On Wednesday, British activists launched a major campaign to push Gordon Brown's government into adopting a "Robin Hood Tax" on financial transactions -- a tiny tax that could raise hundreds of billions for public services and for tackling poverty and climate change. "By taking an average of 0.05 percent from speculative banking transactions, hundreds of billions of pounds would be raised every year," their website asserts.
The campaigners unveiled a truly brilliant little sketch featuring British actor Bill Nighy as a smarmy banker. Nighy also took to the airwaves on the BBC's biggest morning shows, as my friend Mary Bottari reports in her Bankster blog, arguing that a tiny transaction tax would be "small change for the bankers, but big change for the world."
RobinHoodTax.org's idea with this video is to galvanize the ranks of a new generation of Merry Men willing to spread the word about how a crisis for the banks can be transformed into an opportunity for the people. Be a Merry (Wo)Man on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and all those other places you spend your time and tell people how the Robin Hood Tax can fight poverty, protect public services and raise money to tackle critical issues. Use these hash tags and profile photos to show your support.
The idea is far from a radical pipedream. British Prime Minister Brown, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy have all spoken out in support of a tax on financial transactions and business heavies like George Soros, Warren Buffet and Lord Turner (from the Financial Services Authority in the UK) are on-board too. Moreover, hundreds of economists have backed the notion.
The idea is simple, it transcends party politics and – with massive grassroots support – it can become a reality. So let's support the British campaign and start the conversation about our own Robin Hood Tax here in the United States.
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