Robin Hood

I was just watching one of the many Robin Hood remakes. Liberals are accused of wanting to be Robin Hood and they sometimes take inspiration from the legend. But the key to understanding the legend is to recall that Robin Hood is fighting against taxes and big government. High taxes and excessive government spending have created the poverty and the rich are rich not through enterprise but rather because of their closeness to government power. The poor are poor because they are the victims of excessive government control. It sound more like a legend made for the Tea Party than Occupy Wall Street.

It is a very superficial analysis to say that Robin steals from the rich to give to the poor w/o exploring why the rich are rich and the poor are poor.

The problem is excessive regulation and rules by the rulers. Left to themselves, the peasants and tradesmen would be a lot better off. If you look carefully into the legend and into the actual history, you find that there is no free market, at least no legal free market.

So perhaps it is the conservatives who embrace the true spirit of Robin Hood, who is really fighting for the freedom from excessive taxes and government control. Liberals, in contrast, are on the side of the Sheriff of Nottingham. After all, neither he, nor any of this cronies does any sort of business. They don't make investments. They are wealth consumers, not wealth creators. They all live off the taxes they extract from others and demand that others pay what they consider their fair share.

Next time our liberal friends want to steal from the rich and give to the poor using the coercive tools of government, we should recall that Robin Hood would not have been on their side. As for the OWS folks - I have seen their camps. They do seem to share a certain medieval squalor with Robin's men camped out in the forest. Beyond that, there is not much in common.

Posted by Christine & John at May 26, 2012 10:47 PM
Comments
Comment #345478


“I guess I’m known as a RINO now, which means a Republican in name only, because, I guess, of social views, perhaps, or common sense would be another, which seems to escape members of our party,”

Alan Simpson.

I can see how a member of the tea party would associate with John, the Sheriff and the Bishop rather than Robin’s band of merry landless serfs.

Adjusted for inflation, the OWS has more in common with Robin’s men that Robin.

Posted by: jlw at May 28, 2012 9:06 AM
Comment #345493

jlw:

Adjusted for inflation, the OWS has more in common with Robin’s men that Robin.

I’m wondering what will happen when Americans living in poverty start becoming the majority. We’re not there yet, but the recent Census data found that almost one in two Americans now lives in poverty.
The CBO recently warned that things could soon become more critical if Obama and Congress can’t find a way to agree over the budget for 2013. The Republican House majority is demanding a budget that cuts healthcare, food programs and social services, and at the same time they want all funds for the Pentagon to remain the same.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 28, 2012 1:07 PM
Comment #345500

jlw

The difference is that Robin’s men actually used to work. Many of the OWS are leaching off society.

Re landless serfs - you really couldn’t be a landless serf. Being a serf you were tied to the land. If you were tied to no land, you were not a serf.

Adrienne and jlw

It will depend on how you define poverty. It is a changing target. In income terms (i.e. what you can actually buy) many people in Europe are in poverty by U.S. standards and by modern standards, most Americans were in poverty in 1955)

The growing poverty is a problem, but don’t worry. The Obama doldrums cannot last forever and if the elections go right things might improve soon.


Posted by: C&J at May 28, 2012 6:41 PM
Comment #345505


No one can lead the U.S. down the path to socialism better than Republicans.

Posted by: jlw at May 28, 2012 9:52 PM
Comment #345536

Are we censoring C&J?

Posted by: j2t2 at May 29, 2012 10:33 AM
Comment #345562
Many of the OWS are leaching off society.

No they’re not. The true leeches on society are the Wall Street Banksters and Corporate Raiders like Myth Romney and Bain Capital.

It will depend on how you define poverty. It is a changing target.

The Census defines it using the Consumer Price Index. Here’s the webpage where they describe this: http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/methods/definitions.html

The growing poverty is a problem, but don’t worry. The Obama doldrums cannot last forever and if the elections go right things might improve soon.

If Romney wins you can come back and write another article describing the Republican theory of Reverse Robinhood, and report on how the Heritage Foundation is using Calcutta, India as their new yardstick for measuring what constitutes a healthy and just society.

jlw:

No one can lead the U.S. down the path to socialism better than Republicans.

Couldn’t agree more. And, raise the possibility of another bloody Civil War.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 29, 2012 12:49 PM
Comment #345590

That’s interesting. I remember Robin Hood stealing from the rich to give to the poor, because the poor were so heavily taxed.

Since 2009, though, since Obama became President, any attempt to maintain low taxes for the poor or middle class, while having the Rich pay more has been met with bitter resistance, even while Republicans complain about the lucky-duckies, and try to institute flat taxes that will vastly increase what the “lucky duckies” pay in effective taxes.

