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BILL MOYERS: Given the astronomical amounts of money being spent on all those ads – and the fog of lies with which they shroud our awareness – and despite the unshakeable grip of the very rich and their mercenaries on both our political parties, I’m always amazed that there are people out across America who still fight back. Who don’t give up, no matter the odds.

Case in point: my next guest and the powerful union she heads will lead a march fighting back against economic inequality in Chicago on May 18th. The Chicago protest is part of a growing international movement in support of what’s called the Robin Hood tax, named after the legendary English outlaw who took from the rich and gave to the poor back in the 13th Century.

The Robin Hood tax is a small government levy the financial sector would pay on commercial transactions like stocks and bonds. Supporters say it’s a tiny tax to clean up the mess the banks helped create. The money generated could be used for social programs and job creation.

As the idea has spread around the world, it’s been estimated that a Robin Hood tax could raise as much as $77 billion in the European Union countries and $350 billion a year, here in the U.S., The movement has been embraced by Germany’s Angela Merkel, Pope Benedict, South African Bishop Desmond Tutu, and billionaire philanthropists Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Its momentum has been bolstered by a savvy media campaign that ranges from slapstick…

BANKERS in ADVERTISEMENT: The bankers win! The bankers win! We’ve won again!

BILL MOYERS: To slickly produced videos…

MAN #1 in ADVERTISEMENT: Have you heard this idea about the Robin Hood bankers tax?

MAN #2 in ADVERTISEMENT: Yes, it’s a sweet little idea taxing the banks to help the poor, but I don’t think it would work. It’s very complicated and would be very tough on the banking sector.

MAN #1 in ADVERTISEMENT: Which has just been given billions of pounds in taxpayer monies to keep it going?

MAN #2 in ADVERTISEMENT: Well yeah, of course.

ROSEANN DEMORO: A very minimum tax could amount to at least $350 billion dollars, that could go back to our communities, that could go back to jobs, that could go back to health care.

BILL MOYERS: Here in the United States, leading the charge in support of the tax is RoseAnn DeMoro and the organization she leads, National Nurses United. It’s the largest registered nurses union in U.S. history.

And with nearly 170,000 members, it’s one of the country’s fastest growing unions. In recent years, the nurses staged some of the most organized and best-publicized campaigns for health care reform. Now they're doing the same for the Robin Hood tax with a fight they call the Main Street Campaign.

Events already have been held in Washington and on Wall Street here in New York…

The May 18th march in Chicago originally was planned to coincide with the G8 summit of the world’s most powerful nations. President Obama then decided to move that meeting to Camp David, so intentionally or not, he’ll be dodging a confrontation with RoseAnn DeMoro and her nurses. RoseAnn, welcome.

ROSEANN DEMORO: Thank you, Bill. It's so nice to be here.

BILL MOYERS: When you went to your membership and said, "I want us to get involved in taking on Wall Street. I want us to fight for the financial transaction tax," did they scratch their head and say, "What the devil is that?"

ROSEANN DEMORO: You know what, Bill? It was the most fascinating thing. They got that in a heartbeat. The people who have billions of dollars, who could make a million dollars an hour, which is, you know, Wall Street, need to give a little bit back. It's very American. It's happened before. It's not anything novel. And the nurses know that they pay tax. So when we explained that they complete got it. We did a lot of education around it. And then we fanned out into the capital.

We had a thousand nurses in Washington, D.C. last year. And we introduced the financial transaction tax. You know, there's some sophisticated things about the financial transaction tax, but frankly, all you need to know is that people in this economy are hurting. They're losing their homes. They have no health care. They've lost their jobs. Something's wrong and everyone knows it. And when you look around and you see the billions of dollars and the billionaires and the excessive wealth that's been taken out of the economy, everyone knows that.

They don't necessarily know how to speak about derivatives or stocks or all of that. But they know that those people who have those things have the money. So when we went to the capitol, two stories I'll relate very quickly.

One of the young nurses goes into one of the legislator's offices and says, you know, "We want the financial transaction tax." And this male legislator says, "Well, you nurses know a lot about financial transaction," like, you know, "What would a nurse know? Or what would a woman know?" "You nurses need to lower your expectations." And she said, "Would you like me to say that to you when I'm prepping you for surgery?" And it says the story right there, right, though, because ultimately we're talking about the life and death of people. That's what the nurses see. They see life and death. And so it's that same body that's presenting themselves to the nurse on that operating table. Those nurses see those patients in droves every single day. And they see people without hope. And they see fundamental despair. Another nurse told one of the legislators, "I don't know a lot about the financial transaction tax, but I know I pay tax on everything I buy as a working person and they should too." And that's it. They have been able to essentially, the people in the financial industry have been able to ultimately take so much money out of the economy and not even have to pay a minimum sales tax on that money. Not even a minimum.

BILL MOYERS: So how did these two congressmen respond?

ROSEANN DEMORO: Very cynically, very cynically.

BILL MOYERS: Cynically?

ROSEANN DEMORO: Yeah, what happened was that then the nurses came back together, told the stories. And of course, that enraged everyone, because that's the same experience they had in all the offices, dismissive. Our legislators have found that they can be dismissive, because labor doesn't have anywhere to go. So we decided to take the campaign to establish a Main Street Campaign to take it back to the communities and talk to real people who are losing their homes, jobs, and health care.

And say, "There is an option. We can all get together. We can fight for a financial transaction tax, this tax."

BILL MOYERS: We used to have a financial transaction tax in this country. From 1914 to 1966. Then, in 1987, at the time of another Wall Street crash, the first President Bush and Senator Bob Dole, a Republican, and several other Republicans called for restoring it. Didn't happen.

ROSEANN DEMORO: No, and there's even a financial transaction tax in the S.E.C. right now-- a small one. There's one in New York City, as well. I mean, so financial transaction tax, you know, has been here.

BILL MOYERS: There are many critics of the financial transaction tax. And they say, among other things, that the banks will simply pass the cost onto the consumer. They say that the banks -- if they have fewer trades, will let people go. There'll be unemployment on Wall Street. They say that the banks will flee, they'll go abroad, they'll go somewhere else with their business, as happened once when Sweden had a financial transaction tax, and lost a lot of trading activity. They say you're killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

ROSEANN DEMORO: Well, I'm waiting to see the golden egg. The truth of the matter is you can fix the fleeing with regulation and with policy. That's an easy fix.

In terms of jobs, there's very few jobs actually that the financial sector hits-- it's a computerized industry. Nanosecond trading, and it's very concentrated. And that's part of their beauty, part of their scheme, right? It's basically they've created an economy onto themselves without people.

And the problem is their lobbyists and the incredible amount of money they have buy and sell our legislature. They've got enormous amounts of money. But we can win this, because we have the people with us.

BILL MOYERS: So is the campaign for financial transaction tax largely leverage you're seeking, just a means of getting the attention of the powers that be? Or are you serious about getting this $350 billion dollars from a 50 cent tax on every $100 dollars of transacting?

ROSEANN DEMORO: We're as serious as a heart attack. Can I tell you that?

BILL MOYERS: You can tell me that.

ROSEANN DEMORO: If you're going to fund social services-- we assume we need about, what $500 billion to kind of jumpstart a jobs program. There aren't real jobs left in America. We need real jobs. And we need health care. I mean, all of the things that we should have a society.

BILL MOYERS: But here's what you're up against. First of all, they're not going to take you seriously, because you are nurses. What do nurses know about Wall Street? Secondly, they're going to say that, you know, the banks will find a way to circumvent this tax, pass it on to the consumers.

ROSEANN DEMORO: Isn't that amazing? Isn't it amazing how bad our thinking is in this country? That people who have billions of dollars, who could make a million dollars an hour, which is, you know, Wall Street. That they shouldn't have to pay 50 cents on $100 dollars of trade? I mean, that's just-- it shows how far we-- afield we've come from where we need to be as a society.

Because otherwise, what we're going to be is, you know, have this kind of industrial peasantry in this country. And I mean, that's where this could go if something doesn't change pretty dramatically. What I can't understand is why our legislators-- they know there's a problem.

I don't know what they think, how they think we're going to solve the problem. You know, there's a deficit created by speculation. And all of a sudden working people are supposed to pay for the deficit, that's the rallying cry? Like a deficit that working people didn't cause, that that's the priority of this country to resolve a deficit caused by Wall Street rather than job creation?

BILL MOYERS: But, you know, I don't know anyone who understands the castle better from the battering ram side than you. You've been out there with a battering ram for a long time. Trying to change Washington is virtually an impossible task, because of the entrenched, systemic corruption by which the town now runs.

ROSEANN DEMORO: Absolutely. The current way we practice politics, we are headed for devastation. I would agree with that. The only way we can do that is by changing ourselves. I'm very tired of all of us being disappointed in Democrats. I mean, okay, how many more Democrats can we be disappointed in? I-- we have got to change ourselves. We have got to-- that's why I like the Occupy movement.

And hoping that it, you know, moves with structure and reform. And I'd say, you know, kind of non-reformist reforms. Like the financial transaction tax, because what that does is it starts having a different view on speculation and what's a responsibility to society. But Occupy is extremely important to us, because it actually doesn't buy into the fact that we're all in this together.

We have been in this we're all in this together bubble fantasy for so long. I mean, you know, things were supposed to trickle down. And then all of a sudden, we were supposed to be part of some bubble up. And I mean, it's just everything's trickling, but it's trickling up.

BILL MOYERS: But suppose you get the $350 billion. What if it's spent on bombing Iran?

ROSEANN DEMORO: Well, precisely. We're not earmarking the money. We're not saying, "Okay, we want $350 billion. And this part should go to health care and this part should go to education." What we're saying is that part of the process of obtaining the financial transaction tax is the movement itself.

Because if we can engage people to actually engage the legislators-- I mean we have to continually hold them accountable. We can never give our power away. And we can never buy into the lies that have been told to us for so long. I mean, I don't even recognize, you know, liberals anymore. I don't even—

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean?

ROSEANN DEMORO: Well, they will invariably be apologetic for anything that comes down. In health care reform, liberals, we want single payer. We absolutely want single payer. And then suddenly single payer was off the table. Even the president said at one point in time he supported a single payer system. Boy, you never hear those words anymore.

