"What's wrong with us? Are we the biggest suckers? Are we super-suckers? Ralph Nader
Whether you believe that his efforts are a force for a more democratic nation, or not, (I do), what is obvious is that he understands the reality of why and how the processes work, or increasingly do not work.
Ralph Nader's Speech at
St. Cloud State University, Minnesota
Wednesday, January 31, 2001
For $120 billion a year, we can abolish poverty in the world. Actually, the U.N. has
fleshed out those figures, and they say, for example, for $30 billion a year you can get all
the children immunized, you can have clean drinking water, and you can have minimum
diet, in terms of calories. It's not being done.
There is some advance in the last 10 years through Unicef programs for cutting the death toll from measles. Malaria, however - it
still takes 700,000 children's lives in Africa every year, and over two million around the
world. Two million lives around the world lost to malaria, and it's increasingly
manifesting itself in drug resistant strains. There is no vaccine yet. The U.S. spent $47 million researching malaria last year.
The U.S. government spent a billion and a half dollars last year subsiding the marriage of Lockheed and Martin Marietta. The U.S.
government spent last year $6 billion of your money subsidizing private corporate weapons exports, presumably to improve our balance of payments: jet planes, tanks,
landmines, anti-personnel weapons.
What I'm describing is that we've got a lot of solutions to the world's problems, some of them stunningly inexpensive - especially when you work the prevention area instead of trying to deal with the cure. Whether it's illiteracy, food production - The Sudan alone, in the 1950s, was believed to be able to feed all of Africa - just the agrarian areas of the Sudan. So obviously we're not very well organized as a human species.
As a matter of fact, animals are far better organized for survival than human beings. Why are animals more rational, less likely to destroy their own ecology, and less likely to make war on each other, and less likely to engage in zero sum games, and less likely to addict one another, less likely to let their young starve - and they're supposed to be stupid! Animals. Does anybody here think that animals, in terms of the long-range survival are less smart than human beings? Just think about it.