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What’s Really Driving Inflation/War Without Death?

Ralph is joined by Lindsay Owens, executive director of the progressive economics think tank, the Groundwork Collaborative, who listened in on the earnings calls for some major corporations to hear management brag about using the current inflationary climate as cover for “plain old corporate profiteering.” And anthropologist, Roberto J. Gonzales, explains in his book “War Virtually” how the latest generation of autonomous weapons, robots, and drones are creating the illusion of war without risk and have the potential to boomerang back at us.

Lindsay Owens is a sociologist and the executive director for the Groundwork Collaborative, a progressive economics think tank. Her work has been published in leading social science journals including Brookings Papers on Economic ActivityThe Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, and Social Forces. She teaches at Georgetown University, and is the co-creator and co-instructor of America’s Poverty course online at Stanford University.

Folks like to think that CEOs are efficient stewards of scarce resources. You learn in Econ 101 they’re just raising prices responding to supply shortages, to bring supply back in line with demand. But the truth is, that’s really a fiction.

Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative

It’s really tempting to blame this moment on the pandemic, or to think of it as a pandemic-induced aberration. But the truth is this knife-edged supply chain that we’re all living in is really decades in the making. Decades of offshoring, of mergers and acquisitions, building an economy that has very little redundancy, very little duplication, where we’re quite vulnerable to one firm being knocked out.

Lindsay Owens, executive director of the Groundwork Collaborative

Roberto J. González is Professor and Chair of the Anthropology Department at San José State University, where his research focuses on militarization and culture, processes of social and cultural control, and ethics in social science.  He is the author of several books, including Anthropologists in the Public Sphere: Speaking Out on War, Peace, and American PowerAmerican Counterinsurgency: Human Science and the Human Terrain, and War Virtually: The Quest to Automate Conflict, Militarize Data, and Predict the Future.


We’re essentially entering into a new phase of warfare. It’s a phase in which Big Tech merges with Big Defense. One of the central arguments that I make in the book is that Silicon Valley– and the tech industry more generally– needs to be seen as more than just a region that’s developing great new computers or cell phones or tablets… We need to start understanding them as major defense contractors in their own right.

Roberto J González, author of War Virtually: The Quest to Automate Conflict, Militarize Data, and Predict the Future


The mythology of Silicon Valley is that it was a bunch of brilliant college dropouts who tinkered in their garages and developed these very powerful computers over time. As if the industry wasn’t there before them in the 1970s and 80s, and as if they did it single handedly, without lots of taxpayer dollars paying for the military contracts that would eventually saturate the region.

Roberto J González, author of War Virtually: The Quest to Automate Conflict, Militarize Data, and Predict the Future


The peaceful state has got to rise to replace the warfare state. Human nature likes peace. Contrary to the myths. They don’t like to engage in war, killing each other. But warfare is profitable. Peace is not seen as a profit mechanism.

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 428 Transcript (Right click to download)


  1. David DeVeau says:

    Thank you so very much Mr. Nader for always using a pointed blade in the gut of the elite to remind them all that their greed does have limits and eventually will even have consequences.

  2. Don Harris says:

    Great job of describing part of the problem with excess profiteering. Not so great a job on providing solutions.

    Your guest even mentioned the problem with implementing the legislative solutions we need when she said Biden flirted with doing something about price gouging but backed off when the blow back from the big money interests put him back in line.

    That is what the Deathocrats do. They pretend to want to do things that need to be done to create the illusion that they are on the side of citizens when they work for the same big money interests as the Republikillers.

    They have no fear of being undercut by the competition because they are only competing with Republikillers that are not really opposition but are really just the other half of the one big money party. This explains the highest profit margins in 70 years with the Deathocrats in “control”.

    No effective laws benefiting ordinary citizens will be passed until we eliminate the near monopoly status of the one big money party.

    Citizens need to to create a co-op to bring their own small donor candidates to “market” to create competition to the one big money party.

