Nader As President Will Work For Need, And Send Corporate Greed Crying to Mommy!

The Green Party ticket of Nader/LaDuke stands for a strengthening of democratic initiatives by voters, workers, consumers and taxpayers, and a shift away from the increased concentration of economic and political power in fewer and larger global corporations.

The Green Party ticket of Nader/LaDuke stands for a strengthening of democratic initiatives by voters, workers, consumers and taxpayers, and a shift away from the increased concentration of economic and political power in fewer and larger global corporations.

Politics is principally about who decides, who pays and who is held accountable. When it comes to federal elections for Congress and the presidency, no one has described it better than Senator John McCain, who said that the “campaign finance system is little more than an elaborate influence-peddling scheme, in which both parties conspire to stay in office by selling the country to the highest bidder”.

The highest bidders are overwhelmingly business interests who want lax enforcement of consumer, labour and environmental laws; massive subsidies, give-aways and bail-outs; and government contracts that waste taxpayers’ dollars. Cash-register politics must be replaced by public funding of campaigns. Among the ways to accomplish a clean-money/clean-goal is a well promoted, voluntary political contribution of up to $250 (£180) per person on their tax returns with guaranteed free time on television and radio for candidates whose electoral popularity qualified them for federal support.

The decade-long economic boom has resulted in an apartheid economy. In contrast to rocketing corporate profits, stock markets and top executive compensation, a majority of workers make less – inflation-adjusted – and work longer than in the 1970s. Forty-seven million workers – a third of the work force – do not make a living wage, receiving for their labours less than $10 an hour, with millions at the $5.15, $6 or $7 level. Benefits and traditionally defined pensions have declined. The federal minimum wage, at $5.15 an hour, is $2.15 less in purchasing power than the minimum wage in 1968, when economic output was half what it is today.

One reason that this economy raises only yachts, instead of all boats, is the declining percentage of the private labour force that is in trade unions. At the moment, less than 10 per cent of these workers are unionised – a 60-year low. The widening of returns to capital as compared to labour reflects the serious decline in workers’ bargaining power. Repeal of obstructive anti-union laws would free American workers in places such as Wal-Mart and McDonald’s to have a fair chance to band together in trade unions for a living wage, better working conditions and a share of capital.

Consumers are exposed to a variety of frauds and hazardous products that take a terrible toll in dollars, lives, injustices and disease. From gross hospital malpractice to massive billing fraud in the health-care industry to accelerating invasions of privacy, corporations are out of control, turning legislators and regulators into patsies.

We call for strong law-and-order programmes against corporate law violators. A recent Business Week cover story documented why nearly three quarters of the American people think that corporations have “gained too much power over their lives”. The editors agreed and, in an editorial calling for a “new social contract”, declared that corporations should “get out of politics” and embrace campaign finance reform.

Taxpayers are finding that more and more of their tax dollars are going to corporate welfare – hundreds of billions of dollars a year in direct or indirect transfers at the local, state and federal level. As Republican John Kasich, chairman of the House Budget Committee, observed last year, just about every industry and every major corporation comes to state capitols demanding tax dollars for stadiums, while schools and clinics and public transit systems crumble. We urge an end to corporate welfare as we know it and a redirection of tax dollars to broad public necessities.

After many years working to get industries to build safer cars, process safer food, reduce air pollution, pay their fair share of taxes and respect democratic processes, I decided to help build a new progressive political party for four reasons. First, civil society groups of all persuasions were being closed out in Washington from a chance to improve their country. The two major parties are rapidly morphing into corporate power, where corporate money produces a permanent corporate government.

Second, solutions abound in America for renewable energy, modern public transit, preventative health care, safe environments, better schooling, affordable housing, more time for family, children and community and a non-commercial cultural renaissance. But these advances too often are blocked by the concentration of power in the “monied interests” that Jefferson, Lincoln, the two Roosevelts and many other of our nation’s historical leaders warned the citizenry to oppose.

Third, many good people who would run for elective office are turned off by corrupt and sleazy politics mired in dirty-money elections. We are losing a wealth of human talent. Finally, great investigative stories about corporate abuses published by the major media go nowhere. Nothing happens to move such information toward corrective action, because we have an underdeveloped democracy and an overdeveloped plutocracy.

Look around the world and see the correlations between democracy and expanding markets, and autocracy and limited markets. Whenever, in our nation’s history, people successfully challenge the excessive power of commercial interests, whether over workers, child labour, minorities, consumers and the environment, the country became better and the economy stronger.

Moreover, a strong democracy is good for good business and bad for bad business. Those business executives who ignore this lesson of history are short-changing their own company’s potential for serving a deeper prosperity – one that places human need over corporate greed.

Ralph Nader is the Green Party’s candidate for President of the United States

Author: Ralph Nader

News Service: Daily Telegraph

URL: http://www.dailytelegraph.co.uk/dt?ac=003731245808464&rtmo=0iRRbXRq&atmo=rrrrrrvs&pg=/00/10/31/do01.html