Ralph Nader: 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?)
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