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1960s counterculture, affirmative action, airline deregulation, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, capital controls, centre right, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, desegregation, energy security, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, feminist movement, financial deregulation, floating exchange rates, full employment, income inequality, income per capita, intermodal, invisible hand, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, Martin Wolf, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, payday loans, post-industrial society, post-oil, price mechanism, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, trade liberalization, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, working poor, Yom Kippur War
The center was funded by millionaire Stewart Mott, heir to a General Motors fortune and perennial banker of liberal causes. The new organizations were officially nonpartisan and assumed that they each represented a public interest. One study of eighty-three public interest groups found that 30 percent had no members at all, only lobbyists. Of the rest, 57 percent had no structure that elicited public opinion.11 The best example was the Ralph Nader organization Public Citizen, founded in 1971 to represent the consumer, uncontaminated by special interests. Public interest advocates claimed that public policies affected many who were unrepresented—the people, the consumers, the citizens.12 They fostered the belief that government cannot protect the people but only active citizens, generally wielding a lawsuit and not a ballot. This anti-institutional ethic was embraced by the Democratic political reformers.
That no one suggested Muskie demonstrated the provincialism and fatigue surrounding the deliberation.37 When Eagleton, who was not well known, was finally chosen, the matter did not end. That evening, the charade of openness required six other nominations, representing factions of the McGovern coalition. Not even for their own candidate would they discipline their desire. Once control was broken, delegates nominated Jerry Rubin, Ralph Nader, Archie Bunker, Mao Tse-tung, and many others. Ironically, it was the Wallace delegation from Alabama, not the McGovern group from New York, which shifted its votes to make Eagleton the vice presidential candidate. The price for this lengthy indulgence was that McGovern began his acceptance speech at 2:48 a.m.38 Not a good beginning. THE CAMPAIGN President Nixon relaxed. He had feared that he would face a centrist Democrat like Muskie.
Thus, the government felt free to end remaining controls on foreign direct investment, begun in the 1960s when balance of payments problems plagued the country. Exports began to rise.1 American manufacturers constructed new factories.2 They even gained ground in world markets.3 Closing the book in Vietnam and rekindling economic growth yielded an era of good feelings in 1973. The new president of the Chamber of Commerce, Edward B. Rust, had some nice things to say about that scourge of American capitalism, Ralph Nader. Nader, who first became famous battling mighty General Motors over automobile safety, led numerous investigations documenting corporate misdeeds and government negligence. But now Rust concluded that Nader simply aimed to make “the free-enterprise system work.”4 Irving Kristol, the future scold of 1960S culture, took the various social changes of the decade in stride. “The 1960S made unprecedented demands on society,” Kristol acknowledged.
Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, Cal Newport, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, haute couture, Honoré de Balzac, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, income inequality, Joseph Schumpeter, Naomi Klein, offshore financial centre, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, single-payer health, statistical model, uranium enrichment
It keeps the uninitiated from asking unpleasant questions. It destroys the search for the common good. It dices disciplines, faculty, students, and finally experts into tiny, specialized fragments. It allows students and faculty to retreat into these self-imposed fiefdoms and neglect the most pressing moral, political, and cultural questions. Those who critique the system itself—people such as Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, Dennis Kucinich, or Ralph Nader—are marginalized and shut out of the mainstream debate. These elite universities have banished self-criticism. They refuse to question a self-justifying system. Organization, technology, self-advancement, and information systems are the only things that matter. In 1967, Theodor Adorno wrote an essay titled “Education After Auschwitz.” He argued that the moral corruption that made the Holocaust possible remained “largely unchanged” and that “the mechanisms that render people capable of such deeds” must be uncovered, examined, and critiqued through education.
Will we radically transform our system to one that protects the ordinary citizen and fosters the common good, that defies the corporate state, or will we employ the brutality and technology of our internal security and surveillance apparatus to crush all dissent? There were some who saw it coming. The political philosophers Sheldon S. Wolin, John Ralston Saul, and Andrew Bacevich, writers such as Noam Chomsky, Chalmers Johnson, David Korten, and Naomi Klein, and activists such as Bill McKibben, Wendell Berry, and Ralph Nader warned us about our march of folly. In the immediate years after the Second World War, a previous generation of social critics recognized the destructive potential of the rising corporate state. Books such as David Riesman’s The Lonely Crowd, C. Wright Mills’s The Power Elite, William H. White’s The Organization Man, Seymour Mellman’s The Permanent War Economy: American Capitalism in Decline, Daniel Boorstin’s The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America, and Reinhold Niebuhr’s The Irony of American History have proved to be prophetic.
You cannot, in most instances, be a viable candidate without their blessing and money. These corporations, including the Commission on Presidential Debates (a private organization), determine who gets to speak and what issues candidates can or cannot challenge, from universal, not-for-profit, single-payer health care to Wall Street bailouts to NAFTA. If you do not follow the corporate script, you become as marginal and invisible as Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nader, or Cynthia McKinney. This is why most Democrats opposed Pennsylvania Democratic House Representative John Murtha’s call for immediate withdrawal from Iraq—something that would dry up profits for companies like Halliburton—and supported continued funding for the war. It is why most voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act. It is why the party opposed an amendment that was part of a bankruptcy bill that would have capped credit card interest rates at 30 percent.
Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges
1960s counterculture, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, call centre, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbine, corporate governance, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, hive mind, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Lao Tzu, post scarcity, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Tobin tax, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, WikiLeaks, working poor, Works Progress Administration
, 408-409. 23 Ibid., 431. 24 Abe Peck, Uncovering the Sixties: The Life and Times of the Underground Press (New York: Citadel Press, 1991), 142. 25 Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent, 300. 26 Ralph Nader, interview, Washington, DC, March 30, 2010. 27 David Cay Johnston, interview, by phone from Rochester, New York, March 7, 2010. 28 Lewis F. Powell, “Attack on th eAmerican Free Enterprise System,” U.S. Chamber of Commerce, August 23, 1971, http:www.reclaimdemocracy.org/ corporate _acountability/Powell_memo_lewis.html. 29 Ralph Nader, in Henriette Mantel and Steve Skrovan, Directors, An Unreasonable Man, Submarine Entertainment, 2006. 30 Warren P. Strobel, “Dealt a Setback, Bush Now Faces a Difficult Choice,” Philadelphis Inquirer, February 15, 2003, A01. 31 James Cone, interview, Princeton, New Jersey, January, 16, 2010. 32 Malcolm X, Corey Methodist Church, Cleveland, Ohio, April 3, 1964. 33 See King’s address, “Some Things We Must Do,” given December 5, 1957, on the second anniversary of the Montgomery bus boycott. 34 Malcolm X, panel discussion on WNDT-TV, New York, 1963. 35 Martin Luther King, “Guidelines for a Conservative Church,” Sermon given June 5, 1966, at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta. 36 Dean Henderson, interview, Fairfax, Virginia, February 20, 2010.
Do they understand that their primary purpose, as it was with Zinn, is not to prevent terrorism but discredit and destroy social movements as well as protect the elite from those who would expose them? Zinn knew that if we do not listen to the stories of those without power, those who suffer discrimination and abuse, those who struggle for justice, we are left parroting the manufactured myths that serve the interests of the privileged. Zinn set out to write history, not myth. He found that challenging these myths, even as a historian, turned one into a pariah. The descent of Ralph Nader, from being one of the most respected and powerful public figures in the country to being an outcast, illustrates perhaps better than any other narrative the totality of our corporate coup and the complicity of the liberal class in our disempowerment. Nader’s marginalization was not accidental. The corporations, which grew tired of Nader’s activism, mounted a campaign to destroy him. It was orchestrated to thwart the legislation that Nader and his allies, who had once belonged to the Democratic Party and the liberal class, enacted to prevent corporate abuse, fraud, and domination.
I would go down with the press releases, the findings, the story suggestions, and the internal documents and give it to a variety of reporters. I would go to Congress and generate hearings. Oftentimes, I would be the lead witness. What was interesting was the novelty. The press gravitates to novelty. They achieved great things. There was collaboration. We provided the newsworthy material. They covered it. The legislation passed. Regulations were issued. Lives were saved. Other civic movements began to flower. “Ralph Nader came along and did serious journalism. That is what his early stuff was, such as Unsafe at Any Speed,” the investigative journalist David Cay Johnston told me:The big books they put out were serious, first-rate journalism. Corporate America was terrified by this. They went to school on Nader. They said, “We see how you do this. You gather material, you get people who are articulate, you hone how you present this.”
accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, capital controls, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, deskilling, ending welfare as we know it, feminist movement, full employment, gender pay gap, George Gilder, glass ceiling, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Internet Archive, job satisfaction, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, labor-force participation, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, manufacturing employment, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Naomi Klein, new economy, occupational segregation, pets.com, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, statistical model, structural adjustment programs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, union organizing, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K
And, over the last twenty years, we've seen an almost entirely new role for the state, preventing financial accidents from turning into massive deflationary collapses—bailouts that insulate creditors from risk while assuring that costs of adjustment are largely paid by the poor and weak. So what about pressure on living standards? We First Worlders have to be very careful here, since the initial European rise to wealth depended largely on the colonies, and while we can argue about the exact contribution of neocolonialism to the maintenance of First World privilege, it's certainly greater than zero. It's embarrassing to hear Ralph Nader and his associated fair-trade campaigners describe NAFTA and the World Trade Organization as threats to U.S. sovereignty, echoing the rhetoric of Pat Buchanan. Washington has abused the sovereignty of scores of nations over the decades, while refrising to observe decisions of global bodies Hke the World Court. The U.S. objects to other countries raising barriers against its goods, capital, and political preferences, but it's never shy about asserting its own national autonomy.
It's a tremendous waste of natural resources to ship Air Jordans halfway around the world. Export-oriented development has offered very Uttle in the way of real economic and social development for the poor countries who've been offered no other outlet. But does that mean trade itself is bad? At a debate at Seattle's Town Hall during WTO week 1999, then—Undersecretary of Commerce for International Affairs David Aaron asked Ralph Nader how a consumer advocate could support restricting trade, since that would restrict choice and drive up prices. Nader had a hard time coming up with a good answer, sputtering and saying at one point that restricting trade would promote national self-sufficiency. Why national self-sufficiency is such a worthy goal he didn't say, but it seems Hke a retentive and unfriendly goal. Nader footnoted his expression of that strange desire with the revelation that he also supports restricting pornography imports; he didn't say why this was a good idea either.
In 1972, Esprit shut a factory in San Francisco's Chinatown after the workers organized a union; the NLP3 rebuked Doug Tompkins' "paternalism" for seeing the union as an expression of "ingratitude." Esprit took ten years to pay off the back wages the government ordered them to pay (Udesky 1994). The IFG's kickoff conference's opening plenary, held in New York's Riverside Church, assembled a long night's worth of speakers—Maude Barlow (of the Council of Canadians), John Cavanagh (Institute for Pohcy Studies), Barbara Dudley (Greenpeace), David Korten (author), Ralph Nader (who needs no parenthetical ID), Carl Pope (Sierra Club), andVandana Shiva (Third World Network). The MC was adman Jerry Mander, who believes that TV, which he hates, will soon implode of its own contradictions. Mander was on the board of El Bosque and is the globalization program director for Tompkins' Foundation for Deep Ecology (FDE), whose funding was acknowledged, along with that of the Goldsmith Foundation.
So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson
4chan, AltaVista, Berlin Wall, Broken windows theory, Burning Man, Clive Stafford Smith, cognitive dissonance, Desert Island Discs, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Google Hangouts, illegal immigration, Menlo Park, PageRank, Ralph Nader, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, urban planning, WikiLeaks
‘Especially when I began seriously annoying a big section of the car industry.’ What Max meant was that by the early 1990s he had become a campaigner to reform car safety laws, forcing manufacturers to carry out crash tests. ‘And when you think of what they did to Ralph Nader …’ * Ralph Nader. In 1961 a young man called Frederick Condon crashed his car. Back then sharp edges and no seat belts were considered stylish in car interiors. But the sharp edges turned Frederick Condon into a paraplegic. And so his friend - the lawyer Ralph Nader - began to lobby for mandatory seat-belt laws. Which was why General Motors hired prostitutes to follow him into stores - a Safeway supermarket and a pharmacy - to seduce and discredit him. ‘It happened twice,’ Nader told me when I later telephoned him. ‘They were women in their mid to late twenties.
Eventually General Motors was forced to admit the plot and apologize to Nader in a congressional hearing. The incident proved to him, and later to Max, that the car industry was not above trying to shame its opponents into silence in its battle against safety do-gooders, and that people in high places were prepared to ingeniously deploy shaming as a means of moneymaking and social control. Maybe we only notice it happening when it’s done too audaciously or poorly, as it had been with Ralph Nader. * One Sunday morning in the spring of 2008 a PR man telephoned Max to ask him if he’d seen the News of the World. ‘He said, “There’s a big story about you.” So I went to the news stand.’ And as Max stared at the grainy photographs that millions of Britons were simultaneously staring at - a naked Max being bent over and spanked by women in German uniform - a line from Othello came into his head: I have lost my reputation.
While the flavourists were happily composing their ersatz music, campaigners both in Britain and the United States had begun to rebel against the manipulation. Ralph Nader and the Chemical Feast In 1973, a witty food industry executive coined a new term: “Naderphobia,” named after the attorney and consumer activist Ralph Nader. The symptoms of the illness were a heightened sensitivity and an abandonment of normal behaviour among otherwise happygo-lucky businesspeople; in other words, a terror in the face of the damage that consumer activists could do to the food industry.136 Plenty of manufacturers were suffering from this malaise. Ralph Nader’s main target, famously, was the automobile industry. From 1965 onwards, Nader had attacked General Motors for producing cars that were “unsafe at any speed.”
Consumers are encouraged to surrender their judgement over whether food is good or bad to experts. In the process, the simple pleasures of good food may be forgotten. A more consumer-led approach has been to counter adulteration with information in the form of publicity and labelling. The press has always played a role in exposing food fraud, which has been heightened at various times through the work of muckrakers, from Upton Sinclair to Ralph Nader. In addition, we now have whole dictionaries of information about food at our disposal in the form of labelling. The right kind of publicity has been extremely effective in curbing the swindlers. After The Jungle, the meatpackers did clean up their act (though not to the extent that Sinclair wished). Mandatory food information on labels has eliminated whole swathes of swindling. Publicity is a double-edged sword, though.
Mitchell, John, Treatise on the Falsifications of Food and the Chemical Means Em ployed to Detect Them (London: Hippolyte Baillière, 1848). Monckton, H. A., A History of English Ale and Beer (London: Bodley Head, 1966). Murphy, Kevin C., “Pure Food, the Press and the Poison Squad: Evaluating Coverage of Harvey W. Wiley’s Hygienic Table,” 2001,” http://www.kevincmurphy.com, accessed September 2006. Nader, Ralph, The Ralph Nader Reader (London: Seven Stories Press, 2000). Nelson, Robert, L., “The Price of Bread: Poverty, Purchasing Power and the Victorian Labourer’s Standard of Living,” modified 25 December 2005, http://www .victorianweb.org. Nestle, Marion, Food Politics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002). ———, What to Eat (New York: North Point Press, 2006). Nightingale, Pamela, A Medieval Mercantile Community: The Grocer’s Company and the Politics and Trade of London 1000–1485 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995).
Free to Choose: A Personal Statement by Milton Friedman, Rose D. Friedman
affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, air freight, back-to-the-land, bank run, banking crisis, Corn Laws, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, invisible hand, labour mobility, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, price stability, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, road to serfdom, school vouchers, Simon Kuznets, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration
The question is whether the arrangements that have been recommended or adopted to meet them, to supplement the market, are well devised for that purpose, or whether, as so often happens, the cure may not be worse than the disease. This question is particularly relevant today. A movement launched less than two decades ago by a series of events—the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, Senator Estes Kefauver's investigation of the drug industry, and Ralph Nader's attack on the General Motors Corvair as "unsafe at any speed"—has led to a major change in both the extent and the character of government involvement in the marketplace—in the name of protecting the consumer. From the Army Corps of Engineers in 1824 to the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887 to the Federal Railroad Administration in 1966, the agencies established by the federal government to regulate or supervise economic activity varied in scope, importance, and purpose, but almost all dealt with a single industry and had well-defined powers with respect to that industry.
Yet the public—or a large part of it—has been persuaded that private enterprises produce shoddy products, that we need ever vigilant government employees to keep business from foisting off unsafe, meretricious products at outrageous prices on ignorant, unsuspecting, vulnerable customers. That public relations campaign has succeeded so well that we are in the process of turning over to the kind of people who bring us our postal service the far more critical task of producing and distributing energy. Ralph Nader's attack on the Corvair, the most dramatic single episode in the campaign to discredit the products of private industry, exemplifies not only the effectiveness of that campaign but also how misleading it has been. Some ten years after Nader castigated the Corvair as unsafe at any speed, one of the agencies that was set up in response to the subsequent public outcry finally got around to testing the Corvair that started the whole thing.
How that power will be used and for what purposes depends far more on the people who are in the best position to get control of that power and what their purposes are than on the aims and objectives of the initial sponsors of the intervention. The Interstate Commerce Commission, dating from 1887, was the first agency established largely through a political crusade led by self-proclaimed representatives of the consumer—the Ralph Naders of the day. It has gone through several life cycles and has been exhaustively studied and analyzed. It provides an excellent example to illustrate the natural history of government intervention in the marketplace. The Food and Drug Administration, initially established in 1906 in response to the outcry that followed Upton Sinclair's novel The Jungle, which exposed unsanitary conditions in the Chicago slaughtering and meat-packing houses, has also gone through several life cycles.
Who Stole the American Dream? by Hedrick Smith
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, anti-communist, asset allocation, banking crisis, Bonfire of the Vanities, British Empire, business process, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, family office, full employment, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, guest worker program, hiring and firing, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, late fees, Long Term Capital Management, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Maui Hawaii, mortgage debt, new economy, Occupy movement, Own Your Own Home, Peter Thiel, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Renaissance Technologies, reshoring, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, too big to fail, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Vanguard fund, We are the 99%, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K
As Thomas Edsall wrote in The New Politics of Inequality, the anti-business Congress of the early 1970s became the pro-business Congress of the late 1970s. Time magazine commented that in 1978 the decisive force blocking much of the Carter and liberal agenda was “the startling increase in the influence of special-interest lobbies…. Partly because of this influence, Congress itself is becoming increasingly balky and unmanageable.” Target #1—Ralph Nader Consumer activist Ralph Nader was the first target to feel the potent new challenge of the corporate mutiny against the political status quo. For several years, Nader’s chief ambition, and the primary goal of the consumer movement, was to have Congress create a consumer protection agency that would give average American consumers an advocate within the federal bureaucracy and that would consolidate pro-consumer rule making in one place.
Business played heavily on their fears of a voter backlash against them. When Speaker O’Neill pushed the Carter consumer agency bill to a vote, most of the newly elected Democrats bolted against party discipline and rejected the bill. The business strategy worked. What the White House and Ralph Nader had expected to be an easy win turned into a disastrous defeat in the House. The idea of a powerful consumer agency was buried for the next three decades. Target #2—Organized Labor Having beaten President Carter and Ralph Nader on their first big showdown, the business forces were ready for a test of strength against a politically more organized and more formidable foe, organized labor. Since the early 1960s, the AFL-CIO labor federation had been itching to roll back the tough anti-union provisions of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947 and the Landrum-Griffin Act of 1959, with little success, and to win more favorable conditions for union organizing.
With slogans calling for “Truth in Lending” and “Truth in Packaging,” consumer advocates demanded more aggressive action by federal watchdog agencies to protect the public from being unfairly exploited by unsafe products and unscrupulous lenders. Quality of life was key. People took U.S. economic growth for granted, and they wanted higher standards, better quality, and greater transparency from industry. More than any other single person, Ralph Nader put middle-class consumer activism on the political map. A public figure of no small ego, Nader knew how to work the press, the public, and politicians. His 1965 book, Unsafe at Any Speed, captured public attention with the charge that America’s Big Three carmakers were responsible for many automobile accidents because they were marketing cars that were mechanically and technically unsafe. Nader’s network ranged widely.
anti-communist, battle of ideas, business climate, corporate governance, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, income inequality, invisible hand, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, price mechanism, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, risk/return, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, shareholder value, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Torches of Freedom, trade liberalization, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, Washington Consensus, young professional
.’; • engaging in specially selected court cases to support business interests; • mobilizing stockholders, perhaps through establishment of a national organization with enough corporate backing – ’muscle’ – to be inﬂuential, and utilizing shareholder reports and magazines ‘far more effectively as educational media’ aimed at enlisting their political support; • attacking critics of the system, such as Ralph Nader and Herbert Marcuse, and penalizing those who oppose free enterprise. Powell’s memorandum was circulated to members but the Chamber of Commerce decided it was unwilling to take the lead in such a campaign. Although the memo was conﬁdential, it was leaked to the media and publicized when Powell was appointed by President Richard Nixon to the Supreme Court, as evidence of his inability to be objective.
He claims his book is ‘making its way onto both liberal and conservative agendas, as well as the platforms of think tanks, philanthropic foundations, environmental groups, and international banks, among many other organizations’. Gates’ second book, Democracy at Risk: Rescuing Main Street from Wall Street – a Populist Vision for the 21st Century (2000), makes a similar argument, and has been endorsed by people as diverse as Klaus Schwab, president of the World Economic Forum, and consumer rights’ advocate Ralph Nader.67 The European Commission is also keen to encourage shareholder democracy, and to this end is seeking to harmonize corporate government codes in Europe to make it easier for lay people to invest. Frits Bolkestein, European commissioner for the internal market, said in 2002: ‘I want to have a European market in shares, a shareholder democracy, one share one vote.’ Jean-Pierre Thomas, an investment 186 FREE MARKET MISSIONARIES banker and member of the French parliament, unsuccessfully promoted legislation ‘to establish tax-subsidized personal pension funds in hopes of turning France into a nation of shareholders’.68 NOTES 1 Ronald Brownstein, ‘Though Workers Are Now Investors, They Don’t Think Like Capitalists’, Los Angeles Times, 15 November 1999, pA5. 2 IRC, ‘Proﬁle: Empower America’, Interhemispheric Resource Center, 22 November 2003, http://rightweb.irc-online.org/org/empower.php. 3 Empower America, ‘Mission’, Empower America, www.empoweramerica.org/about accessed 26 December 2002; FreedomWorks, ‘Our Mission’, FreedomWorks, www. freedomworks.org/know/mission.php accessed 11 January 2005. 4 Richard Nadler, ‘Investor Class Act’, National Review, 22 May 2000b; Richard W.