Then everyone said, "Okay, well, we're you know, we're drawing the line on the public option. We will never ever compromise off the public option." All of a sudden public option's gone. And then it came to an individual mandate. "We will never agree to tax, you know, workers benefits. We'll never agree to tax our health care benefits." And now all of a sudden liberals are rallying around taxing health care benefits. It's like how low can you go? So I have, for myself and hopefully for a lot of other people, I'm looking at a stage now for absolutes. There's got to be—

BILL MOYERS: Absolutes?

ROSEANN DEMORO: Absolutes. There's going to be—

BILL MOYERS: In politics, a game of compromise, you're looking for absolutes?

ROSEANN DEMORO: There you know, we've made the compromises. Look where these compromises have got us. Do I think that there's an absolute right for people to have health care in this country? Absolutely. Absolutely. Do I think people are entitled to work and provide for themselves and their families? Absolutely. That's an absolute.

Do I think that people should have a home to live in and to be able to care for the most vulnerable? Absolutely. Yes, I'm looking for absolutes. I'm not interested in the neo-liberal agenda. I'm not interested in bipartisanship. I'm interested in social change that actually puts society back with the people.

ROSEANN DEMORO: We have to start all over, in terms of how we do politics. Right now—

BILL MOYERS: What do you mean?

ROSEANN DEMORO: We have to engage people in their communities to actually elect the people and tell those people what we want and tell them we will un-elect them if they don't fulfill the needs of their community.

BILL MOYERS: Now you're talking about a mass movement there.

ROSEANN DEMORO: I'm talking about an absolute mass movement.

BILL MOYERS: Because after the election, we both know that after the election, no matter how the voters have expressed themselves, it's the donors who decide what the—

ROSEANN DEMORO: Absolutely.

BILL MOYERS: --incumbents do when they get into office. We know that.

ROSEANN DEMORO: Invariably what happens is the groups are called into the White House. And they're told, "No." And then they come back and they tell the coalition, "No." And then everyone's cutting side deals. And there's no actual social movement.

What I like about Occupy is that a lot of groups tried to coopt it, and it stayed its own course. And we've got to have Occupy with a political-- you know, strategic decisions that are actually going to push the agenda for the American people. Revolt is a good one, because ultimately revolt gets a lot of attention. But we also have to be on the demand side. And we've got to be able to reach everyday people who are actually out there struggling. And give them hope.

BILL MOYERS: The paradox, RoseAnn, is that you're calling for more public action—

ROSEANN DEMORO: Absolutely.

BILL MOYERS: --for more public policy, for more government, at a time when there's a growing powerful conservative movement that says government is the problem.

ROSEANN DEMORO: We want to have the corollary to that on the other side. Where we're actually inspiring people toward a better vision for society, for hope, for a social movement that they can engage in, that's not the politics of hatred, that's not the politics of fear, but the politics of hope. Now to do that, we are going to tap the anger, because people should be angry. So we want to validate the anger, but not take it in a reactionary way. But a way that's actually life affirming.

BILL MOYERS: Have you had any indirect or direct response from the White House to your campaign for the financial transaction tax?

ROSEANN DEMORO: We have from the White House precisely what-- I can't say from the White House, in all honesty. We have with the legislators precisely what happened to us in single payer. We had the financial transaction tax. We talked to the author of the bill, who'd done it twice before, in-- in Congress. And asked him to reintroduce it again. And said that we were going to build a movement around it. He said, "Great, you know, wonderful."

And all of a sudden, they came up with this tiny transaction tax which is effectively not much for deficit reduction, earmarked for deficit reduction. And so we were just astounded. And so what they told us-- this is the same thing. This is the same speech of "You nurses need to lower your expectations. Well, we have to introduce the concept first."

Well, the concept first of all is there. It has been introduced in America. We've had it historically in America, as you pointed out. We have it in New York. We have it in the S.E.C. We don't need the concept. We have the concept. What we need is the money to jumpstart this economy.

But I think what they want to do is to make sure that they're assuring Wall Street that it won't actually hurt. The same thing is as what's happened in health care reform.

BILL MOYERS: I ask this next question, knowing that within the world of labor leadership, you have your own politics. The AF of L-CIO, just recently endorsed Barack Obama for reelection. You're on the executive committee of the AF of L-CIO. Did you vote for endorsing Obama?

ROSEANN DEMORO: No, I didn't go to the meeting.

BILL MOYERS: Why?

ROSEANN DEMORO: We haven't taken a position on Barack Obama. Our nurses worked so hard the last time on his campaign. They worked for months. I mean, people left their homes. They were excited. You know, they actually believed in his candidacy. They thought that he meant what he said when he actually supported single payer. And all we needed to do was get him there.

But we made a tremendous mistake. I mean, as a country, as the nurses, everyone. And that is he said, "You need to push me." Well, no one pushed him, except for the right, and except for Wall Street. We didn't push Barack Obama. In fact, we had the liberal groups who were yelling at anyone who stepped out of line to get in line.

So now we're in a situation that we, in part, helped create. That's the dilemma here. You can't solve the problem without changing the way you do your own work. And so this isn't about Barack Obama. We are in a process of figuring out if we're even going to endorse legislators this year, because it’s so bad.

BILL MOYERS: But let me tell you what some of your liberal and progressive allies in Washington are saying. "Look me in the eye, they say, and tell me that you're going to stand by with 170,000 powerful fighters out there for social justice and see Romney replace Barack Obama?" That's what they're saying. That's not—

ROSEANN DEMORO: Of course they would say that. And that's a reality. That's the politics of today. And so for us, you know, whether or not we endorse Barack Obama or whomever is pretty much irrelevant. I don't-- yes, it's true. We're an activist organization. We have a phenomenal amount of power. We have a disproportionate amount of power, relative to where we are. Because it's not just our members. We have, you know, we have millions of nurses who relate to us organizationally.

BILL MOYERS: It is. It's a tough union.

ROSEANN DEMORO: Oh god.

BILL MOYERS: You in fact, I watched with incredulous eyes, when you actually took on Schwarzenegger, a very popular Republican celebrity governor.

ROSEANN DEMORO: I know.

BILL MOYERS: And you helped bring him down.

ROSEANN DEMORO: We did. We did. Actually, you know, his Waterloo was when he said in front of a woman's conference, "I kick nurse's butts."

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER: Pay no attention to those voices over there, by the way. Those are the special interests, if you know what I mean. The special interests just don’t like me in Sacramento because I’m always kicking their butt.

That’s why they don’t like me.

ROSEANN DEMORO: Well, we put that shoe on the other foot. And we—

BILL MOYERS: Why did he say that?

ROSEANN DEMORO: Because well, first of all, because he's Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was above it all. But again, the way we practice politics. He became governor. Everyone thought it was more important to get his autograph than to actually hold him accountable for the policy. And so, what happened was he decided to-- nurses have patient ratios in California, which is a phenomenal law.

He decided to roll that back. And then he wanted to meet with us. And we said, "No, we're you know, leave that legislation alone or we're not meeting with you." Well, he attempted to roll it back. We set out on a campaign. And I'll tell you, we took his popularity from up here to down here. And he never regained his popularity again. He was so shocked and off of his game that he thought that, you know, he could just be dismissive of just about everyone. He was Hollywood. He was the governor. He was above it all. And you know what—

BILL MOYERS: He was the Terminator.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER in Terminator: I’ll be back.

ROSEANN DEMORO: He was the Terminator. He was the Terminator. But, you know what, it shows you the power of these nurses. Right there, right there, it tells you how much power they actually have. When a nurses speaks, the legislators know that a nurse can be a very scary person. And for Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California legislators certainly know that. When Arnold Schwarzenegger decided to take on the nurses, I swear the legislators were like, "Oh my God."

BILL MOYERS: I don't want to put you on the spot, but well, I do want to put you on the spot. Why doesn't all of organized labor have that today? You know, I know that organized labor has been anemic. It's been under fire, of course, for 30 years. There’s been a strong conservative business campaign to make them impotent in our society. And they've largely succeeded. But there's a pathology in the union movement that has contributed to its own anemic—

ROSEANN DEMORO: It has.

BILL MOYERS: What is it? What's happened?

ROSEANN DEMORO: I think it's class shame. You know, in the last 30 years, everyone was supposed to be middle class. Working class was a bad thing. To be from the working class was you know, no one was from-- even labor uses that. You know, you working families. They don't say the working class and they don't say working people.

Everyone says middle class or working families, and you're supposed to have disdain for the working class. They bought into the paradigm, to where they became vulnerable to middle class consultants who redefined what they were supposed to be. So, I had one of the major labor leaders who has since left come to me one day 12 years ago or so and say, "We went through this consultant training and oh, you could learn so much from it."

And he said, "The thing that you could learn the most is non-confrontational language." And I thought, "Well, why in the hell would I want to do that?" You know, I mean, not be confrontational? There are people out there who are trying to harm my members, working people, poor people, and I don't want to confront them? Of course I want to confront them.

What it told me was that fighting became actually defined as something that was pathological. And the labor movement bought in. And why in the world the labor movement would buy in, I don't know.

BILL MOYERS: Assuming you will retire one day, do you have a bucket list of what you'd like to accomplish before you retire?

ROSEANN DEMORO: Yes. And it has things that are fundamental and things that we've been working on, all of our lives. And that is a just society, health care for all, taking money out of politics, of course. Jobs. Good paying jobs in America. Pride in being an American. Although I will say that we're working on the global scene, and the opportunities to actually have one world and one people, and even though that sounds pie in the sky are presenting itself in a way for the first time that I've seen in my life.

Because the financial transaction tax is seen by all of our allies internationally as a way of addressing the economy of the world. And that's why it's not the financial transaction tax in and of itself, it's the reconceptualization of what we should be as a society of people.

I am really sick of the people who are apologists for finance. From my perspective, and it may sound simplistic, but working people built this country. And you know what, Bill, if we have to, we can build it again.

BILL MOYERS: I can see you're going to have to postpone your retirement for lord knows how long.

ROSEANN DEMORO: Well, you can be my role model for it.

BILL MOYERS: Thank you, RoseAnn DeMoro, for being with me.

ROSEANN DEMORO: Thank you so much.

BILL MOYERS: Joining RoseAnn DeMoro and the nurses at their Chicago march and rally on May 18 will be the rock star activist Tom Morello -- who just happens to be my guest on next week’s edition of Moyers & Company. Tom Morello came to fame 20 years ago as the lead guitarist in Rage Against the Machine. Some of you will know Rage as one of the most successful and political rock bands of the nineties. And one of the most controversial. When the group disbanded, Tom Morello became a one-man revolution: a troubadour singing songs of protest across the land from the steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol…

TOM MORELLO: This land is your land!

