, and fight alongside one another and love one another, and judge one another by the content of our character in this greatest nation on Earth.
To dismiss the magnitude of this progress, to suggest, as some sometimes do, that little has changed -- that dishonors the courage and the sacrifice of those who paid the price to march in those years. (Applause.) Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, Martin Luther King Jr., they did not die in vain. (Applause.) Their victory was great.

But we would dishonor those heroes as well to suggest that the work of this nation is somehow complete. The arc of the moral universe may bend towards justice, but it doesn't bend on its own. To secure the gains this country has made requires constant vigilance, not complacency. Whether it's by challenging those who erect new barriers to the vote or ensuring that the scales of justice work equally for all in the criminal justice system and not simply a pipeline from underfunded schools to overcrowded jails -- (applause) -- it requires vigilance.
(Cheers, applause.)

And we'll suffer the occasional setback. But we will win these fights. This country has changed too much. (Applause.) People of good will, regardless of party, are too plentiful for those with ill will to change history's currents. (Applause.)

In some ways, though, the securing of civil rights, voting rights, the eradication of legalized discrimination -- the very significance of these victories may have obscured a second goal of the march, for the men and women who gathered 50 years ago were not there in search of some abstract idea. They were there seeking jobs as well as justice -- (applause) -- not just the absence of oppression but the presence of economic opportunity. For what does it profit a man, Dr. King would ask, to sit at an integrated lunch counter if he can't afford the meal?

This idea that -- that one's liberty is linked to one's livelihood, that the pursuit of happiness requires the dignity of work, the skills to find work, decent pay, some measure of material security -- this idea was not new.

Lincoln himself understood the Declaration of Independence in such terms, as a promise that in due time, the weights should be lifted from the shoulders of all men and that all should have an equal chance.

Dr. King explained that the goals of African-Americans were identical to working people of all races: decent wages, fair working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures -- conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community.

What King was describing has been the dream of every American. It's what's lured for centuries new arrivals to our shores. And it's along this second dimension of economic opportunity, the chance through honest toil to advance one's station in life, that the goals of 50 years ago have fallen most short.

Yes, there have been examples of success within black America that would have been unimaginable a half-century ago. But as has already been noted, black unemployment has remained almost twice as high as white employment (sic), Latino unemployment close behind. The gap in wealth between races has not lessened, it's grown.

As President Clinton indicated, the position of all working Americans, regardless of color, has eroded, making the dream Dr. King described even more elusive.

For over a decade, working Americans of all races have seen their wages and incomes stagnate. Even as corporate profits soar, even as the pay of a fortunate few explodes, inequality has steadily risen over the decades. Upward mobility has become harder. In too many communities across this country in cities and suburbs and rural hamlets, the shadow of poverty casts a pall over our youth, their lives a fortress of substandard schools and diminished prospects, inadequate health care and perennial violence.

And so as we mark this anniversary, we must remind ourselves that the measure of progress for those who marched 50 years ago was not merely how many blacks had joined the ranks of millionaires; it was whether this country would admit all people who were willing to work hard, regardless of race, into the ranks of a middle-class life. (Applause.) The test was not and never has been whether the doors of opportunity are cracked a bit wider for a few. It was whether our economic system provides a fair shot for the many, for the black custodian and the white steelworker, the immigrant dishwasher and the Native American veteran. To win that battle, to answer that call -- this remains our great unfinished business.

We shouldn't fool ourselves. The task will not be easy. Since 1963 the economy's changed.

The twin forces of technology and global competition have subtracted those jobs that once provided a foothold into the middle class, reduced the bargaining power of American workers.

And our politics has suffered. Entrenched interests -- those who benefit from an unjust status quo resisted any government efforts to give working families a fair deal, marshaling an army of lobbyists and opinion makers to argue that minimum wage increases or stronger labor laws or taxes on the wealthy who could afford it just to fund crumbling schools -- that all these things violated sound economic principles.

We'd be told that growing inequality was the price for a growing economy, a measure of the free market -- that greed was good and compassion ineffective, and those without jobs or health care had only themselves to blame.

And then there were those elected officials who found it useful to practice the old politics of division, doing their best to convince middle-class Americans of a great untruth, that government was somehow itself to blame for their growing economic insecurity -- that distant bureaucrats were taking their hard-earned dollars to benefit the welfare cheat or the illegal immigrant.

And then, if we're honest with ourselves, we'll admit that during the course of 50 years, there were times when some of us, claiming to push for change, lost our way. The anguish of assassinations set off self-defeating riots.