Board members are then beholden to the CEO for their positions.37 Increasingly, companies have adopted staggered boards, with only one-third of the seats ﬁlled each year, so that any organized opposition amongst shareholders cannot control the board after a single vote. 198 FREE MARKET MISSIONARIES When it comes to election of the board of directors, any shareholder wishing to propose alternative candidates has to pay the expense of mailing proxy forms and campaign literature to many thousands of shareholders. In contrast, company management can use company funds to hire ﬁrms that specialize in contacting shareholders personally and persuading them to send in their proxies for a particular result. Ralph Nader and Joel Seligman noted in 1983: ‘company insiders have so totally dominated the proxy machinery that corporate elections have come to resemble the Soviet Union’s “communist ballot,” on which only one slate of candidates appears’.38 The people nominated by CEOs for board membership tend to be senior executives of other companies (sometimes retired), many with only nominal shareholdings in the company themselves.39 Lewis Braham writes in Business Week: Americans like to believe we have shareholder democracy.
Propaganda and the Public Mind by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian
Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Bretton Woods, capital controls, deindustrialization, European colonialism, experimental subject, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, interchangeable parts, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, Martin Wolf, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, structural adjustment programs, Thomas L Friedman, Tobin tax, Washington Consensus
The second principle is that it tends to be of more significance at the lower end of the representation system. So it’s probably more important to vote for a representative to Congress than for president and similarly down the line. Public pressures are usually greater at the lower end, although private pressures are also greater at the lower end, so it’s a mixed story. Ralph Nader has announced his candidacy for the presidency on the Green Party ticket. Would that be something that would attract you? It’s a very tricky issue. You have to try to calculate extremely unpredictable and kind of low-order choices. A vote for Ralph Nader is going to be a protest vote. Everybody knows that. Is it advantageous to do that or to vote for a marginally better candidate who has a chance to win? The New Party had come up with a very sound proposal for running fusion candidates. You could vote for Nader, the New Party, or the Labor Party, and have the vote counted by whoever you preferred in the actual competitive election, say, a Democrat.
We had a long interview. [Laughs.] I can sort of conjure up something that might have been going on in their editorial offices, but your guess is as good as mine. The term anarchist has always had a very weird meaning in elite circles. For example, there was a small article in the Boston Globe the other day about how all these anarchists are organizing these protests.10 Who are the anarchists? Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen, labor organizations, and others. There will be some people around who will call themselves anarchists, whatever that means. But from the elite point of view, you want to focus on something that you can denounce in some fashion as irrational. That’s the analogue to Thomas Friedman calling them flat-earthers. Vivian Stromberg of Madre, the New York-based NGO, says there are lots of motions in the country but no movement.11 I don’t agree.
But that didn’t make me feel I shouldn’t publish there. We’re not a cult, after all. If we’re serious, we know we could be wrong. Anyone who’s too confident about their beliefs on topics like this is in serious trouble. So where there are differences of opinion, there may well be reason for self-questioning, too. You just make your choices. There’s no formula for it. So you wouldn’t subscribe to the criticisms of Ralph Nader for joining with Pat Buchanan in opposing the WTO or the China trade bill? I wouldn’t. If it was being on the same platform, what do you mean joining with him? Rhetorically... That’s irrelevant. That’s a point that Trotsky made years ago when he was accused of being a fascist because he was criticizing Stalinism in the same terms that the fascists were. If somebody else happens to use the same criticisms you do, and they are accurate, that’s not a reason to give them up.
Meltdown: How Greed and Corruption Shattered Our Financial System and How We Can Recover by Katrina Vanden Heuvel, William Greider
Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, capital controls, carried interest, central bank independence, centre right, collateralized debt obligation, conceptual framework, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Exxon Valdez, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, kremlinology, Long Term Capital Management, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, McMansion, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, payday loans, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, pushing on a string, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, sovereign wealth fund, structural adjustment programs, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, union organizing, wage slave, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working poor, Y2K
Stiglitiz 191 View from Asia by Walden Bello 196 Born-Again Democracy by William Greider 199 The Suicide Solution by Barbara Ehrenreich 207 The Great Depression II by Nicholas von Hoffman 210 We’re All Minskyites Now by Robert Pollin 213 The Bailout: Bush’s Final Pillage by Naomi Klein 217 Part Four: The Road to Recovery How to Fix Our Broken Economy by Jeffrey Madrick 225 Ending Plutocracy: A 12-Step Program by Sarah Anderson and Sam Pizzigati 234 Trust but Verify by James K. Galbraith and William K. Black 244 King George and Comrade Paulson by Ralph Nader 247 A Big Government Bailout by Howard Zinn 249 Water the Roots by Rev. Jesse L. Jackson 253 America Needs a New New Deal by Katrina vanden Heuvel and Eric Schlosser 255 What Do We Want? An Emergency Town Hall Featuring William Greider, Francis Fox Piven, Doug Henwood, Arun Gupta and Naomi Klein. Moderated by Christopher Hayes 260 The Global Perspective by Will Hutton 270 How to End the Recession by Robert Pollin 287 In Praise of a Rocky Transition by Naomi Klein 297 Acknowledgments 301 List of Contributors 303 Preface The year 2008 will live in infamy in the annals of American economic history.
Paul Krugman’s essays have the snappy smartness his followers have come to expect, but for me the best interpretations of the marketplace and the so-called New Economy come from Robert Pollin, a University of Massachusetts professor of economics, who for one thing helps strip the populist mask from Bill Clinton; Doug Henwood, whose tart humor keeps one awake even when he discusses Wagnerian topics, as in the chapter on globalization, where he calls Ralph Nader “a special case, a man who seems proud of his (locally produced) hair shirt”; Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize–winning economist who writes with admirable candor about the sellouts of some of his colleagues in the Clinton years; and Roger Lowenstein, a master (as I first learned from his book When Genius Failed) at making our financial pi-rates as interesting as those who sailed with Long John Silver.
and the Sundance Institute Risk-Takers Award for 2004. He has also been honored by TransAfrica Forum, was a recipient of the prestigious Anisfield Wolf Award, and served as editor for The Best American Short Stories of 2003. Bobbi Murray lives in Los Angeles and writes frequently on economic justice issues. She has written for The Nation, Los Angeles Magazine, the LA Times, LA Weekly, AlterNet and others. Ralph Nader, the longtime consumer advocate, was an independent candidate for president in 2008. He has been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Americans in the Twentieth Century. Garrett Ordower is an investigative journalist based in New York. His work has appeared in The Nation, Chicago’s Daily Herald and the Beacon News. Sam Pizzigati is an associate fellow at the Washington, D.C.- based Institute for Policy Studies and edits Too Much, an online weekly on excess and inequality.
air freight, Albert Einstein, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, desegregation, double entry bookkeeping, family office, feminist movement, full employment, ghettoisation, Indoor air pollution, medical malpractice, Mikhail Gorbachev, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, trade route, transaction costs, traveling salesman, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty
-dominated Midwest. Northern liberals partial to government efforts to ameliorate pressing social problems found themselves susceptible to tobacco-state congressmen willing to trade off their votes on measures they would ordinarily oppose but were dear to liberal hearts—like urban renewal funding—in return for keeping government regulators away from the cigarette business. As consumer advocate Ralph Nader commented, “Any group of really cohesive congressmen can have disproportionate power like the tobacco bloc … [and become] a proverbial battering ram, saying in effect to their colleagues, ‘This is our particular bailiwick, and if you ever want us to defer to you someday, you’d better go along with us on this issue.’” Tobacco’s sway was no less apparent in the White House, where Lyndon Johnson had become the first President from a state of the old Confederacy since the antebellum era (not counting Wilson, a transplanted Virginian).
As a frequent public speaker and expert witness before Congress, he had a gift for dramatizing the antismoking case and made telling use of props of his own devising, like an ashtray he distributed to congressional offices that was topped by a plastic model of a pair of human lungs, one of which turned black when it had absorbed enough cigarette smoke. But ASH served in large part as a vehicle for Banzhaf, and his unwillingness to share the spotlight and build an organization would ultimately keep him from becoming what he liked to bill himself as in the early days of the antismoking movement—“the Ralph Nader of the cigarette industry.” IV AMERICAN TOBACCO, then ranking second in sales in its industry, and last-place Philip Morris faced different challenges in the late ’Sixties. American, under its new president, ex-salesman Barney Walker, vowed to reverse a seven-year slippage in market share by dramatically altering its product mix, which was 90 percent in unfiltered brands when Walker took over in 1963.
In regular contact for several years with staff members at the National Clearinghouse on Smoking and Health and its director, Daniel Horn, Pertschuk was determined that the cigarette makers would not escape serious regulation as they had four years earlier. His hand was notably strengthened by the rising recognition in Congress that legislation backing consumer interests was becoming good politics, as Magnuson’s rejuvenated career and the emergence of Ralph Nader as a serious and widely admired independent consumer advocate were demonstrating. To slow the momentum of the pro-industry bill due from the House Committee, Pertschuk worked behind the scenes to introduce a telling piece of testimony that had fallen into his lap and argued for congressional intervention in television advertising. After several years of watching the NAB’s Advertising Code Authority permit its oversight of cigarette advertising to turn into a travesty, Warren Braren, head of the code’s New York office and chief author of the 1966 report critical of the tobacco industry’s own effort to curb its advertising, had quit in disgust.
To Serve God and Wal-Mart: The Making of Christian Free Enterprise by Bethany Moreton
affirmative action, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, big-box store, Bretton Woods, Buckminster Fuller, collective bargaining, corporate personhood, deindustrialization, desegregation, Donald Trump, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Gilder, global village, informal economy, invisible hand, market fundamentalism, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, price anchoring, Ralph Nader, RFID, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, walkable city, Washington Consensus, white flight, Whole Earth Catalog, Works Progress Administration
It promised new resources for the wary employers of college graduates. In 1973, Oklahoma Christian College (now University) had commissioned a Gallup poll on the political orientation of college students. The results conÂ�firmed their worst fears. 151 TO SERVE GOD AND WAL - Â�M ART Asked to rank professional fields by their ethical standards, students placed businessmen near the bottom. Consumer activist Ralph Nader won the honors in individual esteem, and the United Nations in the institutional category; the Republican Party and the CIA were last. Almost half favored nationalizing the oil industry. Moreover, while one-Â�third ofÂ€ freshmen in the survey idenÂ�tiÂ�fied themselves as leftists, more than half of seniors did so. It was true: higher education in itself produced anticapÂ�italist sentiment.31 But Oklahoma Christian College was quick to publicize the poll’s silver lining: its own students were sigÂ�nifiÂ�cantly more conservative than their rowdy counterparts at Princeton.
Increased scrutiny and new regulatory agencies—the Environmental Protection Agency, the 181 TO SERVE GOD AND WAL - Â�M ART Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Consumer Product Safety Commission—meant that in the span of a few short years, the nation now speciÂ�fied standards for evÂ�ery stage of the life cycle of consumer goods, from the effluÂ�ents released in their production to their packaging to the highways they moved over and the credit available for purchasing them.33 Ralph Nader troubled the sleep of many executives with proposals like the 1976 manifesto Taming the Giant Corporation, which advocated an employee bill of rights and community involvement in corporate decision-Â�making. Though Nader’s initiatives lacked the activist muscle to present a real threat, they kept the legislative alternatives to laissez-Â�faire in sight.34 The free-Â�market economist Milton Friedman visited Harding College in the winter of 1973 to ask urgently “Can we halt Leviathan?”
The promiscuous devotion the orÂ�gaÂ�niÂ�zaÂ�tion lavished on its sponsors—awards, honor rolls, the seemingly infinite supply of places or events that could be named for someone—hinted at its history in Sonny Davis’s consulting business. And though Wal-Â�Mart and its fellow serÂ�vice providers quickly realized SIFE’s potential for recruiting, screening, and training new employees, the orÂ�gaÂ�niÂ�zaÂ�tion first entered corporate funding streams through PR departments concerned with speÂ�cific image issues. Accordingly, SIFE addressed not Karl Marx or Rosa Luxemburg but Rachel Carson and Ralph Nader, and it did so in the idiom of Christian free enterprise. With Shewmaker chairing the SIFE board and the energetic Rohrs atÂ€the helm, the orÂ�gaÂ�niÂ�zaÂ�tion kept SIFE’s potential in front of its friends. Missouri governor John Ashcroft, a member of Leaders of the Ozarks, proclaimed a statewide “Free Enterprise Week,” as did his Arkansas counterpart, Bill Clinton.41 In 1985, the Leaders hosted an “Ozarks 201 TO SERVE GOD AND WAL - Â�M ART Against Government Waste” fundraiser for SIFE featuring chemical magnate J.
Culture works: the political economy of culture by Richard Maxwell
1960s counterculture, AltaVista, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, business process, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Howard Rheingold, income inequality, informal economy, intermodal, late capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, Network effects, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, structural adjustment programs, talking drums, telemarketer, the built environment, Thorstein Veblen, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban renewal, Victor Gruen, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce
See, for example, Susan Faludi, Backlash: The Undeclared War against American 105 Inger 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. 67. 106 L. Sto l e Women (New York: Doubleday, 1994), ﬁrst published by Crown Publishers in 1991; Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth: How Images of Beauty Are Used against Women (New York: Doubleday, 1994), ﬁrst published by William Morrow in 1991. See, for example, Ralph Nader, Unsafe at Any Speed (New York: Grossman Publishers, 1965); Ralph Nader, ed., The Consumer and Corporate Accountability (New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Atlanta: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973). For an excellent discussion of the rise of commercial mass media, see Gerald J. Baldasty, The Commercialization of News in the Nineteenth Century (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1992). Alex Kuczynski and Stuart Elliot, “Falloff in Ads Is Taking Toll on Magazines,” New York Times, January 8, 2001, C1.
By focusing on advertising’s excesses rather than its lacking consumer information, this form of criticism posed, and still poses, a threat to Madison Avenue that is very limited by comparison with the challenges mounted during the 1930s. Nevertheless, the 1960s witnessed a partial rebirth of the consumer movement. Unlike their 1930s counterparts, however, the new consumer advocates did not make advertising their primary focus. Led by Ralph Nader, the new movement was mostly concerned with faulty production practices, including manufacturers’ negligent attitudes toward consumers’ safety.60 When Nader finally attempted to establish an Institute for the Study of Commercialism in the 1990s, he was frequently hampered by a lack of funding. The advertising industry, on the other hand, experienced no such setbacks. On the contrary, as advertising expenditures kept growing, the medium became even more intrusive and all-pervasive.
The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good by Robert H. Frank
carbon footprint, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, clean water, congestion charging, corporate governance, deliberate practice, full employment, income inequality, invisible hand, Plutocrats, plutocrats, positional goods, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, sealed-bid auction, smart grid, The Nature of the Firm, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, ultimatum game, winner-take-all economy
All passengers holding confirmed reservations had the right to remain on the flight under the proposal, which called for carriers to keep raising the compensation offer until enough volunteers stepped forward. When a federal agency proposes a regulation of this sort, the public and other affected parties have an interval of time, usually sixty days, to comment on it. Shortly after the CAB announced its proposal, a passionate brief was filed by the Aviation Consumer Action Project (ACAP), a group founded by Ralph Nader in Washington, D.C. ACAP’s ostensible mission is to protect airline passengers from being exploited by air carriers. In its filing, it objected that if the CAB adopted its proposal, the burden of waiting for the next available flight would fall disproportionately on the poor. As in other arenas, ACAP feared, the rich would be empowered to buy their way out of the hassles of life, while the poor were forced to endure them.
And because the principles at work in the CAB example are completely general, this hostility has proven costly to the very same low-income constituents whose cause these commentators profess to champion. With careful attention to design details, virtually every public policy decision that does not reflect what people are willing to pay for the alternatives at issue can be transformed to produce a better outcome for everyone involved. Those who resist such changes would do well to imagine themselves in the role of Ralph Nader waving a court injunction that would block a low-income passenger from volunteering to accept compensation for agreeing to take a later flight. Why Efficient Policies Are Often Impossible without Income Transfers Conservatives, through their opposition to income transfers, have been an even bigger obstacle to the adoption of efficient public policies. That’s because any democracy that does not transfer income from rich to poor almost always ends up attending to the interests of the poor in other, far more costly ways.
TAXING HARMFUL ACTIVITIES 179 Legislators who favor an SO2 tax do not reveal by that fact that they think the bureaucrats in Washington know how to spend your money more wisely than you do. On the contrary, they understand that when valuable resources, such as the air we breathe, are free, people tend to use them inefficiently. This tax actually makes it possible for you to purchase more of the things you value. If libertarian antitax rhetoric had blocked implementation of this tax, it would have been like Ralph Nader’s Aviation Consumer Action Project having succeeded in its effort to block airlines from offering compensation to volunteers who relinquished their seats on overbooked flights. As discussed in chapter 7, using the price system to allocate scarce resources makes the economic pie larger, whether the resources in question are seats on an overbooked flight or air currents with limited capacity to disperse SO2.
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Air France Flight 447, air freight, airport security, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, capital controls, central bank independence, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, currency peg, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, double helix, endowment effect, Exxon Valdez, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, global supply chain, hindsight bias, Hyman Minsky, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, paradox of thrift, pets.com, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, technology bubble, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, transaction costs, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, value at risk
The complicated consequences of helmets that so vex professional sports is part of a much larger debate that has long preoccupied and divided engineers and ecologists. The federal government had begun to assert its oversight over the economy and the environment during the Progressive Era, and in the 1960s, that oversight expanded significantly, most noticeably onto the highways. The catalyst was the publication in 1965 of Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile by Ralph Nader. Nader had worked for Daniel Patrick Moynihan at the Department of Labor, and his book exposed how the auto manufacturing industry had knowingly built dangerous features into their cars, such as chrome on the dashboard that reflected sun into drivers’ eyes and hood ornaments that were unnecessarily dangerous to pedestrians. Nader’s critique zeroed in on the Chevrolet Corvair, whose design, he said, was intrinsically unsafe and prone to oversteering.
If society chooses not to spend that money, then its insistence on spending it to save one life in aviation reflects emotion, not rational calculation. There was another cost. When the FAA studied the proposal, it concluded that the measure would prevent five aviation deaths over a decade. But raising the cost of a flight would prompt many families to drive rather than fly, causing an additional eighty-two road deaths. One congressman took the FAA to task for its “ghoulish cost/benefit ratio.” So did Ralph Nader. The FAA’s decision, he and a coauthor wrote, “protects theoretical children driving in cars at the expense of real flesh-and-blood infants whose safety is unquestionably compromised when flown as a lap-baby.” To date, the FAA has remained steadfast in its refusal to require child seats, even while recommending that parents use them. How long it will hold out is anyone’s guess; advocates, including the NTSB and Lohr, continue to press for the change.
Grossman, “Effects and Costs of Requiring Child-restraint Systems for Young Children Traveling on Commercial Airplanes,” Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine 157 (2003): 969–974. 40 in an editorial: http://rds.epi-ucsf.org/ticr/syllabus/courses/4/2012/11/29/Lecture/readings/airplane%20seats%20editorial%20101303.pdf. David Bishai, “Hearts and Minds and Child Restraints on Airplanes,” Archives of Pediatric Adoleschent Medicine 157 (2003): 953–954. 41 The FAA’s decision: Ralph Nader and Wesley Smith, Collision Course: The Truth about Airline Safety (Blue Ridge Summit, Pa.: TAB, 1994). 42 added travel time: Steven A. Morrison and Clifford Winston, “Delayed! U.S. Aviation Infrastructure Policy at a Crossroads,” in Aviation Infrastructure Performance: A Study in Comparative Political Economy, Clifford Winston and Gines de Rus, eds. (Washington: Brookings Institution, 2008): 7–35. 43 federal air marshal program: Mark G.
Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda by Noam Chomsky
ABOUT SEVEN STORIES PRESS SEVEN STORIES PRESS is an independent book publisher based in New York City, with distribution throughout the United States, Canada, England, and Australia. We publish works of the imagination by such writers as Nelson Algren, Octavia E. Butler, Assia Djebar, Ariel Dorfman, Lee Stringer, and Kurt Vonnegut, to name a few, together with political titles by voices of conscience, including the Boston Women's Health Book Collective, Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader, Gary Null, Project Censored, Barbara Seaman, Gary Webb, and Howard Zinn, among many others. Our books appear in hardcover, paperback, pamphlet, and e-book formats, in English and in Spanish. We believe publishers have a special responsibility to defend free speech and human rights wherever we can. For more information about us, visit our Web site at www.sevenstories.com or write for a free catalogue to Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013.
Sleeping Giant: How the New Working Class Will Transform America by Tamara Draut
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, battle of ideas, big-box store, blue-collar work, collective bargaining, David Brooks, declining real wages, deindustrialization, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, ending welfare as we know it, Ferguson, Missouri, financial deregulation, full employment, immigration reform, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, obamacare, occupational segregation, payday loans, pink-collar, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trickle-down economics, union organizing, upwardly mobile, War on Poverty, white flight, women in the workforce, young professional
The working class flexed its muscle in a wave of major strikes, shutting down production at GM, stopping the railroads, and even halting mail delivery. The strike wave from 1967 to 1976 was the biggest since the immediate postwar years. In 1970 alone there were thirty-four major work stoppages, each involving more than 10,000 workers.26 But labor wasn’t the only thorn in business’s side. The consumer movement had achieved new regulations around health and safety, with Ralph Nader’s Raiders focused on breaking corporations of their nasty habit of making profits at the expense of public safety and well-being. The environmental movement blamed the problems of pollution directly on negligent and careless factories, effectively advancing a major new federal law to control that pollution, the Clean Air Act of 1963, followed with expanded authority in 1970. Finally, the student antiwar movement included a broad critique of American big business, which the students saw as profiting from the war—particularly America’s biggest banks and chemical and weapons manufacturers.27 In May 1971, the New York Times reported that “since February 1970, branches [of Bank of America] had been attacked 39 times, 22 times with explosive devices and 17 times with fire bombs or by arsonists.”28 In that sense, the assault was direct.
The major planks of the Working Families Party are investments in public goods such as debt-free college tuition and child care, racial equity, and climate change with the understanding that providing a decent standard of living for working people must go beyond wages. At this point it will be helpful to outline how the WFP functions as a third party that doesn’t siphon votes away from the Democrats, like Ralph Nader did in the 2000 election. The WFP strategy concentrates on Democratic primaries at both the state and city level. Federal races remain prohibitively expensive for the WFP to engage in, though its leaders are trying to figure out how to break through the money barriers. Their candidates run as Democrats with endorsements from the WFP. When it comes to the general election, the WFP exists in states that allow fusion voting, which enables candidates who are endorsed by the WFP to run on both the Democratic Party line and the WFP line.
banking crisis, Bernie Madoff, Bernie Sanders, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, housing crisis, invisible hand, Long Term Capital Management, mortgage debt, new economy, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, too big to fail, trickle-down economics
So much for the benefits of “modernization”—a semantic device critical in selling the freewheeling brave new world of financial manipulation through a compliant media echo box. Aside from William Safire’s columns and a small number in a similar vein, including mine in the Los Angeles Times, a review of the contemporary media finds little in the way of serious discussion of possible objections to the legislation. Safire, the Times’ conservative columnist who had worked for Richard Nixon and was not normally considered a Ralph Nader type, nevertheless understood the threat of corporate power run amok. Among the few to sound the alarm, he raised his voice alongside that of Nader, pointing out that a major positive consequence of the New Deal regulations was that commercial banks had been prevented from gambling with depositors’ savings, which were insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, created by Glass-Steagall.
