Interview: Ralph Nader Says We're Living Under Corporate Fascism

Ralph Nader, running for President in 2008, sat down with Red Tape Chronicles to talk about the current deplorable state of consumer affairs. The video kicks butt and reminds me why I get up in the morning. Highlights:
On the derailing of the consumer protection movement: Laws aren’t being enforced, not enough prosecutors on the corporate fraud beat.
On the other candidates: Their campaigns are based on law and order. Not one has put the words consumer and protection together in one of their speeches.
On unfair contracts: A common clause now says that the seller has the right to change terms of contract at any time, that’s the end of contract law.
On the sub-prime meltdown: It’s the government’s job to force credit rating settings. There should be a plain-language law mandating that mortgages are written in a language average people can understand
On education: Spend so much time teaching students to use computers but we don’t teach kids how to shop for their maximum health safety and economic well-being… what’s the point of earning money if you’re just going to lose it to corporate scams?
On activism: You want a better country, you’ve got to spend more of your time more time away from american idol, and more time on your members of Congress. We’re millions of people, but corporations don’t have a single vote, and members of congress are there because of our votes, so make those votes count.

Video inside.


Note: Anyone ranting off-topic in the comments about how Nader threw the election may get a visit from *~El Bandito~*

Comments

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  1. Part-Time-Viking says:

    People still pay attention to this guy?

  2. Stan LS says:

    Nader is senile.

  3. Dobernala says:

    People throw around the ‘f’ word but they have demonstrated time and time again that they do not understand what it means at all.

  4. hellinmyeyes says:

    OK, wow, now I remember why I LOVE Ralph Nader. He just makes the two parties’ candidates look like total dumbasses.

  5. ARP says:

    He used to do useful things, now he just spouts off corporations are evil talking points and runs as a spoiler candidate every few years.

    We’d have a lot more respect for you if you actually did something (in the last 10 years) about the evils you speak of.

  6. bravo369 says:

    i agree about the unfair contracts point he made. I still don’t understand how contracts entered into by both sides can be changed as the corporation sees fit. Both sides should have to abide by it for the length of the contract. That’s what i’ve always been taught about contracts.

  7. harumph says:

    i resent him being a spoiler and enabling bush in 2000 but i think he is right. devo put it better; they said, in the 70’s, that we are living in a corporate feudal system.
    @Dobernala: one telling feature of fascism is the state and industry becoming so intertwined that they resemble one entity. in that sense, he is right on.

  8. @hellinmyeyes: Uh huh, and handing the 2000 election to Bush and directly undermining the ideology closer to his own was genius-level thinking. Talk about dumbasses.

  9. Jeff_McAwes0me says:

    I love this guy. I wish he could win the presidency.

  10. Dobernala says:

    @harumph: [en.wikipedia.org]

    People like to throw around the ‘f’ word because of its association with corporatism, even though it is a rejection of the large for-profit business entities that they are referring to.

    I am not saying it is either good or bad, I am just saying that the things they are criticizing in modern society have absolutely nothing to do with fascism.

  11. backbroken says:

    At least he didn’t say we should spend less time on Consumerist.

  12. strangeffect says:

    No credibility anymore since he refuses to stop running for president.

  13. ShawnD says:

    You guys come here to read about how retailers and other services don’t give you what you want, yet you call him “senile” and a “spoiler”. I hate to tell you people, but he is one of a handful of politicians that care about the consumers. For you people that hate him, absorb this quote…

    “The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism–ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.” Franklin D. Roosevelt April 29, 1938

  14. smitty1123 says:

    Stopped watching when there was a cut at 00:40. The cutting away from interviewer and interviewee is a big enough red flag, but cutting anything out of an answer is an immediate reason to walk away.

  15. snoop-blog says:

    ralph wasn’t the spoiler. bush lost the popular vote remember? don’t you guys know that the winners are already picked out before the election begins? they just have the elections and hopes that america will pick the same guy as the electoral college.

  16. BearTack says:

    Mussolini called fascism “Corporativo Estado” — the corporate state. It is an economic system, not to be confused with Nazism, which is a derivative of same.

    The symbol of fascism is the fasces — a bundle of rods and an axe. This represents the power of the state to control, punish and execute.

    The Bush family has a long history of involvement in fascism in America, including but not limited to a planned coup by Prescott Bush, GW’s grandfather. Popular Marine Corps General Smedley Buttler deflated the scheme when he was asked to join in the overthrow. The Bush family banks bankrolled Hitler, and several banks were take from the Bush family for trading with the enemy as late as 1942. Google it on the net. The BBC is a good place to start.

