Saturday, May 11, 2013

Nixon More Radical than Obama

In an interesting piece this week from the Remapping Debate folks, the authors note that in the late 1960s and into the early 1970s the Congress and even Nixon were seriously considering instituting a guaranteed minimum income. Two presidential commissions had suggested it, one version passed the House, Nixon supported a form of it, but it failed to happen.

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Having that conversation now would seem impossible given the Reagan/Thatcher blind faith in markets that swept the West and has held hegemony over everything from government to education to well, just about everything. So today few dare to mention such a possibility, but the Remapping Debate piece shows the sanity of that approach. In the vacuum created by the conversion of the faithful to market gods, we have a few approaches that may inch our way back towards a more egalitarian society.

One new one worth really digging into and pushing towards elected officials and sharing with your friends, neighbors, and family is what is called the Robin Hood Tax. As a website by that name suggests -

http://www.robinhoodtax.org/sites/all/themes/sherwood/images/super_sprite.gif

Simply put, the big idea behind the Robin Hood Tax is to generate hundreds of billions of dollars.  That money could provide funding for jobs to kickstart the economy and get America back on its feet. It could help save the social safety net here and around the world.  And it will come from fairer taxation of the financial sector.
This small tax of less than ½ of 1% on Wall Street transactions can generate hundreds of billions of dollars each year in the US alone.
Enough to protect American schools, housing, local governments and hospitals. Enough to pay for lifesaving AIDS medicines. Enough to support people and communities around the world – and deal with the climate challenges we're facing.
It won't affect ordinary Americans, their personal savings, or every day consumer activity, such as ATMs or debit cards. It's easy to enforce and tough to evade. 
This is a tax on Wall Street, which created the greatest economic crisis in our nation, and globally, since the Great Depression. The same people who have returned to record profits and bonuses while ordinary Americans, the 99%, continue to pay the price of their crisis.

All significant change starts with us. Margaret Thatcher was wrong - There are Alternatives!!!! And we've only begun to imagine and create our future. Citizens of the world unite. The future of our children depends on our actions today...