Legitimate grievances against police brutality tipped into excuse- making for criminal behavior. Racial politics could cut both ways as the transformative message of unity and brotherhood was drowned out by the language of recrimination. And what had once been a call for equality of opportunity, the chance for all Americans to work hard and get ahead was too often framed as a mere desire for government support, as if we had no agency in our own liberation, as if poverty was an excuse for not raising your child and the bigotry of others was reason to give up on yourself. All of that history is how progress stalled. That's how hope was diverted. It's how our country remained divided.

But the good news is, just as was true in 1963, we now have a choice. We can continue down our current path in which the gears of this great democracy grind to a halt and our children accept a life of lower expectations, where politics is a zero-sum game, where a few do very well while struggling families of every race fight over a shrinking economic pie. That's one path. Or we can have the courage to change.
The March on Washington teaches us that we are not trapped by the mistakes of history, that we are masters of our fate.

But it also teaches us that the promise of this nation will only be kept when we work together. We'll have to reignite the embers of empathy and fellow feeling, the coalition of conscience that found expression in this place 50 years ago.

And I believe that spirit is there, that true force inside each of us. I see it when a white mother recognizes her own daughter in the face of a poor black child. I see it when the black youth thinks of his own grandfather in the dignified steps of an elderly white man. It's there when the native born recognizing that striving spirit of a new immigrant, when the interracial couple connects the pain of a gay couple who were discriminated against and understands it as their own. That's where courage comes from, when we turn not from each other or on each other but towards one another, and we find that we do not walk alone. That's where courage comes from. (Applause.)

And with that courage, we can stand together for good jobs and just wages. With that courage, we can stand together for the right to health care in the richest nation on earth for every person. (Applause.) With that courage, we can stand together for the right of every child, from the corners of Anacostia to the hills of Appalachia, to get an education that stirs the mind and captures the spirit and prepares them for the world that awaits them. (Applause.) With that courage, we can feed the hungry and house the homeless and transform bleak wastelands of poverty into fields of commerce and promise.

America, I know the road will be long, but I know we can get there. Yes, we will stumble, but I know we'll get back up. That's how a movement happens. That's how history bends. That's how, when somebody is faint of heart, somebody else brings them along and says, come on, we're marching. (Cheers, applause.)

There's a reason why so many who marched that day and in the days to come were young, for the young are unconstrained by habits of fear, unconstrained by the conventions of what is. They dared to dream different and to imagine something better. And I am convinced that same imagination, the same hunger of purpose serves in this generation.

We might not face the same dangers as 1963, but the fierce urgency of now remains. We may never duplicate the swelling crowds and dazzling processions of that day so long ago, no one can match King's brilliance, but the same flames that lit the heart of all who are willing to take a first step for justice, I know that flame remains. (Applause.)

That tireless teacher who gets to class early and stays late and dips into her own pocket to buy supplies because she believes that every child is her charge -- she's marching. (Applause.) That successful businessman who doesn't have to, but pays his workers a fair wage and then offers a shot to a man, maybe an ex-con, who's down on his luck -- he's marching.

(Cheers, applause.) The mother who pours her love into her daughter so that she grows up with the confidence to walk through the same doors as anybody's son -- she's marching. (Cheers, applause.) The father who realizes the most important job he'll ever have is raising his boy right, even if he didn't have a father, especially if he didn't have a father at home -- he's marching. (Applause.) The battle-scarred veterans who devote themselves not only to helping their fellow warriors stand again and walk again and run again, but to keep serving their country when they come home -- they are marching. (Applause.) Everyone who realizes what those glorious patriots knew on that day, that change does not come from Washington but to Washington, that change has always been built on our willingness, we, the people, to take on the mantle of citizenship -- you are marching. (Applause.)

And that's the lesson of our past, that's the promise of tomorrow, that in the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it. And when millions of Americans of every race and every region, every faith and every station can join together in a spirit of brotherhood, then those mountains will be made low, and those rough places will be made plain, and those crooked places, they straighten out towards grace, and we will vindicate the faith of those who sacrificed so much and live up to the true meaning of our creed as one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. (Cheers, applause.)    [end]

"To Fulfill These Rights"

"To Fulfill These Rights;" The Presidential speech you are not supposed to know about because, unlike Obama's speeches, this speech by President Lyndon B. Johnson was followed up with real action.

This is a speech sometimes, but not often, quoted; and almost never published in it's entirety for people to read.