Jackson continued to receive lucrative contributions from Weill for his enterprises, and Weill achieved the moral beard as an “enlightened” capitalist. But Weill also got something more important to the bottom line: Jackson as a shill for the radical deregulation of the financial industry. Of course, Jackson was not the only progressive to weigh in on banking deregulation. Its biggest critic was legendary citizen activist Ralph Nader, a DC veteran not easily snowed by anyone, including Jackson. Nader continued to sound the alarm, as did a host of community-based groups working against discrimination in housing. But what Jackson’s endorsement of the bill accomplished was to provide the Clinton administration with cover, especially from members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Thus, the trump card worked as Weill had intended.
Occupy by Noam Chomsky
corporate governance, corporate personhood, deindustrialization, Howard Zinn, income inequality, invisible hand, Martin Wolf, Nate Silver, Occupy movement, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, precariat, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, too big to fail, union organizing
We also thank the community of people whose solidarity, work, input and ideas helped make this effort a reality: Mumia Abu-Jamal Michael Albert Daniel Alonso Anthony Arnove Dario Azzellini David Barsamian Elizabeth Bell Lori Berenson R. Black Heidi Boghosian Bob Contant Angela Davis Lawrence Ferlinghetti Johanna Fernandez Alex Fradkin Gambrinus Frances Goldin Arun Gupta Michael Hardt & Antonio Negri Stuart Leonard Ramsey Kanaan Eliot Katz Ralph Nader Joe Nevins Adriana Provenzano Karla Quiñonez-Ruggiero John Richard Stanley Rogouski Leonardo Ruggiero Julie Schaper Marina Sitrin Anthony Spirito Beverly Stohl George Ygarza McNally Jackson Books, NY Bluestockings Bookstore, NY St. Mark’s Books, NY Committee For Poetry Consortium Book Sales & Distribution Essential Information JustSeeds Roam Agency ZNet The Occupy movement everywhere.
How the World Works by Noam Chomsky, Arthur Naiman, David Barsamian
affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business climate, capital controls, clean water, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, glass ceiling, Howard Zinn, income inequality, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, labour market flexibility, land reform, Monroe Doctrine, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, single-payer health, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, transfer pricing, union organizing, War on Poverty, working poor
The New York City government is now partially subsidizing workers driven out of the welfare system. The main effect has been to decrease unionized labor. Put a lot of unskilled labor into the workplace, make conditions so awful that people will take virtually any job, maybe throw in some public subsidy to keep them working, and you can drive down wages. It’s a good way to make everybody suffer. Ralph Nader calls the Republicans and the Democrats “Tweedledum and Tweedledee.” There’s never been much of a difference between the two business parties, but over the years, what differences there were have been disappearing. In my view, the last liberal president was Richard Nixon. Since him, there’ve been nothing but conservatives (or what are called “conservatives”). The kind of gesture to liberalism that was required from the New Deal on became less necessary as new weapons of class war developed in the early 1970s.
I’m not a great tactician, and maybe this is a good way to stir people up, but I think it would be better for them to think through the issues and figure out the truth. Then they’ll stir themselves up. Crime: in the suites vs. in the streets The media pays a lot of attention to crime in the streets, which the FBI estimates costs about $4 billion a year. The Multinational Monitor estimates that white-collar crime—what Ralph Nader calls “crime in the suites”—costs about $200 billion a year. That generally gets ignored. Although crime in the US is high by the standards of comparable societies, there’s only one major domain in which it’s really off the map—murders with guns. But that’s because of the gun culture. The overall crime rate hasn’t changed much for a long time. In fact, it’s been decreasing recently. The US is one of very few societies—maybe the only one—where crime is considered a political issue; in most parts of the world, it’s looked at as a social problem.
A large part of that is advertising, which is tax-deductible, so we all pay for the privilege of being manipulated and controlled. And of course that’s only one aspect of the campaign to “regiment the public mind.” Legal barriers against class-based solidarity actions by working people are another device to fragment the general population that are not found in other industrial democracies. In 1996, Ralph Nader ran for president on the Green Party ticket, and both the Labor Party and the Alliance held founding conventions. The New Party has been running candidates and winning elections. What do you think of all this? Allowing new options to enter the political system is—in general—a good idea. I think the right way to do it might be the New Party strategy of targeting winnable local elections, backing fusion candidates and—crucially—relating such electoral efforts to ongoing organizing and activism.
Democracy Incorporated by Sheldon S. Wolin
affirmative action, Berlin Wall, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, dematerialisation, Donald Trump, Fall of the Berlin Wall, full employment, illegal immigration, invisible hand, mutually assured destruction, new economy, offshore financial centre, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, single-payer health, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thorstein Veblen
Instead, electoral democracy was subverted in the 2000 election by Republican elites assisted by toadying conservative appointees on the Supreme Court; by a code of near silence on the part of the mass media; and by a supine opposition party. The opposition failed to alert the citizenry to the threat posed by the display of managed democracy in Florida and its less publicized equivalents elsewhere in the nation; instead Democrats blamed Ralph Nader. The events heartened the apologists for Superpower who have set about to discredit democratic elections, reducing their status from a first principle to a strategy and, in effect, justifying machinations (sic) that engineered a coronation rather than an election. vi Liberal education is the necessary endeavor to found an aristocracy within democratic mass society. —Leo Strauss15 Today’s elitism reflects one particular development without precedent in American history and, indeed, one that runs counter to much of it.
Kerry’s nomination and subsequent meandering campaign furnished no focus for debate over the decision to go to war, the tactics of the administration in misleading the public about the threat posed by Saddam, the need to rethink the terms on which the “war on terrorism” was to be waged, and not least the terms by which “homeland security” had been cast into opposition with civil liberties.23 The threat that antiwar sentiments might embolden anticorporate elements to entertain hope of reversing the trends embodied in Superpower, combined with the determination of the Democrats to prevent that from happening, points to the crucial significance of the lack of third party alternatives. The historical role of third parties has been to force the major parties to cherry-pick third party proposals, typically those of a democratic or social democratic tendency. The 2004 presidential election marked the tragicomic playing out of the ineffectualness of third parties: the Democrats employed every dirty trick possible to discourage Ralph Nader from merely gaining a place on the presidential ballot for November 2004. At the same time the Republicans were deploying resources to enable Nader, their severest critic, to secure a place on the ballot. The episode, in its absurdity, shed a sharp light on how the two major parties connive to create as many obstacles as possible—in the form of requirements—for discouraging genuine alternatives to the established parties and their policies.
When they did not caricature, they virtually erased the attempts of third parties to present the electorate with alternative policies and candidates; even Howard Dean, a conventional candidate though an unwelcome one to the party establishment, was pilloried as an extremist and ridiculed as “out of control.”3 The perfect illustration of a rigidly controlled system at which both parties connive was the so-called presidential debates of 2004. In a fog of vacuous answers to insipid questions the public was treated as props, passive guests rather than citizen-participants. One might reasonably wonder what educational character those debates might have had if, say, Ralph Nader had been allowed to press Bush on issues of corporate power, or Dennis Kucinich had confronted Bush on the likely consequences of his proposals for reforming the Social Security system, or Howard Dean had been present to pursue the issue of a calamitous war and the justification for killing thousands of Iraqis while reducing large parts of their society to rubble. iv Police control over demonstrators, combined with the media’s censorship of popular protests and of third party activities, produces for inverted totalitarianism what Fascist thugs and censorship accomplished for the classic version.4 It seems a replay of historical experience that the bias displayed by today’s media should be aimed consistently at the shredded remains of liberalism.
Diet for a New America by John Robbins
Through their advertising and especially through the “educational” materials that they distribute and that get taught through our public schools, these industries persuade us of dietary requirements that are inaccurate and promote dietary habits that shorten our lives. In his exposé of their corrupt and corrupting practices, John Robbins stands in the fine American tradition of courageous whistle-blowers, like Ralph Nader and Rachel Carson. In this case, it is both ironic and strangely fitting that the message comes from—or through—the scion of America’s largest ice cream company. A major contribution of Diet for a New America is the welcome news it brings that we need far less protein than we thought we did. Many of us who turned from meat protein in an effort to live more lightly on the earth believed we should compensate by eating an equal amount of dairy and vegetable protein and by combining grains and legumes to produce it.
British Medical Journal 290 (1985): 808; Lewis Regenstein, personal correspondence with author. 72. Boyle, Malignant Neglect, 59, 62; Plague on Our Children, NOVA; J. Culhane, “PCBs: The Poisons That Won’t Go Away,” Reader’s Digest, December 1980, 113, 115; Council on Environmental Quality, Toxic Chemicals and Public Protection, report to the president by the Toxic Substances Strategy Committee, Washington, DC (1980), 3; Ralph Nader et al., Who’s Poisoning America (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1981), 177; “Pesticides Found in Wild Polar Bears,” Animals’ Agenda (September 1985). 73. Culhane, “PCBs: The Poisons.” 74. Regenstein, America the Poisoned, 293. 75. Plague on Our Children, NOVA. 76. Ibid. 77. B. Richards, “Drop in Sperm Count Is Attributed to Toxic Environment,” Washington Post, September 12, 1979; J. Brody, “Sperm Found Especially Vulnerable to Environment,” New York Times, March 10, 1981; “Unplugging the Gene Pool,” Outside, September 1980; E.
Boyle, Malignant Neglect, 7; Council on Environmental Quality, Environmental Quality—1979, 198. 99. See articles by Grzech and Warbelow in note 60. 100. L. Cavalieri, “Carcinogens and the Value of Life,” New York Times, July 20, 1980; Regenstein, America the Poisoned, 232. 101. Boyle, Malignant Neglect, 196–98. 102. David Pimentel, “Pesticides…,” BioScience 27 (March 1977); James Turner, A Chemical Feast: The Ralph Nader Study Group Report on Food Protection and the Food and Drug Administration (New York: Grossman, 1970); David Pimentel, “Realities of a Pesticide Ban,” Environment (March 1973). 103. Regenstein, America the Poisoned, 275. 104. “Infant Abnormalities Linked to PCB Contaminated Fish,” Vegetarian Times (November 1984): 8. 105. Sandra Jacobson, “The Effect of Intrauterine PCB Exposure on Visual Recognition Memory,” Child Development 56 (1985). 106.
The America That Reagan Built by J. David Woodard
affirmative action, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bonfire of the Vanities, colonial rule, Columbine, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, friendly fire, glass ceiling, global village, Gordon Gekko, gun show loophole, income inequality, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, laissez-faire capitalism, late capitalism, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, new economy, postindustrial economy, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Ted Kaczynski, The Predators' Ball, trickle-down economics, women in the workforce, Y2K, young professional
Al Gore chose Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, a person of almost unmatched personal integrity and independence. The third-party candidates were Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan, who together were heirs to the Ross Perot legacy of reforms since 1992. Many political observers believed, in advance of the race, that Gore and Nader were competing for the same voters, and that Buchanan voters would hurt Bush. The general election campaign officially began after the party conventions, and could be divided into three phases, in retrospect.15 The first division was from August 18 to September 27, when Al Gore enjoyed a popular lead, capitalizing on the strong economy and a host of favorable domestic issues. For example, Gore was able to win over environmental groups, who flirted for a time with Ralph Nader but gave the Democrats their support in the end. His average support in the polls for this period was 52 percent, but in late September the two candidates were running neck and neck.
Bush stopped in Gore’s home turf of Tennessee and Clinton’s Arkansas in the last week, while Gore ended with a seven-city, thirty-hour swing through five crucial midwestern states. Abruptly it was over. Bright weather oversaw a turnout of over 100 million voters. For the first time in more than a century, the winner of the presidential election remained unknown a full day after the polls closed, and then another day, and then another. Gore won the popular vote by a narrow margin of 48.4 percent to 47.9 percent for Bush. Ralph Nader finished in third place, with 2.7 percent, while Pat Buchanan trailed with 0.4 percent. The Democrats won 9/11 209 nineteen of the top thirty media markets, while Republicans took ten, and the two shared one market. Both candidates claimed triumph without really declaring victory. The problem was the electoral vote. The fate of the two rivals rode on the verdict in Florida, where an incomplete vote count had Bush leading by 1,784 votes.
air freight, banking crisis, big-box store, blood diamonds, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, carbon footprint, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, dematerialisation, employer provided health coverage, energy security, European colonialism, Firefox, Food sovereignty, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, global supply chain, income inequality, Indoor air pollution, intermodal, Jeff Bezos, job satisfaction, McMansion, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, Ralph Nader, renewable energy credits, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, supply-chain management, the built environment, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, union organizing, Wall-E, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar
It doesn’t matter if the technology involved in making the product is horribly polluting or unsafe to workers. Any country—driven by its corporate interests—can challenge a law in another country by claiming it’s a “trade barrier.” Such disputes are decided by three-person arbitration panels that meet in secret and are not screened for conflicts of interest.114 In the late 1990s, I worked in Ralph Nader’s office in Washington, D.C. One of my colleagues there, Rob Weissman, a Harvard-trained lawyer and leading critic of the WTO, used to chide me for my obsession with factories and dumps, urging me to join those fighting the WTO instead of, or more accurately in addition to, working on garbage. He pointed out that every law that I worked tirelessly to strengthen, and every victory against a dirty production process could get wiped out, or rendered illegal, by the WTO.
In addition to the invaluable expertise shared by those working in specific issue areas, I also want to thank those who taught me to look at the big picture, who helped me to connect the dots. First and foremost, Patrick Bond at the University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban, South Africa, who read through this manuscript and provided invaluable critiques and comments throughout. Additionally, Maude Barlow, John Cavanagh, Gopal Dayaneni, Ellen Dorsey, Anwar Fazal, Tom Goldtooth, Paul Hawken, Van Jones, Rita Lustgarten, Jerry Mander, Donella Meadows, Peter Montague, Ralph Nader, Bobby Peek, Meena Raman, Mark Randazzo, Katie Redford, John Richard, Satinath Sarangi, and Robert Weissman. I am forever grateful that my first real job was with an organization whose default response was “let’s do it” rather than “but that might not work.” Jim Vallette, Heather Spalding, Kenny Bruno, Connie Murtagh, Jim Puckett, Marcelo Furtado, Von Hernandez, Veronica Odriozola, Kevin Stairs, Dave Rapaport, Peter Bahouth, and others in Greenpeace’s Toxic Trade Team taught me how a handful of people, whose sense of possibility far outweighed a sense of limitations could tackle a problem as sinister and widespread as international waste trafficking.
When as a college student in New York City she saw her beloved trees turned to wastepaper and packaging, she followed them to the world’s largest dump, and found her calling. After a stint doing graduate work at Cornell University in upstate New York, she spent nearly two decades tracking international waste trafficking and fighting incineration around the world, first as an employee of Greenpeace International from 1988–1996. She later worked in Ralph Nader’s Washington office for Essential Action, and then for the Global Alliance for Incineration Alternatives (GAIA), Health Care Without Harm and The Sustainability Funders. In 2007 she created The Story of Stuff, a video that summarized her learnings from two decades on the international trail of waste. It has been watched over 7 million times—and counting—and translated into over a dozen languages.
accounting loophole / creative accounting, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Bretton Woods, capital controls, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, disintermediation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, fixed income, floating exchange rates, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, inflation targeting, inventory management, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, oil shock, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, rent control, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, technology bubble, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, union organizing, V2 rocket, value at risk, Vanguard fund, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, Y2K, Yom Kippur War
.: American Enterprise Institute, 1994), pp. 141–42; author interview with Paul McCracken, June 2004. 24 IF CONSUMERS EXPECTED PRICES TO RISE: Frank Levy and Peter Temin, “Inequality and Institutions in the 20th Century,” MIT Working Paper 07–17, May 1, 2007. 25 MANUFACTURING AND SERVICE GIANTS: Stein, Presidential Economics, pp. 159–60. 26 “AS CHIPS FLOATING”: Ibid., p. 141. 27 “NOW I AM A KEYNESIAN”: Stein, Fiscal Revolution in America, p. 548. 28 YET NIXON ATTACKED MANY OF JOHNSON’S PROGRAMS: Arthur J. Blaustein, Letter to the Editor, New York Times, February 22, 2008, p. A22. 29 AS RALPH NADER SAID: Ralph Nader, Meet the Press, NBC News, February 24, 2008. 30 WHEN THEY WERE LIFTED AFTER THE KOREAN WAR: Hugh Rockoff, A History of Wages and Price Controls in the United States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), p. 114. 31 NIXON WANTED TO RESPOND STRONGLY: Stein, Presidential Economics, p. 162. 32 “I REALLY LOVED THE GUY”: Author interview, Arthur Laffer, March 2004. 33 HE REPORTED TO VOLCKER: Author interview, Murray Weidenbaum, July 19, 2004. 34 “WE PUSHED CONTROLS STRONGLY”: Ibid. 35 BOTH STEIN AND SHULTZ: Stein, Presidential Economics, p. 163. 36 INVESTORS ON WALL STREET: The new agreement also allowed a wider range of fluctuation around the fixed value of the currency than under the Bretton Woods agreement.
Phillips insisted that his assessment of the shift was based on a cultural, not a racial, divide. Yet Nixon attacked many of Johnson’s programs for the poor, among them Head Start and the Job Corps, fanning the racial fires with the accusation of “welfare dependency.” But Nixon felt he had to maintain good graces with a nation that was still on balance in favor of progressive social programs. As Ralph Nader said years later, he was the last president to be afraid of liberals. In 1970, Nixon supported and signed legislation that created the two powerful new regulatory agencies—the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The next year, he signed legislation to establish the Consumer Product Safety Commission, another of the Washington agencies least liked in the business community, and soon after he signed a bill to index Social Security benefits to rapidly rising consumer prices.
There was a congressional uproar, but eventually, in light of the recession, Wriston won Fed approval, and congressional criticism quieted down. Investment bankers did not fail to notice that Wriston’s commercial bank was effectively underwriting its own loans. Wriston now had a foot in the door once slammed shut by the Glass-Steagall legislation of the New Deal that separated underwriting from commercial banking. Burns continually raised red flags about the adequacy of Wriston’s bank capital, and Wriston kept fending him off. Ralph Nader, the consumer critic, complained about the number of bankers in general, including at First National City, who sat on the boards of the companies to which their banks lent money, as well as how few women and African Americans worked for them. Wright Patman, the Democratic head of the House Banking Committee, an old-fashioned populist, was particularly concerned about the growing power of banks, especially since they now managed so much pension fund money, again investing in the very companies to which they lent.
Carjacked: The Culture of the Automobile and Its Effect on Our Lives by Catherine Lutz, Anne Lutz Fernandez
barriers to entry, car-free, carbon footprint, collateralized debt obligation, failed state, feminist movement, fudge factor, Gordon Gekko, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, inventory management, market design, market fundamentalism, mortgage tax deduction, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, New Urbanism, oil shock, peak oil, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ride hailing / ride sharing, Thorstein Veblen, traffic fines, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, white flight, women in the workforce, working poor, Zipcar
Cars were originally introduced without seat belts, and even when they became available as options in the 1950s, they were widely suspect: back then, one older woman told us, her mother became very wary of a young man she was dating because he had seat belts installed in his coupe: “‘Why,’ she asked, ‘does he need them? Is he a crazy driver?’” Influential research done in the 1960s by Detroit doctor Clair Straith and engineer Hugh DeHaven shifted the focus by pointing out that vehicle reengineering—softening rigid dashboards, eliminating sharp buttons, and adding restraining belts—would save lives. Ralph Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed (1965), the consumer rights movement more generally, and what one historian calls “the smoldering dissatisfaction with Detroit’s marketing and design policies,” including rampant dealer fraud, “banded into a ‘perfect storm’ of regulatory reform in the early 1960s.”22 Americans thereafter would come to rely on car engineers to keep them safe; they expected scientists to make it, as crazy as it sounds, “safe to crash.”
That culture shapes the supposedly purely technical nature of a car’s life expectancy is demonstrated by wide variations across Europe including, in the 1970s, 15.4 years in Denmark as compared with 10.7 years in Germany. Wolfgang Sachs, For Love of the Automobile: Looking Back into the History of Our Desires (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992), p. 138. U.S. automakers for many years successfully argued that the problem of car crashes should be seen as one of driver error or incompetence: educating drivers was the solution. Consumer protection advocate Ralph Nader’s breakthrough was to challenge this corporate thinking, and to call for their reeducation and for progress through improved car design. Lemelson-MIT Program, “The 2009 Lemelson-MIT Invention Index,” http://web.mit.edu/ invent/n-pressreleases/n-press–09index.html “The Problem with Biofuels,” Washington Post, February 27, 2008. CHAPTER 3 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21.
What's the Matter with White People by Joan Walsh
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, clean water, collective bargaining, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, full employment, global village, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, impulse control, income inequality, invisible hand, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, urban decay, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, white flight, women in the workforce
I was still too much my father’s daughter to accept the amorality and arrogance of the violent faux-revolutionary left, white or black. A savvy postmovement do-gooder stayed away from that left-over left. At Occidental College, Obama pushed divestment from South Africa (I’d done the same in Madison); at Columbia, he pushed a nuclear freeze (I covered the antinuclear movement). Obama had a brief, frustrating post-Columbia stint at Ralph Nader’s New York Public Interest Group (where I once interned, working to encourage recycling by supporting New York’s Communist “bottle bill”). Obama went into community organizing, I went into community journalism. Trying to be effective in the Reagan years, we mostly had small dreams. Republicans under Reagan had the big dreams, especially the dream of a united country whose citizens could move into the future together.
After he left office, President Clinton called it the worst Supreme Court decision since the deeply racist Dred Scott ruling, which the Fourteenth Amendment effectively reversed. Weak Democrats and street-fighting Republicans helped make Bush president, but so did the ideologically rigid left. Proclaiming no difference between Bush and Gore, prominent lefties from Michael Moore to Susan Sarandon, Barbara Ehrenreich to Cornel West campaigned for Ralph Nader in 2000. Even without a hand recount, Gore would have won Florida if he’d gotten one one-hundredth of Nader’s ninety-five thousand votes there. The out-of-touch American left helped elect Richard Nixon in 1968 and George W. Bush in 2000. My father would have been screaming. Yes, DLC Democrats took over the party, but the left barely bothered to fight for it. A multiracial elite battled for control of universities, liberal foundations, and a handful of jobs at the pinnacle of corporate America.
