channel to see what's going on in the country, to see people dealing with similar problems, with phone numbers and addresses that I could contact. One problem now it that there's no reciprocity. The very concept of reciprocity is foreign. These are public assets that are being given away to extremely profitable corporations. Instant multi-millionaires are made. If you're going to license an asset, that doesn't mean you have to license it 24 hours a day to the same company. GT: How would these channels be financed? Expanding public access channels to the degree you advocate could be expensive, and cable companies are unlikely to unilaterally agree to this in franchise negotiations. Nader: It would be easy to pay for because you'd allow them to lease back some of the time to the broadcast and cable companies. You could do a lot given all of the viewers out there, with five dollars as the minimum so you don't penalize poor people. There's no expense to the fund raising because it would be on the screen five times a day. What makes fund raising so difficult is the expense needed to raise it. GT: Using a number of channels for public interest would cut into channels a cable company would otherwise use for paid programming. Nader: Well, then open up to competition. As long you have a monopoly license you have certain reciprocity. If they really want to experience the strange beast called private enterprise, which they all try to control and centralize, let's see if they agree to that. And when it comes to the public airwaves, that's owned by the public. And when the public owns property, it should be able to do what it wants and price it just as a private company does with its own assets. These companies don't recognize that. They want free grazing, minerals, timber - a modestly priced natural resource. They would never operate that way if they owned that timber. It goes to the highest bidder. We're told if we work hard and earn money, we'll own our own home and our own car. But we're never told we own as a commonwealth the public lands, public airwaves, $4 trillion of pension money and so on. As a result, there's an insufficient proprietary interest by the public in what they own together. If you divide this country into private wealth and public wealth, the public wealth will be massively greater than the private wealth - trillions and trillions of dollars more. If we grow up learning about what we own together, there would be a stronger constituency for the concept of reciprocity, the concept of different kinds of leasing arrangements, the concept of allowing people to band together as capable viewers of TV. GT: Do you have some similar concerns regarding broadcast media? Nader: Above all, the public should get a return from public airwaves. The public airwaves are owned by the public, and are given away free to radio and TV. Only recently has the government been licensing cellular. The public's getting ripped off. They've got the public assets that the law says belongs to them and these assets are given away 24 hours a day to private corporations who have no accountability to the public and don't pay any rent. We pay more for our auto license than the biggest TV station pays the FCC. I'm arguing against giving away these assets. I think the key at the local level is to begin to look at public airwaves as public assets that require reciprocity by the licensees. What do we get in return by giving away our broadcast licenses? We don't get anything. GT: The Taxpayers Access Project.asserts that databases created by public funds should be accessible by the public. There are some arguments, even in state and local governments, about charging or using different prices for allowing companies to resell the