"To this end equal opportunity is essential, but not enough, not enough. Men and women of all races are born with the same range of abilities. But ability is not just the product of birth. Ability is stretched or stunted by the family that you live with, and the neighborhood you live in--by the school you go to and the poverty or the richness of your surroundings. It is the product of a hundred unseen forces playing upon the little infant, the child, and finally the man."

"We are trying to attack these evils through our poverty program, through our education program, through our medical care and our other health programs, and a dozen more of the Great Society programs that are aimed at the root causes of this poverty."

"These differences are not racial differences. They are solely and simply the consequence of ancient brutality, past injustice, and present prejudice. They are anguishing to observe. For the Negro they are a constant reminder of oppression. For the white they are a constant reminder of guilt. But they must be faced and they must be dealt with and they must be overcome, if we are ever to reach the time when the only difference between Negroes and whites is the color of their skin."

"The Negro, like these others, will have to rely mostly upon his own efforts. But he just can not do it alone. For they did not have the heritage of centuries to overcome, and they did not have a cultural tradition which had been twisted and battered by endless years of hatred and hopelessness, nor were they excluded--these others--because of race or color--a feeling whose dark intensity is matched by no other prejudice in our society."

President Lyndon B. Johnson's

Commencement Address at Howard University: "To Fulfill These Rights"

June 4, 1965

Dr. Nabrit, my fellow Americans:

I am delighted at the chance to speak at this important and this historic institution. Howard has long been an outstanding center for the education of Negro Americans. Its students are of every race and color and they come from many countries of the world. It is truly a working example of democratic excellence.

Our earth is the home of revolution. In every corner of every continent men charged with hope contend with ancient ways in the pursuit of justice. They reach for the newest of weapons to realize the oldest of dreams, that each may walk in freedom and pride, stretching his talents, enjoying the fruits of the earth.

Our enemies may occasionally seize the day of change, but it is the banner of our revolution they take. And our own future is linked to this process of swift and turbulent change in many lands in the world. But nothing in any country touches us more profoundly, and nothing is more freighted with meaning for our own destiny than the revolution of the Negro American.

In far too many ways American Negroes have been another nation: deprived of freedom, crippled by hatred, the doors of opportunity closed to hope.

In our time change has come to this Nation, too. The American Negro, acting with impressive restraint, has peacefully protested and marched, entered the courtrooms and the seats of government, demanding a justice that has long been denied. The voice of the Negro was the call to action. But it is a tribute to America that, once aroused, the courts and the Congress, the President and most of the people, have been the allies of progress.

Thus we have seen the high court of the country declare that discrimination based on race was repugnant to the Constitution, and therefore void. We have seen in 1957, and 1960, and again in 1964, the first civil rights legislation in this Nation in almost an entire century.

As majority leader of the United States Senate, I helped to guide two of these bills through the Senate. And, as your President, I was proud to sign the third. And now very soon we will have the fourth--a new law guaranteeing every American the right to vote.

No act of my entire administration will give me greater satisfaction than the day when my signature makes this bill, too, the law of this land.

The voting rights bill will be the latest, and among the most important, in a long series of victories. But this victory--as Winston Churchill said of another triumph for freedom--"is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

That beginning is freedom; and the barriers to that freedom are tumbling down. Freedom is the right to share, share fully and equally, in American society--to vote, to hold a job, to enter a public place, to go to school. It is the right to be treated in every part of our national life as a person equal in dignity and promise to all others.

But freedom is not enough. You do not wipe away the scars of centuries by saying: Now you are free to go where you want, and do as you desire, and choose the leaders you please.

You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, "you are free to compete with all the others," and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.

Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.

This is the next and the more profound stage of the battle for civil rights. We seek not just freedom but opportunity. We seek not just legal equity but human ability, not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result.

For the task is to give 20 million Negroes the same chance as every other American to learn and grow, to work and share in society, to develop their abilities--physical, mental and spiritual, and to pursue their individual happiness.

To this end equal opportunity is essential, but not enough, not enough. Men and women of all races are born with the same range of abilities. But ability is not just the product of birth. Ability is stretched or stunted by the family that you live with, and the neighborhood you live in--by the school you go to and the poverty or the richness of your surroundings. It is the product of a hundred unseen forces playing upon the little infant, the child, and finally the man.

This graduating class at Howard University is witness to the indomitable determination of the Negro American to win his way in American life.

The number of Negroes in schools of higher learning has almost doubled in 15 years. The number of nonwhite professional workers has more than doubled in 10 years. The median income of Negro college women tonight exceeds that of white college women. And there are also the enormous accomplishments of distinguished individual Negroes--many of them graduates of this institution, and one of them the first lady ambassador in the history of the United States.

