Ralph invites longtime colleague, Joan Claybrook, to the program to help him pay tribute to the work of the legendary, Michael Pertschuk, an individual responsible for an enormous amount of landmark, lifesaving consumer legislation. Then Steve and David interview Claire Nader about her book “You Are Your Own Best Teacher! Sparking the Curiosity, Imagination and Intellect of Tweens.” Plus, Ralph once again warns against falling for Medicare (Dis)Advantage.
Joan Claybrook is one of the public interest champions of the modern consumer movement. She is president emeritus of Public Citizen. During the Carter Administration, Ms. Claybrook headed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Ms. Claybrook has testified frequently before congressional committees on many public interest issues, but with a particular focus on auto and highway safety.
There is not anyone in this country who has not benefitted from what [Michael Pertschuk] did.
[Michael Pertschuk’s] strategies were brilliant because he figured out how to get people to work with him, as opposed to against him… And he did that beautifully. He was a charming guy. Very sweet, very smart, and he didn’t act like a “tough insider,” but he worked with people.
I think that every staffer and every member of Congress ought to read [When the Senate Worked for Us: The Invisible Role of Staffers in Countering Corporate Lobbies], because it shows how you can achieve a legislative goal and get things to the finish line, as opposed to just having hearings, or introducing bills, or voting on someone else's bill.
Claire Nader is a political scientist and author recognized for her work on the impact of science on society. She is an advocate for numerous causes at the local, national and international level. As the first social scientist working at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, she joined pioneering initiatives in energy conservation and the multifaceted connections between science, technology and public policy. Her latest book is You Are Your Own Best Teacher! Sparking the Curiosity, Imagination and Intellect of Tweens.
[Tweens] will tell you what’s on their mind, and you can’t help but notice that they have no ax to grind. And you’re asking yourself, as an adult “What is my ax?” And what’s the difference if you don’t have an ax to grind? Then you really focus on the problem, not any self-interest.
Claire Nader, author of You Are Your Own Best Teacher! Sparking the Curiosity, Imagination and Intellect of Tweens
AARP comes across in its own promotion as a great consumer advocate for elderly people. But it was commercialized years ago. It’s a nonprofit, and in 2021 it made over $800 million in profits by working with the UnitedHealthcare corporation, selling royalties off the use of its name and trademarks, etc, and it pays its CEO $1.3 million a year.
All this is to warn listeners if you know elderly people that are being swarmed over with these deceptive brochures – tens of millions of people have been receiving them for several weeks – tell them not to go into Medicare Advantage. It’s a snare and a delusion. And it’s a cruel surprise when you’re really sick, and you need to get those bills paid.