  17. B says:

    Anybody have a Corvair for sale? Preferably one with no seatbelts.

  18. bohemian says:

    I wish someone would put Nader in some cabinet position as consumer protection tzar or some such thing. I think with some actual power to influence things in a more direct fashion he would be more useful than as a President.

    He was right on everything except the issue of computers. In the way that they are becoming too much of a focus in schools, in some cases he is right. But there is so much information online to find best prices, find out what is a scam, and do consumer research you can’t just ignore the potential. Keep the computers, show people how to use them to wrest more control from the companies.

  19. copious28 says:

    @snoop-blog: And dont forget that Diebold and the Ohio Elections Commissioner handed Ohio to Bush on a silver platter.

  20. ReasoningStudent says:

    “People still pay attention to this guy?” Well if you listened to what he said, it’s alot of common sense.
    “Nader is senile.” He hasn’t said much of anything that would denote senility in this interview has he? These one line comments just don’t ammount to more than small minded unsupported opinions. Please say something worthwhile or not at all.

    As for facism, there’s no clear line of what is or isn’t. But it is clear that consumerism and corporations are detrimental to American well being. Our economy is hurt by corporations outsourcing to other countries without fair trade agreements. This whole website is devoted to examples of how corporations and companies exist to get away with what they can.

    I wouldn’t vote for Nader simply because I think Obama may be the most honest candidate in a while. After seeing him on the Daily Show my thoughts were that he’s either the best political liar around or he’s really honest and cares. People just shoot him down with the “lack of experience” line over and over. But it seems like the more experience a candidate has, the more corrupt the candidate is. Nobody’s said a thing about White Water since Hillary’s been a candidate, what about that?

    Nader may not be a good candidate, he’s frumpy, doesn’t have the personality the sheep of America want. But he would make a good cabinet member for Obama (not that it would happen).

  21. DCGaymer says:

    Nader = Consumerist 1.0 … “Still available in analog!”

    “Dear Mr. Nader…thank you for your obligatory presidential cycle appearance….Please exit stage left. We’ll have someone call you….really…we will.”

    “NEXT!”

  22. @bohemian: Amen. He could be really useful as the right-hand man of our next prez. Senile or not, we Americans owe Nader a lot of appreciation for all the hard work he’s put in. He was interviewed in a great NY Times piece about the corporatization of the Supreme Court, and his agency has basically been stripped of power. Think of what he could do at the cabinet level.

  23. fluiddruid says:

    Remember, folks, this is the man we have to blame for 8 years of Bush presidency. Well, maybe that’s not fair, but in any case I don’t think he should be considered as credibly interested in helping the American people – more like interested in his own power and influence.

  24. YouCanEatMe says:

    This asshole is a good chunk of the reason Bush ended up in the White House. Screw this dick.

  25. Why doesn’t he stop wasting everyone’s time running for president to whine about evil corporations and start DOING something about it?

    Because he’s a nutjob, that’s why.

  26. Optimus says:

    @harumph:
    @A.W.E.S.O.M.-O:
    The important thing to do is to learn from that mistake and only vote for a candidate who is on the ballot in enough states to actually win the election. To my knowledge, in both 2000 and 2004, he was not on enough state ballots to win, and yet ppl voted for him.

    Unless you are diametrically opposed to a majority of the ideals of all the candidates, you should always vote for the candidate that shares the most of your higher priority ideals with you, regardless of his/her party affiliation.

    For most people in this country, those ideals are not shared by either of the Republicrats.

    <rant request=”forgiveness” required=”patience”>
    One of my higher priority ideals is freedom, so the Republicrats are, for the most part, immediately withdrawn from my list of candidates. The second is truthfulness, so Hillary’s immediately off my list and I don’t know much about McCain, but he’s a Republican, and their track record on truthfulness is something at which to be disgusted. Obama I have yet to see caught in a lie, but being caught lying, and actually lying, are two different things.

    The last of my higher priority ideals is attempting peace before attempting war. Further ranting removed by the author to avoid offending the “USA Patriots” in the room.
    </rant>

  27. Bladefist says:

    lol, blaming him for Bush. Screw the democratic process!! Stole votes from Al Gore. Stole? More like Al Gore sucks. Even though he created the interwebs, look at what he has done with global warming. Been 100% wrong. Why do you think its not in the news anymore? This guy is an idiot. Think about what he could have done if he was president, all that he would have done for global warming, the warming that does not exist. Before you attack me, go read the latest news on global warming.