These are proud and impressive achievements. But they tell only the story of a growing middle class minority, steadily narrowing the gap between them and their white counterparts.

But for the great majority of Negro Americans-the poor, the unemployed, the uprooted, and the dispossessed--there is a much grimmer story. They still, as we meet here tonight, are another nation. Despite the court orders and the laws, despite the legislative victories and the speeches, for them the walls are rising and the gulf is widening.

Here are some of the facts of this American failure.

Thirty-five years ago the rate of unemployment for Negroes and whites was about the same. Tonight the Negro rate is twice as high.

In 1948 the 8 percent unemployment rate for Negro teenage boys was actually less than that of whites. By last year that rate had grown to 23 percent, as against 13 percent for whites unemployed.

Between 1949 and 1959, the income of Negro men relative to white men declined in every section of this country. From 1952 to 1963 the median income of Negro families compared to white actually dropped from 57 percent to 53 percent.

In the years 1955 through 1957, 22 percent of experienced Negro workers were out of work at some time during the year. In 1961 through 1963 that proportion had soared to 29 percent.

Since 1947 the number of white families living in poverty has decreased 27 percent while the number of poorer nonwhite families decreased only 3 percent.

The infant mortality of nonwhites in 1940 was 70 percent greater than whites. Twenty-two years later it was 90 percent greater.

Moreover, the isolation of Negro from white communities is increasing, rather than decreasing as Negroes crowd into the central cities and become a city within a city.

Of course Negro Americans as well as white Americans have shared in our rising national abundance. But the harsh fact of the matter is that in the battle for true equality too many--far too many--are losing ground every day.

We are not completely sure why this is. We know the causes are complex and subtle. But we do know the two broad basic reasons. And we do know that we have to act.

First, Negroes are trapped--as many whites are trapped--in inherited, gateless poverty. They lack training and skills. They are shut in, in slums, without decent medical care. Private and public poverty combine to cripple their capacities.

We are trying to attack these evils through our poverty program, through our education program, through our medical care and our other health programs, and a dozen more of the Great Society programs that are aimed at the root causes of this poverty.

We will increase, and we will accelerate, and we will broaden this attack in years to come until this most enduring of foes finally yields to our unyielding will.

But there is a second cause--much more difficult to explain, more deeply grounded, more desperate in its force. It is the devastating heritage of long years of slavery; and a century of oppression, hatred, and injustice.

For Negro poverty is not white poverty. Many of its causes and many of its cures are the same. But there are differences-deep, corrosive, obstinate differences--radiating painful roots into the community, and into the family, and the nature of the individual.

These differences are not racial differences. They are solely and simply the consequence of ancient brutality, past injustice, and present prejudice. They are anguishing to observe. For the Negro they are a constant reminder of oppression. For the white they are a constant reminder of guilt. But they must be faced and they must be dealt with and they must be overcome, if we are ever to reach the time when the only difference between Negroes and whites is the color of their skin.

Nor can we find a complete answer in the experience of other American minorities. They made a valiant and a largely successful effort to emerge from poverty and prejudice.

The Negro, like these others, will have to rely mostly upon his own efforts. But he just can not do it alone. For they did not have the heritage of centuries to overcome, and they did not have a cultural tradition which had been twisted and battered by endless years of hatred and hopelessness, nor were they excluded--these others--because of race or color--a feeling whose dark intensity is matched by no other prejudice in our society.

Nor can these differences be understood as isolated infirmities. They are a seamless web. They cause each other. They result from each other. They reinforce each other.

Much of the Negro community is buried under a blanket of history and circumstance. It is not a lasting solution to lift just one corner of that blanket. We must stand on all sides and we must raise the entire cover if we are to liberate our fellow citizens.

One of the differences is the increased concentration of Negroes in our cities. More than 73 percent of all Negroes live in urban areas compared with less than 70 percent of the whites. Most of these Negroes live in slums. Most of these Negroes live together--a separated people.

Men are shaped by their world. When it is a world of decay, ringed by an invisible wall, when escape is arduous and uncertain, and the saving pressures of a more hopeful society are unknown, it can cripple the youth and it can desolate the men.

There is also the burden that a dark skin can add to the search for a productive place in our society. Unemployment strikes most swiftly and broadly at the Negro, and this burden erodes hope. Blighted hope breeds despair. Despair brings indifferences to the learning which offers a way out. And despair, coupled with indifferences, is often the source of destructive rebellion against the fabric of society.