The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies by Erik Brynjolfsson, Andrew McAfee
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, British Empire, business intelligence, business process, call centre, clean water, combinatorial explosion, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, employer provided health coverage, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, factory automation, falling living standards, Filter Bubble, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Freestyle chess, full employment, game design, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, law of one price, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, means of production, Narrative Science, Nate Silver, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, payday loans, price stability, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telepresence, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, winner-take-all economy, Y2K
First, they reduce the amount of undesirable activity; if a utility gets taxed based on the amount of sulfur dioxide it releases into the atmosphere, it has strong incentives to invest in scrubber technology that leaves the air cleaner. Second, Pigovian taxes raise revenue for the government, which could be used to compensate those harmed by the pollution (or for any other purpose). They’re a win-win. Taxes of this type are popular across the political spectrum and among people in many fields; members of the “Pigou Club,” a group of advocates identified by economist Gregory Mankiw, include both Alan Greenspan and Ralph Nader.37 By improving measurement and metering, the technologies of the second machine age make Pigovian taxes more feasible. Consider traffic congestion. Each of us imposes a cost on all other drivers when we join an already overcrowded highway and further slow traffic. At peak hours, traffic on Interstate 405 in Los Angeles crawls at fourteen miles per hour, more than quadrupling what should be an eight-minute drive.
., “America’s New Immigrant Entrepreneurs: Part I,” SSRN Scholarly Paper, Duke Science, Technology & Innovation Paper No. 23 (Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network, January 4, 2007), http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=990152; Darrell West, “Inside the Immigration Process,” Huffington Post, April 15, 2013, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/darrell-west/inside-the-immigration-pr_b_3083940.html (accessed August 12, 2013). 36. Nick Leiber, “Canada Launches a Startup Visa to Lure Entrepreneurs,” Bloomberg Businessweek, April 11, 2013, http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-04-11/canada-launches-a-startup-visa-to-lure-entrepreneurs. 37. Greg Mankiw, “Rogoff Joins the Pigou Club,” Greg Mankiw’s Blog, September 16, 2006, http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2006/09/rogoff-joins-pigou-club.html; Ralph Nader and Toby Heaps, “We Need a Global Carbon Tax,” Wall Street Journal, December 3, 2008, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122826696217574539.html. 38. P. A. Diamond and E. Saez, “The Case for a Progressive Tax: From Basic Research to Policy Recommendations,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 25, no. 4 (2011): 165–90. 39. To be more precise, he actually found that on average, higher taxes were correlated with somewhat faster growth.
The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs. Private Sector Myths by Mariana Mazzucato
Apple II, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, California gold rush, call centre, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cleantech, computer age, credit crunch, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, demand response, deskilling, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Financial Instability Hypothesis, full employment, Growth in a Time of Debt, Hyman Minsky, incomplete markets, information retrieval, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, natural language processing, new economy, offshore financial centre, popular electronics, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, renewable energy credits, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, smart grid, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, total factor productivity, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, William Shockley: the traitorous eight
‘The Risk-Reward Nexus in the Innovation-Inequality Relationship: Who Takes the Risks? Who Gets the Rewards?’ Industrial and Corporate Change 22, no. 4. Forthcoming. Lazonick, W. and O. Tulum. 2011. ‘US Biopharmaceutical Finance and the Sustainability of the Biotech Business Model’. Research Policy 40, no. 9 (November): 1170–87. Lee, A. 2012. ‘Ralph Nader to Apple CEO Using Texas’ Tax Dollars: “Stand on Your Own Two $100 billion Feet”’. AlterNet, 6 April. Available online at http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/877674/ralph_nader_to_apple_ceo_using_texas’_tax_dollars%3A_’stand_on_your_own_two_$100_billion_feet’/ (accessed 22 January 2013). Lent A. and M. Lockwood. 2010. ‘Creative Destruction: Placing Innovation at the Heart of Progressive Economics’. IPPR discussion paper, December. Lerner, J. 1999. ‘The Government as Venture Capitalist: The Long Run Impact of the SBIR Program’.
Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception by George A. Akerlof, Robert J. Shiller, Stanley B Resor Professor Of Economics Robert J Shiller
Andrei Shleifer, asset-backed security, Bernie Madoff, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, collapse of Lehman Brothers, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, dark matter, David Brooks, en.wikipedia.org, endowment effect, equity premium, financial intermediation, full employment, George Akerlof, greed is good, income per capita, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Kenneth Rogoff, late fees, loss aversion, Menlo Park, mental accounting, Milgram experiment, moral hazard, new economy, payday loans, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Vanguard fund, wage slave
It is not the unadulterated actions of markets that bring us the cornucopia we enjoy, for that same free-market system brings ever more sophisticated manipulations and deceptions. Relative to all previous history, people in developed countries are doing remarkably well. Women in more than fifty countries, and men in eleven, have life expectancies of eighty years or more.1 Modern cars may have their problems and their recalls, but they now always have seatbelts; with rare exception cars are no longer—as Ralph Nader opined 50 years ago—“unsafe at any speed.”2 Remarkably, in February 2013 there had not been a single commercial airline fatality in the United States for four years.3 Not only did the planes themselves have a perfect record; so too did the pilots and the mechanics who keep them in the air. With such records for safety and product quality, the questions arise: Is it purely the market system that brought us this success?
Vishny, “The Takeover Wave of the 1980s,” Science 249, no. 4970 (1990): 745–49. Chapter Eleven: The Resistance and Its Heroes 1. For 2013. World Bank, “Life Expectancy at Birth, Male (Years)” and “Life Expectancy at Birth, Female (Years),” accessed March 29, 2015, http://data .worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.LE00.MA.IN/countries and http://data .worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.LE00.FE.IN/countries. 2. Ralph Nader, Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the Amer ican Automobile (New York: Grossman, 1965). 3. Jad Mouawad and Christopher Drew, “Airline Industry at Its Safest since the Dawn of the Jet Age,” New York Times, February 11, 2013, http://www .nytimes.com/2013/02/12/business/2012-was-the-safest-year-for-airlines -globally-since-1945.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0. 4. US Food and Drug Administration, “About FDA: Commissioner’s Page.
Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander
Alistair Cooke, conceptual framework, dematerialisation, full employment, invention of agriculture, Menlo Park, music of the spheres, placebo effect, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Stewart Brand, the medium is the message, trickle-down economics
It exhibited a warped genius in that it allowed the SLA to demand successfully that their com- muniques would be published unedited. However, because it owed its whole life to the media, exist- ing nowhere else, the SLA was subject to cancellation at any time, and it was cancelled most thoroughly, like a series with slipping ratings getting the ax. Less radical elements did not suffer the SLA's dramatic demise, but the cycle of fast rise/ fast fall was similar for many. Ralph Nader bloomed in the media and then became tiresome. The ecology movement, fitting the holocaust model of TV news, burst upon the scene and then declined. Water- gate excited expectations of government reform, but then it was old news. Once the U.S. was out of Vietnam, the once hot antiwar 32 WAR TO CONTROL THE UNITY MACHINE movement was off the tube. A few years later Jimmy Carter was able to appoint some of the architects of the war to high positions in government.
Also naturally, the American population develops more of a feeling for products and a life-style suitable to business than it does for a sensitive, subtle and beautiful way of mind that theoretically offers an alternative. The more people sit inside their television experi- ence, the more fixed they become in the hard-edged reality that the medium can convey. + "'+ In 1973 I helped organize an all-day press conference in Washington, D.C., hosted by Ralph Nader on behalf of In- digena, an organization devoted to creating a pan-Indian movement in the Western Hemisphere. Indigena gives par- ticular attention to the struggle of South American Indians, who are presently suffering a fate previously visited upon the tribes of our own Great Plains and elsewhere. They are being slaughtered and driven off their land or, in the more "enlightened" countries, driven onto reservations and forced to assimilate.
Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic by John de Graaf, David Wann, Thomas H Naylor, David Horsey
big-box store, Community Supported Agriculture, Donald Trump, Exxon Valdez, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, full employment, greed is good, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, McMansion, medical malpractice, new economy, Ralph Nader, Ray Oldenburg, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, single-payer health, The Great Good Place, trade route, upwardly mobile, Yogi Berra, young professional
▪ Make Election Day a holiday, with the understanding that Americans need time for civic and political participation. ▪ Make it easier for Americans to choose part-time work. Provide hourly wage parity and protection of promotions and pro-rated benefits for part-time workers. FALLING BEHIND THE REST OF THE WORLD Asked about the longer-vacations idea, a staff person for presidential candidate George W. Bush, said, “That sounds great. We need that here.” But of the candidates themselves, only Ralph Nader actually endorsed the idea. On July 2, 2004, during an appearance on PBS’s Now with Bill Moyers, Republican pollster and strategist Frank Luntz observed that a majority of “swing” voters were working women with young children. Luntz said his focus groups revealed that “lack of free time” is the number-one issue with these voters. “The issue of time matters to them more than anything else in life,” Luntz declared.
By 2001, the Dutch plants were taking 90 percent of all end-of-life vehicles and recyling 86 percent of the materials from them. The plants, which are cheap and low-tech, employ many workers and take any cars. The disassembly tax is part of the Dutch National Environmental Policy Plan (or “Green Plan") and is being extended to include many other consumer goods.5 STOPPING CHILD ABUSE Consumer advocate Ralph Nader has called the recent upsurge in marketing targeting children a form of “corporate child abuse.” It’s as if marketers have set out knowingly to infect our children with affluenza by spreading the virus everywhere kids congregate. It’s time to protect our kids. At a minimum, we can keep commercialism out of our schools, starting with Channel One. The fight against Channel One unites Left and Right—Nader and Phyllis Schlafly both testified in Congress against it—and offers a place to begin building bridges in a country increasingly torn apart by ideology.
Rework by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson
In addition to writing original content, he helped merge the distinctly different writing styles of the coauthors into a focused, cohesive book. He made it look easy, but it wasn’t easy work. Thank you, Matt. We also want to thank our families, our customers, and everyone at 37signals. And here’s a list of some of the people we know, and don’t know, who have inspired us in one way or another: Frank Lloyd Wright Seth Godin Warren Buffett Jamie Larson Clayton Christensen Ralph Nader Jim Coudal Benjamin Franklin Ernest Kim Jeff Bezos Scott Heiferman Antoni Gaudi Carlos Segura Larry David Steve Jobs Dean Kamen Bill Maher Thomas Jefferson Mies van der Rohe Ricardo Semler Christopher Alexander James Dyson Kent Beck Thomas Paine Gerald Weinberg Kathy Sierra Julia Child Marc Hedlund Nicholas Karavites Michael Jordan Richard Bird Jeffrey Zeldman Dieter Rams Judith Sheindlin Ron Paul Timothy Ferriss Copyright © 2010 by 37signals, LLC.
9-11 by Noam Chomsky
ABOUT SEVEN STORIES PRESS SEVEN STORIES PRESS is an independent book publisher based in New York City. We publish works of the imagination by such writers as Nelson Algren, Russell Banks, Octavia E. Butler, Ani DiFranco, Assia Djebar, Ariel Dorfman, Coco Fusco, Barry Gifford, Lee Stringer, and Kurt Vonnegut, to name a few, together with political titles by voices of conscience, including the Boston Women’s Health Collective, Noam Chomsky, Angela Y. Davis, Human Rights Watch, Derrick Jensen, Ralph Nader, Gary Null, Project Censored, Barbara Seaman, Gary Webb, and Howard Zinn, among many others. Seven Stories Press believes publishers have a special responsibility to defend free speech and human rights, and to celebrate the gifts of the human imagination, wherever we can. For additional information, visit www.sevenstories.com. In 9-11, published in November 2001 and arguably the single most influential post-9-11 book, internationally renowned thinker Noam Chomsky bridged the information gap around the World Trade Center attacks, cutting through the tangle of political opportunism, expedient patriotism, and general conformity that choked off American discourse in the months immediately following.
Nuclear War and Environmental Catastrophe by Noam Chomksy
British Empire, cuban missile crisis, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, energy security, Howard Zinn, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Malacca Straits, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks
We publish works of the imagination by such writers as Nelson Algren, Russell Banks, Octavia E. Butler, Ani DiFranco, Assia Djebar, Ariel Dorfman, Coco Fusco, Barry Gifford, Martha Long, Luis Negrón, Hwang Sok-yong, Lee Stringer, and Kurt Vonnegut, to name a few, together with political titles by voices of conscience, including Subhankar Banerjee, the Boston Women’s Health Collective, Noam Chomsky, Angela Y. Davis, Human Rights Watch, Derrick Jensen, Ralph Nader, Loretta Napoleoni, Gary Null, Greg Palast, Project Censored, Barbara Seaman, Alice Walker, Gary Webb, and Howard Zinn, among many others. Seven Stories Press believes publishers have a special responsibility to defend free speech and human rights, and to celebrate the gifts of the human imagination, wherever we can. In 2012 we launched Triangle Square books for young readers with strong social justice and narrative components, telling personal stories of courage and commitment.
Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Air France Flight 447, Andrei Shleifer, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, credit crunch, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discrete time, double entry bookkeeping, Emanuel Derman, epigenetics, financial independence, Flash crash, Gary Taubes, Gini coefficient, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, informal economy, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, Jane Jacobs, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, Lao Tzu, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral hazard, mouse model, Norbert Wiener, pattern recognition, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, purchasing power parity, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, Rory Sutherland, Silicon Valley, six sigma, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, stochastic process, stochastic volatility, The Great Moderation, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, Yogi Berra, Zipf's Law
These asymmetries are particularly severe when it comes to small-probability extreme events, that is, Black Swans—as these are the most misunderstood and their exposure is easiest to hide. Fat Tony has two heuristics. First, never get on a plane if the pilot is not on board. Second, make sure there is also a copilot. The first heuristic addresses the asymmetry in rewards and punishment, or transfer of fragility between individuals. Ralph Nader has a simple rule: people voting for war need to have at least one descendant (child or grandchild) exposed to combat. For the Romans, engineers needed to spend some time under the bridge they built—something that should be required of financial engineers today. The English went further and had the families of the engineers spend time with them under the bridge after it was built. To me, every opinion maker needs to have “skin in the game” in the event of harm caused by reliance on his information or opinion (not having such persons as, say, the people who helped cause the criminal Iraq invasion come out of it completely unscathed).
I resisted, on ethical grounds. But I thought that the fellow was heroic, for, should the candidate win, his own taxes would increase by a considerable amount. A year later I discovered that the client was being investigated for his involvement in a very large scheme to be shielded from taxes. He wanted to be sure that others paid more taxes. I developed a friendship over the past few years with the activist Ralph Nader and saw contrasting attributes. Aside from an astonishing amount of personal courage and total indifference toward smear campaigns, he exhibits absolutely no divorce between what he preaches and his lifestyle, none. Just like saints who have soul in their game. The man is a secular saint. Soul in the Game There is a class of people who escape bureaucrato-journalistic “tawk”: those who have more than their skin in the game.
It is like a voluntary cap (it would prevent people from using public office as a credential-building temporary accommodation, then going to Wall Street to earn several million dollars). This would get priestly people into office. Just as Cleon was reviled, in the modern world, there seems to be an inverse agency problem for those who do the right thing: you pay for your service to the public with smear campaigns and harassment. The activist and advocate Ralph Nader suffered numerous smear campaigns as the auto industry went after him. THE ETHICAL AND THE LEGAL I felt ashamed not having exposed the following scam for a long time. (As I said, if you see fraud …) Let us call it the Alan Blinder problem. The story is as follows. At Davos, during a private coffee conversation that I thought aimed at saving the world from, among other things, moral hazard and agency problems, I was interrupted by Alan Blinder, a former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States, who tried to sell me a peculiar investment product that aims at legally hoodwinking taxpayers.
Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America by Rick Perlstein
affirmative action, Alistair Cooke, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, cognitive dissonance, cuban missile crisis, delayed gratification, desegregation, East Village, European colonialism, full employment, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, immigration reform, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index card, indoor plumbing, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, Monroe Doctrine, New Urbanism, Own Your Own Home, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, the medium is the message, traveling salesman, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, walking around money, War on Poverty, Whole Earth Catalog
Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, March 10, 2006. Back in February, Nixon had: PPP, February 9, 1972. “We had a lot of success with that”: Maureen Dowd, “Hey, What’s That Sound?” NYT, August, 20, 2005. McGovern returned to his hometown: Greene, Running, 39. In between stops he worked: Mailer, St. George and the Godfather, 101. Muskie didn’t merely decline: Miroff, Liberals’ Moment, 97. Even Ralph Nader, the consumer: Ralph Nader, Crashing the Party: How to Tell the Truth and Still Run for President (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2002), 37. They unveiled him: Greene, Running, 45–46. The day before, on August 7: Thompson, Fear and Loathing, 374. “Come January,” the glad-handing: Greene, Running, 39. In other news, Arthur Bremer’s: “Bremer Guilty in Shooting of Wallace, Gets 63 Years,” NYT, August 5, 1972.
He renewed the call for passage of his guaranteed-income Family Assistance Plan and his program for sharing federal tax revenues with the states, which he dubbed the “New American Revolution—a peaceful revolution in which power was turned back to the people, in which government at all levels was refreshed and renewed and made truly responsive.” He proposed $100 million to cure cancer, a universal health-insurance program, quoted T. S. Eliot—“Clean the air! Clean the sky! Wash the wind!”—in proposing a program “to end the plunder of America’s natural heritage.” That, at least, was the public transcript. He put it a little differently to two Ford executives in the Oval Office: Ralph Nader and the environmentalists, he said, would rather “go back and live like a bunch of damned animals…. What they’re interested in is destroying the system.” In a strategy meeting for the ’72 election, he proposed either sabotaging passage of the welfare plan—or passing it and letting the actual implementation die after passage, getting credit for caring, without doing anything at all. In public, Nixon no longer spoke about “thugs and hoodlums” or the wayward senators who enabled them, his obsessions on the 1970 campaign trail.
The two were Hunt and Douglas Caddy, the cofounder of Young Americans for Freedom, whom Hunt had called to represent the burglars as their criminal lawyer, and who handled the Mullen Company’s account with General Foods. Their boss, Robert Bennett, the article explained, was tied to the Nixon reelection campaign as chairman of some of its seventy-five dummy “committees” (such as “Supporters of the American Dream”) through which organizations such as the Associated Milk Producers had donated $325,000, which, Bernstein reported, “led to a suit filed by Ralph Nader’s Public Citizens, Inc., which charged that the Nixon administration raise[d] government milk support prices as a pay-off for the donations.” That afternoon the president held his twenty-fourth news conference. It had been postponed from Monday so it wouldn’t look as if he was responding to the break-in. But the first question was on what some were calling “Watergate”: “Mr. O’Brien has said that the people who bugged his headquarters had a direct link to the White House.
The Coke Machine: The Dirty Truth Behind the World's Favorite Soft Drink by Michael Blanding
carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, Exxon Valdez, Gordon Gekko, Internet Archive, laissez-faire capitalism, market design, Naomi Klein, New Journalism, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, Upton Sinclair
CSPI was founded in 1971, one of the first of the many “public interest” groups that proliferated in a period that business historian David Vogel calls the last of the “three major political waves of challenge to busi ness that has taken place in the United States in [the twentieth] century” (the first two being the Progressive Era and the strong push by organized labor in the post-Depression 1930s). Groups such as the Sierra Club, Common Cause, and Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen used any means pos sible to curb the power of big business at a time when public support for corporations was at a low ebb. In CSPI’s case, the group has held vocal press conferences, slapped complaints against companies with government agencies, and even threat ened lawsuits in its usually successful attempts to remove what it sees as deceptive advertising and nutrition labeling for food.
“The corporation’s legally defined mandate is to pursue, relentlessly and without exception, its own self-interest re gardless of the often harmful consequences it might cause to others,” he writes. That’s not to say that corporations can’t do good, however, so long as their efforts align with their profit motive. The second wave of corporate social responsibility began in the 1970s, when, faced with challenges from consumer advocates like Ralph Nader (and CSPI’s Michael Jacobson), corporations realized that investing in social causes could serve as a kind of insurance against criticism. It was in this era that Coke’s Paul Austin pursued his “halo effect” with hydroponic shrimp farms, desalinization plants, and soybean beverages that he argued could help earn goodwill in the developing world at the same time they helped make Coke’s vision of global harmony a reality.
Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer-And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class by Paul Pierson, Jacob S. Hacker
accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, asset allocation, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, business climate, carried interest, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, desegregation, employer provided health coverage, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, full employment, Home mortgage interest deduction, Howard Zinn, income inequality, invisible hand, knowledge economy, laissez-faire capitalism, Martin Wolf, medical bankruptcy, moral hazard, Nate Silver, new economy, night-watchman state, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, union organizing, very high income, War on Poverty, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce
Moreover, Powell stressed, the critical ingredient for success would be organization: “Strength lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations.”3 Powell was just one of many who pushed to reinvigorate the political clout of employers. Before the policy winds shifted in the ’60s, business had seen little need to mobilize anything more than a network of trade associations. It relied mostly on personal contacts, and the main role of lobbyists in Washington was to troll for government contracts and tax breaks. The explosion of policy activism, and rise of public interest groups like those affiliated with Ralph Nader, created a fundamental challenge. And as the 1970s progressed, the problems seemed to be getting worse. Powell wrote in 1971, but even after Nixon swept to a landslide reelection the following year, the legislative tide continued to come in. With Watergate leading to Nixon’s humiliating resignation and a spectacular Democratic victory in 1974, the situation grew even more dire. “The danger had suddenly escalated,” Bryce Harlow, senior Washington representative for Procter & Gamble and one of the engineers of the corporate political revival was to say later.
Similarly, Congress was able to race popular bills expanding children’s health insurance and strengthening protections for gender equity in pay to Barack Obama’s desk within days of his inauguration. When Jimmy Carter’s election gave Democrats unified control of Washington, the first action item was a bill to establish a new Office of Consumer Representation. The agency would have consolidated consumer issues in a single place and given consumers an organized advocate in rule-making activities throughout the federal bureaucracy. For Ralph Nader and his public interest allies, it would represent the culmination of their remarkable success in expanding federal regulatory protections for citizens whose interests had failed to find organized representation in Washington before the late 1960s. There was every reason for confidence: Polls showed that voters backed the idea of such an agency 2–1. The Senate had already passed versions of the bill in 1970 and 1975, and the House had done so in 1971, 1974, and 1975.