    Un-Informed attacks have a 15% restocking fee.

  28. Bladefist says:

    @Optimus: Wow based on past posts I thought you were intelligent. Sad. Obama hasn’t been caught lying? What about his first response to the Jerimah Write, where he said he had no knowledge of previous rants. Then 3 days later said he had knowledge, but didn’t agree with it. What about his housing issues and the lies with that? Republicans are liars? What about Clintons snipers in Bosnia. What about the prostitution ring. What about attacking Rush for operation chaos and saying democrats don’t do that. What about the 3 democrats in the news now in trouble for taking money from Sadam Hussein and obviously they say they haven’t been. What about Al Gore’s use of Global warming as politicing? Do you want me to go on?

    Look they are all liars. To say republicans lie more then democrats is absurd. In most situations this is individuals lying, not parties. Get a clue sir.

  29. dlynch says:

    people who attack nader as a “spoiler” are missing the big picture. the reason bush won in 2000 and 2004 is that the dems failed to come up with a candidate that was better than him or that represented the “ideals” of their own party. they’re in the process of making the very same mistake – and that’s why the white house will remain in republican hands and why i will vote for nader again.

    the point nader makes by running is that the repubs and dems do not care what the public want – they merely forward candidates that have the support of the monied interest groups. nader is a hero for doing what he does.

  30. Ben Popken says:

    @YouCanEatMe: *~El Bandit~* was here.

  31. Ben Popken says:

    Nader brings up some important issues. Let’s talk about those instead of bashing him personally. Also, read the last sentence of the post before commenting.

  32. youbastid says:

    @fluiddruid: @YouCanEatMe: Ugh. You guys are ill-informed morons. Nader was used as a scapegoat. Put the blame on the Supreme Court, Katherine Harris and Fox News for calling it too early.
    Also, put the blame on Al Gore for not blowing Bush out of the water, which should have been done easily. If he had won his home state, Tennessee, he would’ve won regardless of Florida’s outcome.

  33. marchhare22 says:

    Go Nader! Its nice to finally listen to someone with a brain.

    Hes not saying no computers hes saying there needs to be time spent on fiscal responsibility. Next thing you know the U.S. is gonna be just like idiocracy…

  34. Bladefist says:

    @Ben Popken: good point. Sorry I get emotional.

    I like Nader personally, and I think it’s great we still have people who try in this 2-party system. He has some good points. Wish he would get a bigger % of the votes. I’m sure a lot of people like, but they feel like a vote for him is throwing away a vote, since he cant win. Which is true, but it still sends a message.

  35. ShawnD says:

    @Bladefist-안녕: “Before you attack me, go read the latest news on global warming”

    Will do!

    [www.sciencemag.org]
    [newsroom.msu.edu]
    [nsidc.org]

  36. Trai_Dep says:

    ¿Quien es el bandito?
    I wish the guy had a different plan for getting media attention besides being an electoral spoiler. It’s a sad state of affairs when the media conspire to keep stories that impact literally everyone in favor of which celebrity slag is abandoning her children this week.

  37. jwissick says:

    God, that commie loser Ralph is still around? Sheesh. Some people just never take the clue.

    @snoop-blog: I bet you don’t even know how the Electoral College works…. Bet you didn’t know that before the election, no one knows WHICH electoral college gets to vote… I bet you didn’t even know there is more than 1 electoral college. Its not fixed… Its just broken.

  38. DogTown says:

    I believe Nader is correct in recognizing the corporate fascist element that seems to have become the norm here.
    One of the historical elements of fascism is that the industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
    Fascism is not just about a bunch of boot-jacked thugs marching through the streets and pulling people out of their homes. Those who claim that fascist elements such as the corporate/government relationship are not currently occurring, have either failed to understand the full historical scope of what fascism is about or they have chosen to ignore the presently surrounding signs of its existence.
    Hitler’s rise to power was an example of the complacency of the German populace by their failure to understand or recognize what was occurring before it was too late to do anything about it.

  39. petrarch1608 says:

    I dont think that we’re living in a corporate-fascist country. That’s a little too tin-foil hat for my taste. Why don’t we acknowledge that corporations do a lot of good for our country? Why all the doom and gloom.

    Here’s an article about how wal-mart saved hundreds of lives in the aftermath of Katrina

    [www.nationalpost.com]

  40. Wimpkins says:

    All of the progress made in the 19th century….the abolition of slavery, woman’s suffrage, labor reform , minimum wage and so on…were championed by third parties.

    Anyone here who thinks the major parties are going to change things is mistaken.

