Ralph Nader's Solutions

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ralph Nader, political activist and author of The Seventeen Solutions: Bold Ideas for Our American Future, talks about his new book and reflects on the current political climate in this election year.



Ralph Nader

Comments [23]


People need to think like the corporations who spread their money between both parties to maintain a two party system which they can control. If people, whether on the right or left started spreading their political donations across small parties to give others a fair chance, as well as work for political reforms in between, there might be a shot at democracy. But then it's a lot easier to sit and whine isn't it. Good grief, does anyone ever read their history, or appreciate what their forebears achieved which we continue to just toss away?

BTW the ONLY reason I'd urge people to vote Obama now is because of Public Broadcasting. I do depend on WNYC and shows like Democracy Now which is broadcast on public stations. And for the whiners, the fact that you can only ever hear from someone like Nader, Johnson or Stein is on these shows is a perfect example of why they are important. Nader "disappeared" because MSM dropped him when he stopped being useful, just like Ron Paul, and people being moths, just followed the next bright shiny light on the screen. If you went beyond Cable TV and Facebook, you'd know Nader ran in 2008 and spoke out widely throughout the Bush years.

There's no substantive difference between Romney and Obama. The ONLY difference I see is that Romney might be serious about cutting public broadcasting, because it's a low risk way to pander to his base in Congress and gives them a nice shiny wing-nut achievement to parade back home. The Internet's being reigned in, if we lose public broadcasting, we're in real trouble.

And if you resent Brian, who is undoubtedly the fairest, most informed broadcaster in public life today, then you should go back to Limbaugh!! May I remind you that ALL the airwaves are PUBLICLY owned, and those private broadcasters who preach bile and hate over them, are granted licenses at our expense and at an outrageous profit. Brian and his team are the best value in broadcasting. He does need to do more on both disabled issues and technology though. And he missed Ada Lovelace (Women in Techology) Day on Tuesday, which I was a bit miffed about. But he's still the best.

Oct. 19 2012 07:22 PM
Robert from NYC

I think that the main issue that Nader raised is the core question as to what Democracy in America, really is.
The Green Party candidates were arrested like dogs, at the last debates in Long Island for wanting to participate.

In other words, if you don't parrot the Capitalist line of the two acceptable candidates, then you are out of luck in this wonderful 'Democracy'.
Americans are bombarded by every lap-dog reporter about the lack of 'Democracy' abroad, if a candidade not approved by the CIA does not win, abroad. People are called 'pro-democracy' candidates, or 'free-this' or 'free-that' --- if they are approved by the Oligarchy of the US, but in fact their only qualifications of 'democracy is, that they are for Capitalism.

Nader brings into focus the basic fraud that underlies the American electorial system. No one, who questions the acceptable political narative, need apply in prying their ideas. There is absolutely no difference between a totalitarian government and the present American system. Both, allow no legitimate dissent and/or other ideas to succeed.

Oct. 19 2012 05:38 PM
mike on long island

regarding the pledge drive, i'll never give a penny, even though i listen daily. its a non- profit station, but i have a pretty big problem with brian lehrer making over 200,000 a yr. the show isnt all that great, it sure doesnt seem like a lot of heavy lifting, and 200 g's is a hell of a lot of money. more than 3 times what i make, and i work my balls off. for over 200,000 ( plus who know what else for the other top people) the show could be a lot better.

Oct. 19 2012 04:13 PM

The problem, as I see it, is the long-term decline in the value of an hour of AVERAGE American labor. $3,200 (minimum wage of $1.60 times 2,000 hours) commanded more goods and services from the $901B economy than $14,500 ($7.25 x 2,000) does from a $15 trillion economy. Heck, the 1968 minimum wage employee could buy about 20% more than today's AVERAGE wage earner - $42,980 in 2011.

Wages tracked closely to the rate of inflation but the economy has a compound growth rate that is almost 2 per cent higher. The things that track with the growth in the economy - education, union salaries, health insurance - have become very expensive. Things that track to inflation - food, TV sets, clothing - are relatively cheap. It's is going to take multiple generations to put earning power back into wages.

Oct. 19 2012 01:09 PM
Stephen Tencer from New Milford, NJ

Ralph proposed many good solutions for America and good ideas for organizing successfully. But he, and other third party spokespeople, don't get any air time between elections because they are irrelevant to most people. And they are ignored before elections because America has always been a two party country. Third parties either replace a major party, rarely, or usually just disappear. Why not follow the wildly successful Tea Party model and take control of the Democratic Party. Win or lose, the party is so disgusted by the New Right and so unwilling to compromise anymore, that they are ripe for a take-over from the left. Work to get into Democratic primaries. Seems anyone can get into a primary debate. If you don't win, at least the people will hear you and the winner will have some debate practice (which Obama could have used). You won't get the funding enjoyed by the Tea Party, but you've got the facts, truth, and realistic solutions on your side. Give the young folks in OWS a focus. They should be your troops and future candidates.

Oct. 19 2012 12:05 PM


>>I'm sick and tired of weak-minded people still blaming Nader for Gore's lost. It's like blaming Apple for Blackberry's demise.

What's weak-minded about it? With Nader out of the race, 22,000 votes in New Hampshire go to Gore and he wins NH 288,000 to Bush's 273,000. If Gore takes NH, he would have been President. Florida wouldn't matter. End of discussion.

However, other places that Gore blew the race:

-Underestimated the 'anti-Jew' prejudice in his own party - esp. his home state of TN - by picking Joe Lieberman as a running mate.
-Not using Bill Clinton - despite the Lewinsky impeachment thing.
-Poor review of the butterfly ballot design in Dade County FL
-NOT INSISTING that ALL VOTES (undervotes and overvotes) be counted in every FL recount. By appearing to pick and choose among counties that favored the Democrat, he lost the sentiment of the country in having a fair election.