The Coke Machine by Michael Blanding
carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate social responsibility, Exxon Valdez, Gordon Gekko, Internet Archive, laissez-faire capitalism, market design, Naomi Klein, New Journalism, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, union organizing, Upton Sinclair
CSPI was founded in 1971, one of the first of the many “public interest” groups that proliferated in a period that business historian David Vogel calls the last of the “three major political waves of challenge to business that has taken place in the United States in [the twentieth] century” (the first two being the Progressive Era and the strong push by organized labor in the post-Depression 1930s). Groups such as the Sierra Club, Common Cause, and Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen used any means possible to curb the power of big business at a time when public support for corporations was at a low ebb. In CSPI’s case, the group has held vocal press conferences, slapped complaints against companies with government agencies, and even threatened lawsuits in its usually successful attempts to remove what it sees as deceptive advertising and nutrition labeling for food.
“The corporation’s legally defined mandate is to pursue, relentlessly and without exception, its own self-interest regardless of the often harmful consequences it might cause to others,” he writes. That’s not to say that corporations can’t do good, however, so long as their efforts align with their profit motive. The second wave of corporate social responsibility began in the 1970s, when, faced with challenges from consumer advocates like Ralph Nader (and CSPI’s Michael Jacobson), corporations realized that investing in social causes could serve as a kind of insurance against criticism. It was in this era that Coke’s Paul Austin pursued his “halo effect” with hydroponic shrimp farms, desalinization plants, and soybean beverages that he argued could help earn goodwill in the developing world at the same time they helped make Coke’s vision of global harmony a reality.
The Right to Earn a Living: Economic Freedom and the Law by Timothy Sandefur
barriers to entry, big-box store, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Edward Glaeser, housing crisis, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, labour mobility, minimum wage unemployment, positional goods, price stability, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent control, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal
And just as 19thcentury courts viewed the economic advancement represented by the railroads as justifying the use of eminent domain, 20th-century courts considered private stores like Costco or Home Depot as “public uses” because of the economic benefits that would flow from completed projects, despite their fundamentally private status. The semipublic nature of premodern corporations thus left a legacy that lives to the present day.70 The second way in which the antiquated model of the corporation persists is in the oft-heard description of corporations as “creatures of the state.” This description usually accompanies proposals for government control over corporations; in the 1970s, it even inspired Ralph Nader and colleagues to call for a federal corporations law that would take the regulation of corporate entities out of the hands of the states.71 They argued that corporations were created by government permission and therefore owed a “responsibility” to the general public, which would take the form of government control over corporate decisionmaking. But as Robert Hessen wrote in his riposte to Nader and his coauthors, In Defense of the Corporation, to describe corporations as “creatures of the state” is to ignore centuries of legal 32 “Corporations” and “Monopolies,” Part I: 1602–1870 evolution.72 Today’s corporations are not creatures of the state any more than they are medieval community enterprises.
See, for example, Slaughterhouse Cases, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 36, 87–88 (1872) (Field, J., dissenting); and Munn v. Illinois, 94 U.S. (4 Otto) 113, 148–49 (1876) (Field, J., dissenting). 70. Timothy Sandefur, “A Gleeful Obituary for Poletown Neighborhood Council v. Detroit,” Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 28 (2005): 654–60; and Timothy Sandefur, “Mine and Thine Distinct: What Kelo Says about Our Path,” Chapman Law Review 10 (2006): 15–34. 71. Ralph Nader, Mark Green, and Joel Seligman, Taming the Giant Corporation (New York: W. W. Norton, 1976). 72. Hessen, In Defense of the Corporation. See also Robert Hessen, “A New Concept of Corporations: A Contractual and Private Property Model,” Hastings Law Journal 30 (1979): 1327–50. 73. Hessen, In Defense of the Corporation, p. 17. 74. For a fuller discussion, including a proposal for compulsory insurance as a better substitute for limited liability, see Pilon, “Corporations and Rights,” 1309–10. 75.
affirmative action, airport security, Ayatollah Khomeini, clean water, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, data acquisition, death of newspapers, Extropian, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, informal economy, Iridium satellite, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, means of production, mutually assured destruction, offshore financial centre, open economy, packet switching, pattern recognition, pirate software, placebo effect, Plutocrats, plutocrats, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Saturday Night Live, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telepresence, trade route, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Yogi Berra, Zimmermann PGP
In exploring these matters, weʼll see that some vituperative shouting matches are based on simple misunderstandings, whereas other disagreements appear so fundamental that compromise of any sort may be anathema to either side. THE ACCOUNTABILITY MATRIX “No man is so fond of freedom himself that he would not chuse to subject the will of some individuals of society to his own.” OLIVER GOLDSMITH, THE VICAR OF WAKEFIELD In 1996 the famed muckraker and consumer advocate Ralph Nader was the presidential candidate of Californiaʼs Green Party. At one point, after lecturing earnestly about the need to hold corporate officials accountable for every nefarious transaction and scheme, Nader was asked why he refused to publish his own financial records, as all other candidates had done. Without irony, Nader replied that his own bank and tax statements were private, and by refusing to comply he was making an important gesture for liberty.
But we can make sure baby wonʼt be thrown out with the bath water, by doing the same thing weʼve done all along. By demanding that officials be scrutinized every bit as much as they scrutinize us. Two millennia ago Juvenal posed the riddle, “Who shall watch the watchman?” There is just one answer. We all will. Going back to the accountability matrix, one can take almost any contemporary privacy issue and see people choosing different boxes, depending on their point of view. As Ralph Nader vividly illustrated, any effort either to restrict or open up a data spigot is judged good or evil subjectively. When we enhance our own “privacy,” this may be seen by others as a sneaky attempt to keep them in the dark, a conspiratorial veil that might conceal threats to their liberty. Nowhere is this tendency more apparent than on the Internet, where the semi-official dogma is openness and liberty, but where unpopular opinions are often greeted with vicious attacks and masked retribution.
The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule by Thomas Frank
affirmative action, anti-communist, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, collective bargaining, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, edge city, financial deregulation, full employment, George Gilder, guest worker program, income inequality, invisible hand, job satisfaction, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mont Pelerin Society, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, P = NP, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Telecommunications Act of 1996, the scientific method, too big to fail, union organizing, War on Poverty
The answer is clearest in the case of the USAF: Foundations like these allowed the Reagan youth to pursue hefty contributions from the real powers of Republicandom—corporations, which prefer to donate to tax-exempt organizations. It was through his not-for-profit that Abramoff seems to have discovered the profitable side of politics. The occasion for this discovery was the College Republicans’ ongoing war with Ralph Nader’s Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), student activist outfits that were funded at most colleges by “activity fees” all students were required to pay (unless they checked a box on a form).23 This was the point on which the CRs challenged them, insisting on campus after campus that it was “sinful and tyrannical” to compel students to fund an obviously political organization.24 Like other Nader groups, the student PIRGs were something of a pain in the neck to business, always agitating for container deposit laws and other environmental causes, and at some point it apparently occurred to Abramoff or Norquist that defunding and thus killing PIRG chapters was a service for which the targeted businesses ought to be paying.
Up to now, dedicated conservative students had fought to defeat liberalism—to defeat the force that regulated business, that raised taxes on business, that fined business for polluting, that sided with unions against business—and the kids had done it all for free. This had to change. In a 1986 interview, one USAF spokesman described how his young charges were to attract investments from business interests. “Listen, [PIRGs are] involved in all these campaigns to increase regulation against business,” the young conservative was to say. He or she was urged to mention Nader: “You say Ralph Nader’s name and any educated businessman will take interest.” Norquist himself was more specific, pointing to the PIRGs’ bottle-bill campaign as an example. “We say: ‘We’re fighting PIRGs and you know that they go after you bottlers all the time, and try to get nickel-a-bottle [deposit] laws passed. And we’re going to go after 20 PIRG fights this year . . . and you have an interest in this, or you ought to.’”25 Thus did the young entrepreneurs of the USAF get out there and sell themselves as political hit men.
Fighting Traffic: The Dawn of the Motor Age in the American City by Peter D. Norton
clean water, Frederick Winslow Taylor, garden city movement, invisible hand, jitney, new economy, New Urbanism, Ralph Nader, Silicon Valley, smart transportation, Thorstein Veblen, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal
Carruthers, “Automobile Accidents to Children,” Safety Engineering 49 (May 1925), 189–193 (189); “The Murderous Motor,” New Republic 47 (July 7, 1926), 189–190 (189); “The War after the War” (editorial), Detroit Free Press, August 23, 1927, 6; “The Motor More Deadly Than War,” Literary Digest 94 (August 27, 1927), 12. Notes to Chapter 1 269 14. For a brief review of the historical scholarship on auto safety in America, see introduction. Ralph Nader and Joel W. Eastman have concentrated attention on vehicle design, extending a critique of safety in the 1960s back to the 1920s; see Nader, Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile (Grossman, 1965); Eastman, Styling vs. Safety: The American Automobile Industry and the Development of Automotive Safety, 1900–1966 (University Press of America, 1984). Finding little concern for safe vehicle design in the the 1920s, they concluded that safety was not an important issue.
President’s Advisory Committee on a National Highway Program, A Ten-Year National Highway Program: A Report to the President (Government Printing Office, 1955). 41. Hoffman (“with” Neil M. Clark), “The White Line Isn’t Enough,” Saturday Evening Post 210 (March 26, 1938), 12–13, 32, 37, 39, 41 (12). 42. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970 (Government Printing Office, 1975), part 2, 719. 43. In this development, Ralph Nader played the role of a latter-day J. C. Furnas, with greater long-term success. See Nader, Unsafe at Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile (Grossman, 1965). 44. For a study of MADD, including a brief history of its origins, see Craig Reinarman, “The Social Construction of an Alcohol Problem: The Case of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers and Social Control in the 1980s,” Theory and Society 17 (Jan. 1988), 91–120.
Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism by Sharon Beder
battle of ideas, business climate, centre right, clean water, corporate governance, Exxon Valdez, Gary Taubes, global village, invisible hand, laissez-faire capitalism, oil shale / tar sands, price mechanism, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban planning
In order to do so they hired people on the basis of their political connections—who they knew and who their friends were. For this reason we find the same revolving door pattern between public relations and lobbying firms and government as we found between think-tanks and government in Chapter Five. When the Republicans lost office in 1992 there was a mass movement of government officials to the lobbying and PR firms. Ralph Nader’s group, Congress Watch, tracked 300 of them: over half moved to Washington DC lobbying and PR firms.64 The door swings both ways, and former lobbyists often become part of government, where they have a unique opportunity to help their former clients. Hill & Knowlton’s lobbying efforts are aided by its employment of former government officials who have good access to government. Frank Mankiewicz of Hill & Knowlton says that one of his firm’s strengths is being able to “get half an hour of somebody’s time”.
For example, the car industry is a big advertiser in the New York Times, and “Times publisher and CEO Arthur Sulzberger admitted that he leaned on his editors to present the auto industry’s position because it ‘would affect advertising’.”40 The group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) has told how Forbes magazine, anxious to attract and maintain insurance company advertising (which in 1990 made up seven per cent of its advertising income), criticized personal injury lawyers for winning money off “outnumbered” insurance companies and attempted to bring Ralph Nader, a thorn in the side of the insurance industry, into disrepute.41 Corporations can also use sponsorship, a more indirect form of advertising, to influence the content of the media. The US Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and National Public Radio are heavily dependent on corporate sponsors for their broadcasting because their government funding is insufficient. By 1981, oil companies were subsidising almost three quarters of prime-time shows on PBS.
Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, California gold rush, complexity theory, computer age, constrained optimization, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, equity premium, Ernest Rutherford, European colonialism, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, failed state, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, George Gilder, greed is good, haute couture, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pets.com, popular electronics, price discrimination, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, second-price auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, urban decay, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, yield curve, yield management
In concentration camps, where none of these were available, cigarettes became the medium of exchange and the unit of account. 13 Long after money first emerged, it was realized that reliable promises to provide gold or silver-bank notes-were easier to carry than the metals themselves. I will come back to the implications of this discovery in chapter 14. Strategic Behavior in Politics ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• George Bush took Florida by 537 votes and was therefore declared the winner in the November 2000 presidential election. Some 2.7% of voters preferred Ralph Nader, the Green Party candidate, to AI Gore, but a majority of those who supported Nader also preferred Gore to Bush. If some Nader supporters had cast their votes for Gore, then Ralph Nader would not have become president-but no one could reasonably have expected that he would. What could have been expected, and would have happened, is that AI Gore would have won Florida, and New Hampshire, and been inaugurated in January 2001 as president of the United States. It is also likely that many of those who preferred Pat Buchanan to George Bush also preferred George Bush to AI Gore.
Cass Sunstein, Chelsea Manning, cognitive dissonance, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, experimental subject, framing effect, Gini coefficient, illegal immigration, impulse control, Isaac Newton, Julian Assange, laissez-faire capitalism, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, Milgram experiment, moral hazard, Phillip Zimbardo, profit maximization, profit motive, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, unbiased observer, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks
‘A Scale for Identifying “Stockholm Syndrome” Reactions in Young Dating Women: Factor Structure, Reliability and Validity’, Violence and Victims 10: 3–22. Graham, Dee, Edna Rawlings, and Roberta Rigsby. 1994. Loving to Survive: Sexual Terror, Men’s Violence, and Women’s Lives. New York: New York University Press. Green, Leslie. 1988. The Authority of the State. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Green, Mark J. (ed.). 1973. The Monopoly Makers: Ralph Nader’s Study Group Report on Regulation and Competition. New York: Grossman. Gross, Samuel R., Kristen Jacoby, Daniel J. Matheson, Nicholas Montgomery, and Sujata Patil. 2005. ‘Exonerations in the United States 1989 through 2003’, Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 95: 523–60. Grossman, Dave. 1995. On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society. Boston: Little, Brown.
Murphy, Mark. 1995. ‘Philosophical Anarchism and Legal Indifference’, American Philosophical Quarterly 32: 195–8. Murray, Charles. 1984. Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950–1980. New York: Basic Books. Murray, Charles, and Christopher Jencks. 1985. ‘“Losing Ground”: An Exchange’, New York Review of Books 32, 16 (October 24): 55–6. Nader, Ralph. 1973. ‘Introduction’. Pp. ix–xv in The Monopoly Makers: Ralph Nader’s Study Group Report on Regulation and Competition, ed. Mark J. Green. New York: Grossman. Nagel, Thomas. 1991. Equality and Partiality. New York: Oxford University Press. ——. 1995. ‘Nozick: Libertarianism without Foundations’. Pp. 137–49 in Other Minds: Critical Essays 1969–1994. New York: Oxford University Press. Namnyak, M., N. Tufton, R. Szekely, M. Toal, S. Worboys, and E. L. Sampson. 2008.
Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, card file, Cass Sunstein, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discovery of the americas, diversification, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, George Akerlof, Henri Poincaré, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, impulse control, index arbitrage, index card, index fund, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, libertarian paternalism, linear programming, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, market design, New Journalism, Nikolai Kondratiev, Paul Lévy, pension reform, performance metric, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, pushing on a string, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, Tobin tax, transaction costs, tulip mania, value at risk, Vanguard fund, volatility smile, Yogi Berra
But as he made the transition from scholar to media star in the 1960s, Friedman took on the responsibility of presenting his Chicago colleagues’ ideas to the still largely hostile outside world. In 1970 he explained in the pages of the New York Times Magazine the Chicago view of the role of corporations in American life. The news peg was the rise of “Campaign GM,” a movement led by consumer activist Ralph Nader to place three representatives of “the public interest” on the giant automaker’s board of directors. Nader would push this theme throughout the 1970s, arguing that, because corporations had been created by government action, they ought to be held to high standards of civic responsibility. Friedman had a different take. “There is one and only one social responsibility of business—to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud,” he wrote.
But the leniency of our laws places management and shareholders at a distinct disadvantage in coming to grips with the enemy.”29 How shareholders could be placed at a disadvantage by people who wanted to pay a premium for their shares was something of a mystery, but the threat to management was real, and corporate managers maintained a strong lobbying presence in Washington. Most critics of corporate America, meanwhile, came from the political left—people such as John Kenneth Galbraith and Ralph Nader—and weren’t keen to embrace Wall Street raiders. That left the field to Henry Manne, a 1952 graduate of the University of Chicago Law School. He had been through the usual conversion experience there, arriving with plans to become a labor union lawyer and emerging three years later a “confirmed free marketer.” As a young legal scholar his interest in corporate governance did lead him down some interesting paths, among them some previously trod by Berle—a man his Chicago professors dismissed as a “nut.”
The Case Against Sugar by Gary Taubes
Albert Einstein, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, epigenetics, Gary Taubes, Isaac Newton, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, phenotype, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, the scientific method, Works Progress Administration
The greatest advertising minds in the country would not only create animated characters to sell the cereals to children—Tony the Tiger, Mr. MaGoo, Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear, Sugar Bear and Linus the Lionhearted, the Flintstones, Rocky and Bullwinkle—but give them entire Saturday-morning television shows dedicated to the task of doing so. These companies would spend enormous sums marketing each cereal—six hundred million dollars total in a single year by the late 1960s, when the consumer advocate Ralph Nader took on the industry. Each new cereal that succeeded would spawn a rush of imitators, while the industry, by the 1960s, was now openly advertising the candylike nature of the products: “It tastes like maple sugar candy,” Marky Maypo’s father said of Maypo in 1956, to entice his son to eat it; Cocoa Krispies were advertised as tasting “like a chocolate milk shake, only crunchy.” Industry executives, bolstered by nutritionists—most famously, Fred Stare, founder and director of the nutrition department at Harvard—would justify the sale of sugar-coated cereals as a means to get kids to drink milk, or as part of a “healthy breakfast.”
A Coca-Cola executive later noted that humans would have to drink 550 cans of Fresca daily to get the equivalent dose of cyclamates as had the rats—“you’d drown before you’d get cancer,” he said—but the Delaney clause did not account for whether the dosage required to cause cancer was a realistic one. The FDA administrators had originally hoped to ban cyclamates for use in soft drinks and other foods, but to sustain their use for diabetics and obese individuals who needed to watch their calorie consumption or whose doctors suggested they avoid sugar. The pressure from food activists concerned about chemical carcinogens prevented even that compromise. (Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, for instance, argued that the FDA should regard “one of its primary missions as being a cancer-prevention agency.”) In October 1970, the FDA banned all use of cyclamates. Two years later, when John Hickson left the International Sugar Research Foundation to work for the Cigar Research Council, he was described in a confidential tobacco-industry memo as a “supreme scientific politician who had been successful in condemning cyclamates, on behalf of the Sugar Research [Foundation], on somewhat shaky evidence which he had been able to conjure out of Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.”
Albert Einstein, clean water, energy security, hydrogen economy, illegal immigration, invisible hand, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, post-oil, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Rosa Parks, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Y2K
They don't, as doing so would require massive decentralization of the financial system, which would result in much less control over the world's population. In their eyes, this is not an option. Now that oil production is set to permanently decline, the only way to maintain a highly centralized financial system is with a drastically reduced population. 60 Part V: Peak Oil and US Political/Social Issues “The only difference between Bush and Gore is the velocity with which their knees hit the floor when corporations knock at the door.” -Ralph Nader, 2000 election. “George W. Bush is not the problem and John Kerry is not the solution.” -Matt Savinar, 2004 61 The Oil Age is Over 59. Who do you think is more at fault for this situation? Bush or Clinton? Rush Limbaugh and his "ditto heads" or Michael Moore and his French-loving Hollywood buddies? If you're looking for a scapegoat, I don't think you will find it by looking to the usual suspects.
Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future by Robert B. Reich
Berlin Wall, declining real wages, delayed gratification, Doha Development Round, endowment effect, full employment, George Akerlof, Home mortgage interest deduction, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, income inequality, invisible hand, job automation, labor-force participation, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, mortgage debt, new economy, offshore financial centre, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, sovereign wealth fund, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, World Values Survey
Buchanan garnered 3 million votes, hardly enough to displace George Bush. He tried again in 1996, charging that members of America’s establishment “hear the shouts of the peasants from over the hill.… All the peasants are coming with pitchforks.” It was a memorable phrase, but it didn’t get Buchanan any farther. By then, a strong economic recovery had becalmed Buchanan’s pitchforked peasants. In 2000, Ralph Nader ran for president as the Green Party candidate, assailing the power of “greedy” and “rapacious” corporations. He lost, of course, but some believe he got enough support to tip Florida, and therefore the electoral college and the presidency, to George W. Bush. To be sure, prolonged economic stress could open the door to demagogues who prey on public anxieties in order to gain power. A classic sociological study of thirty-five dictatorships found that when people feel economically threatened and unhinged from their normal habits, they look to authority figures who promise simple remedies proffering scapegoats.
Berlin Wall, Cass Sunstein, corporate governance, corporate personhood, corporate social responsibility, energy security, Exxon Valdez, IBM and the Holocaust, joint-stock company, laissez-faire capitalism, market fundamentalism, Naomi Klein, new economy, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, South Sea Bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, urban sprawl
In a series of brilliantly diabolical schemes, whose sinister character is best captured by Enron insiders' nicknames for them-"Death Star," "Get Shorty," Page 101 THE CORPORATION 101 and "Fat Boy"-the company helped manufacture an artificial energy shortage that drove the price of electricity, and consequently its profits , sky high. Thirty-eight blackouts plagued California over the six months after the Commodity Futures Modernization Act was signed by the president. Up until that point, and from the beginning of the energy crisis in May 2000, only one blackout had occurred. As Ralph Nader's Public Citizen organization concluded, "Phil Gramm's commodities deregulation law allowed Enron to control electricity in California, pocket billions in extra revenues and force millions of California residents to go hundreds of hours without electricity and pay outrageous prices." On June 19, 2001, the crisis was brought to an end when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission imposed strict price controls on California's electricity markets.
Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Chelsea Manning, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate personhood, David Brooks, discovery of DNA, double helix, failed state, Howard Zinn, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, inflation targeting, Julian Assange, land reform, Martin Wolf, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, single-payer health, sovereign wealth fund, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, theory of mind, Tobin tax, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, WikiLeaks
It’s quite interesting reading, not only for the content but also because of the style, which is pretty typical of business literature and of totalitarian culture in general. It reads a little like NSC-68.10 The whole society is crumbling, everything is being lost. The universities are being taken over by followers of Herbert Marcuse. The media and the government have been taken over by the Left. Ralph Nader is destroying the private economy, and so on. Businessmen are the most persecuted element in the society, but we don’t have to accept it, Powell said. We don’t have to let these crazy people destroy everything. We have the wealth. We’re the trustees of the universities. We’re the people who own the media. We don’t have to let all this happen. We can get together and use our power to force things in the direction that we want—of course he used nice terms such as democracy and freedom.