    What’s the difference between Dems and Repubs…nothing, they both suck.

    Nader’s list of accomplishments would make any president crap his pants.

    All he’s trying to do is bring important issues to the national level…all the two parties have to do is pick up the ball and run with them…

    Obama, per NPR’s Peter Overby..

    [www.npr.org]

    …leads all candidates in fund raising from the financial sector.

    He’s gonna have to pay them back somehow. Let me guess…Wall St. will continue to socialize their losses at the People’s expense.

    He’s just another Uncle Tom.

    Hillary…LOL

    Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clinton. Yeah, um…no.

    McCain…perhaps…his support for the war blows.

  41. strangeffect says:

    @Ben Popken: Not sure if that note has always been there, but if you’re that worried about it, make it more visible.

  42. harumph says:

    @youbastid: i second that to a degree. gore ran a bad campaign and listened too much to his advisers instead of being himself. that part where nader played a role was in siphoning off some votes for gore in fla. if gore had won decisively ther would have been no recount and no supreme court nonsense. so i think nader did play a certain role but you cannot lay it totally on him.
    @Dobernala: i still disagree with you in the sense that i think corporatism to be one of the hallmarks of fascism, not fascism itself.

  43. Claystil says:

    Nader’s encroaching on Bill Maher’s throne of sideline criticising and annoyingness.

    Does that even make sense? I think I had too much coffee.

    @B: HA

  44. bohemian says:

    @petrarch1608: One act that basically boiled down to government borrowing of a private system. Fed Ex jumped in and helped too.

    This is sort of like a gang of thugs delivering some gifts to the local toys for tots drive.

    If we had better government disaster planning either they would have had their own plan & system in place or they would have already put a plan in place to pull private businesses into temporary government service in a crisis. IIRC isn’t there already some sort of seizure clause in a time of war or major national disaster? Isn’t that how private ships were put into service during WWII?

    That is all really beside the point though.

    Who could stand up right now, quit your job and cut all associations and contracts with corporations and live a comfortable normal life still in contact with the rest of the world. Very darn few. We are in a state of utter dependence. Not just your paycheck, your home or apartment, utilities, food, private transit, communications. Most of those require you having some relationship with a corporation or business.

    This is why we need better consumer protection.

  45. savvy9999 says:

    Despite his kookiness, Nader is more right than he is wrong, regarding consumer issues. I for one am glad he’s still around.

  46. DogTown says:

    @petrarch1608:
    “Why don’t we acknowledge that corporations do a lot of good for our country? Why all the doom and gloom. Here’s an article about how wal-mart saved hundreds of lives in the aftermath of Katrina”

    If Walmart is such an example of a so-called, do-good corporation, why has their corporate sanctioned behavior become so controversial throughout the country?
    Their suing of a former employee who is in a nursing home for $470,000 comes to mind.

  47. marchhare22 says:

    @Wimpkins: “Nader’s list of accomplishments would make any president crap his pants.”

    LOL yep

  48. JustAGuy2 says:

    @youbastid:

    You can claim all you want (and Gore certainly ran a lousy campaign), but the fact remains that the evidence is overwhelming that, had Nader not run, Gore would have won.

  49. dorkins says:

    @BearTack: Sounds like people here need to read “Liberal Fascism”, the #1 NYT bestseller, to be educated on fascism’s liberal roots.

    Not surprising, since it’s the best-kept secret of liberalism. Well, one of them anyways.

  50. LiC says:

    Go Nader!!!

  51. ACurmudgeon says:

    The question remains “why does Ben have to put notes at the end of an article to NOT use the comments to make irrelevant and/or personal attacks?”

    Much like many of Nader’s efforts, the goals of this site are hampered by the idiots that they are trying to help.

    Where is the insightful commentary? Where is someone refuting a claim made in the interview? There are a few, but they are lost in the dross.

    Why would you post if you have nothing to contribute?

    Here is my contribution:
    I have met Nader on two seperate occasions and each time he has impressed me with his passion, and what I believe to be a genuine concern for other people. Also, if you ever go to hear him speak add at least two hours to the specified time. The man has no sense of time when he starts talking.

  52. rmz says:

    I don’t know how many of you guys have actually read the Pacific Green Party platform, but there is some pretty pie-in-the-sky stuff in there:

    Strengthen Anti-Trust Enforcement: Require breakup of any firm with more than 10% market share unless it makes a compelling case every five years in a public regulatory proceeding that it serves the public interest to keep the firm intact.

    Heebie-jeebies. Heebie. Jeebies. 10% is a monopoly now?