BILL MOYERS: To Occupy Wall Street.

TOM MORELLO: Let's march and sing!

BILL MOYERS: Wherever you look, he’ll be there.

TOM MORELLO: My job is to steel the backbone of people on the frontlines of social justice struggles, and to put wind in sails of those struggles. And people who are fighting on a daily basis, at a grass roots level.

BILL MOYERS: That’s next week’s broadcast. On our website BillMoyers.com, you’ll see a new feature called “What We’re Reading” – news stories and analysis from the Internet. And take a look at our Campaign Ad Watch page. There’s information, tools and links to help you in the fight to make campaign ads honest and the dark money behind them transparent. And remember: you’re always welcome to become one of our Facebook friends.

That’s it for now. See you next time.

RoseAnn DeMoro on the Robin Hood Tax

May 11, 2012

Bill talks to RoseAnn DeMoro, who heads the largest registered nurses union in the country, and will lead a Chicago march protesting economic inequality on May 18. DeMoro is championing the Robin Hood Tax, a small government levy the financial sector would pay on commercial transactions like stocks and bonds. The money generated, which some estimate could be as much as $350 billion annually, could be used for social programs and job creation — ultimately to people who, without a doubt, need it more than the banks do.

DeMoro and her organization, National Nurses United, have an inspiring history of defeating some of the toughest opponents in government and politics.

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  • Gjones1541

    Re. The discussion of Obama’s campaign, didn’t he win the 2012 election on Dec 14, 2009?

  • Anonymous

    I found this guest very good. Plain spoken and direct, not over intellectualizing=what is necessary. Even more specifics would be useful, but this was a very grounded gues. And I am reminded of how THIN the line is now – without Bill Moyers (and maybe Democracy Now! with Amy Goodwin, where would such a person find voice?  Bravo all around!

  • http://twitter.com/WR_ Wes Rackley

    Fantastic! I’m in. The consultants should be getting their marching orders from RoseAnn DeMoro.

  • davidp

    I like this gutsy nurse and all nurses who see life from the bed pan to life saving issues.

  • Anonymous

    As an RN I am disappointed in DeMoro’s/Nurse United’s approach.  A few questions:

    1)  When has returning evil (stealing from the rich) for evil (the theft we have experienced) ever resulted in a change that was good i.e. peaceful and enduring?

    2)   There is a difference, Ms. DeMoro between true “Power” and ineffective “Force”.  You are advocating theft as if it will give nurses real “power” – this is both ingenuous and tragic.

    3) As an RN I am dedicated to peaceful, passive resistance – could Nurse’s United not come up with a more creative peaceful way of leading for change?

    4)  By stealing from the rich (even though I agree – they have engaged in theft on a grand scale) we become victimizers instead of victims – is this the best our nurses can come up with?  

    If Nurses United needs examples of peaceful agents of change – they can look at Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr.  I am afraid that this movement will not prove nurses to be the intelligent, empathetic people they are – but rather result in them – once again – being tools in political play.  

  • MW

     Maybe DeMoro is secretly a Rightwing Republican.
    Otherwise someone should make her, or if not her, the Nurses United,  see how bad the result would be for the Nurses and our country,  of not going all out for the Democratic candidates and Obama even  if he didn’t live up to his billing.

  • Tom

    If our economy does not improve and if we keep spending at our present rate, DeMoro’s dreams of a more fair and just society will certainly not materialize.

  • Anonymous

    Please explain how bad the result would be.  No single payer, no public option, no real attempt to achieve them by Democrats.  How are Democrats going to learn that they have to choose between votes and money if they always get a pass?

  • Anonymous

    Do you think a peaceful and passive approach would have maintained nurse patient ratios when Arnold wanted to abolish them.  How many seriously ill patients could you responsibly care for?  10, 20, 30?  And if a patient dies, one of those thirty, who gets the blame for missing an IV change?  The corporate CEO of the hospitol?  Or the nurse who didn’t make it on time.

    Theft from the rich?  Why is a tax on something bought, such as a stock, or bond, different from a tax on dish soap, something bought? 

    I have serious doubt about the assertion of being an RN, or under what circumstances.  NICU?  SICU?  Think you could responsibly care for 30 NICU patients so the hospitol could achieve higher profits?  Is asserting that there is a responsible level of care due a patient in a hospitol stealing from the rich share holders of the hospitol corporation? 

  • Anonymous

    Excellent choice of a guest.  I will look into this issue.  Thanks Bill.

  • Nileprincess2

     Marvelous presentation.  We MUST take this country back!  Each of us needs to participate, using the nurses as role models. Thanks!

  • RN4MERCY

    Smack? Did you even watch the program? No one proposed “stealing” or suggested that nurses do anything of the sort. Exercising the right of free speech and freedom of assembly, in a public place, to conduct a demonstration to raise awareness– with a permit from the govenment authorities…where’s the violence and evil you speak of on the part of NNU nurses?

    There’s no substantive logic behind your assertions or evidence to support them; but I suppose you have a right to voice them. Double check on the nurses’ website: http://www.nationalnursesunited.org

    Nurses, in a participatory democracy, have a duty and the right to be patient advocates; we have duty to change circumstances that are against the interests of people. The people have a right to know when they’re paying for something, and not getting it–like healthcare.

    The politics becomes personal for me when I see my patients and family being harmed by failed policies. We have a deficit problem in this country, but the Congress, by and large, is focused on the wrong one.  Politicians who enable bad behavior and legislate loopholes for their wealthy friends and corporate donors have a values deficit problem.

    NNU and many good government groups world-wide are advocating for an FTT to restore a public social support infrastructure and create jobs. It’s only fair that the corporations and banking/finance industry pay a tax to help restore the economy they’ve ruined.

      

  • http://twitter.com/NNU4ALLRNs DeAnn McEwen RN

    Thanks, Bill. Awesome and informative show!

    Class shame; interesting theory and DeMoro’s use of the term here, in context, explains a lot.  After reading Thomas Frank’s book, What’s the matter with Kansas? and Naomi Klein’s, Shock Doctrine-The rise of disaster capitalism, many of us have wondered why our co-workers are so afraid and overcome by anxieties that they don’t unite and confront a system that conspires against our interests. Shame is a powerful counterforce that seems to confound a rational narrative of protest.

    But temperatures are rising and we’re seeing signs of the resistance building as the economic tailspin continues. A subject well outlined in John Nichol’s book, Uprising–How Wisconsin renewed the politics of protest, from Madison to Wall Street. 

    I think the Financial Transaction Tax is an idea whose time has come.  And if we’re really serious about economic stimulus and recovery, studies have shown that a universal health care system–for instance, expanding and improving the one we have: Medicare–with coverage throughout our lifespan– will generate savings, control costs, improve outcomes and create jobs.

  • A7

    Thanks to Ms. DeMoro and the Nurses.  It is time for this Robin Hood Tax.  We need  to bring back the Wall Street transfer tax and have the corporations pay their fair share again so our children, parents and grandparents can have the healthcare and human services they need. 

    From firsthand experience Bill Moyers knows what it took to create Medicaid and he understands what it will take to create Medicaid for All, a fair singlepayer healthcare system that Americans deserve like our Canadian and European allies.  Thank you for a wonderful show!

  • Ann

    Thank you for sharing this with us. Many of us feel the same way however we are not in the nursing field.

  • Anonymous

    I never used the words “violent” or “evil” but is interesting that you brought them up.  

    Change – enduring peaceful change – can never be the result of one group “fighting” another group even if it is in the name of “advocacy” or “participatory democracy”.  

    “Public social support” = redistribution of wealth.  Call it what it is.  Where does that wealth come from?  From people who willingly relinquish it?  Yes/No?  If corrupt institutions (government/financial) made up of corrupt individuals do not willingly relinquish wealth – and you advocate using government to make them give up their wealth you are advocating the use of force. 

    That was my point.  Force used by nurses instead of genuine Power will result in a dysfunctional cycle of violence (I will use your word).  If we look at history – violence begets violence even when committed in the name of “social justice”.

    My hope for nurses – who are healers – is that they do not end up being used as tools in the conflict.  Gandhi – as I mentioned above – shows the way, not Ms. DeMoro.  

  • Anonymous

    If Bill Moyers ran for president I’m think’n he’d win hands down. All other contenders would start packing five minutes after the the public announcement. Congressmen would flee the country like the treasonous criminals they are. And, the big investment backs would part themselves off all by their selves hours after Bill looked into the camera lens and said; ” Do I have to say it fellas” ?

  • Babsbwm

    RoseAnn DeMoro for President if Bill won’t run! 
    I am not a nurse, nor have I ever been in a union.
    I never knew of her until today!

    She is an amazing thinker and her thoughts run to the heart and soul of what matters.  She could turn this country into a super power because the caring and good parts of our nation would be emphasized.  Thank you Bill and RoseAnn!

  • Desi

    What a great interview and vision for the future. De Moro has outlined a way forward with an idea, whose time has come.  Thank you nurses and thank you Bill Moyer.

  • Ed Bodine

    I agree with the Robin Hood Tax.  I have been preaching for a tax like this on credit default swaps for almost 1-1/2 years with the same type of response as Mc DeMoro from government officials.  Here is my brief pitch on the subject.  Credit Default Swaps (CDS) have become a popular financial tool since the early 1990’s.  On February 15th, 2011 during hearings on the Dodd-Frank Financial Regulation Law, Gary Gensler, CFTC Chairman, indicated that approximately $300 Trillion of Swap agreements and approximately $40 Trillion of Futures agreements exist in the US market.  I would like to propose a 0.5% Financial Speculation Tax (FST) directed specifically at the CDS Derivative market to help reduce our deficit and debt.  Based on a $300 Trillion US Swap market alone, this tax could generate $1.5 Trillion dollars. 
    EdNew Albany, IN
    PS:  Reference Gensler Video @ this C-SPAN address to confirm $300 Trillion Swap market:
    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/LawandDe/start/1804/stop/1851

  • Mdfog10

    Nurses are taught to see the big picture. Well what we see is human suffering on every level and we want to Heal America. You can stay in your seat and denegrade us , or join us and many others in calling for real action to improve all lives.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PHWRWQM3ZD63542XSAQCKDZTHI Ronald

    The tax on financial transactions is not unlike a tax on goods and services at say JP Penny. So if smack is going to make the argument that he/she appears to making here she/he has to logically argue against against all forms of taxation. That would make him/her a radical anarchist.

