WASHINGTON, February 3, 2014— There is a lot of confusion about Robin Hood, one of the best known fictional characters in the pantheon of English/French/Norman literature. Some say he was a dashing rogue, others say he was an outlaw fox, and some say that he was a thieving nobleman. Whatever your particular story poison, Robin Hood is a character entrenched in the treasure chest of rogues and robbers and does not seem to be going anywhere.
Who is Robin Hood? As far as conventional story telling goes, he is a fictional character somewhat based on the life of one of several Norman-English lords who returned from the Crusades under King Richard the Lionheart to find his brother Prince John conspiring to overthrow him. As the story goes, he comes home to find his inheritance forfeit and his father murdered, and takes to the woods to fight Prince John with his band of merry men.
There are a couple of variations of the story, all of which are quite entertaining. Some have him as a Saxon lord fighting against the Norman occupiers in 12th Century England. One particular book series depicts Robin Hood as a Welsh rebel noble, who witnesses his father’s kingdom burn and takes to the Welsh Marches to fight a guerrilla war against the Normans.
All of these versions of the story have one thing in common: robbing from the rich and giving to the poor. The variable among the stories is the reason he is stealing and who he is fighting. But the basics remain the same.
Even in the Welsh version, the Robin Hood character robs from the rich and redistributes that money back to the poor.
To many Progressives and Liberals, the Robin Hood philosophy is the basis of fighting corporate greed and income inequality. Much of the Robin Hood, steal from the rich to give to the poor mentality is aimed at Wall Street and their seemingly excessive profits and the extravagant lifestyles they lead. According to many on the Left, Wall Street is the center of all evil in America, and they should have to pay their fair share.
One of the things the Left believes that Wall Street should pay, is a tax on all stock trades. According to the Facebook page, “Robin Hood Tax USA”, a “…1% tax on Wall Street transactions that could generate hundreds of billions of dollars each year.” Despite the fact that those transactions are already taxed quarterly as part of corporate earnings, and despite the fact that the idea Wall Street is not paying its “fair share” is ludicrous, and despite the fact that there are more Democratic millionaires in Congress than Republican millionaires, proponents still feel the need to further tax Wall Street.
There is a problem with this Robin Hood idea and the way the Progressives see it. The Left sees Robin Hood as a plucky but lovable outlaw who spends his time in the forest robbing rich, wealthy, gold laden individuals who tax their people into submission, and then he scampers off and buys the good will of the people with stolen gold.
Here is where the problem comes in.
The rich, wealthy, gold laden individuals Robin Hood is stealing from, those greedy individuals who tax their people into submission, are the government. The rich nobles who traverse unknowingly through the woods represent the aristocracy, nobility, and royalty of the English crown, and therefore represent the government in every, single, Robin Hood story. The gold they carry on them is the fruit of the labor of the people, being transported to the central seat of government and ultimately the vault of the Prince John.
Robin Hood tracks down and steals gold from government tax collectors, who have placed crushing burden upon their surfs to pay for a political coup, and then returns much of that gold to the populace from whence it came.
Robin Hood steals from the government, who is stealing from the people, and gives it back to the people.
Oh, there’s more.
In most of the stories, at least the most prevalent ones, Robin Hood is a representative of King Richard the Lionheart, and a member of the aristocracy. He returns home to find that the King’s brother is plotting to take control of the country. Upon returning home he finds that his father, the Earl of Locksley, refused the offer of the Prince to join his insurrection and paid for that refusal with his life. Learning of this, Robin Hood takes up arms against Prince John in an effort to stall and derail his plans for total usurpation.
Prince John represents a corrupt and immoral individual. While his brother is gone, while the legitimate government is absent, the Prince raises taxes, murders citizens, takes away the right of the people to hunt for food, creates rampant unemployment when he kicks farmers and their families off land for failure to pay the taxes, he makes carrying weapons punishable by death, and brutally represses any kind of critical speech against him.
All the while Prince John is trying to raise his forces and tax the people, Robin Hood continues to represent the original, legitimate government who is handicapped due to its involvement in a foreign war as a result of international alliances.
Think about it.
Robin Hood robbed from the government to return oppressive taxes to the people in order to deprive the illegitimate government of the ability to oppress the people in an effort to buy time until the original and legitimate government could return and restore the rights of the people.
Robin Hood, Libertarian Guerrilla?
Perhaps we should indeed institute a Robin Hood tax. Let’s audit the federal government, the state governments, and the local governments, let’s audit every single major project, every representative, and every executive. Let’s put a 1% tax on all government transactions in which the government is doing the spending, which will go to a trust fund that will run the federal fiscal year, and then reset. When tax season comes around, it will be redistributed accordingly to the tax payers of the United States.
Now that is a Robin Hood tax.