  53. Optimus says:

    As to Nadar, I just wish he had a chance. What I said before still applies. He has some very good, consumer friendly ideas. But so does the Libertarian candidate (usually) and he/she usually gets enough state ballot presence to actually win the election.

    I’d be happy if either Nadar or a Libertarian won the election. I just don’t want to see people waste their votes on someone who literally cannot possibly win.

    @Bladefist-안녕:
    Interesting how you take to defending one team against a post that maligns both.

    When are the People going to learn that politics is not a football game, and stop supporting their team “the issues be damned?” This is not a game people. When the candidate from your beloved party no longer agrees with your values and ideals, stop supporting him/her. If the People would just follow that advice, we wouldn’t have most of the problems we do today.

    I agree with George Washington: political parties are one of the biggest mistakes this country could ever make.

    @petrarch1608:
    I’ve got a better link for you:
    [Google search: walmart small business]

    Corporations are not designed to do good for anyone except those who own them. However, often they are forced to do good for others in order to do better for their owners. But make no mistake, if it were legal to forcibly require people to buy their products, a majority would, because it makes for an impressive bottom line when your income statements are insured by force.

    @Wimpkins:
    As to McCain, if you like socialized medicine, corporate bailouts with simultaneous restrictions placed on bankruptcy claims for the People, Video Games being government regulated, and US Soldiers dying on foreign battlefields, then by all means vote for him, or Hillary. So far it seems the only real difference between the two is genitalia.

    Whew! What a post.

  54. noi56u says:

    @DCGaymer: “Nader = Consumerist 1.0 … “Still available in analog!””

    Indeed. If Ralph wins any election, it should be the one for “new C-ist logo”

  55. Optimus says:

    @rmz: “10% is a monopoly now?”

    If it means a more consumer oriented and actually free (rather than technically free) market, then why not? Such a situation would require that companies get together and make consumer friendly standards or risk a wholesale collapse of their particular market sector. And they’d actually have to work for their market share rather than locking their customers into their products.

  56. marchhare22 says:

    @rmz: What are you talking about, Nader is not the green party. Please get your facts straight.

    [www.gp.org]

  57. ehlaren says:

    @Bladefist-안녕: Yes most politicians do lie. The difference is some lie about things that shouldn’t matter ( like getting a blowjob ) and other lie about things that result in thousands of people dying.

    But equating the fact that they are all lying completely puts things in persepctive! /sarcasm

  58. katylostherart says:

    all politicians campaigns are based on relatively the same thing: trying to state your beliefs in a manner which encourages other people to believe you and agree with you. law and order is not necessarily it.

    although i do agree about the rest of what he says here and the “corporate fascism” sum up.

  59. katylostherart says:

    apostrophe in there somewhere…

  60. HannerHearse says:

    Nader is an American hero. I, for one, am glad that Democracy is alive and well, and that the process allows for people outside of the two major parties to run.

    I hate George W. and everything he has done to this country, and others, since taking office. But blaming Ralph Nader and those who voted for him makes far less sense than blaming Al Gore, John Kerry, the DNC, and the mass of weak-willed democrats who are so caught up on what they think is “electability” that they hesitate to back a candidate with any integrity or appeal. Why don’t the supposed liberals who so love to attack Nader and his voters put half that energy into attacking Bush, the GOP, and the Republican voters?

    Nader is running because it is his right to. It disenfranchises nobody. All of you Nader-Haters are the true enemies of democracy.

  61. youbastid says:

    @JustAGuy2: “Had Nader not run, Gore would have won” is patently false. As I said before, if Gore had won Tennessee, the entire Florida debacle would have been a non-issue. Nader got less than 1% of the vote in TN.

  62. youbastid says:

    @youbastid: Essentially, there were a number of reasons that Gore lost, and Nader is at the bottom of that list.

  63. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    I wish people would stop using Nader as a punching bag/scapegoat.

    His message has always been the same: there is little or no difference between the two parties in any of the issues that matter the most. Many of the reforms that he proposes are off the table for Clinton, Obama, and McCain. Take the issue of beefing up enforcement for consumer protection laws. Many states (and the federal government) have laws in place that protect consumers against predatory practices, but prosecutors lack resources to enforce the laws that protect consumers. This issue is a non-starter with the so called TWO party candidates. All of the major candiates are bought and paid for by corporations. This is an example of a form of fascism called corporatism.