Interventions by Noam Chomsky
Albert Einstein, Ayatollah Khomeini, cuban missile crisis, energy security, facts on the ground, failed state, Monroe Doctrine, nuremberg principles, Ralph Nader, Thorstein Veblen, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, éminence grise
The election was won by mass popular organizations, which don’t show up once every four years to push a lever, but are working every day, at grassroots levels, on local issues, regional government, and major policy issues. In the United States, the Greens are concerned with long-term development of an electoral alternative of a kind that has succeeded in countries with a more functional democracy than here. But the Greens lack the support in the corporate sector that is necessary to compete in U.S. elections, just as someone who manufactures cars at home lacks the resources to compete with General Motors. Ralph Nader has used the (rather artificial) glare of electoral politics to raise important issues not on the corporate agenda of either major party. But he’s seen as a spoiler, fronting for Bush (hardly Nader’s intention), which discredits him and the excellent organizations that he has founded. Beyond the alternative candidates is the immediate real-world issue of Bush versus Kerry. At present, Bush has a substantial funding advantage over Kerry, thanks to the extraordinary gifts he lavishes on the superrich and the corporate sector, and his stellar record in demolishing the progressive legislation that has resulted from intense popular struggle over many years.
“By the time that great ‘new car smell’ wears off, so does the joy of owning the car.”182 Alan Michael Collinge, founder of the political action committee Student Loan Justice and author of The Student Loan Scam, has shown how predatory lenders teamed with Congress and party school administrators to set up one of the largest loan sharking operations in American history, worth $90 billion as of 2008. 183 Instead of encouraging graduates to pay off their loans as soon as possible, as credit counselors advise, predatory lenders encourage graduates to default so they can load on fees and penalties that can double or even triple the amount to be paid back. Ralph Nader, commenting on the problem in 2006, said, “the corporate lawyers who conceived this self-enriching system ought to get the nation’s top prize for shameless perversity.” 184 Collinge’s website has drawn student loan horror stories from all over the country. Britt Napoli, for example, originally borrowed $30,000 to attend graduate school. Nearing age fifty, he has so far paid the bank $33,000 but still owes $70,000 and is worried that the bank will garnish his Social Security benefits after he retires.
Sex, Lies, and Pharmaceuticals: How Drug Companies Plan to Profit From Female Sexual Dysfunction by Ray Moynihan, Barbara Mintzes
In her view, the company’s six-month trials were grossly inadequate to assess the drug’s impacts. She argued that any decision about approving the testosterone patch should be postponed until larger, longer studies were done—a theme echoed by others opposing approval. In his three-minute address to the committee, high-profile health advocate Dr Sid Wolfe also focused on safety issues. Wolfe was from Public Citizen, the Washington DC–based consumer watchdog that Ralph Nader helped to set up, specialising in medical matters and drug safety. He referred to scientific evidence suggesting that testosterone use could increase a woman’s risk of both heart disease and breast cancer, and urged the committee not to approve the patch. Dr Wolfe, who had been sitting next to Tiefer throughout the hearings, ended his short presentation by saying that a large proportion of women with decreased desire could respond positively to counselling.
Glock: The Rise of America's Gun by Paul M. Barrett
Under traditional American injury law, the intervention of a third party—the curious child who foolishly shoots a friend, the convenience-store robber who attacks a clerk—was thought to break the chain of liability between the victim and the manufacturer. But since the 1960s, some US judges and law professors had been expanding theories of liability to give injury victims a better chance of finding a defendant with deep pockets. The consumer-protection movement led by Ralph Nader reinforced this trend and helped turn up new evidence that manufacturers often knew more than they liked to admit about hazards associated with their products. Rising crime rates in the 1970s and 1980s added a sense of urgency to the gun-control movement and prompted some activists to turn their attention to the courts, as well as the legislature, as a venue where they might rein in companies that make and sell firearms.
banking crisis, British Empire, collective bargaining, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Hernando de Soto, income inequality, invisible hand, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, means of production, medical malpractice, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, profit maximization, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, statistical model, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, working poor, Works Progress Administration
Although the book was first published in 1946, most of Hazlitt’s examples and illustrations are timeless. Hessen, Robert. In Defense of the Corporation. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 1979. Hessen shatters the myth that “big business” is necessarily bad for society, showing how businesses grow by satisfying large numbers of consumers. He also destroys the anticapitalist arguments of such gadflies as Ralph Nader. Heyne, Paul. The Economic Way of Thinking. 9th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000. One of the very best contemporary introductory economics textbooks. Higgs, Robert. “Regime Uncertainty: Why the Great Depression Lasted So Long and Why Prosperity Resumed after the War.” Independent Review, Spring 1997, 561–90. Higgs shows how Franklin Roosevelt’s administration’s relentless political attacks on capitalism and capitalists caused business investment to dry up, and how the Great Depression ended only after World War II, when the size and scope of government were dramatically curtailed.
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bernie Madoff, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, call centre, carried interest, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crowdsourcing, Emanuel Derman, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Internet of things, late fees, medical bankruptcy, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, Peter Thiel, Ponzi scheme, prediction markets, price discrimination, quantitative hedge fund, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Sharpe ratio, statistical model, Tim Cook: Apple, too big to fail, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working poor
It’s a vital crash course in why we must interrogate the systems around us and demand better.” —Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and co-editor of Boing Boing “Many algorithms are slaves to the inequalities of power and prejudice. If you don’t want these algorithms to become your masters, read Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neil to deconstruct the latest growing tyranny of an arrogant establishment.” —Ralph Nader, author of Unsafe at Any Speed “Next time you hear someone gushing uncritically about the wonders of Big Data, show them Weapons of Math Destruction. It’ll be salutary.” —Felix Salmon, Fusion “From getting a job to finding a spouse, predictive algorithms are silently shaping and controlling our destinies. Cathy O’Neil takes us on a journey of outrage and wonder, with prose that makes you feel like it’s just a conversation.
corporate governance, currency manipulation / currency intervention, flex fuel, medical malpractice, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, shareholder value, Steve Jobs, Toyota Production System, transfer pricing, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile
Sure, some voiced concern and resentment, and best-selling books, like Vance Packard’s The Waste Makers and John Keats’s The Insolent Chariots, reflected a small but growing nucleus of concern over whether all this arrogant opulence and the ever-shorter fashion cycle were really of benefit to society. But these books were written by intellectual elitists . . . so who cared what they said? One incident that caused GM lasting harm was a 1965 book by a young lawyer and consumer advocate by the name of Ralph Nader. Unsafe at Any Speed accused the Corvair, different from other American cars with its rear-engine design, of being inherently unstable and accident-prone. Nader’s work gained huge notoriety and effectively shut down Corvair sales in the mid-1960s. Unaccustomed to being dented by a lone ideologue, GM hired investigators to delve into Nader’s personal life, seeking any salacious information that would silence him.
The Armchair Economist: Economics and Everyday Life by Steven E. Landsburg
Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, diversified portfolio, first-price auction, German hyperinflation, Golden Gate Park, invisible hand, means of production, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ronald Coase, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, second-price sealed-bid, statistical model, the scientific method, Unsafe at Any Speed
I remember the late 1970s and waiting half an hour to buy a tank of gasoline at a federally controlled price. Virtually all economists agreed that if the price were allowed to rise freely, people would buy less gasoline. Many noneconomists believed otherwise. The economists were right: When price controls were lifted, the lines disappeared. The economist's faith in the power of incentives serves him well, and he trusts it as a guide in unfamiliar territory. In 1965, Ralph Nader published Unsafe at Any Speed, a book calling attention to various design elements that made cars more dangerous than necessary. The federal government soon responded with a wide range of automobile safety legislation, mandating the use of seat belts, padded dashboards, collapsible steering columns, dual braking systems, and penetration-resistant windshields. Even before the regulations went into effect, any economist could have predicted one of their consequences: The number of auto accidents increased.
But What if We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present as if It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, British Empire, citizen journalism, cosmological constant, dark matter, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Gehry, Gerolamo Cardano, ghettoisation, Howard Zinn, Isaac Newton, non-fiction novel, obamacare, pre–internet, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, the medium is the message, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, Y2K
Bush is seen dancing with balloons and Gore is captured in a conga line, and then RATM jams econo in a wood-paneled studio (to a song that is, in retrospect, propulsive and committed, taken from an album I probably underrated). We get a supercut of newsmakers in quick succession—Sonny Bono, Ken Starr, the pope, Bill Clinton—with the ingrained implication that they are all complicit in some big-money boondoggle, and that all politicians and parties are fundamentally interchangeable. It ended with a message from Ralph Nader. Part of the reason I appreciated this video was that I agreed with it. The other part was that the message seemed so self-evidently true that I couldn’t believe a group as politically impractical as Rage Against the Machine was the band making it (“Tom Morello is finally embracing pragmatism,” I pragmatically assumed). I stayed up until three a.m. on November 8, watching the results of an election that was closer than I ever imagined possible.
call centre, card file, cuban missile crisis, Ford paid five dollars a day, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, job satisfaction, Ralph Nader, strikebreaker, traveling salesman, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Yogi Berra, zero day
All that can be put into a computer and you’d have a questionnaire that people would answer. The only thing that would require a salesman is the price. Ninety-nine out of a hundred people are price-conscious. That’s all they care about. You could sell ‘em a bag of potatoes if the price was right. You could sell ’em a 1948 Chevy if the price was right. How do you feel about Ralph Nader? Pardon me? How do you feel about Ralph Nader? We could do without him. He’s taken the choice away from the people. He doesn’t give them the choice of having head restraints or belts. Or having emission control systems. He took that choice away. Carbon monoxide, all that poisonous stuff, leave that to the manufacturers that know such things and what it would cost to build all that new equipment. I think he’s an alarmist.
But he didn’t look fifty any more when I was finished.” 80 “When I went to Columbia I was at the head of my class in music history, European history, and French.” 81 His father, Vachel Lindsay, was a doctor as well as a celebrated poet. 82 House Un-American Activities Committee. 83 United Electrical Workers of America. 84 “Arkansas is the leading producer of poultry in the United States. The broiler farmer invests somewhere between twenty and thirty thousand dollars in two chicken houses. They hold up to seven thousand baby chicks. The packing company puts the chicks in and supplies the feed and medicine. At the end of eight weeks they’re four and a half pounds. The companies pick ‘em up and pay you for ’em. Ralph Nader’s been after them. It’s almost white slavery. The farmer invests and the company can say, ‘This is a lousy lot, we’re not gonna pay you the full price.’ But you’re still putting in twelve hours a day.” 85 Clyde Ellis, a former congressman from Arkansas, recalls, “I wanted to be at my parents’ house when electricity came. It was in 1940. We’d all go around flipping the switch, to make sure it hadn’t come on yet.
The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby
1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Firefox, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War
Bureau of Fisheries, Carson detonated a fire storm with Silent Spring. Waiting in the wings were hundreds of experts who had been studying just how destructive the twentieth century had been to the planet that we inhabit. Environmentalists mounted one of the most successful political movements in history. In 1962 Michael Harrington in his The Other America: Poverty in the United States reminded the public that not everyone was prospering. Three years later Ralph Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed took on America’s automakers; its subtitle delivers the message: The Designed-in Dangers of the American Automobile. Their words seemed even more prophetic with the multiple blows of an oil crisis, rising unemployment, and an inflation rate spiraling upward. A younger generation took up the causes of the degrading environment, product safety, and the persisting plight of the poor and made them their own.
If one bought a million-dollar house with a down payment of $100,000 and turned around and sold it for $1.1 million in a rising real estate market, he or she could recover the down payment plus another $100,000, doubling the initial investment. Leveraging is possible when you gain title to some object with a partial payment of it. To be successful, there must be an appreciation of value. Real estate prices in the United States enjoyed such a rise, nearly doubling between 2000 and 2006. Aptly called casino capitalism by Ralph Nader, mortgages showed the way toward securitizing any form of credit from automobile payments to credit cards. Wanting to keep the good times going, financial institutions began issuing mortgages to people with risky credit records or insufficient income to make their payments. Banks and savings and loan companies lured customers with low down or no down payment offers. A whole new market for leveraging was tapped.
affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Bakken shale, bank run, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carried interest, centre right, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, David Brooks, desegregation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, energy security, estate planning, Fall of the Berlin Wall, George Gilder, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, invisible hand, job automation, low skilled workers, market fundamentalism, Mont Pelerin Society, More Guns, Less Crime, Nate Silver, New Journalism, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Nader, Renaissance Technologies, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, school choice, school vouchers, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, the scientific method, University of East Anglia, Unsafe at Any Speed, War on Poverty, working poor
So in the spring of 1971, Powell, who was then sixty-three, had watched with growing agitation as student radicals, antiwar demonstrators, black power militants, and much of the liberal intellectual elite turned against what they saw as the depravity of corporate America. Powell believed American capitalism was facing a crisis. All summer long, he clipped magazine and newspaper articles documenting the political threat. He was particularly preoccupied with Ralph Nader, the young Harvard Law School graduate whom Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then assistant secretary of labor, had hired to investigate auto safety hazards. Nader’s 1965 exposé on General Motors, Unsafe at Any Speed, accused the auto industry of putting profits ahead of safety, triggering the American consumer movement and undermining Americans’ faith in business. Powell was a personal friend of General Motors’ corporate counsel and regarded this and other anticorporate developments with almost apocalyptic alarm.
—Isaiah Berlin CHAPTER SIX Boots on the Ground In his 1976 blueprint for the creation of a libertarian movement, Charles Koch had emphasized the need to use “all modern sales and motivational techniques.” Less than a decade later, in 1984, he set out to launch a private political sales force. On paper, it was yet another Koch-funded conservative nonprofit group fighting for less government. It called itself Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE). From the outside, it looked like an authentic political group, created by a groundswell of concerned citizens, much like Ralph Nader’s Public Interest Research Groups, which had sprung up all over the country. According to the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity, however, it was in fact a new kind of weapon in the arsenal of several of America’s biggest businesses—a fake populist movement secretly manufactured by corporate sponsors—not grass roots, but “Astroturf,” as such synthetic groups came to be known. Unlike corporate lobbying or campaign spending, contributions to Citizens for a Sound Economy could be kept hidden because it classified itself as a nonprofit “educational” group (as well as having its own charitable foundation and political action committee).
Suburban Nation by Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Jeff Speck
A Pattern Language, big-box store, car-free, Celebration, Florida, City Beautiful movement, desegregation, edge city, Frank Gehry, housing crisis, if you build it, they will come, income inequality, intermodal, Jane Jacobs, jitney, McMansion, New Urbanism, place-making, price mechanism, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, skinny streets, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration
Students in these schools who advocate traditional neighborhood design are generally regarded, by their own account, as campus nerds par excellence. dk In our “highly evolved” regulatory system, this process is most often accomplished through expensive lawsuits, as documented in The Death of Common Sense. In light of this situation, a number of not-for-profit organizations have arisen over the years—the National Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen—capable of throwing legal firepower at otherwise unresolvable problems. As of yet, there is no such advocate for the built environment. But the sophisticated legal strategies that have succeeded in attacking air pollution and corporate negligence are also available to activists concerned similarly about their cities. Tough times call for tough measures, and activists should not shy away from using every means at their disposal in defense of their urban environment.
The Gospel of Food: Everything You Think You Know About Food Is Wrong by Barry Glassner
Gary Taubes, haute cuisine, income inequality, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, placebo effect, profit motive, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Saturday Night Live, stem cell, urban sprawl, working poor
He decided to stop by on his lunch break, Jacobson told me, giving me a perfect opening to ask if he’d had an irradiated hamburger. His answer was not what I expected. “I don’t eat meat, so I wouldn’t. If it were an irradiated veggie burger I wouldn’t care,” he said, breaking ranks with his comrades not only in the organic movement, but in the consumer-advocacy movement as well. Public Citizen, the consumer organization founded by Ralph Nader and usually a close ally of the CSPI, has been a vocal opponent of the new technology. Citing decades-old studies while ignoring numerous others that contradict their claim, Public Citizen contends that irradiated foods cause cancer and other health problems. Jacobson disagrees. “I think the health risks are pretty minor,” he told me. His own reservations about irradiation have nothing to do with the safety of the method.
The 100 Best Vacations to Enrich Your Life by Pam Grout
Albert Einstein, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, complexity theory, David Brooks, East Village, global village, Golden Gate Park, if you build it, they will come, Maui Hawaii, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ronald Reagan, supervolcano, transcontinental railway, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra
Because IONS’ programs are so diverse and because the visiting organization leading a workshop or retreat determines the price, the cost of instruction varies. HOW TO GET IN TOUCH Institute of Noetic Sciences, 101 San Antonio Road, Petaluma, CA 94952, 707-775-3500, www.noetic.org. CLOSE UP FOUNDATION learn the legislative process WASHINGTON, D.C. There can be no daily democracy without daily citizenship. —Ralph Nader 64 | Most people think of politics as a spectator sport, something to watch from the sidelines. It never occurs to them that developing an informed option about government policy is at least as important as whether their football team wins on Sunday. But the Close Up Foundation is out to change all that. Close Up, a Virginia-based nonprofit, was started in 1971 by Stephen Janger to give young Americans a sense of direction and of purpose.
back-to-the-land, Bernie Sanders, Black Swan, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, falling living standards, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, hiring and firing, Howard Zinn, Hyman Minsky, illegal immigration, indoor plumbing, informal economy, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, lake wobegon effect, Long Term Capital Management, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, McMansion, medical malpractice, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, oil shock, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, rising living standards, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, working poor, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War
From time to time populist, socialist, and, more recently, the Green Party win local elections, and independents, such as Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, win election to Congress. Nationwide, some third parties have made a difference in presidential elections. In 1912 Teddy Roosevelt’s Bull Moose Party split the Republican vote and elected Woodrow Wilson. In 1992, Ross Perot drained votes from George H. W. Bush to give the election to Bill Clinton. And in 2000, Ralph Nader took enough votes away from Al Gore to trigger the events that led to the Supreme Court giving the election of George W. Bush. But each of these episodes was unique and built around a charismatic individual. And each soon faded. The first reason for the failure of third parties is that in the states, where election rules are set, the major parties have collaborated in setting up substantial procedural roadblocks to third-party success.
Made to Break: Technology and Obsolescence in America by Giles Slade
Albert Einstein, Alexey Pajitnov wrote Tetris, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Buckminster Fuller, Cass Sunstein, Douglas Engelbart, global village, housing crisis, indoor plumbing, invention of radio, Joseph Schumpeter, Marshall McLuhan, Mikhail Gorbachev, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Ralph Nader, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the market place, the medium is the message, Thorstein Veblen, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, women in the workforce
More and more, ad men began talking of the desirability of creating ‘psychological obsolescence.’”22 With the enormous success of The Hidden Persuaders, Packard found himself launched on a kind of career that was barely recognized in his own time. A strange combination of social critic, pop psychologist, and quasi–public intellectual, Packard hastily constructed books that would prefigu e popular works by Rachel Carson, Betty Friedan, John Kenneth Galbraith, Jules Henry, Christopher Lasch, Marshall McLuhan, and Ralph Nader. Packard was the firs writer to catch this wave. In just three years, he produced three nonfi tion bestsellers in a row, a feat no other American writer has equaled, before or since. The Status Seekers (1959) was a groundbreaking examination of America’s social and organizational dynamics, and The Waste Makers (1960) was a highly critical book-length study of planned obsolescence in contemporary American culture.
The Democracy Project: A History, a Crisis, a Movement by David Graeber
Bretton Woods, British Empire, corporate personhood, David Graeber, deindustrialization, dumpster diving, East Village, feminist movement, financial innovation, George Gilder, Lao Tzu, late fees, Occupy movement, payday loans, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, unpaid internship, We are the 99%, working poor
g This began to change somewhat when the presidential election campaign began to kick into gear, because of the lack of specific legislative issues and the specter of a Republican victory, but also, I suspect, because so many progressives stopped following electoral politics entirely. h In Illinois, to cite a typical example, 54 percent of voters over thirty turned out in 2010, but only 23 percent of those under thirty. i I heard this trick done endlessly with Ralph Nader: during campaigns, there is almost no discussion or even description of his positions, but merely warnings that a vote for Nader is a vote for the Republican candidate. Afterward, his positions are treated as if they represented the opinions of 2.7 percent of the American public (the percentage of the popular vote he received in 2000). j I am simplifying. Imperial states, like the British empire or U.S. postwar system, tend to shift over time from being industrial powers to financial powers.
Wait: The Art and Science of Delay by Frank Partnoy
algorithmic trading, Atul Gawande, Bernie Madoff, Black Swan, blood diamonds, Cass Sunstein, Checklist Manifesto, cognitive bias, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, delayed gratification, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, High speed trading, impulse control, income inequality, Isaac Newton, Long Term Capital Management, Menlo Park, mental accounting, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Nick Leeson, paper trading, Paul Graham, payday loans, Ralph Nader, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, six sigma, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, statistical model, Steve Jobs, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, upwardly mobile, Walter Mischel
I am especially grateful for conversations with Bill Ackman, Julian Alexander, Michael Ashner, Lanny Breuer, Yaron Brook, Jeff Campbell, Dana Carney, Kathy Casey, Walker Clark, Simon Copleston, Jeff Critchfield, Patrick Daniels, Hernando de Soto, Sanford DeVoe, Gurpreet Dhaliwal, Andrew Dittmer, Jesse Eisinger, Anne Erni, Allen Farrell, Jerome Fons, Mary Fricker, Koji Fukumura, Maria Gavrilovic, Gordon Gerson, Jonathan Glater, Francesco Guerrera, Scott Harrison, Margaret Heffernan, Sheena Iyengar, James Jacoby, Rob Jafek, Roy Katzovicz, Adam Kolber, Eric Kolchinsky, Unni Krishnan, Steve Kroft, Stephen Labaton, Irene LaCota, Vice Chancellor Travis Laster, Angel Lau, Donald Lawrence, Joe Lonsdale, Angel Lopez, John Lovi, Jeff Madrick, Peter McLeod, Ralph Nader, Chuck O’Kelley, André Perold, Stephen Porges, Ernesto Reuben, Christine Richard, Darren Robbins, John Rogers, Jennifer Schenker, Todd Simkin, Robert P. Smith, Yves Smith, Mark Snell, Michael Solender, Judge Stanley Sporkin, Joseph Stiglitz, Richard Thaler, David Westbrook, and David Viniar. I was able to test-drive some of the ideas in this book in two speeches during October 2011, at the Seattle University School of Law’s Berle Center Corporate Governance Colloquium and the French-American Foundation’s Young Leaders program.
asset allocation, Bernie Madoff, Cass Sunstein, Credit Default Swap, David Brooks, delayed gratification, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, estate planning, financial innovation, Flash crash, game design, greed is good, high net worth, impulse control, income inequality, index fund, London Whale, Mark Zuckerberg, mortgage debt, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, too big to fail, transaction costs, Unsafe at Any Speed, upwardly mobile, Vanguard fund, wage slave, women in the workforce, working poor, éminence grise
As for Porter’s written work, the once feisty and fearless creator of the personal finance genre was now putting her name on fuddy-duddy articles about budgeting secrets, and was more than once caught publishing corporate press releases under her own name. Her practical money management tips were no longer unique. Moreover, the nature of what we wanted from a public personal finance guru was changing, too. The consumer movement, which burst into prominence with Ralph Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed, his 1965 exposé of the automobile industry, began to shove personal finance in a new direction, one that questioned the powers that be more than Porter had done in years. There was an irony here. Porter’s ever-increasing wealth and rapaciousness ultimately left her cut off, unable to connect with the concerns of all too many of us, a pattern we would see repeat with other personal finance gurus over the years.
