A U.S. Financial Transaction Tax: How Wall Street can Pay for Its Mess
Robert Pollin | 5/3/2012

As we continue to suffer the consequences of the 2008-2009 global financial crash caused by casino capitalism, one idea for bringing some measure of control over speculative financial practices that has gained worldwide support is to impose a tax on financial market transactions. This has been variously termed a financial transaction tax (FTT) and, more vividly, a “Make Wall Street Pay tax,” an “anti-speculation tax,” and a “Robin Hood tax.” Over the past year, a movement to establish such a tax in the United States has been energized by the National Nurses Union under the theme “Heal America, Tax Wall Street.” The Occupy Wall Street movement has also strongly supported the idea as one of the few specific policy measures they are willing to endorse. In this "Economic Prospects" column for New Labor Forum, Pollin describes the basic mechanisms of a FTT, the support for the tax in many other countries, and how to set an FTT rate that can have a real impact on excessive speculation and the nation’s economic health.

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