  64. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    @JustAGuy2:
    And if Gore had won Florida & the White House, he never would have put hundreds of scummy right wing judges on the federal courts & those two extreme right wing piles of shit, Roberts & Alito on the Supreme Court, where they keep ruling in favor of thieving corporations.

    Thanks a lot Ralphie Boy!
    Rot in Hell!

  65. lincolnparadox says:

    @youbastid: While Nader took 3% of the national vote, everyone forgets that Pat Buchanan took another 3%. I’m not saying that something hinky didn’t happen in Florida. I’m just saying that blaming Nader for Bush is like blaming Bush for Osama bin Laden.

  66. BearTack says:

    @dorkins:

    Tucker Carlson beats the drum for a war he won’t fight in, even though he is of military age. Like Goering, he loves the big lies. His book on Liberal Fascism is just such as any reading of history is proof. And no, I am not a liberal though I far more respect liberals than the fascists who have taken over the conservative party.

  67. @lincolnparadox: I’m sorry, but that is dead wrong. Buchanan garnered a paltry 0.4% of the popular vote, and not 3%.

  68. Albion01 says:

    I couldn’t help but laugh at the American Idol comment Ralph makes. I tend to use it myself quite a bit. But it bring up an important point. Shouldn’t the government regulate how products are presented to people in the media. Corporations continue to flagrently lie in ads on TV and in other sources. For instance, everyone knows that a McDonalds sandwich presented in a commercial looks nothing like the sandwich they actually receive. How can companies continue to get away with using instinct and psychology to falsely represent their products? That’s the real question here.

  69. Bladefist says:

    @HannerHearse: While I disagree w/ your comments about Bush, the rest I 100% agree with. We got Black and White in america, and a if you bring any other color into play, a lot of people get very hostile. I would vote him this election. I don’t really have a dog in this fight. And these 2 parties are off the hook. Everday there is big news about one or the other. They are out of control. And it’s okay because they both know they will both always exist.

    Btw we are a republic, not a democracy. :’D

  70. camille_javal says:

    @fluiddruid: I think you’re thinking of Antonin Scalia.

  71. Kevitivity says:

    There is a really good reason nobody takes Nadar seriously and it’s partly because of moronic statements like this.

  72. mac-phisto says:

    i’m going to be brutally honest here. i don’t like ralph nader. i find him pompous, his arguments are scattered, & he caters too much to the fringe elements. he reminds me of a professor i had in college who thought pot should be legal b/c milk is a drug & it’s legal (i swear i’m not making that up).

    but he’s correct about what he says (nader, not the crazy pot professor). why on earth do we allow our government to serve corporations instead of us? why do we stand by while our society becomes stratified? it is simply ridiculous.

    corporations exist on a different legal plane that allows them to trade a portion of their profits for violating laws that would land any of us in jail. that is wrong. even when corporate officers are found directly responsible for wrongdoing, they serve a few months in jail & keep their assets. that is wrong.

    & yet legally, they become more & more immune from the laws that govern you & i. if congress isn’t granting them more exemptions, then scotus is pulling judgments out of their ass to refrain from punishing them or to block regulation of them on the federal or state levels.

    the worst part about this? american companies are becoming less american & more multinational. why does this matter? b/c it means foreigners have more rights in this country than you or i. & i’m not talking illegal immigrants hoofing it over the border here. i’m talking strategic moves by fatcats (foreign & domestic) to manipulate our government for their benefit. that pisses me off.

    /rant

  73. Angryrider says:

    I like Nader because of his socialist ideals. I’d like him even more if he’d do something for them, but he doesn’t, like the Democrats.

    Teaching our children to fight against corporate greed and fiscal responsibility? Right on! I learned about fiscal responsibility the hard way, with a crappy allowance.

    Ah yes. I refuse to believe that Nader stole the popular votes from Gore, making him lose the election. The pop vote doesn’t actually mean anything in our system, as we have a freakin’ electoral college to take care of it. They’re the deciders!

  74. JustAGuy2 says:

    href=”#c4921846″>lincolnparadox:

    I actually ran the #s on this back in early 2001, because I was curious. If you assume that

    (a) all Nader voters went to Gore
    (b) all Buchanan voters went to Bush

    Then only two states change hands: Florida and New Hampshire switch from Bush to Gore, and Gore wins.

    While it’s true that, if Gore had run a better campaign, it wouldn’t have mattered, the fact remains that, had Nader not run, Gore would have won.

  75. JustAGuy2 says:

    @Angryrider:

    Do you actually know how the electoral college works? Your post really sounds like you don’t. See my post above; without Nader in the race, Gore wins.