Meanwhile, in Budget negotiations forced on the pretext of taking care of the debt and the deficits, the Republicans have insisted that rather than reduce military spending, we just gut programs for the poor, the elderly, and other disadvantage groups.

Robin Hood in reverse is more like it, robbing from the poor to give to the rich. Funny thing is, even in the day of Robin Hood, nobody expected that giving everything to the rich, without them giving something back was a good recipe for a stable society. Your metaphor’s working at cross purpose to your policies.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 29, 2012 1:50 PM
Comment #345591

j2t2:

Are we censoring C&J?

Yeah — looks that way doesn’t it? Jack took down all your posts, and a few of my posts, and left all the spam behind.
Well anyway, here’s my links again:

Maddow: Republicans practicing ‘reverse Robin Hood’ economics

The AP story Maddow was referring to in that link had to do with an independent study just done by the The Tax Policy Center:

Study: Romney plan raises taxes on poor families

Quote from that story:

On average, households making less than $20,000 would see their taxes increase by more than 60 percent, said the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research group that studied the Romney plan.

Households making between $50,000 and $75,000 would get small tax cuts, averaging 2.2 percent, or about $250, the study said. People making more than $1 million would get tax cuts averaging 15 percent, or about $146,000.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 29, 2012 2:17 PM
Comment #345593

J2t2

I was trying to knock out a bunch of adds for Louis Vitton handbags (never buy any of those, BTW). I must have knocked out some others. I hit a few of my own too. Sorry about that. The spam is getting worse and worse.

Stephen

In Robin Hood, it is not the merchants or the industrialists who are rich. It is almost exclusively those connected to the government authorities. In fact, the government taxes everybody who is not connected to them. That is how Robin’s formerly well-off family became poor.

In the U.S. the rich already pay most of the taxes and the poorest 20% pay nothing as a group. You may argue from a Christian perspective that we should give to the poor, but from an economic or practical point of view society and “the rich” are certainly not living off the labor of the poor.

Adrienne

As to poverty - I understand official definitions. I have also lived a while and traveled widely. The poor of today can buy more than the middle class of 1955. Or put another way, based on what you could purchase in today’s goods adjusted for inflation, a majority of Americans would be living in poverty in 1955. Today I live in Brazil most of the time, where most of the middle class would live in poverty according to the American definition. This may not surprise you, but the same goes for many place in Europe. So it does indeed depend on how you look at it.

Re leaching off society - anybody who doesn’t work (i.e. do something that others are willing to pay him/her to do and/ or living off his/her own savings/capital)is leaching off society. Some bankers may fall into this category. Most of the OWS belong here.

Posted by: C&J at May 29, 2012 2:24 PM
Comment #345594

Adrienne

I don’t censor. I don’t have to. As you know, I can take care of myself.

If you want, I suppose we can put you in charge of taking down all that spam. Sometimes I knock out a couple dozen and take down some others with it.

Posted by: C&J at May 29, 2012 2:27 PM
Comment #345596
In the U.S. the rich already pay most of the taxes and the poorest 20% pay nothing as a group.

This is an endlessly repeated Rethuglican talking point, but it’s complete BS. The middle class and the poor pay more in taxes.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 29, 2012 2:36 PM
Comment #345597

Adrienne

If a person who makes $20,000 a year pays ALL his income in taxes, he still pays less than I do and much less than someone who is really rich.

Even your own chart indicates that generally the rich also pay a greater % of their income until you get to the top 1% of the population. This groups is not comparable. Take Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or even Romney or the Koch Brothers. These guys get most of their income from capital gains and they give very large amounts of money to tax-deductible charities.

In any case 30.9% of $10 million is still $3.9 million, a high tax bill.

As usual, I have to caution you to read and understand the charts you post.

The chart is a little dishonest and the headline is wrong. The middle 20% pays 27% rate while the top 1% pays 30.9%. Only when you compare the top 1% to the top 19% do you find a small drop.

You will notice that it takes the income groups in 20% until it gets to the top 20%, where it breaks it out into subgroups. If you take the top 20% as a group, their tax rates is the highest. If you want a fair chart, you would also take the bottom 10% etc, where you would find no net taxes paid.

Posted by: C&J at May 29, 2012 2:48 PM
Comment #345598
I don’t censor. I don’t have to. As you know, I can take care of myself.

I don’t understand. Why aren’t you looking at what you’re deleting?

If you want, I suppose we can put you in charge of taking down all that spam.

Who owns this website now? How come they don’t care that every article thread is heavily littered with spam?

Sometimes I knock out a couple dozen and take down some others with it.


That’s a very good way to destroy a discussion, and make people feel completely disrespected after taking the time to respond to what you write.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 29, 2012 2:52 PM
Comment #345599

Adrienne

I try to look at what I am deleting, but it is too much work. Frankly, I am too lazy to be that careful with dozens or more of these things. I will not change, so if you accept my regrets at deleting some email, I am content. If not … it will be the same. I don’t have the attention to detail never to make mistakes. When you check on box, sometimes others get checked farther down the list.

