Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Support a Robin Hood Tax

Over at Crooked Timber, John Quiggin has written a piece arguing for a "Tobin tax" (or Robin Hood tax) on financial transactions. The idea is to discourage "high volume, short-term financial transactions" and to raise money by doing so.

Head over to CT for the details, and a link to an earlier Quiggin piece on the subject. In the meantime, since I'm a fan of Richard Curtis and Bill Nighy, here's a video they put together for the Robin Hood Tax folks:

On a related note, Warren Buffet has compared calls to make higher taxation voluntary akin to believing in the tooth fairy.

Meanwhile, TBogg re-runs a certain Wall Street screed we've looked at before (and he occasionally returns to) with a headline after my own heart: "Do You Know Your Enemy?" (The piece may be familiar, but the comments are worth it. You may have seen the quip that "It's only called class warfare when we fight back," and cleek provides a nice version: "Remember: it’s only class warfare if the shots come from below.")

Finally, lest you think these is a new battle, check out this brief clip of Franklin Delano Roosevelt from 1936:

As we've discussed before, FDR was denounced in his time as a "traitor to his class," he called out his enemies, and 'welcomed their hatred.' It's appealing to see him mock and expose the bad faith efforts of his opponents, and also that he doesn't talk down to his audience. They seem to respond well to this approach, and his words have the added virtue of being true.

Prince John may own the media, and the Sheriff may appear on all the Sunday talk shows, but Robin Hood has always had a strong populist appeal. That makes the banksters, fat cats and Masters of the Universe (MOTUs) nervous, and increasing the unease of our Galtian Overlords is a good thing.


Anonymous said...

A Robin Hood tax would be good. It seems odd that governments tax the exchange of thousands worth of real goods, but avoid taxing the exchange of millions worth of paper representing derivatives of real goods.

The tax must be local, though. Some earlier proposals were for global transaction taxes, with the proceeds to go to the IMF, where our shadowy overlords could spend the money wisely to avert market downturns. Something like that would be an utterly terrible idea.

Batocchio said...

"Local" in terms of "by nation" sounds like a good idea. It probably would be easier to accomplish, too.

Cirze said...

Somehow with the power to cause new financial cataclysms at will, I don't think they are that worried about the ants below.

Wish I did.

Love you,