ThinkProgress filed this report from the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York City.
While at the Occupy Wall Street protests, ThinkProgress spoke to Ken Zinn, a staffer with the National Nurses Union — the nation’s largest nurses union, with nearly 160,000 members. Zinn’s group is pushing for a financial transactions tax (FTT), which would enact a small tax on financial trading that could generate hundreds of billions of dollars every year.
Zinn says his group was motivated to join the protests and demand the tax because their patients all over the country are hurting, and it’s “time that Wall Street gave back to this country”:
ZINN: We’ve been calling for a tax on Wall Street for several months now because our nurses are seeing on the job, each and every day in hospitals across the country patients who are suffering, patients who are in great need because they’re without a job and having to make a decision whether or not to buy food or pay for medicine, buy food or pay their rent. […] We’re here because it’s time that Wall Street gave back to this country. And it’s a small tax that we’re proposing on the buying and selling of stocks and bonds and derivatives that would bring in, by our estimation, $350 billion every year into the economy.
Watch ThinkProgress’s interview with Zinn:
While the United States continues to watch the profits of bailed out banks soar, the European Union is expected to move forward on a push for a global financial transactions tax.