If you feel disrespected by my mistake, I am sorry. Your feelings are unjustified by my intentions.

Frankly, I am not sure who owns the webpage now. If I ever lose my log in, I will have to stop writing because I cannot get it back. I don’t think the owners make much money on this site, so they don’t much care to spend much time working on it.

Posted by: C&J at May 29, 2012 3:12 PM
Comment #345635
I don’t censor. I don’t have to. As you know, I can take care of myself.

I try to look at what I am deleting, but it is too much work. Frankly, I am too lazy to be that careful with dozens or more of these things.

Please, C&J, come up with something a bit less lame than this, please. It’s not like you were writing these all out longhand after all. It makes you in particular and Conservatives in general look like sore losers when there Robin Hood analogies fall to pieces under a bit of scrutiny.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 29, 2012 10:36 PM
Comment #345644

j2t2, yeah I don’t believe the excuse either. When I posted earlier today, our posts had been deleted but the spam was still there.

Btw, have you heard the latest about Sheriff Myth of Rottneyham’s former labor advisor?

The campaign of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has scrubbed its website of all mentions of its former top labor adviser, Peter Schaumber, following the resignation of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) member Terence Flynn, who is accused of leaking internal government documents to Schaumber in violation of federal law.

Specifically, the Romney campaign appears to have spirited away a column published last Sept. by Schaumber that blames working people for America’s sagging economy and suggests that labor unions may no longer even be necessary. Schaumber was named Romney’s top labor policy adviser less than a week after writing that column, but he resigned in April following allegations involving improper leaks from Flynn.

The IG began investigating the leak as a violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in partisan political activities while on duty.

Romney campaign quietly scrubs all mentions of anti-labor adviser Peter Schaumber

Posted by: Adrienne at May 30, 2012 2:56 AM
Comment #345646

j2t2 and Adrienne

I am telling you the truth and I am insulted by your stupid insinuation. If I wanted to “censor” you clowns I could do it very easily.

I like to leave your inane comments on the post to show how dumb they are. Often taking apart your arguments is as easy as actually reading the links you provide.

Now that we have mutually insulted each other, we will cease and desist. I tolerate any sorts of attacks on my ideas, but none on my integrity. I have been trying to keep this spam off my comments for months now. You are free riders. If you don’t appreciate the forum, please leave it.

If you really believe I am dishonest enough to delete your legitimate comments on purpose, I suggest that you don’t trust me enough to talk to me here and I am sorry for that.

But I am pulling rank here. I WILL indeed delete any more insults.

Posted by: C&J at May 30, 2012 6:53 AM
Comment #345647
I am telling you the truth and I am insulted by your stupid insinuation. If I wanted to “censor” you clowns I could do it very easily.

So we noticed C&J. Of course by your own admission if it was hard…..

If you really believe I am dishonest enough to delete your legitimate comments on purpose, I suggest that you don’t trust me enough to talk to me here and I am sorry for that.

It isn’t honesty or trust C&J it is the admission of and disregard for the laziness and carelessness that is more to the point.

But I am pulling rank here. I WILL indeed delete any more insults.

So it isn’t beneath you, despite the integrity comment, to censor our comments after all C&J?

Posted by: j2t2 at May 30, 2012 8:30 AM
Comment #345670
I am telling you the truth and I am insulted by your stupid insinuation.

I’m telling the truth. When I went to comment in this thread yesterday j2t2’s comments and a few of mine (that contained the links which I’ve re-posted above) had been removed, but the spam was all still there. Then I refreshed the page and saw that the spam had also been removed.

If I wanted to “censor” you clowns I could do it very easily.

Obviously it is easy — and you did so. Clown.

I like to leave your inane comments on the post to show how dumb they are.

Uh huh. Unless it’s too much work and you’re lazy.

Often taking apart your arguments is as easy as actually reading the links you provide.

The links I provided under your “Robin Hood” article had to do with an independent study reporting that Mitt Romney’s plan will raise taxes on poor people who make less than $20,000 a year by more than 60%, while giving tax cuts averaging 15 percent, or about $146,000 to people making more than a million dollars a year.
In your article you say:

Next time our liberal friends want to steal from the rich and give to the poor using the coercive tools of government, we should recall that Robin Hood would not have been on their side.

My links (deleted and re-posted) show how if Romney wins the election he will be robbing from the poor to give to the rich using the coercive power of the government.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 30, 2012 2:39 PM
Comment #345677

Adrienne & j2t2

I have always treated you more fairly than you have treated me or than you deserve. I thought you might be thoughtful people or at least honorable. I deserve better from you.

