Why Do We Still Have The Electoral College?
September 11, 2021
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September 25, 2021
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Ralph spends the whole hour with Eyal Press, author of “Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and The Hidden Toll of Inequality in America,” where they discuss the large gap separating the people who perform the most thankless, ethically troubling jobs in America from the rest of us, who benefit from their work. Plus, Ralph answers listener questions.

Eyal Press is a writer and journalist who contributes to The New Yorker, The New York Times and other publications. Since the spring of 2021, he is also a sociologist with a PhD from New York University. He has authored several books, including “Absolute Convictions,” “Beautiful Souls,” and “Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality.”

“For me, the key word in the title is ‘hidden.’ Because everything about ‘dirty work,’ whether we’re talking about the dirty work of targeted assassinations in America’s never-ending wars, or the dirty work of hacking apart animals in industrial slaughterhouses, or the dirty work of housing the mentally ill in jails and prisons, the key feature that comes up again and again is that this is work and activity that is concealed.”

Eyal Press, author of “Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and The Hidden Toll of Inequality in America”


“Even though these drone strikes are hidden from the public, and we very rarely see footage – we don’t see it on television, we don’t talk about it, you don’t hear candidates for president debating whether these strikes should happen or not – the people in the drone program do see the consequences. And that is one of the reasons there’s a very high rate of burnout in that program. Even though these are soldiers who are never actually setting foot on the battlefield.”

Eyal Press, author of “Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and The Hidden Toll of Inequality in America”

“These are not policies and practices for which one party is responsible. They are actually things that by and large had bipartisan support or were carried on under Democratic and Republican administrations. That’s true of the drone wars. It’s also true of mass incarceration, which was a decades long endeavor in which Democrats like Bill Clinton played a crucial role. It’s also true of the section of the book on dirty energy.”

Eyal Press, author of “Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and The Hidden Toll of Inequality in America”

“There’s not enough finger pointing at the institutions of government that should be enforcing safe workplace practices law, protecting the environment, and making sure that laws are applied to military force abroad… That’s where the greatest silence really is. And the greatest complicity.”

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 393 Transcript (Right click to download)


  1. Paul Cohen says:

    Thank you for reading my comment regarding the national popular vote but I’d like to clarify a couple points. I do support the interstate compact and my issue was strictly with the alternative of a Constitutional amendment.

    But as for proportional voting I have no objection to that idea but I was referring to elections of individuals with a single winner. There is an unfortunate conflict with the term “balanced” when it comes to voting, but “balanced approval voting” is something a bit different and quite a bit simpler (see https://www.opednews.com/articles/What-Might-be-the-Best-Vot-by-Paul-Cohen-Polarization_Voting-Laws-State_Voting-Reform-140529-132.html&series=326 for a detailed description). It is like approval voting in that the voter can express an opinion about any or all of the candidates, but it allows the voter the option of voting against a candidate as well as in support of the candidate.

    • Afdal Shahanshah says:

      Paul, the voting method you’re describing appears to be synonymous with Score Voting using a 3-point scale. Score Voting is one of the top-tier alternative voting methods and probability statistics and simulations have generally shown a decrease in the effectiveness of tactical voting and increase in the probability of getting the “optimal” election winner (closest to the sum of true voter preference) the finer the scale you use with Score Voting. Approval Voting is itself a special case of Score Voting with a 2-point scale. Whatever measure you use to rate candidates on a ballot (0, 1, 2; 1, 2, 3; -1, 0, +1; etc.), the arithmetic comes out the same in the end. You might be interested in some of the studies that have been done to ascertain the optimal Score Voting scale and the psychological effect of including zeroes or negative numbers in the scale or not. There’s some great reading on this here:

      With your emphasis on disapproval, you might considering adding to your voting method a final rule that the winning option on ballot must cross a certain rating threshold in order to be elected, otherwise a new election is called. This would be another way to realize the [None of the above] option on a ballot that Ralph has sometimes spoken about over the years.

  2. Lorna Paisley says:

    I have a strong stomach. You can talk about almost anything and I am fine. But my stomach started turning when I heard the story of the child trying to
    put the father’s body back together.