Author Archives: Ralph Nader

Watch out for big corporations and dangerous politicians breaking our established norms

Norms, in a society or culture, are the accepted ways of behavior we grow up observing and learning in our everyday lives. Norms are rarely backed up by laws, though when norms are grossly violated, calls for legislation may ensue. Continue reading

To the New York Times—“We thought we knew ye”

In 1980 we produced a report titled How to Appraise and Improve Your Daily Newspaper: A Manual for Readers, authored by David Bollier, one of our precocious interns, who had just graduated from Amherst and went on to become an expert on the Commons (See, bollier.org). I thought about this past initiative to empower readers/consumers while contemplating what is happening in recent months to the print edition of the New York Times. Continue reading

Weaning the State Department from war-making to peaceful robust diplomacy

Other than being an adjunct booster of overseas Pentagon military operations and refortifying its vulnerable embassies, what does the U.S. State Department stand for and do anymore? Continue reading

Students, campuses and dominant corporate power

When it comes to corporate power and control over their lives, now and into the future, today’s college students are perilously dormant. When it comes to putting pressure on Congress to counter the various dictates of corporatism, there is little activity other than some stalwarts contacting their lawmakers on climate violence. Continue reading

U.S. China policy: A perilous arms race instead of waging critical cooperation

Did the Biden officials know what they were doing when they announced a broad expansion of export controls on China? China is the world’s second-largest economy, which is intricately intertwined with the economy of the U.S. and other nations. This is mainly due to U.S. multinational companies exporting huge slices of our manufacturing economy to China for its cheap labor. Continue reading

How can dictators control so many millions of people?

How do dictators manage for decades to control 1.4 billion (China) or 146 million (Russia) people and on down to other smaller totalitarian regimes? Answer: one power hungry man at the top. Continue reading

The continuing damages from corporate-managed so-called free trade

The great progressive Harvard economist and prolific best-selling author, John Kenneth Galbraith, wrote that “Ideas may be superior to vested interest. They are also very often the children of vested interest.” I wished he had written that assertion before I took Economic 101 at Princeton. One of the vested ideas taught as dogma then was the comparative advantage theory developed by the early 19th-century British economist, David Ricardo. He gave the example of trading Portuguese wine for British textiles with both countries coming out winners due to their superior efficiencies in producing their native products. Continue reading

Time for a taxpayer revolt against rich corporate welfarists

It is time for an unusual but long overdue revolt by the 150 million tax-with-held taxpayers. I’m not speaking of rates of taxation that the rich and corporations largely avoid because of the gigantic tax escapes, which they grease through Congress. Today I’m hoping to get your dander up by showing how corporatist politicians make you pay for big corporations to come to their corporate welfare-friendly state and make profits. Continue reading

Is corporate criminal law heading for extinction?

Crimes without criminals was not a subject for study when I was in law school. The two were seen as part of the same illegal package. That was before notorious corporate lawyers and a cash register Congress combined to separate economic, health and safety crimes from corporate accountability, incarceration and deterrence. Continue reading

Against the Trumpian GOP onslaught, the Dems are like deer in the headlights

There is something about entrenched bureaucracies that transcend nations and cultures. When bureaucracies are confronted with unanticipated or new challenges, they freeze—like a deer facing headlights. Continue reading

Dishonoring Earth Day 2022 with an oil, gas, coal & nuclear heyday

Instead of championing solar, wind and conservation energy, the GOP (Greedy Old Party) is championing the skyrocketing profits and prices for the omnicidal fossil fuel and atomic power companies. Continue reading

Consumer protection progress and regress—from the sixties to now

I’m often asked whether consumers are better or worse off since the modern consumer movement took hold in the nineteen sixties. Continue reading

Corporate media ignores Senate hearing on corporate greed and inflation

It is exceedingly rare for a major congressional committee to hold hearings on “corporate greed” leading to corporate profiteering and surging prices on consumer goods. On April 5, 2022, Senate Budget Chairman Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) chartered uncensored territory on corporate avarice with a lead witness, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, now a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. Continue reading

No corporate law and power questions for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

In over twenty hours of grueling confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Jackson’s nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court, Republican Senators (Cruz, Cotton, Hawley, Blackburn, and Graham) found much time to disgrace themselves, using the judge as a prop for their despicable political ambitions. Meanwhile the Democratic (and Republican) Senators found no time to tap into Judge Jackson’s knowledge and analysis of the grave issues regarding the nexus of the power of giant corporations and the Constitution. Continue reading

Commercial defrauding of Uncle Sam—biggest booming business

The biggest business in America is stealing and defrauding the federal government, Uncle Sam and you the taxpayers. In terms of sheer stolen dollars, the total amount is greater than the annual sales of Amazon and Walmart over the past two years. Continue reading

Going for tax reform big time

What if $10 billion were raised over ten years to transform Congress and make it do what it should be doing for the people (See, Think Big to Overcome Losing Big to Corporatism, 1/7/22)? In a more recent column, Facilitating Civic and Political Energies for the Common Good, 2/2/22, I outlined how $1 billion per year could be spent lobbying Congress for a people’s agenda. Continue reading