The Narcissist Next Door by Jeffrey Kluger
Albert Einstein, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, Bernie Madoff, Columbine, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, impulse control, Jony Ive, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, theory of mind, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Walter Mischel
Ross Perot, people with more money and name recognition than governing skills, but who fancy themselves up to the task of being the most powerful person on earth because, well, how could they not be? It doesn’t even require wealth to go on that “Vote for me or at least pay attention to me” ride. Did anybody believe Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich had any chance at all of ever taking the oath of office—did they even believe it themselves?—or was it just the naked craving to be on the presidential stage? In 2000, Ralph Nader ran quixotically for president on the Green Party ticket, winning 2.8 million votes nationwide—and 97,488 of them in Florida, the large majority of which surely came out of Al Gore’s hide. That Florida haul would have been more than enough to overcome the paper-thin 537 votes by which Gore lost the state to George W. Bush and, ultimately, the presidency. Yet when Nader was asked afterward if he felt like he had cost Gore the election, his answer was succinct: “I think that Al Gore cost me the election.”
Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, Anton Chekhov, computer age, David Brooks, Exxon Valdez, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Golden Gate Park, index card, Isaac Newton, Mason jar, pez dispenser, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Works Progress Administration, Y2K
I’m indebted to many fine librarians and archivists, among them Alexia MacClain and Jim Roan of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries; Sue Beates of the Drake Well Museum in Titusville, Pennsylvania; Linda Cheresnowski of the Barbara Morgan Harvey Center for the Study of Oil Heritage at the Charles Suhr Library at Clarion University in Oil City, Pennsylvania; Carol Worster of the Gas Technology Institute; Theo Long of the Biscayne Nature Center; Roger Smith of Florida’s Bureau of Archaeological Research; Sarah Martin and Steve Jebson of the UK Met Office; Hilda Kaune of the Institute of Materials, Minerals, and Mining in London, UK; William Davis of the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives; and the interlibrary loan staff at University of Colorado. Thanks to Lynda Sather, Katie Pesznecker, Kate Dugan, and Michelle Egan of the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company; to Cheryl Irwin of the DOD; to Alysa Reich of NACE. Immense gratitude to Ed Drummond, Stephen Rutherford, David Moffitt, Howard EnDean, Jr., Ralph Nader, Stuart Eynon, and others for scraping through old memories. Bigger thanks to Alyssha Eve Csük, Bhaskar Neogi, Dan Dunmire, and Ed Laperle for letting me follow you around and ask a lot of dumb questions. For believing in a new guy and sharpening my proposal, utmost thanks to Richard Morris, at Janklow & Nesbit. And for ironing out my wrinkles and making me look good, huge thanks to Nick Greene, Jofie Ferrari-Adler, and the crew at Simon & Schuster
Future Files: A Brief History of the Next 50 Years by Richard Watson
Albert Einstein, bank run, banking crisis, battle of ideas, Black Swan, call centre, carbon footprint, cashless society, citizen journalism, computer age, computer vision, congestion charging, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, deglobalization, digital Maoism, disintermediation, epigenetics, failed state, financial innovation, Firefox, food miles, future of work, global supply chain, global village, hive mind, industrial robot, invention of the telegraph, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, knowledge economy, linked data, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, Northern Rock, peak oil, pensions crisis, precision agriculture, prediction markets, Ralph Nader, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, self-driving car, speech recognition, telepresence, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Turing test, Victor Gruen, white flight, women in the workforce, Zipcar
They all look the same, they smell of plastic (made from oil at the moment), and they are all far too complicated. So what am I driving around in these days? You might find this odd — for a futurist — but my vehicles of choice are an old bicycle, an old pair of legs, and a 36-year-old Porsche. Automotive and Transport 14 April 2047 Hi Winks Do you remember when the Terminator got married? He drove off in one of those retro 2030s Tata/Infosys Morris Minors. Well, I’ve just bought the new 2037 Ralph Nader model! Check it out… it’s got a self-diagnosing engine-management system, four-wheel drive (it has a pancake motor inside each wheel), and 10,000-mile ceramic batteries. I bought it off Mississippi.com for a song. It’s obviously got self-drive, collision avoidance, and heads-up display, but the best bit is the color. It hasn’t got one… it’s got 14,667!!! I can program the exterior color to anything I want, including patterns.
Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars by Samuel I. Schwartz
2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, car-free, City Beautiful movement, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Enrique Peñalosa, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, if you build it, they will come, intermodal, invention of the wheel, lake wobegon effect, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, Masdar, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, oil shock, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, skinny streets, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, the built environment, the map is not the territory, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, Wall-E, white flight, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Zipcar
It was a replay of the memorable scene in The Graduate, in which Dustin Hoffman’s character, Benjamin Braddock, receives sage advice about the future from his father’s friend in one word: “Plastics.” I was just as articulate as Benjamin. “Huh?” I replied. (I wasn’t a very smooth talker.) Was that even a field? Brian told me MIT had been studying traffic and maybe that’d suit me. I did have an interest in traffic safety after my friend’s brakes failed on his ’55 Chevy and we crashed into a tollbooth. I had read Ralph Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed. So I investigated graduate programs in the study of traffic and transportation and discovered them hidden away in the departments of civil engineering. I applied to a few schools and was accepted by MIT and the University of Pennsylvania. The choice wasn’t especially difficult: Penn offered me a full fellowship, plus a stipend of $75 a week. I promptly went out and bought a “new” 1970 Chevelle.
Eon by Greg Bear
She had heard the name Nader mentioned several times, but it took her some time to get around to toggling a different branch of the “footnote” function. As she did so, she asked for explanations of several other things any Stoner would have taken for granted. That triggered an elementary, synopsized history of the Stone, and of the time between the Death and the construction of the Thistledown. She was more than a little shocked to discover that the Gentle Nader was, in fact, Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate and independent investigator who had made a big stir in the 1960s and 1970s. He was still alive, back on Earth–her Earth, her time—but in the library records his name was always used reverently. He was always “Gentle Nader’ or “the Good Man.” Those who took his namethe Naderites—were a powerful political force, and had been for centuries. Or … would be. She vowed to use the physicist’s concept of time from here on, with events strung along a line, and no particular breakdown into past, present or future.
Wall Street: How It Works And for Whom by Doug Henwood
accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, capital controls, central bank independence, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, correlation does not imply causation, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, debt deflation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, diversification, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental subject, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Akerlof, George Gilder, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, interest rate swap, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, kremlinology, labor-force participation, late capitalism, law of one price, liquidationism / Banker’s doctrine / the Treasury view, London Interbank Offered Rate, Louis Bachelier, market bubble, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, oil shock, payday loans, pension reform, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, random walk, reserve currency, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, shareholder value, short selling, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, women in the workforce, yield curve, zero-coupon bond
Jensen's (1989b) response to Rona was evasive, offering little to rebut the charges against him. Jensen did, however, helpfully list some forces he viewed as obstacles to economic progress: "striking Eastern Air Lines GOVERNANCE pilots, Pittston Coal miners, [and] New York Telephone employees, who seem perfectly content to destroy or damage their employer's organization while attempting to serve their own interests. Ralph Nader's consumer activist organization is another example." (It's a nice irony that public employee pension funds were used to smash some of Jensen's impediments to progress.) The only subclass of Jensen's society to have a claim on corporations, it's clear, are shareholders; workers (managers among them) and consumers serve only at the owners' pleasure. One of the most interesting statements Jensen made on the appropriateness of shareholders to this great social task is actually something he forgot to say.
1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, big-box store, blue-collar work, Donner party, edge city, new economy, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Nader, side project, smart transportation, traveling salesman, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal, Victor Gruen
Many critics had judged it his finest work; the following year, it had won the National Book Award, and in 1964, Lyndon Johnson had awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. In "The American Way of Death," published in the New York Review of Books in April 1966, Mumford reprised his attack on "that religion for whose evidences of power and glory the American people, with eyes devoutly closed, are prepared to sacrifice some 59,000 lives every year, and to maim, often irreparably, some three million more." Most of the article, a review of Ralph Nader's Unsafe at Any Speed, was a diatribe against the automobile itself, which "could have made an invaluable contribution in creating a regional distribution of population" but instead accounted for some of the greatest crises facing city and countryside alike—"the nightmare of the air becoming toxic with poisonous exhausts, including the highly lethal carbon monoxide; of the water supply polluted with deadly lead from gasoline exhausts already half way to the danger point even in the Arctic wastes; the nightmare of diurnal mass commutation by car... ."
The Future of the Internet: And How to Stop It by Jonathan Zittrain
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andy Kessler, barriers to entry, book scanning, Brewster Kahle, Burning Man, c2.com, call centre, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, corporate governance, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, distributed generation, en.wikipedia.org, Firefox, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, Hush-A-Phone, illegal immigration, index card, informal economy, Internet Archive, jimmy wales, license plate recognition, loose coupling, mail merge, national security letter, packet switching, Post-materialism, post-materialism, pre–internet, price discrimination, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, Richard Stallman, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, Robert X Cringely, SETI@home, Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, software patent, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, Ted Nelson, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, web application, wikimedia commons
We might say that such fine-tuning is not possible because PCs, though leveraged and adaptable, are not easy for a mass audience to master. Taking the generativity-informed view of what constitutes a network, though, we can conceptualize a variety of methods by which PCs might compensate for this difficulty of mastery, only some of which require centralized control and education. For example, users might be able to choose from an array of proxies—not just Microsoft, but also Ralph Nader, or a public interest organization, or a group of computer scientists, or StopBadware– for guidance on how best to configure their PCs. For the Herdict program described earlier, the ambition is for third parties to contribute their own dashboard gauges—allowing users of Herdict to draw from a market of advisers, each of whom can draw from some combination of the herd’s data and their own expertise to give users advice.
Food Revolution, The: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World by John Robbins, Dean Ornish M. D.
Albert Einstein, carbon footprint, clean water, complexity theory, double helix, Exxon Valdez, food miles, laissez-faire capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, meta analysis, meta-analysis, profit motive, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Rosa Parks, telemarketer
Box 2260, Boulder, CO 80306; 800-3572211; www.citizens.org; firstname.lastname@example.org Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Promotes preventive medicine, encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research, advocates broader access to medical services, offers Vegetarian Starter Kit and numerous publications including Goocl Medicine, a quarterly magazine. 5100 Wisconsin Ave., NW Ste. 400, Washington, DC 20016; 202-686-2210; www.pcrm.org; email@example.com Public Citizen Founded by Ralph Nader, fights for safer drugs and medical devices, cleaner energy sources and environment, fair trade, and a more open and democratic government. 1600 20th St., NW1 Washington, D.C. 20009; 202-588-1000; www.citizen.org; firstname.lastname@example.org Safe Tables Our Priority (STOP) Supports victims of food-borne illness, provides public education on the dangers in food, and does policy advocacy for safe food and public health. 3149 Dundee Road, #276, Northbrook, IL 60062; 800-350STOP; www.safetables.org Our Fellow Creatures Animal Place Sanctuary Provides homes for animals rescued from slaughter and educates the public about factory farms. 17314 McCourtney Ave., Grass Valley, CA 95949; 530-477-1757; www.animalplace.org; email@example.com Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association Works on a variety of animal protection issues, particularly those that focus on veterinary medical ethics.
The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart by Bill Bishop, Robert G. Cushing
1960s counterculture, affirmative action, big-box store, blue-collar work, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cognitive dissonance, David Brooks, demographic transition, desegregation, Edward Glaeser, immigration reform, income inequality, Jane Jacobs, knowledge economy, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Milgram experiment, music of the spheres, New Urbanism, post-industrial society, Post-materialism, post-materialism, Ralph Nader, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Steve Jobs, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, union organizing, War on Poverty, white flight, World Values Survey
We didn't intend to move into a community filled with Democrats, but that's what we did—effortlessly and without a trace of understanding about what we were doing. We bought a house on one of those smiley-face streets, a shady neighborhood of dog walkers, Jane Jacobs-approved front porches, bright paint, bowling-ball yard art, and YOU KEEP BELIEVING; WE'LL KEEP EVOLVING bumper stickers. In 2000, George W. Bush, then the governor of Texas, took 60 percent of the state's vote. But in our patch of Austin, Bush came in third, behind both Al Gore and Ralph Nader. Four years later, eight out of ten of our neighbors voted for John Kerry. Our neighborhood is one of the friendliest I've encountered. It is in some ways more like the rural Texas town where we lived for a time, publishing the weekly newspaper, than a community on the edge of the central city. We have potlucks in the park and movies for the kids. A woman down the street organizes outdoor concerts to raise money so the toddlers' pool in the neighborhood park stays wet and open into the torrid Texas September.
Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Congress--And a Plan to Stop It by Lawrence Lessig
asset-backed security, banking crisis, carried interest, cognitive dissonance, corporate personhood, correlation does not imply causation, crony capitalism, David Brooks, Edward Glaeser, Filter Bubble, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, invisible hand, jimmy wales, Martin Wolf, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, place-making, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, single-payer health, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, upwardly mobile, WikiLeaks, Zipcar
This is strong insight in Issacharoff and Karlan, “The Hydraulics of Campaign Finance Reform,” Texas Law Review 77 (1998): 1705. For the best mapping of the complexities, see the work of Anthony Corrado, especially The New Campaign Finance Sourcebook (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2005) (with Thomas E. Mann, Daniel R. Ortiz, and Trevor Potter). 13. Brooks, Corruption in American Politics and Life, 99. Chapter 18. Strategy 2 1. This idea was suggested to me by Matt Gonzalez, Ralph Nader’s vice-presidential candidate. Chapter 19. Strategy 3 1. Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller, “President Obama’s $8 Billion Earmark Rerun: Lesson Not Learned?” ABCNews, Political Punch (Dec. 15, 2010), available at link #227. 2. Speech of Governor Buddy Roemer, Harvard University, March 24, 2011. 3. See Paolo E. Coletta, William Jennings Bryan: Political Evangelist, 1860–1908 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1864), 272.
One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility by Zack Furness, Zachary Mooradian Furness
active transport: walking or cycling, affirmative action, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, back-to-the-land, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, conceptual framework, dumpster diving, Enrique Peñalosa, European colonialism, feminist movement, ghettoisation, Golden Gate Park, interchangeable parts, intermodal, Internet Archive, Jane Jacobs, market fundamentalism, means of production, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, peak oil, place-making, post scarcity, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, sustainable-tourism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, working poor, Yom Kippur War
To concentrate on riddance as the primary purpose, negatively to put taboos and penalties on automobiles as children might say, “Cars, cars, go away,” would be a policy not only doomed to defeat but rightly doomed to defeat.105 it is clear that bike advocates did not always heed the last part of Jacobs’s advice, but there was also a much stronger case to be made for taking a more pronounced stance against urban driving in the 1970s, particularly when one considers the roughly five hundred thousand people killed in traffic (in the United States alone) between the publication of Jacobs’s first book and the beginning of the following decade. and while some bike activists were intent to pursue a more radical agenda or at the very least one sympathetic to illich’s systemic critiques of technology and capitalism, their general approach to politics was more in tune with the civic engagement of people like John Dewey or ralph nader than the dropout paradigm bemoaned by critics of the counterculture and the aT movement. These organizations formed through the collaboration of smaller activist groups and volunteers and solidified themselves through persistent organizing and the involvement of public officials. Charlie McCorkell notes the importance of this synthesis in creating momentum for bicycle advocacy: i always liked the big parades.
The Science of Fear: How the Culture of Fear Manipulates Your Brain by Daniel Gardner
Atul Gawande, availability heuristic, Black Swan, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Brooks, Doomsday Clock, feminist movement, haute couture, hindsight bias, illegal immigration, medical residency, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, placebo effect, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Tunguska event, uranium enrichment, Y2K, young professional
And Chung agreed. First came the implants, then came the disease. What more needed to be said? The tone of the widely watched episode was angry and accusatory, with much of the blame focused on the FDA. That broke the dam. Stories linking implants with disease—with headlines like “Toxic Breasts” and “Ticking Time Bombs”—flooded the media. A congressional hearing was held. Advocacy groups—including Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen—made implants a top target. Feminists—who considered breast augmentation to be “sexual mutilation,” in the words of best-selling writer Naomi Wolf—attacked implants as a symbol of all that was wrong with modern society. Under intense pressure, the FDA told manufacturers in early 1992 that they had ninety days to provide evidence that implants were safe. The manufacturers cobbled together what they could, but the FDA felt it was inadequate.
Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety by Marion Nestle
It contained provisions to (1) eliminate rules for pathogen testing, (2) postpone seafood inspection, (3) repeal the Delaney clause in the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (which precluded use of carcinogenic food additives), (4) permit use of some carcinogenic pesticides, and (5) privatize approvals of food additives. Such blatantly consumer-unfriendly legislation was ripe for satire, and figure 7 presents one such pointed commentary, in this case, from political cartoonist Garry Trudeau. Consumer advocate Ralph Nader observed that the Dole bill represented nothing less than a “big business takeover of the U.S. government in its health and safety responsibilities.” Nevertheless, after contentious debate, the Senate passed various amendments to the Dole bill as part of the Republicans’ Contract with America. As if to soften the bill’s evident purpose, one such amendment expressed “the sense of the Senate that nothing in the bill is intended to delay the timely promulgation of any regulations that would meet a human health or safety threat.”10 Mr.
How Markets Fail: The Logic of Economic Calamities by John Cassidy
Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, anti-communist, asset allocation, asset-backed security, availability heuristic, bank run, banking crisis, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Black-Scholes formula, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, Columbine, conceptual framework, Corn Laws, correlation coefficient, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, diversification, Elliott wave, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, full employment, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Haight Ashbury, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income per capita, incomplete markets, index fund, invisible hand, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, margin call, market bubble, market clearing, mental accounting, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, Network effects, Nick Leeson, Northern Rock, paradox of thrift, Ponzi scheme, price discrimination, price stability, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, rent control, Richard Thaler, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, unorthodox policies, value at risk, Vanguard fund
Similarly, industrial companies such as General Electric and General Motors would not risk sullying their brand names by distributing faulty or unsafe products. “The consumer is protected from being exploited by one seller by the existence of another seller from whom he can buy and who is eager to sell to him. Alternative sources of supply protect the consumer far more effectively than all the Ralph Naders of the world.” If Friedman had been known solely as a defender of big business, and a proponent of monetarism, he wouldn’t have exercised as much influence as he did. But he cleverly wrapped his proposals to emasculate government programs and cut taxes in the language of rugged American individualism. What would come of American ingenuity, he and Rose asked, “if we continue to grant ever more power to government, to authorize a ‘new class’ of civil servants to spend ever larger fractions of our income supposedly on our behalf.
I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards
Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, barriers to entry, book scanning, Build a better mousetrap, Burning Man, business intelligence, call centre, crowdsourcing, don't be evil, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Googley, gravity well, invisible hand, Jeff Bezos, job-hopping, Menlo Park, microcredit, music of the spheres, Network effects, P = NP, PageRank, performance metric, pets.com, Ralph Nader, risk tolerance, second-price auction, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, slashdot, stem cell, Superbowl ad, Y2K
GoTo's rationale was simple: the more someone paid to have an ad show up on searches for a particular keyword, the more relevant that ad was likely to be. Where we had a democracy of the web, GoTo had a dictatorship of the dollar. I found GoTo's auction-based results almost unusable. A significant number of their advertisers bid high for popular, but irrelevant, search terms just to lock in the top position on as many searches as possible. Even when the top result was not pure spam, the whole approach seemed misleading. Ralph Nader agreed. Nader's group Commercial Alert filed a deceptive-advertising complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in July 2001 to stop the practice of "inserting advertisements in search engine results without clear and conspicuous disclosure that the ads are ads [which] may mislead search engine users to believe that search results are based on relevancy alone, not marketing ploys."* The complaint called out eight search companies, including AltaVista, AOL, iWon, and Microsoft.
Wealth and Poverty: A New Edition for the Twenty-First Century by George Gilder
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, capital controls, cleantech, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, equal pay for equal work, floating exchange rates, full employment, George Gilder, Home mortgage interest deduction, Howard Zinn, income inequality, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, medical malpractice, minimum wage unemployment, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, non-fiction novel, North Sea oil, paradox of thrift, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, post-industrial society, price stability, Ralph Nader, rent control, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, skunkworks, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, volatility arbitrage, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, yield curve
As the economic and political portents of the new decade darkened our horizons in late 1979, politicians on all sides rushed to save jobs by subsidizing Chrysler, the embattled automotive firm that managed to lose nearly a billion dollars in 1979. Connally even proposed a federal come-and-get-it fund for all large and failing companies. Even such a staunch conservative as columnist Patrick Buchanan, a former Nixon speechwriter, demanded government action on behalf of the afflicted automotive firm. “This is a time for Republicans to rise above principle,” he wrote, and “leave Ralph Nader to mouth the moth-eaten clichés from Republican conventions of generations ago.” Buchanan went so far as to quote the dubious findings of the Congressional Budget Office, which predicted “the permanent loss of a quarter of a million jobs” if Chrysler melted down.1 The country was moving toward a system like Great Britain’s in the seventies. Business was flogged mercilessly by government officials and regulators until it proved itself innocent—and perhaps worthy of subsidies—by reason of failure and incompetence.
