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One On One With Nader On The Faltering Consumer Movement

  • MSNBC, Friday, March 28, 2008 12:30 PM
Ralph Nader seems most angry and obstinate when he talks about what he sees as government's failure to protect its citizens from abuses by corporate America. Claiming that we're living under "corporate fascism," Nader has broadened his targets from the 1960s to include banks, credit card companies and binding arbitration clauses (not to mention his rival presidential candidates).

Nader says the reasons why the consumer movement he helped start seems to have faded--or at least stalled--are the dismantling of consumer protection agencies, abandonment of consumer education in schools, and "American Idol," to name a few.

Nader sees community organizing as the critical element to reviving consumer rights. In every community in America, Nader says, there are mini-experts who act informally as advocates for friends and neighbors. They are "influencers" who help keep their communities from getting ripped off, and he whimsically imagines getting them all together some day in Yankee Stadium.



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