My Father and the Bank Bailout
I was up on Capitol Hill yesterday among the swarm of big bank lobbyists.
And the first thing I thought of was something my dad — Nathra Nader — used to say:
"Capitalism will always survive in the United States as long as the government is willing to use socialism to bail it out."
Dad was old school.
Dad emigrated to the U.S. in 1912 when he was nineteen.
(Here is a picture of Dad in 1978, leading a demonstration in Winsted, Connecticut, my hometown, to protest a Congressional pay raise.)
"When I sailed past the Statue of Liberty, I took it seriously," he would say.
Dad ran a restaurant in downtown Winsted — the Highland Arms.
People used to say — "At Nader’s place, for a nickel you got a cup of coffee and ten minutes of conversation."
Dad didn’t hesitate to skewer the greed of big business.
He especially opposed the drive by the chain stores to destroy family owned small businesses.
Dad was a man of many sayings.
"Congress is the best big business investment in the country," he would say. "It’s one big leveraged sell-out."
When we were young, Dad would tell us:
"Don’t look down on anyone and don’t be in awe of anyone."
Or this one:
"Almost everyone will claim they love their country. If that is true, why don’t they spend more time improving it?"
Dad knew early on that both political parties were under the thumb of big business. (Where did you think I got it from?)
Anyway, being on Capitol Hill yesterday got me to thinking about an idea that would help us push our substantive agenda onto the front burner of American politics.
A few years ago, I sat down at my manual typewriter and typed in 100 or so of my Dad’s most memorable sayings and proverbs.
I thought you would enjoy having a copy of them.
So, here’s the deal.
Our goal during this current fundraising drive is to hit $150,000 by the end of the month. (Thanks to your generosity, we’re already at $36,000.)
If you donate any amount that has the number 3 in it — as in — we want a 3-way race — by midnight tonight, we’ll e-mail to you a collection of my Dad’s sayings and proverbs.
So, you can give $3.Or $13.
But it has to have at least one three in it.
If it has a three in it, we’ll e-mail you the 20 pages of Dad’s sayings tomorrow.
You can share it with your friends and family.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Together, we are making a serious difference — and keeping our sense of humor.
Onward to November.
PS: And remember, if you donate $100 now, we’ll ship to you a copy of The Ralph Nader Reader, a 441-page collection of my writings on Wall Street vs. Main Street, democracy, the corporate state, and our hyper-commercialized culture. If you donate $100 now, we will send you this diverse collection — and I’ll autograph it. (This book offer ends at 11:59 p.m. September 30, 2008.)