There is also the lacerating hurt of early collision with white hatred or prejudice, distaste or condescension. Other groups have felt similar intolerance. But success and achievement could wipe it away. They do not change the color of a man's skin. I have seen this uncomprehending pain in the eyes of the little, young Mexican-American schoolchildren that I taught many years ago. But it can be overcome. But, for many, the wounds are always open.

Perhaps most important--its influence radiating to every part of life--is the breakdown of the Negro family structure. For this, most of all, white America must accept responsibility. It flows from centuries of oppression and persecution of the Negro man. It flows from the long years of degradation and discrimination, which have attacked his dignity and assaulted his ability to produce for his family.
This, too, is not pleasant to look upon. But it must be faced by those whose serious intent is to improve the life of all Americans.

Only a minority--less than half--of all Negro children reach the age of 18 having lived all their lives with both of their parents. At this moment, tonight, little less than two-thirds are at home with both of their parents. Probably a majority of all Negro children receive federally-aided public assistance sometime during their childhood.

The family is the cornerstone of our society. More than any other force it shapes the attitude, the hopes, the ambitions, and the values of the child. And when the family collapses it is the children that are usually damaged. When it happens on a massive scale the community itself is crippled.

So, unless we work to strengthen the family, to create conditions under which most parents will stay together--all the rest: schools, and playgrounds, and public assistance, and private concern, will never be enough to cut completely the circle of despair and deprivation.

There is no single easy answer to all of these problems.

Jobs are part of the answer. They bring the income which permits a man to provide for his family.
Decent homes in decent surroundings and a chance to learn--an equal chance to learn--are part of the answer.

Welfare and social programs better designed to hold families together are part of the answer.
Care for the sick is part of the answer.

An understanding heart by all Americans is another big part of the answer.

And to all of these fronts--and a dozen more--I will dedicate the expanding efforts of the Johnson administration.

But there are other answers that are still to be found. Nor do we fully understand even all of the problems. Therefore, I want to announce tonight that this fall I intend to call a White House conference of scholars, and experts, and outstanding Negro leaders--men of both races--and officials of Government at every level.
This White House conference's theme and title will be "To Fulfill These Rights."

Its object will be to help the American Negro fulfill the rights which, after the long time of injustice, he is finally about to secure.

To move beyond opportunity to achievement.

To shatter forever not only the barriers of law and public practice, but the walls which bound the condition of many by the color of his skin.

To dissolve, as best we can, the antique enmities of the heart which diminish the holder, divide the great democracy, and do wrong--great wrong--to the children of God.

And I pledge you tonight that this will be a chief goal of my administration, and of my program next year, and in the years to come. And I hope, and I pray, and I believe, it will be a part of the program of all America.

For what is justice?

It is to fulfill the fair expectations of man.

Thus, American justice is a very special thing. For, from the first, this has been a land of towering expectations. It was to be a nation where each man could be ruled by the common consent of all--enshrined in law, given life by institutions, guided by men themselves subject to its rule. And all--all of every station and origin--would be touched equally in obligation and in liberty.

Beyond the law lay the land. It was a rich land, glowing with more abundant promise than man had ever seen. Here, unlike any place yet known, all were to share the harvest.

And beyond this was the dignity of man. Each could become whatever his qualities of mind and spirit would permit--to strive, to seek, and, if he could, to find his happiness.

This is American justice. We have pursued it faithfully to the edge of our imperfections, and we have failed to find it for the American Negro.

So, it is the glorious opportunity of this generation to end the one huge wrong of the American Nation and, in so doing, to find America for ourselves, with the same immense thrill of discovery which gripped those who first began to realize that here, at last, was a home for freedom.

All it will take is for all of us to understand what this country is and what this country must become.
The Scripture promises: "I shall light a candle of understanding in thine heart, which shall not be put out."
Together, and with millions more, we can light that candle of understanding in the heart of all America.
And, once lit, it will never again go out.

NOTE: The President spoke at 6:35 p.m. on the Main Quadrangle in front of the library at Howard University in Washington, after being awarded an honorary degree of doctor of laws. His opening words referred to Dr. James M. Nabrit, It., President of the University. During his remarks he referred to Mrs. Patricia Harris, U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg and former associate professor of law at Howard University.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was approved by President Johnson on August 6, 1965; followed by...

Federal Executive Order #11246 (Affirmative Action) was signed into law by President Lyndon Baines Johnson on September 24, 1965.