    Your 1% of citizens in each congressional district could work on the issue of getting big money out of politics that 80% of citizens want by participating in One Demand by demanding that politicians run small donor only campaigns and enforcing that demand with our votes (the commodity citizens control and politicians need).

    Your 1% could get 10% of voters to participate in 2022 which could inspire more citizens to participate in 2024 and could force politicians to have to choose between taking big money or getting our votes in 2024.

    You have said many times politicians want our votes more than big money.

    Let’s put that theory into practice by demanding that politicians run small donor campaigns in order to earn our votes.

    You and your guests can talk all you want about the problems and legislative solutions to the problems but it will not accomplish anything substantial until we put legislators in office that will represent ordinary citizens because they are financed by ordinary citizens instead of just accepting the false choice between the two halves of the one big money party.

  3. David Faubion says:

    Exciting analysis and decades long collaboration with Ralph, Lindsay Owens. Your delivery of the essential message is precise. The transnationalists want a global governance but on their hegemonic terms in which they can raise profits, prices, and upset, even jeopardize production across industries at will. However, the globalists have trapped themselves using worn-out economic theories that worked only in specific contexts. For example the comparative advantage of offshore cheaper labor has left us without semiconductors for new autos, which is just as well albeit humbling. We are in peril at the hands of ill-conceived proffiteering, as Lindsay points out thoroughly in about twenty minutes.

  4. Mark Klement says:

    Just a comment and observation regarding public perception of the military: last weekend the MLB celebrated armed services by making all players wear camouflage ball caps the entire weekend.
    Not that we would ever see a peace weekend with everyone sporting tye-dyed ball caps or heaven forbid a union workers or BLM or no nukes weekend.

  5. Don Harris says:

    I have been trying to get you to address this choice between the HALVES and HALVE-NOTS since 2015.

    On Washington Journal (10-24-2018) you said you would have me on the Radio Hour to discuss One Demand and since have only briefly “addressed” it with a listener question that you and your guest dismissed with a false claim that it would not make a difference because Bernie and Trump ran small donor campaigns which they did not do.

    At this rate it will be decades before a real complete discussion of this approach can be achieved.

    We don’t have decades to start fighting back against the big money interests.

    Please address this approach NOW with a real complete discussion by either having a real time discussion on the Radio Hour with me as you said you would in 2018 or at least explain to me why you will not address this approach before someone is writing an article about you like the one you just wrote on your blog about Donald.K. Ross.

    For someone that is always encouraging and advising citizens to get involved it is difficult to understand why you would ignore a citizen that is following your advice and trying to get involved as well as following your advice to try to get someone like you to help.

    That approach seems more likely to discourage citizens from getting involved than to encourage citizens to get involved.

    Ten minutes into your interview with the young Donald. K. Ross you said you knew he was something special.

    Have you even spent ten minutes looking into One Demand or just the few minutes when I called into Washington Journal in 2018 and the few minutes that my listener question was read?

    Seven years of following your advice on how to get someone like you to address an issue has not worked on you on this issue.

    Could you please address this issue now or come up with some better advice on how to get you to address this issue?

  6. Ted Apelt says:

    I look at it this way. Everything we have comes from (1) resources such as land, animals, trees, water, fish, minerals, sunlight, etc. that was here when Columbus came over and belong to everyone – including the Native Americans that were already here. (2) Science and technology that everybody contributed to, and also belong to everyone. (3) Roads, bridges, money, a legal system, national defense, and many other things done by government that are absolutely essential for the creation of wealth, at least to any substantial degree, and also belong to everyone. (4) Human labor.

    As time goes by, it takes less and less human labor to produce the same amounts of goods and services. Therefore, two things should be happening over time: (1) Hourly wages in real terms should be rising and (2) Income and wealth inequality should be decreasing because a larger and larger percentage of what we have come from resources that belong to everyone.

    Not only are those two things not happening, but both of them are also going in reverse. Something is very, VERY wrong here.

  7. We suffer from corporate governance, See

    True story about inflation and the Fed defeated Jimmy Carter. The Fed’s political Playbook: Help Republicans gain and retain power.