In defense of Nader

Nathan Newman nathan.newman at
Fri Jan 21 14:29:50 PST 2000

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-lbo-talk at
> [mailto:owner-lbo-talk at]On Behalf Of Doug Henwood
> >
> >According to Andrew Tobias, Nader's people are really far on the
> >wrong side on auto insurance issues...
> What's the right side, and why is Ralph wrong?

Tobias has been a big supporter of no-fault insurance and has proposed a very good, environmentally-conscious plan to fund no-fault auto insurance through a gas tax. The more you drive, the more you pay -- with tax rebates for good drivers and cheaper cars. One of the problems with car insurance is that once you pay your monthly premium, each marginal mile is not that expensive so it often beats the cost of mass transit (if you have to drive a car at all in a month). With Tobias's plan, gas for every mile of driving would be more expensive (even if the total cost was the same for the average driver). This would make mass transit much more competitive per trip and would encourage a decrease in driving miles in favor of mass transit.

Nader has fought no-fault everywhere, including Tobias's plan, because he believes in the right to sue. His love of lawsuits as the best way to manage social regulation is one of Nader's worst points. There are some concerns about no-fault but Nader's opposition to Tobias's plan seems like a betrayal of environmental principles in favor of his loyalty to trial lawyer ideology.

-- Nathan Newman

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