Jul 16, 2022 • 1HR 16M

What If The Fed Bought Out The Oil Industry?

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Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader talks about what’s happening in America, what’s happening around the world, and most importantly what’s happening underneath it all.
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Progressive economist, Robert Pollin, gives us his take on the causes and remedies of the current inflationary spiral, and what both the Fed and the Biden Administration can do about it. Then, Ralph welcomes back, Greg LeRoy, from Good Jobs First, the organization that tracks corporate handouts, to update us on taxpayer giveaways to the EV industry, billionaire sports franchise owners, and how the recent abortion bans may hurt those state’s economies.

Robert Pollin is Distinguished University Professor of Economics and Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He is also the founder and President of PEAR (Pollin Energy and Retrofits), an Amherst, MA-based green energy company operating throughout the United States.

Re Joe Manchin discussion, here is the link to Robert Pollin’s West Virginia Green Energy study.

They have also done similar studies for seven other U.S. states.

The Federal Reserve could very easily say, “We are going to create a green investment program, at a level sufficient to meet the climate challenge. And therefore, for example, we will buy bonds from state governments, from municipalities, all of which are going to investing in the green energy transfer transformation.” We could do it at the level of $4 trillion. They’ve already proven they can do that. Or you could even do it on a much more modest but still massively impactful level to advance a green transition agenda. The Fed has the capacity to do that.

Robert Pollin, Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst

On the one hand, why should private companies get subsidized at all? On the other hand, if we are going to meet the emission reduction targets and face the climate emergency, we have to do it within capitalism. Because we’re not going to have another system in the next eight years. So, my view is that we can subsidize companies in exchange for very stringent standards to which they have to adhere.

Robert Pollin, Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Greg LeRoy is the founder and Executive Director of Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center on economic development incentives and corporate accountability. Good Jobs First maintains three unique national databases on subsidies and two wide-ranging databases on corporate misconduct. He has been training and consulting for state and local governments, associations of public officials, labor-management committees, unions, community groups, tax and budget watchdogs, environmentalists, and smart growth advocates more than 30 years.

We have to back up and remember that we should never assume these things “work.” And I put the word “work” in quotes because the truth is— and people who make their living helping companies shake down governments will admit this if you ask them— incentives almost never determine where companies actually choose to expand or locate. They don’t, because they can’t, because state and local taxes are a microscopic cost variable for the average company.

Greg LeRoy, founder and Executive Director of Good Jobs First

There is a Left/Right coalition pushing an interstate compact right now. There’s been bills introduced in 13 states by a lovely mixture of libertarian and progressive state legislators advocating for this. There is a Left and Right consensus on this issue. The problem is the squishy Centrists in both parties, frankly, who were impossible to move. But this would set up a mechanism through which the states could cooperate. And that’s inherently subversive.

Greg LeRoy, founder and Executive Director of Good Jobs First

We’ve reached the stage now where anybody who calls our economy a capitalistic economy is not up to date. It’s a government-guaranteed corporate capitalist economy.

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Episode 436 Transcript
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