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Nurses Stand Up to Congress

As most middle class Americans are sacrificing due to the current financial situation, many nurses are voicing their concerns to Congress to petition for change. Those with health care career training are doing their best, both in and out of the hospitals, to help those in need.

On PressTV.com., Mary Bottari writes that, “As President Obama gets ready for his big jobs speech Thursday, America’s nurses have a message for him. ‘Heal America, Tax Wall Street!’ the signs read as nurses rallied in front of 61 Congressional offices this week. The nurses are proposing a bold alternative to the ‘cut, cut, cut’ rhetoric emanating from Washington, D.C.

“Their proposal? ‘It’s time for the Wall Street financiers who created this crisis and continue to hold much of the nation’s wealth to start contributing to rebuild this country and for the American people to regain their future,’ explained Rosanne DeMoro the Executive Director of National Nurses Union (NNU) in a press release. The nurses are joining groups across the nation and around the world who are calling for a financial transaction fee on high-volume, high-speed Wall Street trades, to tamp down dangerous speculation and to raise revenue for heath care, jobs and other critical needs.”

The issue that is being highlighted is that “the gap between what workers are paid and what their CEOs are paid is rising fast. In 2009, it was 263-to-1. In 2010, it was 325-to-1… at 25 of these firms, CEO compensation was greater than the company’s entire federal corporate income tax bill. Prudential CEO John Strangfeld made $16.2 million in 2010, but his entire company got a $722 million refund from the federal government. Bank of New York Mellon CEO Robert Kelly took home $19.4 million in 2010. The bank, the same year, claimed a $670 million federal tax refund, despite $2.4 billion in U.S. pre-tax income,” explains Bottari.

I’m not sure where I stand on this issue. I’m certainly not in the Robin Hood camp wanting to steal from the rich to give to the poor. As a history major, I also know that we live in a capitalist society and that socialism does not work. I think that we are definitely at a crossroads in our country. Students in a nursing program in the San Francisco Bay Area have a lot of choices to make – in the hospital and in the poll booths.

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