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Ear to the Ground

Paging Ralph Nader

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Posted on Aug 14, 2007
Nader
achievement.org

That’s great, Ralph, but did you notice she’s too young to drive?

With the news that Nokia is recalling millions of batteries, on top of the ongoing exploding laptop problem, and Chinese-made products ranging from toothpaste to Barbies sounding alarm bells, we can’t help but feel the absence of America’s greatest consumer advocate.

If Ralph Nader isn’t interested, we need a replacement. Perhaps a reality show would best capture the public imagination. We could call it “America’s Next Top Nader” or “So You Think You Can Advocate on Behalf of Consumers?” Or we could just take our chances.

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By atheo, August 16, 2007 at 2:24 pm Link to this comment

In many, if not most respects the Democrats are worse than the Republicans. I don’t for one minute think that if Gore/LIEberman were selected that they would have cancelled the 9/11 project or foregone the invasions and destruction in the M.E. These policies will continue until “progressives” stop voting for Democrats.

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By Skruff, August 16, 2007 at 6:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The choice for me wasn’t Nader Bush or Gore. The choice for me was Nader or no one!

The idea that I would have voted for Gore if Nader was not on the ticket (even in retrospect) is beyond ludicrous.

Major parties would rather folks like me stay home, but that’s not gonna happen as long as I can crawl to the polls!

I shall continue to vote for person who, is in my opinion, the best possible candidate. I will not vote (as many seem too) the lesser of two evils.

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By atheo, August 15, 2007 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

America will never change for the better until the Democrats are booted out of Congress en masse. They are the problem, not the solution.

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By Tom Semioli, August 15, 2007 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dear John,

When are Dems going to stop blaming NADER for everything from BUSH to the METS losing in the playoffs?

Even Gore is above all that nonsense.

No Dem running for president today has a record that even approaches NADER. Can’t you guys come up with any new material?

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By C.P.T.L., August 15, 2007 at 10:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“If Ralph Nader isn’t interested, we need a replacement.”???

Ralph Nader would be the first to tell us that we are his replacement, every one of us. At the risk of putting words in his mouth, it is his single most important message, the message of his life, the meaning of his career.

“America’s Next Top Nader”???

Television saturated bumbling and stumbling, slipping and sliding in the cultural crap. f reality shows and T.V.

Ralph Nader has been after getting the federal government to do its job, reminding us that government works for us and that we can be empowered to make it do so if it is failing, as it is now.

We have a gang of sneaking creeps in our government dismantling it to the best of their ability - that’s the problem.

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By GB, August 15, 2007 at 10:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If ever there was an exact opposite to Ralph Nader it would be Gearge W. Bush. Ralph Nader cares about the quality of products our country produces, consumes, imports, and the safety of workers that produce them. Bush just cares about how much money his friends will make, getting lawsuits thrown out when products do harm, and putting corporate interests in charge of worker safety (mining disasters to name one). Ralph Nader may be eccentric but his track record has saved lives as opposed to Bush who continues to destroy innoncent lives with reckless policies and government spending.

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By John, August 15, 2007 at 6:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He should have stuck with truthdigging and advocacy in 2000.

Thanks for your contributions to 8 years of Bush and 4 years of a disasterous war, Ralphie. 

Your idea that a Bush presidency would ultimately sicken people of big corporate governance was most prescient.  But look at the cost.

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By atheo, August 14, 2007 at 9:16 pm Link to this comment

Ralph Nader, alway’s prescient:

January 15, 2007

The Class War’s New Map


The boiling, surging, churning and corporatizing economy of the U.S. is racing far ahead of its being understood by economists, politicians and the polis itself. Tidbits from the past week add up to this view, to wit:

—The giant, shut-down Bethlehem steel plant in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania will soon become a $600 million casino and hotel complex… this project is part of a 25 year trend by the economy, moving away from necessities and over to wants and whims. Among the fastest growing businesses for three decades in America are theme parks, gambling casinos and prisons.

—Our Constitution launched “we the people” to “establish justice, promote the general welfare and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves.” We’re losing ground year after year on all three accounts. Yet to what does Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. devote his entire annual report on the federal judiciary this January 1, 2007? He called for a pay raise for judges, calling the current pay ranging from $165,200 to $212,000 a “constitutional crisis.”

—Just as there are stirrings behind more shareholder rights over the companies they own and more disclosure by management of large corporations relating to executive pay and accounting information, the rapid rise of huge pools of capital controlled by private equity firms and Hedge Funds are buying larger and larger public companies and taking them out of the regulatory arenas into secrecy…


Today, this corporate morphing is far more ranging and far larger in the economy, drawing trillions of dollars from pension funds and institutional investor firms which themselves are largely closed off from workers and small investors whose money they shuffle around. Corporate attorneys are super-experts in arranging ways for corporate capital to escape not just the tax laws of the U.S. but also the public regulatory frameworks of the Securities and Exchange Commission and other public “law and order” entities.

Independent and academic corporate analysts have barely begun to figure out the consequences of this seismic shift of capital structures.

—“Private Firms Lure C.E.O.’s With Top Pay” was the headline in the January 8 edition of the New York Times. The subtitle was astonishingly worded as “Less Lavish Packages at Public Companies.” The reporters go on to say, in essence, that if you think that Home Depot’s departed C.E.O. Nardelli’s $200 million plus take home pay package was a lot, you haven’t seen what’s happening behind the curtains at the large private equity firms buying up ever bigger public companies. “Public company chieftains are deciding that they no longer want to be judged by their shareholders and regulators, and are going to work for businesses owned by private equity,” writethe authors.


Now go to the other side of the tracks… workers today, on average, are still making less, in inflation adjusted dollars, than workers made in 1973!

Citing data from the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University, New York Times’ columnist, Bob Herbert, reports that between 2000 and 2006 the combined real annual earnings of 93 million American workers rose by $15.4 billion. That rise is “less than half of the combined bonuses awarded by the five Wall Street firms for just one year.”

Mr. Herbert frequently frets about no one in the political parties saying or doing anything about this state of despair. He defines “political parties” as the two major parties…

So long as most progressive writers ignore these people in the electoral arenas who are laboring to break down the barriers that keep these issues of economic justice over corporate power abuses from moving into elections and government, they will be bellowing in the wind.

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By QuyTran, August 14, 2007 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

He is a kind of demolition operator with pay !

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