Facebook Must Be Restructured
May 4, 2019
Abolishing Prisons?/Chernobyl
May 18, 2019
Show all

Can We Limit Greed?

Greed is the common theme discussed with our two guests. First, Ralph talks to Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin about CEO pay, progress on the minimum wage, and the possibility of impeaching Donald Trump. Then, advocate Jamie Love explains how greedy drug companies get away with gouging patients who need life-saving drugs.

Congressman Jamie Raskin is a returning Member of the House Judiciary Committee, the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and the Committee on House Administration. He is a new Member of the House Committee on Rules. For more than twenty-five years, Congressman Raskin has been a professor of constitutional law at American University’s Washington College of Law and has authored several books, including the bestseller Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus the American Peopleand the highly-acclaimed We the Students: Supreme Court Cases For and About America’s Students.”

“Adam Smith, who was not only the author of “Wealth of Nations” but “The Theory of Moral Sentiments,” basically said the market has a place, but you’ve got to discipline it according to the other values of society. You’ve got to invest in education for young people and invest in older people. You’ve got to put it in a neighborhood of values that makes a real community. But Donald Trump is a reflection of a society where everything is for sale and market values trump everything else.”  Maryland Congressman Jamie Raskin

James Love is the Director of Knowledge Ecology International. The current focus of KEI is on the financing of research and development, intellectual property rights, prices for and access to new drugs, vaccines, and other medical technologies. Mr. Love also advises UN agencies, national governments, international and regional intergovernmental organizations, and public health NGOs.

“In most countries, you’re not allowed to raise the price of drugs beyond the rate of general inflation without some special justification. The U.S. is really an outlier in the ability to let companies do whatever they want in terms of raising prices. There are problems everywhere with drug prices, but the U.S. has the distinction of having the worst system in the world.”  Jamie Love, Director of Knowledge Ecology International



  1. Diana DiRienzo says:

    Please bring back to the discussion of power grab by the GOP… supported whole heartedly by Democrats. Remember that Obama did NOT replace the federal prosecutors, as all prior administrations had done. Why didn’t Obama replace them? Because Alberto Gonzales vetted them, before he resigned as AG under Bush Jr. Obama’s failure to replace federal prosecutors, that had been vetted to prosecute political enemies, is collusion with the GOP to have political hacks in the judicial system. Nobody discusses this fact. When you combine this non-action, with the fact Obama’s democrats did not fight to place a liberal on the Supreme Court, is another example of Democratic “lack of action” , which always seems to err on the side of authoritarianism.

    Ralph Nader is a national treasure. Hugs.

    • Joe Marcinkowski says:

      So right! Need to add the vote counts paid for by Jill Stein in Mid West States that voted for Trump instead of Hillary. She said that the Dems would support Jill, but it never happened?

      Fixing the vote is an important part of selecting our leaders. Too bad the people can’t do it.

  2. bruce k. says:

    What do the Democrats stand for? That is the big question.

    The answer seems to be “ANYTHING” on the part of big business and the Republicans.

    Don’t tell me there is not some kind of major story here about what is going on behind the scenes to keep these scams going the way it is and even getting worse year after year. I have to question Ralph’s comment that things would different in we had a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate … even if we had a Democratic President. Correct me if I am wrong, but that was the case in Obama’s first term wasn’t it.

    We still have to deal with the Republicans ( and I hesitate to call these Fascist Fifth Columnists, Republicans ) Supreme Court, and all over the country we have big corporations that push a Republican point of view in their culture, and then there is the media. Also of late there is the publishing industry which is pushing these crazy books and talks by people like Jordan Peterson, Jonathan Haidt, Tyler Cowen and many others that have graduated through the terrorist training camps of the Right-wing Think Tanks.

    Unilateral decision after unilateral decision has been made my the Right-Wing, starting with Reagan, where we are told some off the wall rationalization as to why we have to fascistify our country, and then when the explanation proves wrong, such as Trickle-Down Economics, those decisions are never reversed, let alone revisited. Citizen’s United is another one.

    Somewhere behind all of this is the force of a “gun”, virtual as it may be … it would just be good to know where those virtual guns are, and who exactly are aiming them, and what their cover is, who is providing artillery support, etc. The facade of a democracy in America is too hard to shore up these days, so it’s like we are being prepared to have the whole thing dropped, with a suitably large number of fake goons cheering and wearing MAGA hats behind it, and being paid minimum wage for their efforts..

    I am fairly certain there is a cadre of people who know what the plan is for the near term future and where we are all going to end up, as well as who is masquerading as being in the opposition and really working to undermine it. Why doesn’t Ralph underwrite an effort to find some of this out, or does that just sound like a conspiracy theory?

  3. Nancy Lizza says:

    Your show is not being downloaded to FM Player. This is the second week. Please remedy.
    Thank you.

  4. Afdal Shahanshah says:

    Best way to limit greed: Remove the economic arrangement that rewards greed by allowing exploitation in the first place. It’s called capitalism.

    By the way when Adam Smith referenced the “free market” he was referring explicitly to a market free of the remnants of feudalism: A market free of rent-seeking and usurious loans. Funny how we’ve let both of those rule society today.

