Occupy movement mobilizes support for Robin Hood tax

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $1 per month!

We should all be giving thanks for the brave souls at Occupy Toronto and all the others around the world. They aren't just freezing their butts off and facing down all the demons of our time; they're turning the tide on the global conversation.

Listen for them at the G20 meeting in Cannes this week. Big players are echoing the Occupy demand for a new financial transaction tax because it's the most hopeful and holistic option on the table.

The simple truth is that we live in taxing times. Literally.

To keep the global economy moving, people have to spend money. That isn't going to happen, because, to understate the problem, our incomes aren't there and debt is tapped out. That leaves government spending.

But bad politics has played a big hand. We all know the downward spiral. Unemployment gets worse as governments cut taxes -- especially for the wealthy. Then social spending triggers debt crisis. Welcome to a world economy on the brink of another credit meltdown and global recession.

We remember from the last financial crisis that public spending is the only way out. Even Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has mumbled about the need for stimulus if global recession takes hold, all the while claiming that Canada is all good. Yeah, right.

The Occupy movement has put it all on the table. We need government to step up and meet the needs of our human family instead of leading us further into the clutches of the masters of commerce who have utterly failed us.

We need meaningful work to address this profound mess through major social investments in green infrastructure, education, health and more.

It's tax innovation time.

The voices in favour of a financial transaction (or Robin Hood) tax are piling up. The 27-member European Union is considering the tax, with German leader Angela Merkel's and French president Nicolas Sarkozy's strong endorsement. Bill Gates has added his support. Hundreds of esteemed economists and lawmakers have publicly signed on. But thank you, Occupy movement, for giving legs and heart to this heady demand. And only this ongoing grassroots mobilization can make sure that whatever positive tax changes we win aren't hijacked once again by that wily 1 per cent.

This article was first published in Now Magazine.

Related Items

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.