The big idea is a small tax (less than half of one percent) on all financial transactions involving assets and products that financial institutions speculate on. Millions of such transactions take place each day. These trades are essentially untaxed. They are also a major driver of economic instability. Enter the Robin Hood Tax – a tax on behavior that has destabilized financial markets, pushing a billion people into poverty.
Reining in profiteering, the bubbles and the busts, calming the contagious panic buying and selling of speculative assets, while providing a consistent source of funding towards the Millennium Development Goals.
Streamlining a bloated and grotesquely inefficient banking system, while investing in the human capital of the poor, at home and all over the world.
This is not a tax on people, it’s a tax on the financial sector. It’s easy to enforce and difficult to evade. Rather than relying on the disaster du jour to coax money from international donors, always a day late and a dollar short, the financial transactions tax would be reliable money, year in, year out. Programs that work could be scaled up and kept going. Developing countries could build something lasting. All over the world, the middle class could encompass people who are now desperately poor.
Win, win and win.
Campaign video by Richard Curtis and Bill Nighy for robinhoodtax.org.