    • bruce k. says:

      Afdal Shahanshah, that is very interesting and i’ve never heard anyone else mention it before. Can you point to the context and reference to this in Adam Smith’s writings? Thank you. Clearly, free market, capitalism, whatever we want to call it is out of control and in the hands of virtual criminals who care nothing for the people.

      Capitalism is the economic substate of our political system, and it can be democratic or elitist..

      Socialism = Capitalism + Democracy
      Fascism = Capitalism – Democracy

      • Afdal Shahanshah says:

        It’s all in Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. Neoclassical economists like repeat short passages out of context and present Smith as the first advocate for Laissez-faire because they never actually read his book. His ideal was a market “freed” from the distorting powers of monopoly privilege, landownership privilege, and rent-seeking behavior: “Landlords love to reap where they have not sown, and demand a rent even for its (the land’s) natural produce”, “The dearness of house-rent in London arises . . . above all the dearness of ground-rent, every landlord acting the part of a monopolist”, “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices . . . though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblers; much less to render them necessary.”

        And socialism is the negation of capitalism, not capitalism with a friendly face.
        Liberalism = Top-down dictatorial workplaces (capitalism) + political democracy
        Fascism = Top-down dictatorial workplaces (capitalism) – political democracy
        Socialism = Democracy at work + political democracy

        It is the private dictatorships in every capitalist business that enables exploitation and consequential wealth accumulation in the first place.

        • Bruce K. says:

          > And socialism is the negation of capitalism, not capitalism with a friendly face.

          There is really no way to “negate” capitalism. What we refer to as capitalism is the foundation of trading and economic interaction, and it has a certain predictable evolution that always clashes with society, religion and morality.

          We now have 2000+ years of capitalism’s evolution, and the patterns of capitalism have been seen, understood and used to engineer large economic units that use money as a weapon. The tactics and counter-tactics of capitalists are pedictable, but they are codified and weaonized by the rich and powerful. Thus socialism = capitalism + democracy. And the reverse without democracy leads to fascism, which is what the capitalists of FDR’s day were enamored with and pursues in the post-WWII world, and even before if the “Business Plot” is what it was reported to be,

  5. John Puma says:

    It is doubtful that we can limit greed but it is in our power to neutralize the profound
    effect that the bottomless greed of the few has on the lives of the many.

    We first need to clearly identify and strenuously reject the purposeful disinformation
    continuously, meticulously and comprehensively promulgated by the insanely wealthy that
    1) their own obvious pathological greed is a trait shared by the mass of the population
    2) the capitalism nurtured of, by and for their greed is equivalent to, inseparable from
    and/or more important than, self-government.

    There is no constitutional mention or mandate, about economy, economic system,
    much less, of capitalism.

    The effect of the apparent unlimited avarice of the <0.01% can be obviated
    simply, and only, by dropping the economic system, capitalism, that is literally based
    on greed that murders every day not only with weapons of perpetual war, but even
    more so, by economic "austerity" policies and that is driving us inexorably to suicidal
    species extinction.

  6. Charlie Nordlinger says:

    Please work and support Bernie Sanders for president, if you really want to get something done for the people. Please read his book, Our Revolution and you will see that, when he was mayor of Burlington, Vermont, things got done.

    • Afdal Shahanshah says:

      I worked for Bernie in 2016 and he let my vote get defrauded without demanding a single recount. Sorry no thanks, this time I’m campaigning for a genuinely principled socialist in the Green Party. Howie Hawkins 2020!

  7. Mark Hodgkins says:

    A minimum wage based on inflation (which would rise it to a little over $11/hr) isn’t enough. Many people make that and a little more today and it’s still not enough, not by a long shot. That’s only roughly $22,000 per year income (based on a 40-hour work week, which people in the retail sector don’t get), good luck living in any metropolitan area in this country on that. No, the minimum wage needs to be based not on inflation, but on worker productivity. Using this metric, the minimum wage would then rise to about $22/hr, which is about $44,000 per year based on 40 hours/week.

    But then again, Bank of America recently announced it was going to pay its employees a minimum of $20/hr. By 2021. Sounds great on the surface right? But conveniently never was it mentioned how many hours per week these employees would be working. Cynical.

    IMO not even $15/hr is enough, that’s how expensive America has gotten. So this whole fight for 15 is fine generally speaking, but still falls short. And any Corporate American who willfully offers a major minimum wage (like Wells Fargo), look out. Because there’s a fly in that ointment.

    Regarding the Founders being against a “domestic aristocracy” as Raskin stated, Thomas Jefferson himself called for a so-called “natural aristocracy”, which he said is a group of *men* who rose to power due to their talents and virtues, versus an artificial aristocracy which is one based solely on wealth and birth. Sounds good until you realize he wrote this against the backdrop of a system in which only land-owning white males could vote. Women, non-whites and poor whites were willfully excluded, regardless that they can be just as talented and virtuous as Jefferson’s rich white man. Some natural aristocracy there. No thanks.

  8. c woof says:

    Is it possible for Ralph to use a real microphone?
    The sound from his cell phone is atrocious, especially in 2019. His voice is broken and strident and hard to listen to, which is the opposite of what I’m sure Ralph desires.
    Since the others on the show are in fact using microphones, they sound normal. It’s only Ralph who sounds so horrible.

    • Skro35 says:

      We don’t disagree. He’s on a land line, but we can’t get him on a mic. We’ve tried. I will pass along your comment. Maybe that will carry some weight.