Ralph Nader: It’s Easier Than We Think To Turn Our Country Around

Dandelion Salad

with Ralph Nader

“A Culture of Timidity”: Ralph Nader on How Regulators Ignored a GM Safety Defect Tied to 13 Deaths

democracynow on Mar 11, 2014

democracynow – After hundreds of complaints and 13 deaths, the Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into how the nation’s largest automaker, General Motors, may have covered up deadly safety defects in its compact cars. Six GM models made from 2003 to 2007 suddenly turned off while being driven — leaving drivers with no engine power, no power steering, no breaks, and no air bags. For 11 years, GM reportedly treated the defect as a matter of customer satisfaction, not safety. Federal regulators also failed to take action, declining to investigate despite a flood of complaints. GM finally announced a massive recall of some 1.6 million vehicles last month. We speak with consumer advocate Ralph Nader, who is no stranger to GM. After writing “Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile,” he won a major settlement against the auto giant for spying on him and trying to discredit him. Nader faults what a he calls “a culture of timidity” in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “bred by the lack of backing by the Bush White House and to some similar extent, by the Obama White House.” He adds: “That of course leads to a reluctance to follow up on the evidence, to stand tall for the American motorist. That is not why we established the auto safety agency in 1966, so maybe this will help turn it around. Often it takes a tragedy like this to turn it around.”


Nader on Senate’s Climate Stance, “Insanity” of U.S. Nukes, & Why Obama’s Min. Wage Hike Falls Short

democracynow on Mar 12, 2014

democracynow.org – Ralph Nader, the longtime consumer advocate, corporate critic, and former presidential candidate, joins us to discuss a number of key issues: the Senate’s marathon filibuster to promote climate action and attendant failure to challenge President Obama on the Keystone XL; new disclosures revealing U.S. regulators hid concerns and uncertainty around the safety of U.S. nuclear plants in the aftermath of the Fukushima crisis three years ago this week; and why he believes President Obama’s call for a $10.10 federal minimum wage falls well short of what workers deserve. Nader is author of the forthcoming book, “Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State.”


From the transcript:

“[…] And I might say, it’s easier than we think, Amy. It’s really easier than we think to turn this country around on one issue after another. Less than 25,000 people in the last year and a half, some of them picketing McDonald’s and Wal-Mart, some of them doing research, some of them writing articles, some of them lobbying state legislatures, city hall and Congress, have turned the minimum wage into what is now the number one economic policy advocacy for the Democratic Party putting the Republicans on the defensive. Just 25,000 people, less than the population of Torrington, Connecticut. I want to convey, it’s easier than we think to turn our country around, whether it’s energy, whether it’s anti-poverty, whether it’s tax reform, whether it’s electoral reform. Stop thinking we’re powerless. We start with our Constitution: “We the people.” It doesn’t start with “We the corporation.” Corporations are never mentioned in the Constitution. Why are they ruling us? That’s the question we have to ask ourselves.”


California’s Coming Minimum Wage Restoration by Ralph Nader

Workers Are Disposable in the Fracking Industry by Walter Brasch

Omnicidal Congress AWOL on Climate Disasters by Ralph Nader

If There’s Global Warming … Why Is It So Cold?