    Not sure about the relevance of the point about Gandhi. The nurses are not engaged in behaviour that is that different from Gandhi’s active nonviolence.

    The FTT was, by the way, a tax that existed in the US for almost fifty years.

  • Anonymous

    Let’s see…right now we are murdering children in Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, and a dozen other countries with ‘signature’ drone stikes, a president who hires only Wall Street aligned advisers, who advocates for the Catfood Commission, who tortures (the ‘secret’ prison in Baghran, and in Somalia), who rolled back the Clean Air Act, signed on to the southern part of Keystone XL, appoints Monsanto lobbyists to head the FDA and DOA, has escalated the Afghan war and tried to stay in Iraq past the Bush deadline for withdrawal, uses cluster bombs on civilians, says the Wall Street execs did no wrong…..I could go on and on.

    Both parties sXXk, but there’s no telling which is the sXXkiest. They are both the same and they serve the same masters: the 1%.

    We need more union leaders with the guts of Ms. Demoro and kudos to Bill Moyers for having such great guests on his show.

    Occupy!

    http://www.ccrider27.com

  • Anonymous

    Thank you.  Force begets violence.  

  • Anonymous

    I will take the label of “radical anarchist” but prefer “peaceful non-resister”.  The point about Gandhi is that he was a peaceful non-resister and yes some think that he self-identified as a  ”radical anarchist – scary!  Per Gandhi’s own words ”
    It is my firm conviction that if the State supressed capitalism by violence, it will be caught in the coils of violence itself, and will fail to develop non-violence at any time. The State represents violence in a concentrated and organized form. The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence.”  

  • Vic

    You are doing great work! Thank you

  • jon-edmond abraham

    This woman’s tenacity and inclusiveness are truly inspiring.  I’m with Bill.  She’ll have to delay her retirement.  Break out the Vicodin!

  • Fred Williamson

    Ms. DeMoro is definitely a patriot. I hope the politicians are paying attention to her.  She is definitely on point.

  • Mike Nause

    When Bill asked her if she wasn’t going to support the President for reelection  was she prepared for a Romney Presidency. That’s what happened in 2010. Oho is now a mess.
    We showed them.

  • Adellert

    National Nurses Union demonstrates what union activism is all about.  Democracy needs to be given back to the 99%.

  • Wiilliam R. Johnson

    350 billion anually. That is a big load of money. From a tax that middle-cllass America would hardly notice and would be no sweat for the high rollers on Wall Street. Couple that with cutting our bloated military budget, we could do alot such as national health care and send everyone who wants to to go to a public college or university free of charge.

  • D Leonard2507

    Ms. DeMoro follows Ms. Jamieson who does a great job in keeping everybody honest, but goes on to assert among several untruths: (1) the transactions tax will keep the money in the economy while the rich would take it out of the economy, and (2) the transactions tax wouldn’t hurt financial services employment because (she implies) employment is nil, everything is automated. Whether the tax revenue is used for healthcare, education and job retraining, or investors’ untaxed money is used for country club memberships, foreign cars and bond purchases, the money continues to flow through the economy but just to different sectors. I happen to favor her allocation but income spent on consumer goods and investments does circulate. Second, The BLS reported in 2008  that 20.3% of the labor force was employed in finance, insurance and credit intermediation, so not everything is automated.

  • http://twitter.com/jaclynkellye jax

    Absolutely! #RobinHoodTax

  • Anonymous

    We need a Robin Hood tax, and we need actual Robin Hoods, at least one in each Congressional District, with a Sherwood Forest in each District. When each Legislator visits his or her District, the Legislator can be peacefully escorted to Sherwood Forest, to see how real people live. Where is Errol Flynn, now that we need him? Thank you. 

  • Comox7

    This lady deserves a medal. I hope that she and her followers will “hook-up” with an organized Occupy and take back the country for the people

  • Anonymous

    As an Independent, I certainly hope RoseAnn reconsiders supporting and endorsing Pres. Obama and all moderate candidates – all Democrats if necessary – that seems the only solution to end the do nothing Congress and the NO WAY republican strike against meaningful compromise. She admitted “we failed, we didn’t push Obama” – so correct your error now instead of deserting him.  A Romney presidency will spell doom for her cause and any progress the 99% might make, so this election is essential to forward movement.  I have often been disappointed in BO also, but I pray a 2nd term will enable him to keep his promises. I pray God the Repubs don’t take the Senate or keep the House. Realistic and reasonable conservatives seem a dying breed, but there must be some – if Congress goes Democrat maybe sanity will reign once again on the Right and we can return to bipartisan governing in the future, but it won’t happen unless “they” lose everything in Nov.

  • Bill84

     

    I have no problem with a ‘Robin Hood Tax’ as long as all
    transactions are taxed – to include institutional funds that are found in union
    retirement accounts.  The amount of money
    being talked about can only be realized if everyone (the 100%) are taxed fairly.

  • Anonymous

    I’d love to see an interview with Kucinich – discussing his H.R. 2990, The National Emergency Employment Defense Act (The N.E.E.D. Act) bill.

  • Saundrini5

    I’ve been advocating a tax on Wall Street transactions for several years.  They wouldn’t even feel it and it would bolster the economy.  Let’s earmark it ONLY for social programs however and let the subsidy crowd fight over the other divisions of our taxes.

  • Anonymous

    I am quite pleased to see such a consensus even here in the comments area.

    The only thing which needs to be addressed is the Updating of the so-called “Robin Hood Tax” to include the present day medium of the Internet in it’s entirety: an Electronic Transaction Tax.

    Applying it in this fashion makes it a Universal Law and not some Old-Fashioned attempt to target a Minority (the Rich are in FACT a Minority). Everyone affluent enough to do business on the Internet would pay One Penny on the dollar as National Sales Tax or (as I prefer) User Fee.
    Considering the fact that ALL modern Financial Transactions are done electronically, you get a FAR better payback and no one can bitch because:

    It’s universal, and

    It’s a proper application for otherwise overlooked Revenue Generation, and

    It’s only One Penny On The Dollar.

    To avoid the tax/fee:    pay in cash.

    Ta Daaah!

    Big Love to Nurse Rose Ann!

    As an Autistic I find her Truely Brilliant, and Truely Comforting.

    A Nurse’s Magic in not how they heal the body, but rather it is how they Restore One’s Soul.

    Remember when it was all about the Mission…of Mercy?

  • Raktek

    Since Wall Street is where the money is, and campaign contributions are where the power is…use Wall St. tax revenue to fund public campaign financing.
    Think of how much more happy and responsive our politicians would be if they could spend time thinking and learning instead of fundraising.

  • Raktek

    Good one…this could help Main St. Small Biz and locavores (the environment)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1238351530 Zora Renee

     Then why are you asking her to support anyone other than democrats in November?  The GOP has shown over and over and over they are NOT working for the 99% – at least with dems in office and enough pressure from “WE the PEOPLE” there just might be a bit of meaningful legislation passed that will help US all out!

  • Anna

    A powerful interview on a great issue. It is fantastic to see the Nurses and their allies push on what is a no brainer of an idea – the financial sector, can and should start paying its fair share.

  • Justintime

    Compliments some of the best shows on TV outside of
    RT TV with Alyona and Lauren and Max

  • Justintime

    Just charge the Mafia and criminals on Wall St not the people we already gave blood…. 

  • June

    I hope Rose DeMoro and Nurses Union will reconsider their political pressure in nonsupport of presidential candidates. Republicans have stated they will not regulate big business. Nurses Union pressure is needed for elected Democrats to make good on their promises and to “help” Obama to negotiate with Congress. If there is enough political/people pressure then something will pass. If they continue to step out of the political realm on nonsupport of democrats, they might as well have been organizing a national bake sale instead of diligently keeping on in the fight for workers and taxpayer fairness. It is so disconcerting to us little people that Democrats are too easily disenfranchised and splintered when it comes to thinking  Person over Party in presidential elections. Republicans do not consistently make this mistake. I sincerely hope the Nurses Union will not make now this mistake and desert us democrats. We need their help to stay united in fighting for fair play and for we the people with this next presidential party election. Respectfully submitted: June, a Seattle worker/taxpayer also fighting real change.

  • JonThomas

     The concept is fine. Capital gains are indeed a form of income and taxes on such have been gutted over the decades.

    However, 2 main areas of concern…

    First off…why call it a tax. It’s a fee. Not only does the word tax start you off on the wrong foot, you already have nearly every single Republican against you because of Norquist’s pledge.

    Secondly, don’t call it the “Robin Hood” anything. The Robin Hood character was a thief, a thief with a cause maybe, but still a thief.

    The Government would be collecting this fee and that is more in line with the Sheriff than with the hero of the story.

    The fact is that it’s the financial traders that have rigged the system, damaged the world economy, and hurt the people.

    A fee on their transactions. Financial Transactions Fee(?) is plain, to the point, honest, fair, and non-combative.

    We need to take the combat out of politics as much as possible or the polarization will continue entrenched and get worse.

    Using language like “Robin Hood Tax” comes from a place of resentment and vengeance, causes division, inspires opponents, and will go nowhere fast.
     

  • Comox7

     I think this well presented by Jon. Calling it  a “Robin Hood” is a mistake and open to being pounced on buy those 1% that think tax is a dirty word. A” fee for services” is a more accurate way of naming the fee which is what it really is and takes away the inflammatory term, tax, which in fact it is not. It is a fee for doing business.

  • David F., N.A.

    It’s good to see smart people who stick up for those that need help.  This was my favorite part of the interview:

    ROSEANN DEMORO: …Everyone says middle class or working families, and you’re supposed to have disdain for the working class. They bought into the paradigm, to where they became vulnerable to middle class consultants who redefined what they were supposed to be. So, I had one of the major labor leaders who has since left come to me one day 12 years ago or so and say, “We went through this consultant training and oh, you could learn so much from it.”

    And he said, “The thing that you could learn the most is non-confrontational language.” And I thought, “Well, why in the hell would I want to do that?” You know, I mean, not be confrontational? There are people out there who are trying to harm my members, working people, poor people, and I don’t want to confront them? Of course I want to confront them.

