Across Europe, a movement has started to implement what is called a Robin Hood Tax that seeks to levy a small tax on financial transactions that would produce large amounts of revenue to pay for much-needed public services. The details can be seen here.
The Robin Hood Tax is gaining support. The European Parliament in December 2012 voted 533 to 91 (with 32 abstaining) in favor of the Financial Transaction Tax, which is the same idea as the Robin Hood Tax, and then last month the European Union gave approval to 11 countries to implement it.
Although there has been some support for such an idea in the US (by people such as by Nobel prize-winning economists Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz), I am surprised that there has been no organized movement (at least as far as I am aware) that has been pushing for it. The European countries are way ahead on this.
The chief European exception is the UK, whose government seems to be as servile to the banking sector as the US, providing it with the same kinds of subsidies and bailouts that we in the US are drearily accustomed to. The Conservative government there is pushing for the same kinds of austerity measures that the oligarchy loves to advocate since it does not affect them in the least but instead causes massive suffering to ordinary people, as we can see in Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and the UK.
You can be sure the oligarchy in the US that, like in the UK, is dominated by the financial sector will fight this vigorously. The very name ‘Robin Hood’ is sufficient to give the US oligarchy and its media lackeys the vapors.
That excellent British character actor Bill Nighy (who is not as well known in the US as he should be) is a supporter of the Robin Hood Tax and has taken part in the following spot that explains it. He captures the shiftiness of opponents perfectly.