27 January 2000


By Jon A. Brake

We have said it before: "They do not want to be called Communist. They do not want to be called Socialist. They
don’t even want to be called Liberal. They all want to be called moderate." They know that their ideas will never
be approved without the name change.

On February 8, the Flinthills Living Wage Coalition and the Manhattan Alliance for Peace & Justice (MAPJ) will
present a "Manhattan Economic Development Living Wage Policy Resolution to the Manhattan City

According to the MAPJ January 2000 newsletter "the proposal will seek to establish a living wage requirement
for all businesses receiving economic development assistance from the City of Manhattan. The Flinthills Living
Wage Coalition hopes that the Commission will be ready to vote on the ordinance at a legislative meeting in

Three City Commissioners are deeply involved with the Flinthills Living Wage Coalition and MAPJ. Karen
McCulloh, Bruce Snead and Carol Peak are listed as Advisors to Sustainable Manhattan. Snead and Peak are
also officers. In January 1999, Sustainable Manhattan "honored the Flinthills Living Wage Coalition with a grant
of $550 to conduct a Living Wage Workshop." All three City Commissioners attended the Workshop.

The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce has this to say about the Living Wage Issue: "The Manhattan Chamber
of Commerce believes that wages and benefits should be determined by the employee’s skills and abilities,
competitive practices and the employer’s ability to compete in a global marketplace. Compensating employees
based on regulation rather than the free market reduces the ability of employers to stimulate improved
performance through higher wages. The free market system and a strong local economy, combined with
education and long-term skill development, provide the most effective way to raise wages and benefits for the

The majority of low-wage workers are not working forty hours per week. They have not held the same job for the
last four years. Most workers earning low-wages are young, single and live with their parents.

The Flinthills Living Wage Coalition and MAPJ are political organizations trying to bring their liberal views to
Manhattan. They have done well, they control the City Commission and the School Board.