How banks could help to change the world for the better by simply accepting a modest tax, the Robin Hood Tax – Not Complicated. Just Brilliant.
Some Time ago I read a short article in a German newspaper about a tax, that imposed on financial transactions, could raise an enormous amount of money, that could be used for various social and ecological projects.
The other day I skimmed through the online New York Times and one article stuck out: “Tiny Tax on Financial Trades Gains Advocates”. After reading the first few lines I remembered the article from a few months ago and got interested again. While researching that topic several questions arose: “How exactly will that tax be imposed”, “How high is it?”, “Who is supporting it and who is not willing to apply it?” to mention just a few. So now I will give you the answers to these questions
How Robin Hood wants to save the day
The Legend of Sherwood Forest “Robin Hood” has many origins and tales, but one thing they have all in common: Robin steals from the rich and gives the loot to the poor.
Of course the Robin Hoods won´t ambush managers in an underground garage and steel a piece of a quarter. They thought it would be a pretty good idea to generate money by imposing a tax on financial transactions and businesses. This tax will be about half a percent.
The Idea spreads
Though the Idea had its origins in Great Britain in 2010, it spread quickly across the world and attracts more and more supporters, including several humanitarian and environmental protection groups. And since the immense effects of the current financial crisis even some governments. Sanjay Basu posted that the European Commission recently planned an EU financial transaction tax to be adopted within the 27 member states of the European Union. Steven Greenhouse and Graham Bowley mention the leaders of France and Germany, Owen Tudor stated, that Belgium supports a tax on the financial sector as well. Also former Vice President Al Gore, billionaire philanthropists Bill Gates and Pope Benedict XVI team up with Robin Hood.
The Robin Hood Tax is brilliant. Or not?
On the official Robin Hood Tax web page the authors state that:
- The Tax is justice.
- The banks can afford it.
- The systems are in place to collect it.
- It won’t affect ordinary members of the public, their bank accounts or their savings.
Opponents are mostly banks and people who gain a fortune in the financial business. But also some “common” citizens have their doubts. They consider the tax to be:
- Too complicated to apply
- transferred over to consumers rather than really being paid by the bankers – Steven Greenhouse and Graham Bowley quote Glenn Hubbard in the New York Times
- diminish private pension funds
- have a harmful impact on the banking industry and the overall employment , claims Sanjay Basu in the Global Health Hub
Now what do you think? Is it an idea worth supporting or just the dream of some heroes in tights?