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PORTSIDE  July 2011, Week 4

PORTSIDE July 2011, Week 4

Subject:

Nurses Back Financial Transaction Tax Plan

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Sat, 23 Jul 2011 14:24:02 -0400

Content-Type:

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Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (108 lines)

On the Economy

Nurses Back Financial Transaction Tax Plan

By Deborah Burger
San Francisco Chronicle
July 18, 2011

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/07/18/ED9R1KAMP8.DTL

Is tone deaf the new norm in Washington? Republicans
insist on cuts to the bone in basic services while
rejecting even modest revenue increases. The president
floats proposals to increase the eligibility age for
Medicare 65 to 67 along with reductions in Social
Security.

So who is looking out for the tens of millions of
Americans struggling to keep afloat in the worst
economic crisis in decades?

People like Sue Cannon, who works in a San Francisco
hospital. "I am a registered nurse with a good paying
job, but I'm worried," Cannon recently wrote to
National Nurses United.

"My adult daughter has had health problems for the past
eight years and health insurance hassles and denials
for care for most of the time. All the costs became
overwhelming to her and she finally had to file for
bankruptcy. "My adult son graduated from UCLA four
years ago. He has not been able to find a full-time
job. We help him out with living costs. He'd like to go
to graduate school but it seems scary and ridiculous to
have to pay $80,000 for two to three years at a good
university."

In recent weeks, we have been flooded with similar
messages. Nurses are seeing disturbing declines in
health and living standards among our patients and our
own families - the result of low wages or lost jobs,
lack of health coverage or skyrocketing out-ofpocket
health costs, home foreclosures and hunger.

As a nation, we can no longer claim to lead the world.
A shocking study released in mid-June by the University
of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and
Evaluation found that life expectancies, relative to
other developed nations, fell in more than 80 percent
of U.S. counties from 2000 to 2007. As a society, we
must question our national priorities, and the
allocation of our resources, especially when we see
recent reports like this, from Northeastern University
economists.

From June 2009, when the official recovery began,
through the end of last year, corporate profits
captured 88 percent of the growth in real national
income while aggregate wages and salaries accounted for
barely 1 percent of growth.

It's time to stop the endless demands for more cuts
that will only exacerbate the pain in our communities.
"I believe our nation is just as rich today as it was
in the '70s and '80s, but we've lost our compass,"
writes Cannon. "I'm tired of seeing the wealth that we
all worked to create line the coffers of Wall Street
bankers and the top 1 percent."

America's nurses have an alternative. We propose a
sales tax on major Wall Street speculation, the major
transactions on dividends, credit default swaps,
stocks, bonds, futures.

A bill to institute a modest financial transaction tax
soon will be introduced. It would not apply to ordinary
consumer activity, such as use of ATMs or debit cards,
but could produce hundreds of billions of dollars
available for creating jobs, and funding our critical
needs in education, health care and housing.

More than a dozen other nations have such a tax, and
the European Union may soon adopt it as well. Let's not
be left behind again.
__________________

Deborah Burger is a registered nurse and a co-president
of the California Nurses Association and National
Nurses United.

___________________________________________

Portside aims to provide material of interest to people
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