  76. youbastid says:

    @JustAGuy2: It’s plain dumb to assume that all Nader votes would have gone to Gore. Nader mobilized a large number of people who wouldn’t have voted anyway. Gore won the popular vote regardless of Nader’s participation.

  77. marchhare22 says:

    @mac-phisto: “i don’t like ralph nader. i find him pompous, his arguments are scattered, & he caters too much to the fringe elements….” “but he’s correct about what he says”

    So you hate him because hes confusing and pompous. Although you say hes right?

    People with average intelligence will always have a harder time understanding complexities that may never be apparent to them. To you then he may appear to be a “pompous ass”. Look, there are going to be people smarter than you in the world, and more dedicated. Realize this.

    Its a sad fact that, to most, an easier to understand person who is more charismatic will appear a better candidate to run a country.

  78. ? graffiksguru says:

    Wow, did anyone read Ben’s last line, (that he now bolded just in case you missed it)

    Note: Anyone ranting off-topic in the comments about how Nader threw the election may get a visit from *~El Bandito~*

    You really don’t want the banhammer comin down on ya, now do ya?
    Yeah, Nader’s definitely brought up some interesting issues, but I’d never vote for him.

  79. JustAGuy2 says:

    @youbastid:

    Gore won the popular vote. Without Nader in the race, Gore would also have won the election.

    How about this set of assumptions, then, since my previous ones were so “dumb”:

    1. Assume all Browne (Libertarian) voters would have gone to Bush – in reality, some Bush (economics), some Gore (social), some not vote.
    2. Assume all Buchanan voters go to Bush (in reality, some Bush, some not vote).
    3. Assume 1/2 of Nader voters vote for Gore, the other 1/2 just don’t vote.

    Under these assumptions, which clearly underestimate the benefit Gore would have gotten if Nader hadn’t run, Gore STILL WINS FLORIDA.

    To believe, as you seem to, that Nader didn’t cost Gore the election, you have to believe that:

    1. More than 65% of Nader voters would have stayed home rather than vote for Gore.
    2. None of the Libertarian and Buchanan voters would have stayed home rather than voting for Bush.

    That, frankly, is dumb.

  80. On activism: You want a better country, you’ve got to spend more of your time more time away from american idol, and more time on your members of Congress. We’re millions of people, but corporations don’t have a single vote, and members of congress are there because of our votes, so make those votes count.

    Nader isn’t exactly my favorite person but damn if he didn’t just tell the truth right there.

  81. MrEvil says:

    Nader speaks the truth, too bad as of late he hasn’t seemed to do much of anything about it.

    However, I don’t think we’re quite to the point of corporate fascism. However, we DEFINITELY need to rethink how we punish corporate entities for mis-deeds. As of right now all the government does is fine them, but not enough to really make it matter. The founding fathers intended for civil courts to punish business entities for misdeeds. However, it seems these days that most all large companies put money aside for government fines and lawsuit settlements. It’s in their annual budget that they will pay $X in fines, and $X for lawsuits. Granted they’re estimates, but this makes fines and verdicts for Plaintiffs into a simple cost of doing business. Lawsuits and government fines are like paying the Electric bill to large companies any more rather than the punishment they were originally intended to be.

    I mean, the whole reason we have a government in the first place is to be the enforcer of society’s rules and laws isn’t it?

  82. youbastid says:

    @JustAGuy2: Still dumb. Saying “If Nader hadn’t run,” is like saying “If JFK ducked he would still be alive today.” If Nader hadn’t run, any other combination of events could have led Gore to still lose. In my mind, the best a third party candidate can hope for is to garner enough support from the public so as to make the 2 big guys actually have to deal with some of the issues the 3rd party is raising. Nader did that, and it was a good thing.

    Had he not run, who’s to say that the hanging chad issue, the Katherine Harris issue, the Bush family connections to the Fox newsroom issue, the black box voting issue, and the Supreme Court issue wouldn’t have done Gore in anyway? They would have figured out a way to throw out 90,000 more votes for Gore, easily.

  83. JustaConsumer says:

    True. But Nader is the guy that gave us W.

  84. Consumer007 says:

    @Stan LS: And you’re a jerk. There is nothing he said that wasn’t common sense or a good idea. He is an educated man, and he gives a damn about our general economic welfare.

    Do you have nothing better to do than slamming people doing good work with meaningless one-word insults?