The Supreme Court was out of line in ending the counting. The 'safe harbor' deadline should have been reached forcing the FL legislature to award the state's electoral college votes to Bush. At least then we'd have a clear record that the GOP stole it.

Oct. 19 2012 11:58 AM

I would much rather listen to a paid advertisement than listen to another segment with Brain and the producers praising their own work while at the same time begging for cash.

Please email when the begging ends.

Oct. 19 2012 11:40 AM
Stephen Tencer from New Milford, NJ

On the segment with Ralph Nader. He's got great ideas for our country and for how to organize to get voices like his heard. Why doesn't he go the successful Tea Party route and work to take over the disgruntled, less willing to compromise, Democratic Party. Ralph, let's face the facts. America has always had only two major parties at a time. Would another FDR satisfy you? Support one. I know you will never get the funding that the Tea Party has, but you've got the facts and truth and real solutions on your side. Maybe you could give OWS a focus, which is what these young people lack. They are your people, get them.

Oct. 19 2012 11:39 AM
Brian from Manhattan

If I'm in a swing state why would I throw my vote away on the Green or Libertarian party, etc. It's a race between Obama and Romney, period. That's the system, and so I can't wait a hundred years for the system to change. As such, I think there's a huge difference between Obama and Romney. Who becomes president will make a huge impact on my life, for better or worse. Ralph doesn't even acknowledge his own impact on the Florida vote which gave us the Iraq War.

Oct. 19 2012 11:33 AM
oscar from ny

Yeah and after raising every prise possible the only thing left for them to do is put a pamper on us and oacify us with their prehistoric ideas ad to keep us as ugnorant as that bangladesh dude that will face death...i swear to all those devils ...well see you in hell..

Oct. 19 2012 11:29 AM

Mr Nader and Brian: Isn't it true that the majority of people who qualify for Food Stamps and whose childeren at least qualify for Mediicaid, are peple who work (sometimes more than one job)? Therefore, why is it not correct to say the the immense cost of these programs - frequently bemoaned by Repubs. - are, in fact, subsidies to businesses who are not leggally required to paya living wage?

Oct. 19 2012 11:25 AM
John A

Go Back to talking about economic equality, Ralph.
In that you gave us this book: "Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!"(2009), arguably leading to Warren Buffett taking on the Republican budget... For that, thanks.

Oct. 19 2012 11:25 AM
Salvatore Principato from Manhattan

As good as Ralph Nader's ideas are if he was serious about building a third party or supporting other third or fourth party candidates then maybe we should hear from them some other times besides just before a presidential race. They seem to come out of thin air when it's time for presidential debates and that's the main reason they're looked at as spoilers. If these alternative parties want to be taken seriously we should hear from them the day after the election and just the day before.

Oct. 19 2012 11:23 AM
fuva from harlemworld

Well, he's right about Obama pulling punches. There are so many ways he could expose Romney's nonsense -- in a few short words -- but he's missing these opportunities. And seemingly willingly. I believe his gradualism is operative here. It's so misplaced.

Oct. 19 2012 11:22 AM
Jess from Brooklyn

Mr. Nader, Where were you in 2008 in the midst of the economic crisis? We had no liberal campaign leader speaking and campaigning on behalf of the people. At that time, I was at a friend's party in DC, I was in this woman's face who was a legal counsel in Sen. Schumer's office. I asked her, "where is Ralph Nader, where is the left?(*&" She said, "uggggh, I'm so sick and tired of hearing from Ralph Nader." That tells you, that you should have been on the road mobilizing the grassroots, not direct lobbying. You obviously weren't helping.

Oct. 19 2012 11:18 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

John - why should Nader "take responsibility" for Gore blowing the election or Bush "stealing" it?

Oct. 19 2012 11:18 AM
Robert from NYC

No, Ralph Nader did not bring on the Bush years. Nader threw himself into the race as today there are other third and fourth party candidates in the race. The Bush years as in all elections is the cause of the voter and in Bush's case in particular due to corruption in Florida and a Supreme Court that couldn't mind its own business.

Oct. 19 2012 11:18 AM
Yosif from Manhattan

Nader's principles gave us Bush, and Perot's gave us Clinton. I guess it's a wash. But Nader was last proposing to get rich people to help us make change, and now he wants us to get money out of politics - which I agree with. His messages seem to conflict somehow. Besides seat belts, what real change has this man produced besides ruining 8 years of my life? Raise the minimum wage!

Oct. 19 2012 11:15 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"Corporate money"????

Brian, even you KNOW that the big public employee unions are 6 of the 10 biggest donors since 2004 to state and federal elections.

Example-"THE NAYS HAVE IT:When Public Sector Unions Win in California"

Oct. 19 2012 11:14 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

I'm sick and tired of weak-minded people still blaming Nader for Gore's lost. It's like blaming Apple for Blackberry's demise.

Oct. 19 2012 11:12 AM
Fred from Bloomfield NJ

Sounds good in theory, but the reality check is the 8 years of George W. Bush

Oct. 19 2012 11:11 AM
John P MacKenzie from Long Island City

Ralph, you still don't take responsibility for Florida 2000.
It's not so much that people like me can't let go of it --- it's that you can't.
Until you do (i won't rehearse all the arguments and twists), you can't get my attention, or recapture the loyalty of former fellow workers. Jack MacKenzie

Oct. 19 2012 11:07 AM
George from Astoria

I voted for Ralph in 2000 and it is the only vote i regret.
After the elections he dissappeared and didnt show his face again till the next presidential elections.
I blame the Bush years on Nader.

Even his stance against nuclear energy in the 70's was good business for oil and coal.

Who do you truley work for Mr. Nader?

Oct. 19 2012 10:55 AM

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