Lost opportunities in Joe Biden’s news conference

President Joe Biden broke the record for the longest presidential press conference ever—going nearly two hours fielding question after question. He stood that long to prove his stamina and dispel bigoted charges of ageism. Continue reading

Think big to overcome losing big to corporatism

The progressive citizen groups, that in the sixties and seventies, drove through Congress the key environmental, worker, and consumer legislation, since unmatched, must feel nostalgic. Those were the years when legislation throwing cruel companies on the defensive was signed by arch-corporatist, President Richard Nixon, because he read the political tea leaves. Continue reading

Rare unionizing opportunity in big box and retail chains

This is the most opportune time for millions of workers in Big Box retail stores and fast-food outlets to form unions. McDonald’s, Walmart, Amazon, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Burger King, and other giant chains are having trouble finding enough workers. Some of these companies are even paying signing bonuses and upping low pay. Continue reading

“Trump’s next coup has already begun: January 6 was practice.”

“Trump’s Next Coup Has Already Begun…” is the title of an article in the Atlantic, just out, by Barton Gellman, a Pulitzer Prize winner and author of many groundbreaking exposés. He describes the various maneuvers that Trump-driven Republican operatives and state legislators are developing to overturn elections whose voters elected Democrats from states with Republican governors and state legislatures. Georgia fit that profile in 2020—electing two Democratic senators in a state with a Republican legislature and governor. Continue reading

The corporate demolition of our pillars of freedom

The disposition of the Boeing manslaughtering of 346 trusting passengers and crew in the 737 MAX crashes (Indonesia—2018 and Ethiopia—2019) further weakens the system of tort law and individual pursuits of justice after wrongful deaths. Continue reading

GOP senators reduced to McConnell mush!

“Mush” barks McConnell and forty-nine Republican Senators, as if tied to a dog sled obey. The malicious McConnell—easily the most powerfully brutish, corporatist, citizen-blocking, lawless, corrupt senator in modern American history—doesn’t even bother polling his senators for their yea or nay on a myriad of votes. The Republican senators are obedient automations obeying McConnell’s demands. Continue reading

How the “polarized” political parties work together against the public interest

“Polarization” is the word most associated with the positions of the Republicans and Democrats in Congress. The mass media and the commentators never tire of this focus, in part because such clashes create the flashes conducive to daily coverage. Continue reading

Teach youngsters about corporatism’s harms

If you think elementary, middle, and high school students know too little history, geography, and government, try asking them about the corporations that command so many hours of their day, their attention, what they consume, and their personal horizons. Continue reading

Congress—collectively less than an inkblot

Bruce Fein, constitutional law specialist who has testified before Congress approximately 200 times, calls Congress “an inkblot.” Let’s see if he is exaggerating. Continue reading

Microchip, macro impact, micro vision

Let’s say you’re looking to invest some savings in the expanding micro-chip industry and a friend hands you the 2021 Annual Report of the Delaware (chartered) Corporation, Microchip Technology, a firm based in Chandler, Arizona. You’re a studious type and want to know what the company is producing before deciding if becoming a shareholder-owner is for you. Continue reading

A beacon rises from Capitol Hill

The idea didn’t come from a newly arrived Harvard or Yale congressional staffer. They mostly feel sufficiently anointed to the ways of Capitol Hill—getting along with style while going along for ambition. Continue reading

The fall of the House of Cuomo—lessons unlearned

The resignation of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo invites comparisons, historical context, and proposals for the future. Continue reading

“Nobody is above the law”—except the “big boys”

Law schools should have courses on the expanding immunities of government and corporate officials from criminal prosecution and punishment. Guest lecturers, speaking from their experience, could be Donald J. Trump, George W. Bush (criminal destruction of Iraq), Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, the Sackler Family of opioid infamy, and the top officials at Boeing, led by its CEO Dennis Muilenburg, for the 346 homicides in their deadly 737 MAX aircraft. Continue reading

Fallacies of political labelism

Alexander Burns is a leading political affairs analyst for the New York Times. Unfortunately, even he has accepted the ill-defined political labelism swallowed wholesale by his journalistic colleagues. Continue reading

Collapsing federal corporate crime enforcement

As the size and severity of the corporate crime wave surges, Congress is asleep at the switch. The mostly captive Capitol Hill Gang has sat on an antiquated federal criminal code, starved the budget of regulatory health, safety, and consumer/labor protection agencies, and let corporate crooks routinely get away with their crimes. Continue reading

Inside Bezos—a five-year old boy—outside, a cunning extraterrestrial profiteer

Jeff Bezos touched down after his 10 minutes, 10 second vertical 66 mile zoom above Earth. He felt so on top of the Earth that he agreed to one-on-one interviews with a gaggle of salivating reporters. Looking over a list of their names, he spotted journalist Greg Galaxy and picked him first. Continue reading