  85. mac-phisto says:

    @marchhare22:

    People with average intelligence will always have a harder time understanding complexities that may never be apparent to them.

    first, that’s a perfect example of what i was saying when i said pompous! i’m pretty sure the “average american” understands that we’re getting shafted. you don’t have to talk down to them to relate that point. second, i didn’t say he was “confusing”. i said his arguments were scattered.

    the following videos are from what i believe is one of nader’s best interviews. tim russert asks the tough questions & nader gives great answers. however, here’s the problems with his presentation:
    1) unless you took some college-level polisci courses, you have no idea what the hell he’s talking about when he says “democracy gap”, “liberal intelligentsia”, “military-industrial complex”, etc. this is all jargon – it really has no place in his argument other than to prove he “noes teh lingo”.
    2) he tries to run thru his entire platform & everything that’s wrong with politics in america in under 1/2 hour. it dilutes his main talking points; makes him appear scatter-brained.
    3) as you stated, he’s not very charismatic. there’s not emotion in his words – just cold, dry facts. in politics, charisma is more important than intelligence when you’re running for office. look at the great leaders of this nation – washington, adams, jefferson, lincoln, roosevelt, kennedy, reagan – they weren’t necessarily the smartest men of their times; but they were greatest. would you consider nader one of the greatest men of our time?

    i’m glad ralph’s still on our side. i just wish he was intelligent enough to realize that his role is to be an advocate for change, not the h.d.i.c. it’s his vanity that constrains him.

  86. meaverly says:

    Thank goodness someone on this site speaks on behalf of everyone losing their homes because of predatory lending tactics and those atrocious adjustable-rate mortgages.

    Nader has made it his life’s work to give a voice to everyone who sends letters to Consumerist — shouldn’t the O in the title be replaced with his face already? It’d be a fitting homage to the site’s spiritual leader.

  87. fimglib says:

    I fear that the crisis is already upon us. Climate change means our food supply is shrinking. There may be no time to mitigate this disaster, but I always believe that there is always time to start doing the right thing.

    The destruction of the planet will not be abated as long as corporations control the decision-making process. Short-term business models continue to the trump long-term common good. If we fail to act then it will be Katrina writ large- only the priviledged elite will survive.

    Voting for a corporate Democrat or Republican is like chickens electing their new fox. We have to do something drastic to change the equation. In the electoral realm voting for Nader is the better alternative to not voting.

    We need to be in the streets demanding change before we’re in the streets begging for food.

  88. Aquifer says:

    It used to amaze me how many times, on every site I have visited where Nader’s name has come up, the “Nader gave us 8 years of Bush” with additional insults, condemnation, etc. arises, especially in light of how thoroughly this idea has been debunked; in ’04 he wasn’t even arguably a factor.

    But when you realize whose purpose this claim serves, it is not so surprising. Nader, and Kucinich before him, are the biggest potential threats to the hegemony of the corporate stranglehold on more and more facets of our everyday lives. If one can, with ad hominem remarks, effectively poison an opponent in the sight of the average person, one doesn’t even have to address that person’s legitimate critiques or arguments. In this case Nader’s critiques, charges, claims, etc. are so devastating, so well documented and so in sync with the average person’s everyday observations that they would be quite damaging indeed to the political aspirations of both parties if actually allowed “time on the stage”. Hence the “shoot the messenger” tactic employed to deny them a legitimate hearing and force a legitimate debate. By blaming Nader for Bush, one can so thoroughly arouse the ire of so many that their minds immediately close to anything he might say. And, as icing on the cake, critiques that they may have come to on their own are now discredited by being advanced by “such a terrible fellow”! Voila! Corporate America, Mission Accomplished!

    So now when I see those “Nader gave us Bush” rants I can only conclude that they are inspired by a desire to maintain the corporate status quo – by both the Rep.s AND the Dem.s as represented by the “major” candidates. The only thing the Rep.s and the Dem.s are really fighting about is who gets to collect all the percs that go with being “in charge”.

  89. UNSTOPPABLE says:

    No kidding Raplph. Thanks for the insight.

  90. krom says:

    If Gore hadn’t hugged the center (and center-right) and ignored and discarded the progressive base, we wouldn’t be talking about Nader this and Nader that in 2000.

    Obama doesn’t put the progressive base in the landfill, and that’s why Nader isn’t going to be a “problem” this year for the Democrats. This time we have a person who shows respect to the progressive base instead of trying to wish it away.

    The Democratic Party is supposed to be the left party. But Gore was not a left candidate. In contrast, Nader was.

    And Bush was nothing more than a useless ineffective poster boy for name-recognition until he picked up the neocon banner *after* 9-11. (Lacking any ideas of his own, he had to jump on somebody’s bandwagon.)