Source: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965. Volume II, entry 301, pp. 635-640. Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1966.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Full employment; the idea Wall Street won't tolerate.

Quite the discussion has taken place on the Justice Party's web site on my initial post on the issue of full employment which has garnered over 2,326 hits and generated much discussion. I am blocked from participating in my own post by folks purporting to believe in democracy; sad commentary on the state of democracy in the in a party calling itself the "Justice Party."

This is a recent exchange I had with the Editorial Page Editor of the Duluth News Tribune here in Minnesota over this issue of full employment; he too would like to prevent and restrict discussion of this issue.

I find it interesting how far so many people will go and the undemocratic means and methods these people will use to try to thwart discussion on an issue instead of engage in dialog, discussion and debate which is the way people interact in a democratic society.

I would also note that it was around the issue of making the government responsible for full employment which was the point upon which the forces of Wall Street decided it was time to restrict democracy in our country and they began massive repression against the labor movement and its leaders, including socialists and Communists, who were targeted under the Taft-Hartley Act and then Hubert Humphrey's "Communist Control Act."

And it has taken some 70 years for the issue of making the President and Congress responsible for attaining and maintaining full employment to surface again after this political repression.

And, once again, we see this issue attacked without merit and the attacks "backed up" with myths and lies like full employment causes some kind of rampant inflation (an obvious scare tactic not backed by any empirical evidence) combined, again, with the attempt to prevent dialog, discussion and debate through all kinds of devious, undemocratic methods.

The right of the American people to discuss making the government responsible for full employment is as important as the issue itself.

I would note there has been no response from Editor Frederick to my response to him; I provide my Letter to the Editor first; followed by the letter from Editor Frederick to me and my response back to him:

On Sun, Feb 17, 2013 at 11:45 AM, Alan Maki <> wrote:

Submitted exclusively for publication as a Letter to the Editor of the Duluth News Tribune

Once again with President Barack Obama's State of the Union Speech we got another politician hypocritically talking about "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs."

If just one job was created every time some politician opened their mouth and started talking about "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" we wouldn't have any unemployment in this country and everyone who wanted to work would have a decent, living wage job.

So, what is the main obstacle to full employment? Accountability from the very politicians who mouth the words "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs" whenever they want to get elected, re-elected or want thunderous applause then go about their business forgetting about jobs as they go looking for their next bribe from a Wall Street lobbyist who views unemployment as the way to keep all wages down which pushes profits up.

What we need in this country is a real "Full Employment Act" which mandates--- by legislation and law--- that the President and the United States Congress must maintain full employment as part of their responsibility to the American people. 

What good is a government that gets us into war after war but can't even assure full employment for the very people it taxes?

Wars cause government debt and deficits; peace and full employment eliminate debts and deficits.

Alan L. Maki
Director of Organizing,
Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell: 651-587-5541

Primary E-mail:


On Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 9:01 AM, Chuck Frederick <> wrote:
Hello Mr. Maki. The subject line of the email containing your letter to the editor submission to the News Tribune indicated the letter was exclusively for publication in the News Tribune. Exclusively, as in ONLY submitted to the News Tribune. But I'm finding your letter already published by the Bemidji paper and already published on at least two blogs. That's hardly exclusive. So were you lying to us when you submitted your letter or did you not understand what "exclusive" means?

Chuck Frederick
Editorial Page Editor
Duluth News Tribune

Chuck Frederick
Editorial Page Editor
Duluth News Tribune 
424 W. First St.
Duluth MN 55802


February 25, 2013

Mr. Chuck Frederick
Editorial Page Editor,
Duluth News Tribune

Dear Editor Frederick,

When I did not hear back from your newspaper in a timely manner I decided to submit my Letter to the Editor to other newspapers. Your newspaper was the very first newspaper I submitted my letter to.

I think I have the right to publish my own letter on my own blogs, do I not, with it still remaining an exclusive submission to your newspaper?

Anyways, if the original ideas in my Letter to the Editor are not worthy of being published in your newspaper that is up to you.

The fact of the matter is, you repeatedly publish the views expressed by all kinds of politicians as they hypocritically talk about "jobs, jobs, jobs" and not once have you as the Editorial Page Editor of the Duluth News Tribune challenged these politicians by holding them accountable by asking where these jobs are. Nor have you ever suggested that since these politicians consider "jobs, jobs, jobs" to be the primary issue facing the country at election you don't follow up after the election asking them why they don't pass legislation making themselves responsible for full employment.

If one newspaper does not respond as to whether they will publish my letter I merely submit it to another for consideration.