Alistair Cooke's America by Alistair Cooke
Albert Einstein, Alistair Cooke, British Empire, double entry bookkeeping, full employment, Hernando de Soto, imperial preference, interchangeable parts, joint-stock company, Maui Hawaii, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Spread Networks laid a new fibre optics cable between New York and Chicago, strikebreaker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, urban sprawl, wage slave, Works Progress Administration
(Not until the spring of 1973 were the whole people galvanized out of their cynical torpor by the revelation that inside the White House itself a group of the President’s senior advisers had organized a politburo using secret methods of spying and burglary that appeared to flout both the legislative power of Congress and the most fundamental guarantees of the Constitution.) By the early 1970s moral indifference seemed to have overcome the two ancient political parties, and the people’s trust in them – and in such subsidiary bodies of the Establishment as the armed forces, the bankers, the churches, and even the doctors – was reported in national polls and surveys to be very little. It was left to such knights of the consumer as Ralph Nader and his followers to nag on our behalf or, in many places, to do-it-yourself watchdogs to swab up with their pocket handkerchiefs the ocean of social decay. There is, for instance, in Los Angeles a Mrs Ellen Harris, who posts herself by the telephone in her bedroom in the hope of becoming the terror of the city fathers. She reports poor sewage disposal, the decibel volume of airplanes, the smog density, the violations of power plants and refineries, the stench and pollution that now befoul the California beaches.
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, AI winter, Airbnb, Atul Gawande, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, Clayton Christensen, collapse of Lehman Brothers, computer age, crowdsourcing, deskilling, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Firefox, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, Google Glasses, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Internet of things, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge worker, medical malpractice, medical residency, Menlo Park, minimum viable product, natural language processing, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, pets.com, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, the payments system, The Wisdom of Crowds, Toyota Production System, Uber for X, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, Yogi Berra
After all, they’d say, isn’t it true that other forces have been undermining this relationship for several generations? And that physicians have been complaining about the ceaseless need to feed the medical record for more than a century? They’d be right. The physician-patient relationship has long been under siege from forces as diverse as the declining obeisance to experts (a phenomenon that can be traced more to Vietnam, Ralph Nader, and Google than to anything in healthcare), the influence of third-party payers, and malpractice lawsuits. In fact, two books chronicling the withering of the relationship—Edward Shorter’s Doctors and Their Patients: A Social History and David Rothman’s Strangers at the Bedside—were both published in 1991, when Sergey and Larry were freshmen in college and electronic health records were futuristic fantasies.
Disaster Capitalism: Making a Killing Out of Catastrophe by Antony Loewenstein
Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Chelsea Manning, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, corporate social responsibility, Edward Snowden, facts on the ground, failed state, falling living standards, Ferguson, Missouri, financial independence, full employment, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, housing crisis, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, Julian Assange, market fundamentalism, Naomi Klein, neoliberal agenda, obamacare, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open borders, private military company, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Slavoj Žižek, stem cell, the medium is the message, trade liberalization, WikiLeaks
In 1995, the corporation—known as the “Big Australian,” due to its former status as a domestic steel producer—helped draft a bill in the PNG parliament that invalidated the right of PNG citizens who were negatively affected by the polluting Ok Tedi mine in PNG’s Western Province to seek legal redress in court. Multinational Monitor magazine—a nonprofit publication founded by US political activist Ralph Nader in 1980 to document the global economy—highlighted what was going on: In August 1995, BHP drafted legislation for the PNG Parliament that subjected anyone who sued BHP to fines of up to $75,000. Even more remarkably, the bill also applied the same fines to anyone who attempted to challenge the constitutional validity of the proposed law in PNG courts. The bill made it an offence to commence compensation proceedings against BHP, to assist a person to do so or to give evidence at compensation proceedings.
Year 501 by Noam Chomsky
anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, Bolshevik threat, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, colonial rule, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, declining real wages, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Howard Zinn, invisible hand, land reform, land tenure, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price stability, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Simon Kuznets, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, union organizing, War on Poverty, working poor
Services for the general public—education, health, transportation, libraries, etc.—become as superfluous as those they serve, and can therefore be limited or dispensed with entirely. Some, it is true, are still needed, notably prisons, a service that must in fact be extended, to deal with useless people. As care for the mentally ill declines, prisons become “surrogate mental hospitals,” a study of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill and Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen observes. The psychiatrist who led the research observes that “there were far fewer psychotic people in jail 100 years ago than we have today,” as we revert to practices reformed in the 19th century. Almost 30 percent of jails detain mentally ill people without criminal charges. The drug war has also made a major contribution to this technique of social control. The dramatic increase in the prison population in the late 1980s is largely attributable not to criminal acts, but to cocaine dealing and possession, as well as the harsher sentencing favored by “conservatives.”
Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism by Elizabeth Becker
airport security, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, BRICs, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, computer age, corporate governance, Costa Concordia, Deng Xiaoping, European colonialism, Exxon Valdez, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, global village, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, indoor plumbing, Masdar, Murano, Venice glass, open borders, out of africa, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, statistical model, sustainable-tourism, the market place, union organizing, urban renewal, wage slave, young professional, éminence grise
Hotels, resorts and tour operators are willing to pay companies to certify they are on the side of the angels, that visitors on vacation know they are not destroying the environment, or playing on a golf course that had been home to poor peasants a year earlier. • • • This drive for certification and sustainable tourism grew out of the environmental movement. The leaders of the ecotourism, or sustainable tourism, movement are not the fire-breathing types. There is no one like Ralph Nader, who stubbornly forced the government to demand safety features in the automobile industry. The tourism reformers are professors, writers and tour operators who wield ideas, gently. They write, lead groups, give awards and, when asked, will help a country, a community or a hotel figure out responsible tourism. One of their biggest difficulties is to explain that tourism is the classic double-edged sword that, unless properly managed, can ruin a place as easily as save it.
The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought by Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff, Peter Schwartz
affirmative action, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business process, cuban missile crisis, haute cuisine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, laissez-faire capitalism, means of production, medical malpractice, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transcontinental railway, urban renewal, War on Poverty
Libertarianism’s one and only function is to bring together people who agree on nothing whatsoever except—ostensibly—the contextless claim that the use of force is evil. Its essence is precisely to bypass all the ideas underlying liberty and to jump directly to the assertion that the use of force is wrong. But if there is no why, there can be no what. If Libertarianism announces that it need not offer any reason for its belief in liberty, then it cannot even state what it means by the term “liberty.” Everyone from Karl Marx to Ralph Nader can then say that he is fundamentally in favor of liberty, and there is no objective means of disputing him. Why shouldn’t anarchism be regarded as the implementation of genuine freedom? Why not describe libel and counterfeiting as actions fully consistent with individual rights? Why can’t Moscow be said to be pursuing a foreign policy of worldwide liberation? Why not invite Timothy Leary to speak at Libertarian conventions—or label Jesus Christ “a Libertarian mystic”39—or glorify Yassir Arafat as a defender of “justice and property rights”40—or view God as “the Ultimate Noninterventionist”?
3D printing, accounting loophole / creative accounting, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, algorithmic trading, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, bank run, Basel III, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, centralized clearinghouse, clean water, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, David Graeber, deskilling, Detroit bankruptcy, diversification, Double Irish / Dutch Sandwich, Emanuel Derman, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial deregulation, financial intermediation, Frederick Winslow Taylor, George Akerlof, gig economy, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, High speed trading, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, Howard Rheingold, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, index fund, interest rate derivative, interest rate swap, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, labour mobility, London Whale, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market design, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, offshore financial centre, oil shock, passive investing, pensions crisis, Ponzi scheme, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, Rana Plaza, RAND corporation, random walk, rent control, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, technology bubble, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Tobin tax, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Vanguard fund
Along with big commercial institutions, he cleverly brought together diverse interest groups, such as smaller banks that wanted to grow, mortgage brokers that wanted to expand into other areas of finance, and individuals who wanted to access higher-yielding investments, not to mention ensure that they could get the mortgages they needed. Even the Consumer Federation of America and consumer advocates like Ralph Nader were persuaded that repealing Regulation Q would be a good thing. The Gray Panthers, a group advocating for retirees, filed a suit arguing that Regulation Q discriminated against small-time savers.52 There were of course concerns that without the cap on rates and limits on how much credit could flow around freely, unexpected shifts in the economic climate could ruin livelihoods. What would, say, a steelworker or a schoolteacher with a fluctuating rate on a thirty-five-year mortgage do when the rate changed?
Capital Ideas: The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street by Peter L. Bernstein
Albert Einstein, asset allocation, backtesting, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black-Scholes formula, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, debt deflation, diversified portfolio, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, full employment, implied volatility, index arbitrage, index fund, interest rate swap, invisible hand, John von Neumann, Joseph Schumpeter, law of one price, linear programming, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, martingale, means of production, new economy, New Journalism, profit maximization, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, stochastic process, the market place, The Predators' Ball, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, transaction costs, transfer pricing, zero-coupon bond
The triumph of economic law after competition has clone its best. “NEVER HAVE SO FEW TAKEN SO MUCH FROM SO MANY.” This heading, in letters an inch high, appeared over a full-page advertisement in the financial section of The New York Times on June 25, 1990. In only slightly smaller type, the ad continued: “The speculators and their political friends ruined the S&L industry. Now they have the power to ruin the stock market.” This ad was not paid for by Ralph Nader or by one of the groups usually associated with attacking the rich and powerful. It was placed by a respected brokerage firm that is a full-fledged member of the Wall Street establishment. Just a few months later, Michael Milken, who had earned $25,000 in 1970 and $500 million in 1989, wrote to Judge Kimba Wood that “I never dreamed I could do anything that would result in being a felon.” The government’s measure of the damage he had done to others came to $685,614.
Albert Einstein, California gold rush, cognitive dissonance, collaborative editing, Drosophila, experimental subject, Gary Taubes, invention of agriculture, John Snow's cholera map, meta analysis, meta-analysis, phenotype, placebo effect, Ralph Nader, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Robert Gordon, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbiased observer, Upton Sinclair
Those who argue either position strongly are expressing their values; they are not making scientific judgments. Though the conflict-of-interest accusations served to discredit the advice proffered in Toward Healthful Diets, the issue was not nearly as simple as the media made it out to be and often still do. Since the 1940s, nutritionists in academia had been encouraged to work closely with industry. In the 1960s, this collaborative relationship deteriorated, at least in public perception, into what Ralph Nader and other advocacy groups would consider an “unholy alliance.” It wasn’t always. As Robert Olson explained at the time, he had received over the course of his career perhaps $10 million in grants from the USDA and NIH, and $250,000 from industry. He had also been on the American Heart Association Research Committee for two decades. But when he now disagreed with the AHA recommendations publicly, he was accused of being bought.
Extreme Money: Masters of the Universe and the Cult of Risk by Satyajit Das
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, Andy Kessler, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black Swan, Bonfire of the Vanities, bonus culture, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, Celtic Tiger, clean water, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, discrete time, diversification, diversified portfolio, Doomsday Clock, Emanuel Derman, en.wikipedia.org, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial independence, financial innovation, fixed income, full employment, global reserve currency, Goldman Sachs: Vampire Squid, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute cuisine, high net worth, Hyman Minsky, index fund, interest rate swap, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, job automation, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kevin Kelly, labour market flexibility, laissez-faire capitalism, load shedding, locking in a profit, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, Milgram experiment, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Nixon shock, Northern Rock, nuclear winter, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price anchoring, price stability, profit maximization, quantitative easing, quantitative trading / quantitative ﬁnance, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, regulatory arbitrage, rent control, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Richard Thaler, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rod Stewart played at Stephen Schwarzman birthday party, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, savings glut, shareholder value, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Slavoj Žižek, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the market place, the medium is the message, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trickle-down economics, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, value at risk, Yogi Berra, zero-coupon bond
Elite bankers also sought to influence social policy, through generous donations to charities. Their model was Richard Gere: “Hi, I’m Richard Gere and I’m speaking for the entire world.”17 Bear Stearn’s Ace Greenburg donated $1 million to a hospital so that homeless men had access to free Viagra.18 George Soros supported free markets and democratic initiatives in Eastern Europe. Of course, hedge funds were beneficiaries from the opening up of these economies. Veteran campaigner Ralph Nader’s book, Only the Super Rich Can Save Us, urged billionaires to use their wealth to clean up America in a form of practical utopianism. Warren Buffett has indicated that he will leave 85 percent of his multibillion-dollar fortune to charity to be managed by his friend Bill Gates. One blogger urged everybody to go and get rich, so they could help more people. Others saw the contradiction: “The uber-rich try to do good once they have done their damage....
City for Sale: The Transformation of San Francisco by Chester W. Hartman, Sarah Carnochan
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, business climate, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Loma Prieta earthquake, manufacturing employment, new economy, New Urbanism, profit motive, Ralph Nader, rent control, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South of Market, San Francisco, strikebreaker, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, very high income, young professional
While they could raise only forty-two thousand dollars, they were able to effectively use the Federal Communications Commission’s (since discarded) “fairness doctrine” (a technique proﬁtably used earlier in the Proposition U and Proposition R campaigns) to persuade television and radio stations to give them free air time, in about a 1:4 ratio to the time the realty interests had bought. The group used most of its money to produce some extremely clever and sophisticated thirty-second spots, featuring such icons of integrity as Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon, and Ralph Nader, which hit squarely on the issue of voter fraud. The result was a 65 to 35 percent rout of the proposition. The next state-level move by real estate interests was another attempt to have the California legislature pass a law limiting local rent control efforts, imposing restrictions similar to those the state’s voters had just rejected. Introduced by Los Angeles Democratic assemblyman Richard Alatorre, a bill written by the California Council for the Environment and Economic Balance (a trade association of large corporations and building trade unions) passed the assembly in June 1983.
Hard Landing by Thomas Petzinger, Thomas Petzinger Jr.
airline deregulation, centralized clearinghouse, collective bargaining, cross-subsidies, desegregation, Donald Trump, feminist movement, index card, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, mutually assured destruction, Network effects, offshore financial centre, oil shock, Ponzi scheme, postindustrial economy, price stability, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, the medium is the message, The Predators' Ball, Thomas L Friedman, union organizing, yield management
The cost of this regulation is always passed on to the consumer. And that cost is astronomical.” For eight days, spread over the months of February and March 1975, a parade of witnesses came forth, carefully arranged by Breyer and Bakes to cast the regulators and the industry as evildoers. Proponents of deregulation generally got the chance to make their case first, putting the beneficiaries of the status quo on the defensive. Ralph Nader, an ardent deregulation advocate, was sworn in to lend his populist imprimatur to the cause. Ford administration officials were carefully chosen to make sure they personally favored and fully understood deregulation, even if their agencies had taken no official position. Among the academic theorists, Alfred Kahn of Cornell was chosen to testify because of his rapier intellect. (“I have been asked to hold my testimony to ten minutes,” he began, “which means that I will have to talk terribly fast.”)
Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky
anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Burning Man, business climate, cognitive dissonance, continuous integration, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, global reserve currency, Howard Zinn, labour market flexibility, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage tax deduction, Ralph Nader, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, school choice, strikebreaker, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, union organizing, wage slave, women in the workforce
And there’s no particular limit to what you can achieve. I mean, that’s why we don’t still have slavery. MAN: Could you mention some specific organizations that we could try to link up with and network with, which are doing a good job of working on these problems? Well, a lot of organizations are involved, from a lot of different points of view. For example, at one level—which is important, though of course superficial—Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen is involved [the group works primarily on consumer issues]. That’s important, like I say, but not really touching the basic structure of power. Beyond that, if the American labor movement ever recovers the insights that ordinary working people had a hundred years ago, then it will be working on them too. So if you look back a hundred years—and even much more recently than that, in fact—you’ll find that the major goal of the labor movement in the United States was achieving industrial democracy: placing the workplace under democratic control. 12 And it wasn’t because they’d read Marx—people figured that out for themselves long before Marx: it was just the natural response to industrial capitalism.
Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, cognitive dissonance, Columbine, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, Doomsday Clock, El Camino Real, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Henri Poincaré, hive mind, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Louis Pasteur, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, music of the spheres, mutually assured destruction, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, Project Plowshare, Ralph Nader, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Skype, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, too big to fail, uranium enrichment, V2 rocket, éminence grise
These bedrock conflicts of interest usually ended up meaning regulation took a backseat to promotion and development, a state of affairs mirrored in Japan’s own nuclear agency. In the 1970s, the AEC was split into the Department of Energy, which promotes and develops, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, whose mission is clear. Japan’s government did not make these changes. Additionally, the United States has a history of civilians and journalists questioning and criticizing state policies. Both Robert Oppenheimer and consumer advocate Ralph Nader, among others, warned of the dangers of civilian nuclear power plants at the industry’s very birth. “The Atomic Energy Commission was licensing unsafe reactors operating near major metropolitan areas, and they clearly were aware of this lack of safety,” Nader said. “The press wasn’t critical. The Congress bought into the Atomic Energy Commission party line. There was a huge taxpayer-funded propaganda for how good nuclear power was, going right into the high schools and elementary schools in our country with traveling road shows.
The Making of Global Capitalism by Leo Panitch, Sam Gindin
accounting loophole / creative accounting, airline deregulation, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, banking crisis, barriers to entry, Basel III, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, continuous integration, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, disintermediation, ending welfare as we know it, eurozone crisis, facts on the ground, financial deregulation, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global value chain, guest worker program, Hyman Minsky, imperial preference, income inequality, inflation targeting, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, late capitalism, liquidity trap, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, manufacturing employment, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, Monroe Doctrine, moral hazard, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, oil shock, precariat, price stability, quantitative easing, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reserve currency, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, shareholder value, short selling, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, The Great Moderation, the payments system, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, transcontinental railway, trickle-down economics, union organizing, very high income, Washington Consensus, Works Progress Administration, zero-coupon bond
At the beginning of the 1980s they held and guaranteed some $85 billion in mortgage assets, equivalent to 7 percent of the mortgage market; by 2002, this had grown to $3.7 trillion, equivalent to almost 45 percent of the total mortgage market; by 2007, the total had reached $5.3 trillion, although it was a slightly smaller proportion of the total mortgage market since so many others had gotten into the game. As Ralph Nader put it, referring especially to the tax deduction allowed on mortgage-interest payments, Fannie and Freddie “swiftly and skillfully managed to pick up the roughshod tactics of the private corporate world and at the same time cling tightly to the federal government’s deepest and most lucrative welfare troughs.”23 Above all, given the implicit guarantee the federal government gave to GSE securities, financial markets regarded them as virtually as safe as Treasury securities while yielding a higher return—no small consideration at a time when interest rates on Treasuries were effectively negative.
A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn
affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, clean water, colonial rule, death of newspapers, desegregation, equal pay for equal work, feminist movement, friendly fire, full employment, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, land reform, Mercator projection, Mikhail Gorbachev, minimum wage unemployment, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Upton Sinclair, very high income, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration
The degree of difference in the corporate support of the two presidential candidates can be measured by the $220 million raised by the Bush campaign and the $170 million raised by the Gore campaign. Neither Gore nor Bush had a plan for free national health care, for extensive low-cost housing, for dramatic changes in environmental controls. Both supported the death penalty and the growth of prisons. Both favored a large military establishment, the continued use of land mines, and the use of sanctions against the people of Cuba and Iraq. There was a third-party candidate, Ralph Nader, whose national reputation came from decades of persistent criticism of corporate control of the economy. His program was sharply different from the two major candidates, emphasizing health care, education, and the environment. But he was shut out of the nationally televised debates during the campaign, and, without the support of big business, he had to raise money from the small contributions of people who believed in his program.
Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition by Robert N. Proctor
bioinformatics, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, facts on the ground, friendly fire, germ theory of disease, index card, Indoor air pollution, information retrieval, invention of gunpowder, John Snow's cholera map, language of flowers, life extension, New Journalism, optical character recognition, pink-collar, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, speech recognition, stem cell, telemarketer, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Upton Sinclair, Yogi Berra
Cuyler Hammond of the American Cancer Society and Hayden Nicholson of the University of Arkansas, for example, but also McKeen Cattell, chief of pharmacology at Cornell.32 Hueper as head of the NCI’s Environmental Cancer Section must have seemed an attractive candidate: the world’s leading authority on occupational carcinogenesis thought that tobacco was being unfairly blamed as the cause-all of modern cancer and that other kinds of carcinogens were being let off the hook, notably asbestos and the many dangerous pollutants belched forth from the petrochemical industry. And he was partly right. It was easy for the Dows and DuPonts of the world to blame smoking or some other “personal factor” for whatever maladies their workers were contracting. Hueper was a kind of proto-Ralph Nader or Rachel Carson, keenly aware of the depth of corporate neglect and malfeasance. Much of his life had been spent documenting dangers to which workers were exposed, but he was no friend of Big Tobacco and scoffed at the idea of taking money to become their corporate poodle. He didn’t think much about tobacco as a cancer cause—for decades he smoked a pipe and at one point credited 90 percent of all lung cancers to (non-tobacco) environmental and occupational causes, leaving only 10 percent for cigarettes—but he also had a strong moral compass and wasn’t about to let himself be bought.
3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yield management
The cause was determined to be pilot error, as the pilot’s aggressive use of the rudder caused the tail of the plane to snap off, and before the aircraft hit the ground, both engines had fallen off the wing. These three incidents with their very different causes—inadequate air traffic control, faulty maintenance, and pilot error—appear to have taught airlines and aircraft manufacturers many lessons. To quote the title of Ralph Nader’s famous book, air travel was initially “unsafe at any speed” but now is safer than walking across the street. AIRLINE PRICES AND THE INITIAL PROMISE OF AIRLINE DEREGULATION In the history of the U.S. airline industry since World War II, one theme stands out. Air travel rapidly made the transition from a travel mode that was relatively dangerous and expensive to one that opened the world as an affordable destination for millions of Americans.
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
affirmative action, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Bonfire of the Vanities, Brownian motion, capital asset pricing model, card file, centralized clearinghouse, collateralized debt obligation, corporate governance, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, desegregation, Donald Trump, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, global village, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, index fund, indoor plumbing, interest rate swap, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, margin call, market bubble, Marshall McLuhan, medical malpractice, merger arbitrage, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, NetJets, new economy, New Journalism, North Sea oil, paper trading, passive investing, pets.com, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, random walk, Ronald Reagan, Scientific racism, shareholder value, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, telemarketer, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, War on Poverty, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, zero-coupon bond
Performing was a way of connecting with the audience, and giving something to her husband.15 Laird and Paley, who referred to themselves jokingly as “musical gigolos,” became part of Susie’s singing life, meeting Peter and going down to the Laguna house to work with her for the next few years on her music as she considered whether she could make a viable career out of it. They never met Susie Jr., who had moved to Washington, where Katharine Graham took an interest and arranged for her to work as an editorial assistant, first at the New Republic and then at U.S. News & World Report. In November 1983, in a huge wedding at New York’s Metropolitan Club, she married again, this time to Allen Greenberg, a public-interest lawyer for Ralph Nader. Greenberg had her father’s cool analytical bent and looked like someone who lived in a library. Both Susie’s parents took to their new son-in-law immediately, and people remarked on how much Allen resembled Susie’s father—rational, dispassionate, good at saying no. The newlyweds moved into a Washington town house but rented most of it out to other tenants and lived in a tiny apartment. By this time Susie Jr. had sold all her Berkshire stock—when it was trading for less than $1,000 per share.