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Robin Hood Tax

July 11, 2008

There is a general consensus among politicos when it comes to populist action steps. Sometimes to appear heroic and sympathetic to national concerns, sometimes to act as a saviour, to highlight the action of previous authority. Manifestos, Promises, Development blah blah blah. All are cronies or sonnies of dear ol’ grandpa, populist measures.

But, when SP and Left governments [RIP] shout on the top of their voice to set up a ROBIN HOOD TAX to counter the rising oil prices, thinking masses should sit up and listen. This will work as follows. Do correct me Mr.Karat and Mr. Amar Singhji if I am wrong:

1. ‘Big’ oil companies are profiting from the rising oil prices. Windfall profits are giving them a huge kitty to sit on and get fat.

2. Common man is sufferring for the increased cost of fuel which is getting reflected in the core inflation index too.

3. Tax the big oil companies.

4. Give it back to the masses to help them mitigate the effects of speculative oil.

Neat!
But what if, this Robin Hood Tax is levied in an attempt to hide the shamble called economic policy of 80s and 90s? Sloppy management of subsidies, Livemint puts it. I say,populist sham called subsidies.

And God forbid! this RHT [Robin H…] is picking up. All of a sudden it is in fashion.

Think Barack Obama! Think Italy! Think EU!

Anyway, having a mismanaged subsidy policy itself is a reflector of bad governance, but keeping them in place and yet levying a punishment tax on performing corporates is a symbol of pathetic vision.

Of course, politicians and vision go a long way… away from each other.

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