Obviously I am aware my letter was on my blogs because I placed it there. I was also aware another newspaper, not the one you mentioned, published my letter--- after I had submitted my letter to the Duluth News Tribune.

What are you suggesting; I have a responsibility to notify you the letter is no longer an "exclusive" or else I become a "liar?" This seems rather petty of you.

In my opinion, you have gone way over the line as an Editor in calling one of your loyal readers a "liar" over this.

Make no mistake you are calling me a "liar" because I do know the meaning of "exclusive."

When was the last time you called Barack Obama or any politician a "liar" for saying they are for "jobs, jobs, jobs" when you know full well they aren't talking about creating jobs for every unemployed person who wants to work--- what is it now, Something like FIFTEEN MILLION unemployed people in this country and counting?

When was the last time you called any of these politicians "liars" because they continue to talk day after day about debts and deficits yet they continue funding these dirty wars for which they always manage to find the money even though this adds to debts and deficits?

In my opinion; I have not written about some kind of trivial issue. Nor have I written about something that is anything other than a very major issue that the entire Nation is focused on--- jobs and unemployment. I have not only written about an important issue; but, I have suggested a solution to unemployment by making the President and the members of the House and Senate legislatively responsible for attaining and maintaining full employment.

If these politicians are going to campaign for our votes on the basis that "jobs, jobs, jobs" are their highest priority items on their agenda then they should be held accountable once elected. Accountability can only be assured if full employment is made part of their job description and legislative duty.

Feel free to call me any names you want. You obviously have the "power" to decide whether my Letter to the Editor is published or not in the Duluth News Tribune. 

In the interest of "freedom of the press" and the right of people to have access to all ideas and suggestions for solutions to pressing problems discussed in the proverbial "public square," I am requesting you publish my Letter to the Editor in the Duluth News Tribune because it merits publication no matter how many times or where it has been published. You are certainly free to add your Editorial comments about what you think of me, or my ideas, before or after the Letter. This is what would best serve the public interest.

Perhaps one of the politicians receiving this would like to respond to my Letter? Perhaps some of your readers would like the opportunity to respond to my Letter. Perhaps since "jobs, jobs, jobs" is such a newsworthy issue you could assign some reporters to go out and talk to people in the Duluth area to see what they think about my Letter in relation to what the politicians have done to live up to their campaign promises of making "jobs" their number one priority when it comes to seeking votes but forgetting once elected.

I have noticed on the Editorial Page of the Duluth News Tribune you frequently endorse politicians who lie. And you endorse them more often than not on the basis of their lies--- "jobs, jobs, jobs" being the perfect example; drone warfare being another.

Use your power as an Editor to do as you see fit with my Letter to the Editor; not printing my Letter won't hurt or bother me; it will be your readers who will be deprived of an alternative viewpoint; it will be your readers who will pay the price in not having access to one more idea.

Let's see if there are any politicians who talk about "jobs, jobs, jobs" who might want to weigh in on this controversy of whether or not my Letter to the Editor should be published... the Duluth News Tribune has endorsed enough of them--- all liars when they talk about "jobs, jobs, jobs" being at the top of their legislative agendas.

All I ask is you not sue me nor turn me over to the authorities for punishment as the last Letter to the Editor I wrote that was published in the Duluth News Tribune ended up in the FBI's "Red Squad" file they maintain on me--- but there is another dirty little government secret like just like the drone wars killing our jobs just like they kill people we shouldn't read about or talk about.

By the way, Mr. Frederick; have you ever considered there is a reason so many people turn to blogging in this country?

I guess I can assume if I decide to run for the United States Senate there won't be any use my stopping by the Duluth News Tribune's Editorial Offices seeking your endorsement if I should choose to run on a platform of "jobs, jobs, jobs." 

Alan L. Maki

Note: I have prepared a blog specifically dedicated to the issue of full employment:

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Have you had enough? New Party on the horizon

Rocky Anderson
418 Douglas Street
Salt Lake City, UTAH 84102

Press Release  -  October 21, 2011

Have you had enough?
New Party on the horizon

The former Mayor of Salt Lake City and Executive Director of High Road for Human Rights, Rocky Anderson, calls for the formation of a new political party and a sustained movement committed to the public interest.

Two months ago, Anderson “divorced himself” from what he referred to as “the spineless, gutless Democratic Party.” Responding to an email from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which showed as the subject, “Standing strong,” Anderson wrote: “How dare you send an email with the subject line ‘Standing strong.’ You didn’t do it on Iraq, you didn’t do it on torture, you didn’t do it on signing statements, you haven’t done it onAfghanistan, you haven’t done it on defense spending, you haven’t done it on real health care reform, you haven’t done it on the debt ceiling fiasco.”