  • JonThomas

     I applaud M(r)s. DeMoro’s courageous stance and her obviously tireless efforts to stand up for justice in the face of her adversaries.

    Being tactful and showing discretion is not weakness. There are times to run the sword through and times to walk softly.

    A practical application of a good idea, that can be embraced by both sides, can be forwarded with wisdom.

    The Chinese concept of “allowing to save face” fits aptly in this circumstance.

    Not everyone on the “other side” is your enemy all the time. Why make them so?

    When it is time for battle, then be at it…but remember… is the fight the goal?

  • Karl Hoff

    I applaud RoseAnn DeMoro’s efforts to oust Arnold Schwarzenegger. Now Jerry Brown has a record debt and is so befuddled he is asking the press for help in solving the problem. When a convicted felon can get on the primary ballot in West Virginia and get over 40,000 votes. One must ask what has improved? It is as if the Wolf is guarding the Fox that is guarding the Hen house.

  • Sherry

     I would love for everyone to vote, what I’ve generally opposed, a straight ticket – in this case Democrat – however I’m pragmatic enough to know that absolutes are generally impossible.  I have no use for the GOP anymore however I know moderates do exist – they’re simply a dying breed.

  • Jennifer Flynn

    RoseAnn DeMoro gets real and tells us why we need a tiny tax on Wall Street to help cure our ills.  Thanks nurses for your leadership on this issue.  After the JP Morgan debacle, we need to make some changes.

  • Yaz

    Once again, thanks Bill & Co for bringing us a voice of hope and sanity, respectfully presented.  I think it interesting the old comeback line – that the banks will just pass on the tax to us the consumer and taxpayer … as if they already weren’t passing on all their costs … including the costs of their mistakes from which we benefit nothing and might have lost our savings!  Keep up the excellent work.

  • Kjo

    I watched this on Saturday evening here in Michigan. As we fight, like many other states, the wish of our legislators to eradicate the middle class through weakening unions, giving tax breaks to the rich, etc. we must continue to fight for this tax. It is so, so simple. I have heard the argument before, but really enjoyed Bill Moyers and Roseann DeMoro interacting with each other on this issue!

  • John Epstein

    I want to join RoseAnne DeMoro’sv union!  I’m a 65-year old retired man who has not had to struggle in life but Ms. DeMoro expresses my feelings about American society better than ANYONE I have heard.  Thanks for her brilliance and guts, and thanks as always to Bill Moyers for the best public television has to offer. 

    John in Houston, TX 

  • doxis

     How about going back to Republican Eisenhower;s tax,  91% marginal tax on income above a high level.
    Our highest tax is in the thirties now.Deifinitely a transaction tax would be fair. Among 134 countries, US is 44th most UNEQUAL. That means there are 90 countries with more income equality, and unsually more social services. How did we lose our leadership?

  • JoAnn Keenan

    This RN is delighted to view this wonderful interview: two of the best Americans breathing today, Moyers and DeMoro.  

  • Glenn_lewman

    The problem is it will not work.   You cannot create a sysytem and expect the status quo.  It will slow transations.   Remember most of the unions have their pension money on Wall Street.   All gaines ate taxed.   You may end up with a net loss in taxes collected and retirment funds.

  • Karl Hoff

    Good one. Our leaders have not figured out that giving borrowed tax payer money to stimulate economic growth when they only collect a maximum of about 35%. That means they give $1 and get back .35 cents in new taxes. At the same time every trillion they go into debt, adds about $3,000 to every man, woman and child’s share in the U.S. to what they already owe. What they might try is do as George in Seinfeld did when he figured out that everything he did turned out wrong. He started doing the opposite of what he felt was the right way to do things.

  • LeftyMcSense

    Supporting the Democrats has only gotten the us the slide to the right.  They have followed the Republicans in lockstep to the Right. The Democratic Party is funded by the same corporate interests as the Republican Party. She is right to fight this as an independent movement.   Your statement seems to suggest that the Democrats have been fighting for workers.  Obama’s Columbia FTA, his non-support for the public option in health care, and his no-show on card check ought to give you a bit of pause. The system is broken. 

  • Donna

     ”At the same time every trillion they go into debt, adds about $3,000 to
    every man, woman and child’s share in the U.S. to what they already owe.”

    What THEY owe??  American citizens did not borrow this money, nor approve or authorize it’s “borrowing”, money which is mostly spent of disastrous military campaigns opposed by the majority of Americans.  Further, this money is  not really “borrowed”, per se.  It is money created our of thin air by the Federal Reserve in what is, essentially, a fancy Ponzi scheme called fractional reserve banking.  I would recommend you read ‘The Creature from Jekyll Island” by Edward Griffin for an essential education on this very important topic that most Americans know nothing about, yet it affects our lives, economy, quality of life, the kind of society we live in, our politics and our very sovereignty more that anything else. 

    This  quote from Mayer Amschel Rothschild (head of the European, and now worldwide, banking dynasty) is most germane and illuminating in this regard:   “Give me control of a nation’s money supply, and I care not who makes its laws”.   Think about that because that is where we are in America today.   And Europe is in the same boat.   We did not get her overnight and the problem will not be solved overnight.  It will take decades  of study, planning and committed action.  It is NO accident that the bankster-gangsters are running our country and the politicians are only their lame-ass puppets.   This has happened over and over throughout history,  essentially the same capers being pulled-off, time and time, again.  Let’s not get fooled again!  Study and know your history, not the sanitized, fairy tale mythology taught in most of our schools and perpetuated by the corporate media. 
    It’s way past time we educated OURSELVES, America, while we still have some measure of liberty left and there is still something left to save! 

    A trip to the library would be a good start.  I would also recommend the interactive learning website:  http://www.tragedyandhope.com for assistance in this task.  They have a great reading list of essential classics and a lot of smart, honest and dedicated people to help you along.  Start with the basics, which most Americans, sadly never learned:  grammer, logic and rhetoric, the classical Trivium.  Once these are mastered, one is capable of critical thought and can recognize the pervasive logical fallacies that we are bombarded with every minute of every day.  Then proceed to studying real history in a critical fashion,  along with the other essential subjects, referred to as the Quadrivium in the terminology of the classics.  Without this foundation, we are lost in a sea of propaganda and deception.  Learn how to find and evaluate accurate sources of news and information on current events and stay abreast of them.  Hint, you will  not find them in the American  corporate media.  With a few notable exceptions, there are no real journalists, journalism or bonafide news to be found there.
    Donna

  • Donna

     When we act like chicken and sheep, we will become prey for predators.

  • Donna

     Yes, Yaz, its always the same old, tired, false talking points with the corporate-rightwing-PR machine!  Trickel-down (being pissed on by the rich); “free” markets (free for whom? …not us!  This ‘market’ is the most manipulated in the history of the world, manipulated by Wall Street, for Wall Street); the invisible hand of the market (Wall Street picking your pocket in their role as “market makers”); blaming the poor, minorities, gays, muslims, etc. (blaming the victim – oldest trick in the book, just ask the Catholic church), I could go on, the list is nearly endless.

     They specialize in dividing the population by using hot-button, wedge issues, like gay marriage,  abortion, stem cell research, school prayer, evolution vs. “creationism”, racism, etc., etc.   This is the primary tool of Empire throughout history to maintain its rule over colonized peoples, since at least the  Roman Empire:  Divide and Conquer!  It is still used by the current neo-colonial powers with the twist that they now use it mercilessly on their own populations who are opposed to their brutal and immoral tactics and are fed up with being forced to subsidize the constant military campaigns and occupations.  One needs to keep in mind who is profiting  most from all of this: transnational (global) corporations which have no allegiance to any nation or people…and the plutocrat political class that enables and partners with them.  Follow the money, wherever it leads you, to find the culprits!

  • K Read

    I am so thankful to Bill Moyers and Rose Ann DeMoro for this huge leap forward in demonstrating what nurses really do.  I was, however, disappointed by the suggestion that because nursing is working class labor, the “sophisticated” concepts of stocks and derivatives and “all that”  are outside the scope of our analysis and discourse.  My colleagues all went to college and took economics courses, and many of us came to nursing from advanced degrees in the other fields and even labor organizing backgrounds.  The fact that we do direct care does not mean we are anti-intellectual and that the issues involved in promoting the Robin Hood tax need to be simplified for us.   The analytical strength required to assess and plan for 5 or 6 or 7  high-acuity patients every day – and to advocate for them and speak back to medicine and management – is certainly sufficient enough to decipher Wall Street strategies as well.  Being accountable for our actions possibly makes us even smarter than Wall Street high rollers.  The promise nurses bring to social change is not located in leadership and education provided to us, but in nurses’ ability to synthesize the constellation of social, political, and physical challenges facing our country – and then to make all of that relevant and actionable.  Please give us credit beyond being a power in numbers known superficially as “labor”.

  • Donna

     Excellent!  That was my favorite part, too.  We have to ditch these neo-liberal PR consultants who are just agents of corporate interests, both for-profit and many non-profit, as well.  It is so important to expose and reject this kind of insipid thinking, because it will hamstring the effectiveness of the movement and zap it’s energy and enthusiasm.  These kinds of suggestions are subtle yet insidious because they sound reasonable on the surface to many people, especially those who tend to be non-confrontational by nature, and so can be appealing…in a deceptive kind of way.

  • Donna

     ”Being tactful and showing discretion is not weakness. There are times to run the sword through and times to walk softly.”

    Agreed.   However, working class people are on the ropes, now!  It is not the time to “walk softly” or pull punches, unless we want to be the ones who are knocked-out or ‘run through’.  Unfortunately, this is what the Democraps now specialize in…throwing the fight!  It seems to me that that is what they are paid-off to do because it is so nauseatingly commonplace.   Just think of Obama and the Dems refusal to fight, from the outset, for single-payer (off the table), financial “reform”, Obama’s attack on Social Security, which even the Rethugs were not able to accomplish.  And don’t even get me started on Afghanistan/The so-called “War on Terror” now morhping into a War on Islam) the “Patriot” Act, illegal detention/torture, illegal and unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens, prosecution of the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal of war criminals, and so on, all of which
    Candidate Obama promised to end, but now insists on ‘looking forward, not back’.  WTF??    There is a reason the banksters and MIC wanted/still want? Obama in office.  As usual, the fix was in before the voting began.

    “Running the sword through” would be a last resort for me and I would
    always try for an less lethal yet effective solution.  But when you have
    a party as absolutely unreasonable, disingenuous, destructive and ruthless as the Rethuglican
    Party, I seriously doubt that the less lethal option is possible.  

