Brian Holmes on Thu, 10 Dec 2009 05:46:13 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Paul Krugman: Taxing the Speculators ( - aka 'Tobin Tax')

Nicholas Ruiz III wrote:

> why not simply harness the earning potential of the Market
> for the greater good?
> In the US, we need to harness the power of the financial Market (i.e.
> Wall Street) for the Public - as in a 10% issuance of public shares
> of all publicly traded companies, and a 10% issuance of all tradable
> derivatives (e.g. crude oil, gold, etc.) for the financing of public
> interests (e.g. healthcare, education, social security, etc.).

A version of this argumentation has generally been trotted out during 
the financial bubbles, just before the crashes, advertising the 
potential of "popular investment" or the "shareholder's society."  The 
last time this argument was heard in the US was under Clinton before the 
dot-com bust in which many middle-class people lost their savings or 
their retirement. During Bush, no such argument was heard because the 
sting of the last major expropriation was too close. So instead people 
were encouraged to place their money in the most rock-solid investment 
of all, their own house, now reconfigured as a speculative investment 
vehicle. With the results that everyone has seen.

Today apparently only a postmodern literary critic who has long preached 
the supremely inscrutable virtues of Code is able to suggest such an 
inane idea, which, if realized, would fuel unchecked speculation for 
perhaps another ten years until we all die of the social and climatic 

Brilliant work, Nicholas III.

I would rather not see you in hell.


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