In this inaugural episode of the Ralph Nader Radio Hour, Ralph talks about his old nemesis, General Motors, once again getting called on the carpet. How conservatives and liberals should come together to raise the minimum wage. Whether young people should sign up for Obamacare. The situation in Ukraine. Missile defense. And whether the Yankees’ Derek Jeter is a worthy successor to his boyhood hero, Lou Gehrig.
Updated: Nov. 18, 2010
by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page
November 11, 2010
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama,
The U.S. government bailout of, and acquisition of a majority share in, General Motors was an exceptional action, taken in response to exceptional circumstances. The U.S. stake in GM obviously poses novel managerial challenges to the government. The appropriate response to those challenges, however, is not to run from the responsibility through passive ownership and premature sale at a loss to taxpayers.
Let’s celebrate some good news, before some qualifications are considered. Traffic fatalities in the U.S.A have dropped to a 60 year low. There were 33,808 deaths in 2009—a 9.7 percent decline from the previous year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety administration (NHTSA). The reduction was across the board from passenger vehicles, light trucks, large trucks, motorcycles and pedestrians. Continue reading
by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page
August 13, 2010
The Obama Administration’s treatment of its current majority ownership of bailed out General Motors and its standoffishness toward the pioneering but troubled ShoreBank, a community bank based in Chicago, are lessons in how the Big/Bad fare in Washington, D.C., as compared with the Good/Small.
Having shed its bad assets and abandoned its common shareholders, the new GM emerged from bankruptcy in 2009 with a clean balance sheet and lots of taxpayer cash. For the first two quarters of 2010, it has signaled a comeback by reporting over $2 billion in profits.
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Excuse me, Charlie Wilson, for parodying your 1955 line as chairman of General Motors that “What is good for General Motors is good for America.” Especially since 53 years later GM’s stock is at an all-time low with little prospect of zooming back up.
It seems that dinosaur GM helped extinct itself through a series of errors. They are well documented by financial trader Adam Hewison, co-founder of the MarketClub.com, in his linked article and DVD. The errors include developing an electric car in 1996 when gas was $1.28 a gallon, naming the battery powered car the EV1, then scrapping it in 2002 when prices were climbing to $4 a gallon. Oops!
November 05, 2009
The United States does not value jobs and trade unions; General Motors cut ten thousand jobs across Europe at its Opel unit in favour of Christmas bonuses. That’s the view of Max Keiser, finance critic and former stockbroker. He commented to RT on GM abandoning plans to sell Opel to a consortium of Canadian firm Magna and Russia’s Sberbank.
Nov. 5, 2009
With the Copenhagen climate summit just a month away, a new investigative series looks at how rural Brazilians are being displaced so their forest can be turned into carbon offsets for some of the world’s biggest polluters, including General Motors and Chevron. With deforestation amounting to a fifth of the world’s emissions, planting and preserving trees are seen as key elements to offset pollution. We speak to Mark Schapiro of the Center for Investigative Reporting. After traveling to Brazil, Schapiro writes, “People with some of the smallest carbon footprints on earth are being displaced by companies with some of the biggest.” Continue reading