    On the other hand, the most successful movements against Empire have been those that have advocated and accomplished non-violent resistance.  Just think of Ghandi*, Martin Luther King, the South African anti-appartied movement, and even Jesus, in the context of the Roman Empire, if you are a religious person.  This does not mean that violence will not be used against them, but that in doing so, the agents of Empire expose their ugly face and fatally undermine both their credibility as well as any moral standing they might have had.  The veil/wall of lies and deception is pierced for all to clearly see.  No one said it would be easy, or “safe”.   Americans need to give up their obsession with “security” before THEY forfeit all of OUR self-evident, yet still hard-earned rights and liberty.    This is the real purpose of the “Security State”, it is not to make you ‘safe and secure’.  Home of the brave?  America cannot be the land of the free, unless it is also the home of the brave.

    * What contributed most to the success of Ghandi’s movement, I believe, were the economic boycotting actions, like refusing to purchase of British-made textiles, burning them and reviving India’s native ‘Homespun’ clothing industry.  He/they  acheived similar success by boycotting and taking-over the Salt industry when he led the march to the coastal salt producing areas and re-appropriated them for the people of India.   These examples, along with the  S. African boycott/divestiture actions, serve to illustrate the key  (I would say primary) role played by global  corporations in the phenomenon of Empire and it’s many Sorrows.

  • Donna

     Exactly.  The “Democrats” are one baby step behind and just to the left of the Rethugs.  The Rethugs run interference for them and give them “cover”, while scaring the crap out of the Dem base by being the only “alternative” offered for Selection.  Of course, the Dems know this and so do everything in their power to keep any other viable 3rd party candidate off the ballot (eg., Ralph Nader and many others) or even Dem primary challengers that might actually stand up for traditional democratic values, principles and issues, much less a progressive or a traditional liberal (nearly extinct).  Both parties are not only corrupt, but they work together against us, behind the scenes, while they put on the Kabuki theater performances and faux ‘food fights’ we see on TV. 

    There is really only one Party, the Duopoly Party, if you will,  masquerading as two.  So, if you chose to vote for the “Democrat” flavor, just know what you are getting.  Having said that, voting for one of the few actual Democrats that still adhere to their democratic values and promises, is another matter, if you can find them before they are all gerry-mandered out of office, like Dennis Kuchinich recently was.  Obama does not fit that description, however, and neither do most of the other posers.

  • Donna

     Yes to public financing of campaigns AND require the corporate media to provide FREE air time for real debates, moderated by independent citizen groups, to all viable candidates.  The media corps are making billions off of this every year and we, the public, should NOT have to pay for useless and counter-productive political Ads that undermine our democracy!  Our candidates for political office are NOT a consumer PRODUCT!!!  Hello?!  The corporate media monopolies must be cut down to size and reigned-in, starting with the threat of pulling their broadcast licenses, which are nothing more than a monopoly license to steal and pollute our public airwaves,  our society and our political system.  This is insane and must stop!  They need to be regulated as they used to be as a public utility and made to serve the public interest, not oppose and destroy  it for their own gain and agenda.  Start with Rupert Murdoch, recently deemed ‘unfit to run a global media corporation’ in Britain.  Why should he be permitted to do the same here???

  • Donna

     Excellent idea!  It should be dedicated by law for social programs,  only.  But, lets get rid of earmarks and subsidies, also, except in very limited situations where a clear public need can be DEMONSTRATED, as a pre-condition, as well as an ongoing condition for the subsidy.

  • Donna

     Why would they be treated any differently?

  • Donna

     We failed, we didn’t push Obama” is just blaming the victim and is not even true.  Those of us who are paying attention and doing our civic duty DID push him, but it made no difference.  Will the Occupy movement be able to do so? We will see. 

    We do not have to accept the bogus two “alternatives” the Duopoly offers us up for Selection.  Real popular movements field their own candidates and back them.  This is what needs to be done.  It is a long-term proposition that requires commitment, a seriously long attention span and lot of hard-work.

  • Donna

    Great idea!  Although you are speaking in jest, it is really not such a bad idea.  It might be easier to  organize something like this on a Precinct level, first.  And then progress to the District level in an organic fashion.  Again, these things take time, energy, commitment and organizational skills.

  • JonThomas

    A good, workable idea like the “Transaction Tax/Fee” is exactly the time to “walk softly.” It’s an election year. While it’s true that politician’s decisions are heavily influenced by special interests, especially the monied ones, it’s also true that they have to curry favors from the electorate.

    I’ve already described why the language should be adjusted so I won’t make sausages, nor will I go on to make things more difficult for those who need cover.

    But, since you raised the issue…

    Using a different tact, than that of being in someone’s face, is not “pulling punches.”

    The goal is NOT to fight with your opponent. The goal is to win the day.

    Any “fight” that can be won without confrontation is a great victory. Antagonism and antagonistic language, until it is necessary, is stupid.

    In this case, “running the sword through” is a metaphor for debate. Although, it can be said that in the founder’s time they decided that a more literal interpretation was necessary.

    However, it is probably good to know that Jesus was not non-”violent,” nor was he non-confrontational. Most who have read the Bible could come up with many examples of where he  vehemently stood up for what was right and just, even doing so “violently.”

    You make some good points in your comments on this thread, but as in the reply you made to my statement, you agree that there is a time to show tact.

    Yes, most of us know that “working class people (myself, if I had a job at the moment, included,)  are on the ropes, now.”

    But, unless this idea is the political equivalent of sacrificing a pawn, an idea that will never pass, in order to make political hay, then the best way to move forward and get it implemented is to appeal to as many interests as possible.

    I agree to most of your assessments of the Democratic Party and their unwillingness (or paid-off indifference) to suit-up for battle, but using tactful or “non-combative” language in the political arena is not the same as “throwing the fight.” To the contrary, it is often the best way to ‘make friends and influence tyrants.’

    Good thoughts from you Donna, keep it up!

  • Donna

     Many noted economists have refuted your claim in statement #1 (Paul Krugman, Dean Baker, Joseph Steiglitz, Michael Hudson, etc.).   In addition, there is much data even from the most recent financial/economic meltdown that most money given to the rich, banks and corporations does not go back into the domestic economy to increase job growth or growth of private enterprise, which is most important and most needed in our current, sick and anemic economy.  Economic stimulus programs and Keynesian economics  have been long  proven to work in aiding recovery from recessions and depressions.  In fact, that is the only thing that ever has.   How do you think we got out of the Great Depression?   And please don’t say WWII.  It is not that simple.  Yes, WWII did vastly stimulate the war economy and MIC (which we are still being held captive to in many ways).   And there were spin-off to other domestic industries after the war.  However, there was nothing necessary or inevitable about this.  The same money could have been spent on non-war industrial growth with even more beneficial economic results, and a lot less death, carnage, destruction and devastation. 

    Secondly, even if, as you say, 20.3% of the labor force is employed in finance/”credit” and insurance, that does not mean that this is good.  One of the most fundamental problems with our economy is that it has been deliberately hyper-financialized, while at the same time being deliberately and comensurately de-industrialized.  This has been a very bad thing for the vast majority of workers in this country and for our society, in general.  It has also made our country vulnerable to and dependent upon other countries for most of our manufactured goods, including many goods that are of strategic importance to us, especially in times of war.  And this does not even touch the vulnerability of China holding most of our Treasury debt.  How insanely stupid is that??

     I am all  for some de-financialization to a reasonable level and smart re-industrialization into sustainable, renewable industries that have great potential for future growth in a healthy, positive direction.  They will create high quality, high paying jobs and will actually help solve our serious environmental problems instead of making them worse.  They will also help us to cut our dependence on foreign fossil fuels without destroying our own vital natural resources and environment in the process.  We, the U.S., used to be leaders in solar and wind and other cutting-edge ‘green’ industries of the future, but Bush and now Obama and the useless Congress have allowed us to lose our lead to other countries, like China, Germany, Japan and others.  With “leaders” like these, who needs enemies??  We need to step up to the challenge of creating a new and better economy of the future, like we did after WWII.  We did it then, we can do it again,  now.  Hey  Washington:  we need to suck it up, roll up our sleeves and get to work!

  • Donna

     I’m with you, 100%!

  • Donna

     Tom, I do not believe that our economy is going to improve on its own.  The damage that has been done by wrong-headed,  destructive economic policies over the past 40 years is too great.  Even if we could force the politicians to stop subsidizing de-industrialization in the form of shipping jobs overseas (outsourcing and off-shoring) and allowing corporations to shift their profits overseas to evade taxes, and play one state against another here at home for starters, it would take many decades to rebuild our domestic industries to a healthy level of where they were 40 years ago.  I do not see this happening without a massive economic stimulus program on the order  of what was done after the Great Depression.  And under the current monetary system, that money would have to be “borrowed” from the Federal Reserve.

    Economic “conservatives” argue that we can’t afford to build our economy.  This is  pure hogwash!!  The U.S. is not bankrupt, as the corporate right-wing would have you believe.  tTey just want the money to continue going to corporate subsidies and “banks” which appear to be insolvent.  Are they really banks, then??  I think not.  My Rx would be to:
     1.) Get corporate money OUT of politics because NO progress is possible until that happens.
    2.) End the Federal Reserve’s (and the Wall Street banking cartel that controls it)’s monopoly on controlling our money supply, end fiat currency and fractional reserve banking and switch to an honest and legitimate currency/coin and form of banking, once again. 
    [Our so-called "national debt" is a mostly a hoax.  The "borrowed" money was created out of thin air by the Fed, which then collects interest on this newly created money from our government, i.e., us.  This is not legitimate and it violates our constitution.  It is a scam and a Ponzi scheme that must be ended before it blows up in our faces just like Bernie Madoff's did.  Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs) are IOUs, i.e., it is debt money, as Ross Perot said.  This means that if all debt was paid off in the U.S., there would be NO MONEY (FRNs)!  Get the picture?  They (the banksters) do not want us to ever pay off the debt because that would end then entire system/scam and end their monopoly to collect interest off of money they created out of nothing.  It is known as the Mandrake Mechanism.  You can read all  about how fractional reserve banking works in the Feds own Monographs available to the public.].
    3.)  Pay off the deficit/debt that is “owed” to China and any other bond holders with FRNs to use them all up.  This is perfectly legitimate as they are now still the “legal tender”.
    4.)  Develop a legitimate money supply like we used to have, once again, backed by an accepted standard of real value, such as gold and/or silver, of which we already have a lot.  The absolute amount does not really matter, it just needs to be determined by simple accounting and the equivalence set.  There will be  some fluctuation for a while, which will reach an equilibration fairly quickly.