(Rolly: Rocky Anderson says adieu to the Democratic Party,” The Salt Lake Tribune, August 12, 2011.)

Anderson continued: “I’m done with the Democratic Party… I think the answer is a new political party that actually will advocate for and promote the interests of the public rather than the narrow interests of the wealthy who bought and paid for not only Congress but the White House… The Constitution has been eviscerated while Democrats have stood by with nary a whimper. It is a gutless, unprincipled party, bought and paid for by the same interests that buy and pay for the Republican Party.”

(Romboy, “Former S.L. mayor Rocky Anderson divorces himself from ‘gutless’ Democratic Party,” Deseret News, August 13, 2011.)

This country needs a new, powerful party that can win elections, according to Anderson.  “The pensions and other savings accounts of the middle class in this country have been decimated. The only way out is another party. I would call it, frankly, a second party that actually represents the interests of the American people. There isn’t a real opposition force in Washington, D.C., any more, and we the people have the capacity to change that -- and we must if our republic is going to survive.  I consider myself an Independent, but I would be very pleased to work with others to form not just a political party to run another campaign, but to launch a sustained movement for major change in this country.”

(“Rocky: Not a Democrat,” (Interview with Rocky Anderson by Lexie Levitt), City Weekly,September 26, 2011.)

Anderson said that people are fed up with the Democratic and Republican parties, Congress, and the Obama administration to the point of being ready to support a new party that rejects the corporatism and militarism of the two “Wall Street lap-dog” major parties.

The polls support Anderson’s view that the people of the United States are desirous of a new party, and bold, new leadership, like never before. Patrick Caddell and Douglas Shoen have written:

“The United States is in the midst of what we would both call a pre-Revolutionary moment, and there is widespread support for fundamental change in the system.  An increasing number of Americans are now searching beyond the two parties for bold and effective leadership.”

(Caddell and Schoen, “Expect a Third-Party Candidate in 2012,” The Wall Street Journal, August 25, 2011.)

"Have you had enough?" asks Anderson. “Would you support the formation of a new party that will commit to:

  • affordable universal health care;
  • an end to the wars;
  • a significant reduction in the military budget and an end to the military-industrial-congressional complex;
  • investigation of illegal conduct, including war crimes, by executive officials during the current and prior administrations;
  • investigation of the events on 9/11 to answer significant questions that have been raised;
  • prosecution for illegal conduct leading to the economic melt-down;
  • disincentives for U.S. companies to send jobs overseas;
  • employee and environmental safeguards in trade agreements;
  • implementation of major domestic jobs and infrastructure programs;
  • an end to the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy;
  • campaign finance reform to end the corrupting influence of money in politics;
  • treat substance abuse within a public health framework rather than as a criminal matter;
  • repeal the PATRIOT Act;
  • compassionate and rational immigration reform;
  • marriage equality;
  • an end to subsidies for oil and gas companies;
  • a ban on a Canada-to-Mexico tar sands pipeline;
  • air quality protection, including stricter ozone limits; and
  • aggressive action and leadership on the climate crisis and the environment?”

Rocky Anderson has been in the process of contacting some of America’s leading social, environmental and political activists with the goal of creating a powerful, broad-based political alternative to the increasingly unpopular Republican and Democratic Parties. He intends that the new party will have candidates in local, state, and federal races throughout the nation.

Anderson plans on hosting a meeting soon between leaders in various sectors of the country in order to draft a new platform and a long-term strategy capable of attracting a majority of voters, including millions of dissatisfied Democrats and Republicans who, until now, had nowhere else to go.

Anderson has stated his intention to do what is possible to get on the ballots in all 50 states and to campaign for candidates aggressively in all states. "The Democratic and Republican Parties have acted as if voters have no other real options. The people of this country will demonstrate that we, indeed, have another option - a party that will work in the public interest, rather than for the defense contractors, the health insurance companies, and the rapacious financial institutions that have caused such economic havoc in our nation and the world."

Anderson anticipates a broad-based coalition, similar to the one built by the New Democratic Party of Canada (NDP), which won impressive political gains in the Canadian federal elections last May. The NDP is the political party that brought universal health care to the Canadian people.

Press info: Mackenzie Scott - Tel. 801-520-0491
Rocky Anderson - Tel. 801-557-9007