    I am just listing a few of the main things we would need to do to accomplish this historic transition in an orderly fashion.   Economic collapse is not a foregone conclusion IF we are willing to step up to the plate and take the bull by the horns.   (Sorry for the cliches, but they fit!).   A more complete list and more detailed prescription can be found in Edward Griffin’s book, “The Creature from Jekyll Island”.  His proposal is not the “final word’, but it is a great starting point for a national discussion and a real debate, one that is long overdue. Perhaps, some of our more honest “leaders” are sheepishly afraid that if they told us the truth, there would be mass pandemonium and chaos, and might even fear for their life.  Certainly, they must be held to account for the part that they have played, but the blame for creating this creature goes way back…back to 1913, in fact.

    There would, undoubtedly, be a period of painful transition and adjustment that we would have to endure until the new monetary system becomes established, but this would be doable and, hopefully, not too excessive, now.   It should not take that terribly long to recover, economically, especially since the government could assist in the transition by making money available for socially desirable purposes of rebuilding our economy, interest free, as the Fed is now providing to the Too-Big-To-Fail banks for specualation,  high-risk gambling and profit-taking   Our monetary system should be run as a public utility for the common good, as provided for in our Constitution, not for the benefit of a secretive, private banking cartel at the great expense of the public.   Fiat money, whenever and wherever it has been tried, has always ended collapse and in disaster.  Therefore, it must be specifically prohibited by our Constitution, by way of Amendment.

    In any case, we would be in charge of what happens and how it happens and can endeavor to make the process as fair as possible and to minimize the pain and disruption.  If we wait until the system crashes (or is crashed), which it will, we will have economic chaos and unimaginable suffering, worse than the Great Depression, on a scale never before seen.  The working class and poor will be harmed the most.  We need to face up to this reality and take the bull by the horns as scary as it might be.  We cannot be ostriches and put our heads in the sand.  There is a reason for the rampant fraud we are seeing in our financial sector, the racketeering and abject criminality that is enabled and covered up by our political “leaders”, law enforcement and the courts.  We cannot sustain the unsustainable, but they sure are trying!   Our financial system has failed us mainly because it is designed to fail, as all Ponzi schemes are, and, in so doing, profit only a tiny, “elite” few at the top.   We can’t allow them to get away with this…again.

  • Donna

     Amen, and well said, ccrider27!

  • Donna

     How is requiring the rich and corporations, which are mostly one and the same, to pay their fair share, “stealing” from them??  If anything, they are stealing, indirectly, by default, from the rest of us by NOT paying their fair share.  And many are stealing directly from us in the form of excessive and fiscally irresponsible tax cuts and rebates, corporate subsidies and bail-outs!  Do you get a bail-out?  Yeah, neither do I.  Not that I would want one, but what’s fair is fair, no?  And the tax cuts, subsidies and bail-outs are being done at the direct expense of public funds being used for essential social services, such as public education, the social safety net that is essential to all humane, civilized societies, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, rebuilding our economy that has been canabalized and off-shored/out-sourced by greedy finance ghouls (the self-styled “masters of the universe”) and corrupt politicians.  

    Mrs. DeMoro and the Nurses are absolutely right, intellectually as well as morally.  As nurses, they know that sometimes you have to cut off a limb or a breast or remove a diseased organ from the body in order to save the person’s life.  They have accurately diagnosed the life-threatening malady that has infected our body politic and their prescription is the right one and is necessary to save our country and restore the health of our democracy.

    With all due respect, I think you have things somewhat confused.    You, not the nurses, appear to be the corporate political tool and have swallowed their Kool-Aide propaganda.  Perhaps if you turn off Fox (Fake) News and/or the other corporate media propaganda outlets you will be able to think more clearly.   They are worse than Tass and Pravda, really!  At least the Russian people KNEW they were being lied to.  Americans need to wake up and look around, talk to their neighbors, use their heads and start thinking for themselves.

    And by the way, non-violent resistance is peaceful, but it is certainly not passive.  On the contrary, it is quite active, thoughtful and effective because it is very targeted and hits the opposition where they are most vulnerable: in their wallets and bottom-lines and exposes their massive lies and hidden agendas.  This is what they fear the most and is perhaps the only thing that they do fear.

  • Donna

    “How did we lose our leadership?”

    Beginning as early as the 1960′s, we allowed corporations and their “Management Consultants” and “experts” run our country, claim and actually appropriate (in the courts) the human rights of real, flesh and blood people (!!!), pull of the judicial alchemy of transforming money into speech (!!!), buying off our Selected leaders (whom they pre-select to begin with), and generally, abdicating our duty as sovereign citizens to be engaged in our democracy from the local to the state to the federal level and effectuate our own self-goverment.  Consequently, we do not really have a democracy, per se, we have a plutocracy or corporatocracy.   See Inverted Totalitarianism, coined by Sheldon Wolin, which describes our current, degraded and nearly moribund system pretty accurately. 

    Another great book for the historical background on this political hijacking is “The Shadow Government”, by Daniel Guttman, Barry Wilmer and Ralph Nader.  It was written in 1976, but is still the definitive work, in my opinion.  It’s a real eye-opener!  One of the many revelations was the secretive role of Donald Rumsfeld in all of this from very early on in the early 1960s, especially his subversion of the (OEO) Office of Economic Opportunity and then the Dept. of Education.   Dick Cheney also came into the picture around this time or a little later, too, if memory serves me correctly, and Cheney cut his fangs under Rumsfeld.  I was struck by the parallels between what  he did to these agencies when he was in charge of them and what he did subsequently, almost 40 years later to the Department of Defense.  It is chilling, but very sobering and enlightening.

  • Donna

    Well said, a better rebuttal to smack than my own!

  • Donna

     First of all, governments have a monopoly on the use of state-sanctioned force in every society, unfortunately, that includes physical violence, in the case of war and the death penalty.   If this is what abhors you so much, I sure hope you are speaking out against the death penalty, illegal detention and torture, and war, especially  ‘perpetual war’  with even greater passion than against the “violence” of  “forced taxation”  of the rich. 

    Secondly, this type of force is really more pressure than actual force.  It is the same kind of pressure that is exerted upon all of us by the laws we live under everyday!  If we do not follow the laws, we will be arrested and jailed or fined, and might even be executed.  Do you then advocate that all laws be abolished because they exert force which you equate with violence?  Where is the logic in your argument??  I fail to see it because of all the logical inconsistencies.

    “enduring peaceful change – can never be the result of one group
    “fighting” another group even if it is in the name of “advocacy” or
    “participatory democracy”. 

    I beg to differ.  Enduring peaceful political change has never occurred without a struggle, which I would equate with the word “fight”, just not a physically violent one.  I little more logic and reason and less emotional  thinking based on faulty assumptions and information.

    Please distinguish between “Force”,  “Power” and “genuine Power”.  You really need to define you terms.  Otherwise, your arguments make no sense and are pointless.

    “If we look at history – violence begets violence even when committed in the name of “social justice”.” 

    Although, I would agree, generally, that violence begets violence.  However, it does not follow that force or pressure begets violence, because they are not equivalent.  Again, defining your terms would help you to avoid these elementary, logical pitfalls.

  • Donna

     Although I would agree with you that “the State represents violence in a concentrated and organized form”  and that “The individual has a soul, but the State is a soulless machine”.  I am not absolutely sure that the state “can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence.”  You might be right.  Certainly, history reveals that there is an  inherent tendency for the state to accumulate power unto itself which requires eternal vigilance by the citizens of a democracy if it is to counteract such a vast and powerful  force.  So far in America, we seem to have failed to do this.  Does that mean it is impossible?  I do not know for sure.  But, I believe that it is incumbent upon us to try our best and utmost in the proud tradition of our forbearers, who have sacrificed so much so that we might be free.   We must not throw this away.  Perhaps we can improve what they have passed on to us.  But so far as I know, no one has come up with a better system that works for such a large scale complex society.  The arrangement  you would seem to prefer sounds more like a small, egalitarian society, what anthropologists call a band level society.  Rousseau’s “noble savage” which was highly romanticized in the 19th century.  I would prefer this, also, but don’t know what that would look like in a society as large, diverse and complex as our own modern society.  I am open to suugestions on that, though!

  • Karl Hoff

    Hi Donna,
    Sorry I did not go into more detail. We have little control over what government does. My vote if I got the chance would be to stop all debt in the world. If that happened there would be none of the problems we now have. The banks, stock market and bonds to name a few are ways people can gain wealth without making any real useable product. Government only real income is taxes and things like government loans, so the way they will pay the debt down will be from collecting the money from taxes and such. In the end the U.S. citizens will have to give them the money one way or the other. Much of what you have written sound like what I have been saying for over 40 years. Being an egalitarian most of my life, I have no problem treating everyone equally. Growing up I guess I was like so many, wanting to be a millionaire, but once I began educating myself rather than the Propaganda (I have used that defination for 40 yrs.) that is taught in schools and the media, but I’ve changed. I believe it will be difficult teaching adults that a debt free world will curb the greed of corporations, which can only build their people controling ways without people lending them the money to produce a nearly instant business. I have no problem with anyone that builds a large business by profits. At least everyone is on a level playing field. Maybe the children that will be the most affected will reject the idea that money talks…and start doing it the right way. Thank you for your reply. Karl

  • Davisholidays

    GREAT idea!

  • Anonymous

    Dear Donna, Thank you. My comment has some humor, but I am seeing the power of television and radio and internet and online petitions, to put some influence on people in power. We need more and more non-violent Robin Hoods to ask the question to Legislators: “Do you really want to get re-elected?”. “We are voters, and please stop trying to block people from voting.” Also, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Sitting at a desk, and playing with numbers and dollar signs, is not hard work. Everyone takes risks and helps to build a business, not just the owners and shareholders. Smart business owners (such as Henry Ford) pay top wages and benefits, and produce quality products which generate tons of free word-of-mouth advertising. Smart business people take good care of employees and customers. We can shop with small local businesses whenever possible. Paying a little more at a local business gives us a big return on investment: the generation of decent American jobs. We, the People, can help to build the economy. We don’t have to wait for the government to do everything. We need innovation and excellence, not just paying the lowest prices. Thank you, Donna, for your many interesting comments. 

  • Donna

    Hi Karl,
    Thanks for your reply.  I couldn’t agree more with  your comment on what I call the debt trap and agree that it is at the root of most of society’s ills.  As you  point out, it is a nonproductive, predatory way of gaining wealth, usually excessively so.  It is sapping the strength and potential of our young people and plunging millions of Americans into massive debt,  foreclosure, bankruptcy and sometimes suicide.  Is this really the kind of society we want to live in? At the very least, these finance predators should be paying no less in taxes and probably should be paying more than working Americans who produce a useful product or provide a needed service.  I agree with you that non-productive investment income should also be taxed at rate no lower than and probably higher than peoples wages.  Now it is taxed at about half the rate.  This is grossly unfair and counter-productive, not to mention the moral/ethical issue.  Like you, I prefer an  egalitarian society.  But barring that, I hope for one that is, at least, more equitable and more egalitarian.  Instead, the trend is in the opposite direction and needs to be reversed if we are to remain a democratic as well as a civilized society.   The extreme  and growing levels of inequality in the world are the source of the most serious and pressing problems that  confront us both as a society and as a species.  We sure have our work cut out for us!  Only time will tell if we deserve the name we have given ourselves, Homo sapiens, ‘the wise ape’.  We’ll see about that!

  • Anonymous

    I was very impressed with Ms. DeMoro.  Unlike the leaders of many other organizations, who focus only on their constituency’s special interests, she sees the Big Picture & how we’re all intertwined.  If only all of those who are seeking to make life better for ALL of us would have solidarity, we could finally take power away from the plutocrats that run this country.

    I also like how she pointed out, repeatedly so, how the Dems have let down the poor & the middle class. 

    That leads me to my only disagreement with Ms. DeMoro – it’s not feeling shame about the label of “working class” which has led to the decline of unions, it is the unions fear/failure to call out the Dems for being beholden to the SAME corporate & plutocratic interests that the Republicans are beholden to.  The Dems haven’t been good allies for unions.

  • Anonymous

    You know Frank Luntz & his ilk would call it a tax, socialism, an attack on freedom, or anything else to scare the sheeple anyway.

  • Karl Hoff

    Hi Donna,
    Thank you for the nice reply. There is a lot we can do that most would say is stupid and would not work. As an egalatarian, I would never take a supervising position which was often offered because that would not allow me to be equal with others, and in time I would not allow bosses to push me around, being my two favorate statements were, “what’s next boss” and, “if you put your spurs in me, my fangs will come out”. My positions that I took work well because I was never late to work (went over 20 yrs. without being 1 second late) and the fact that I was a money maker for anyone that I worked for. Years ago, I worked remodeling appartments and they were junking working refrigerators, stoves, washers and such. I began taking them home, cleaning them up and put a sign on them, “Free for the asking”. They got picked up almost instantly. I paid nothing for them, so I charged nothing for them because as an egalitarian, I believed that charity is a symtom of a problem, not a solution to one. Just doing what is right has the greatest impact on those that are doing wrong, and even today that impact gets me praise. What more can one ask for! Well, gotta go plant my bean patch, I sell my produce for as much as 1/4 what the market sell it. It’s a great deal to buy fresh cukes for 25 cents that weigh up to 3/4 lb.. As I said, “charity is a symtom of a problem not a solution to one”.

  • Donna

     Karl,
    I admire your egalitarian stance, but even more so the fact that you back it up with action and live your values…so rare these days.  I too deferred pursuing a “management track’ at a large corporation  because it was at odds with my values and philosophy of life (not to mention peace of mind).  I realized this pretty quickly when  I attended a New Manager Orientation at which we were told, upon questioning some of the directives, “if you don’t like it there’s the door”.  It wasn’t long before I walked through that door and have never looked back!  I am in a different field  now landscape design with a focus on  permacultur e.  I, too am planting my garden today after much rain and so must ‘make hay’ now!  I am also a big advocate of buying local to support local businesses and farms…and products made in the U.S.A.  I avoid the Big  Box stores like the plague.  We can and need to be self-sufficient as communities, again. That’s where the real power is and we’ve had it all along.  Take care!

  • Donna

    Dear John, I agree completely with all of your excellent points.  The game is fundamentally unfair and is rigged against working people and the poor, who are seldom given the credit, recognition or compensation that they deserve.  And both parties are complicit.  We need to hold these so-called “Democratic” legislators accountable and really hold their feet to the fire.  Fielding candidates that really support the concerns of working people will provide the pressure on Democrats needed for them to be the opposition party to the GOP that is so sorely lacking.  Otherwise, they basically just sneer and seem to take the smug, arrogant attitude:  ‘what are you going to do, vote for the even scarier Republican?’  Obama exemplifies this attitude.  Honestly, I think he is really a corporate Republican wolf  in sheep’s clothing.  This tactic is being used against us to box us in and keep moving our politics farther and farther to the right, with the assistance of the corporate media-PR echo chamber.  As long as they keep getting (s)elected, I don’t see how anything will change for the better.  We need REAL, people-based alternatives, which I think will require running our own candidates.  But, in the meantime, I also continue to try to hold the Dems accountable and even the Reps that I am stuck with for representation. 

    I do buy from local farms and businesses as much as possible to support local jobs and our local economy and preserve our excellent farms and remaining farmland from  being lost to sprawl.  I have been doing this for over 15 years, now and also plant my own garden.   I have always felt that ‘you get what you pay for’ in one way or another and so have never minded paying a little more for either a higher quality product or to support my local, state or the U.S. economy.  Many poor people don’t have much choice.  But, by mindlessly opting for the “lowest price”, we are paying a very high price socially,  economically, politically and environmentally.  It is a very bad deal for us in the long run.  And, of course, you can’t beat fresh, local produce!  There are many urban community gardens and CSAs now in Philadelphia and surrounding communities, which is a great thing for both the urban poor, as well as the rest of us.  It is far-sighted, resourceful initiatives like this that gives me the most hope for our future.  Thanks for your  great comments.

  • Karl Hoff

    good for you, Karl

  • Vincent Amato

    I, too, was impressed by RoseAnn DeMoro, but even she seemed unable to entirely understand why so relatively painless a tax as she is urging would be so strenuously opposed.  I believe there is an answer to that question and that the answer goes to the very heart of the conservative attack on the working class.  The answer puts the lie to conservative claims that they are not engaging in class warfare but are merely interested in relieving the nation of debt and deficits in a sincere effort to restore the economic vitality of the system.   The answer?  Well, look at it this way.  Even if a given tax would have essentially zero impact in terms of being an economic drag on the economy, the last thing in the world conservatives are interested in doing is taking any measure that would serve to empower the working class and the unions that represent them.  At one point, Bill (admittedly somewhat ironically) remarks, “Absolutes, absolutes? In politics a game of compromise, uou’re looking for absolutes?”  A true response to the conservative assault will only take place when enough Americans recognize that the political process has  broken down in this country.  What we currently have is not really class warfare–that would imply two warring factions.  What we are currently witnessing is a massacre.

  • http://dustbowlpoetry.wordpress.com/ Shelley

    As we’ve learned to our sorrow from the other side, framing is half the battle.

    Thanks for thinking up such a good name for this proposal!

  • Bluegrassbloke

    Wonderful Bill, wonderful.

  • Bluegrassbloke

    The Dems may not have “Let us down’ more that it is testament to the influence and overwhelming  powerful force we are up against.

  • Bluegrassbloke

     We have financed ourselves by the Chinese buying the majority of our bonds. Now we fear pissing them off. How else to account for their massive effort to clandestinely infiltrate every aspect of of our intellectual capital AND our defenses without us publicly screaming loud and long. Shame, shame, on us.

  • Philcase

     The true response to this is there has been class warfare by BOTH parties since the early 1970′s against the working class!!! You call your representative and they are in complete denial. 

  • Rootsy

     
    but she is not a nurse

  • Jerilyn Bowen

    RoseAnn DeMoro is my new she-ro!  She tells it like it is and Has a Plan that we can all get behind.  Thanks for having her on your show, Bill. 

  • Dorothyknable

    Bill, you’ve got to talk about the CA Disclose Act. It is the bill to  make political ads show who really pays for them. AB 1648, it is set to be voted on in the Assembly again this week. Missing by just one vote last session, it may meet the same fate. We have been trying so hard to go for a 2/3 vote through the legislature so we can make this a law THIS YEAR. 
    But, now we have to get one Republican — and they, of course, cannot do anything that’s right. Not just because 90 % of the population want it, including 78% of their own party members! No, they have to react to anything that might show what the world-wide corporations are doing, as though it has cooties. (A Bill Maher joke). You’d think the Republicans’ constituents were the corporations. I think Citizens United made Republicans think Corporations are not just people, financially, but are their living, breathing CONSTITUENTS instead of the thinking, suffering, breathing ones. They might as well be. 

  • Kate

    This is so great!

  • duke

    Bill Moyer? Is this the same Bill Moyer who used to be LBJ’s hatchet man? At LBJ’s bidding he would illegally  get copies of income tax filing of people he would want to trash and pressure. Nice guy!
    Not true? Look it up. That is the advantage of old age—–I remember.

  • duke

     If I am a republican and want to contribute to a democrat you feel that I have no reason to wish that to be private??

  • duke

     Tax it and they will flee. What makes you think that the stock exchanges have to stay in the US? They can move to anywhere in the world. There has been some talk of Singapore getting one of our smaller exchanges. I can run my life out of an Apple I pad sitting on a beach in——– This is a very mobile world, everyone is our competitor.

  • Anonymous

    She is truly inspirational!

  • Kurtis

    I am a hard working, tax paying citizen. My parents were broke when I graduated out of high school. I have worked for years and years, saving money and putting it into the Stock Market. I am a CNA Union member. I pay union dues. I am a working class citizen that has my 401k in the Stock Market? Now you want to tax my transactions? Has the government done any good with the taxes we give them? Now you want to give them more money? More money to the government is not the answer. Taxing me is not the answer. I am done paying anymore taxes. I pay enough. Why would you do this? The government wastes so much money and now you want to give them more? Anger! Yes, I’m angry. Angry you want to tax me. If you have any money in a 401k this is a tax on you. More taxes.