Are you really that stupid after all the contact we have had? Or am I really that stupid to believe that you were reasonable people? Is it really worth talking to either of you? I will have to think about these things, since unlike you all I am a thoughtful person. I have no more pearls to cast here today.

Posted by: C&J at May 30, 2012 4:42 PM
Comment #345683

Right back at you, Jack. Respect is a two way street.

unlike you all I am a thoughtful person.

Thoughtful — unless it’s too much work and you’re feeling lazy, you mean. If I wrote for this blog, I know I would be very careful not to delete a discussion using spam and laziness as the excuse.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 30, 2012 5:35 PM
Comment #345684

Adrienne

IF - why didn’t you volunteer when David was looking for writers? They were accepting anybody who was willing and able to write. In fact, why don’t you ask the new owners if you can write. Instead of freeloading off the work of others.

As I said before, if you don’t like it here, leave. If you want to stay, live with the way that I manage the site. I actually have a full time job and other things to do.

Posted by: C&J at May 30, 2012 6:03 PM
Comment #345687

Re freeloading off the work of others - I guess we could say that you are “occupying” the site.

Posted by: C&J at May 30, 2012 6:32 PM
Comment #345694

Yeah, whatever Jack. I only posted some links (easy to repost) that put the lie to what you claim in your article. It’s j2t2 who really deserved an apology (and obviously isn’t going to get one). He really took some time to reply to your post with several long comments — and did such a good and thorough job of doing so that I was moved to write: “what j2t2 said.”

The fact is, most people would be flattered that anyone would take such time to fully respond to your rightwing ramblings, but it’s more than clear that you simply don’t give a shit.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 30, 2012 7:45 PM
Comment #345698

Adrienne

Your links were silly. I demolished your argument with the chart you posted.

I may be lazy when it comes to clerical work, but you are intellectually lazy in that you don’t do your own math or analysis. That is why your links often disprove your own arguments. When I try to teach you statistics, you just get mad.

Simple question, in your world of math is 17 > 30? That is the kind of thing you argue w/o seeming to know it.


I also took the time to respond to you and J2t2 and inadvertently deleted my own remarks too.


But please, put up or shut up. You are like the OWS, freeloading in my backyard. Volunteer to write a regular posting and to keep it free of spam.

Re apologizing BEFORE the pin headed attacks on my integrity I wrote this to J2t2 - “I was trying to knock out a bunch of adds for Louis Vitton handbags (never buy any of those, BTW). I must have knocked out some others. I hit a few of my own too. Sorry about that. The spam is getting worse and worse.”

What the hell more did you want? I said I was sorry for it and explained the nature of the problem that had caused it.

EVERYBODY but you knows that I am much more patient with your petulance than ordinary reason would dictate. I cannot also deal with the paranoia.

Do you really think that your comments are so good that they need to be deleted. If you are currently answering “yes” you are a liar. Look at the evidence. IF you think that your comments will be deleted, why would you continue to make them?

I know that using logic with you is not much use, but just look at your own behavior.

Posted by: C&J at May 30, 2012 8:11 PM
Comment #345700
I demolished your argument with the chart you posted.

No, you didn’t. You said:

the poorest 20% pay nothing as a group.

That’s bullshit. Then you did a bunch of spinning — also bullshit. But I know you are determined to be intellectually dishonest about this — so I didn’t bother to reply. No point in it. It’s always followed up by more rightwing bullshit meant to demonize poor people and reduce them to subhuman nothingness.

In the same vein, your “apologies” are never apologies because simply have never once been able to admit that you’ve been wrong, or rude, or out of line about anything — which is also bullshit, but it’s pretty typical behavior for rightwingers.

I’ve got nothing more to say.
You can have the last word if you want it.

Posted by: Adrienne at May 30, 2012 8:31 PM
Comment #345706

Adrienne

Can you actually count to 20?

I will indeed have the last word. You are too ignorant to understand even the links you provide yourself.

For you “right wing” bullshit evidently includes proper use of statistics.

Indeed, I should be careful to say pay no Federal income taxes or no NET taxes. I don’t suppose you understand these things anyway, but I could put that up.

I tried a little simple math. The TOP income in the poorest 20% is about $20,000 a year. How much tax could this guy pay, even if he paid 100% of his income.

Let me give you a hint 100% of 20,000 is 20,000. So he can pay no more than $20,000 even if he paid every dime he had. There just is not much money here.

This is what I wrote in response to your chart. I know that the math is beyond you. If you tell me which parts you don’t understand I will try to explain it to you using smaller words.

Adrienne

If a person who makes $20,000 a year pays ALL his income in taxes, he still pays less than I do and much less than someone who is really rich.

Even your own chart indicates that generally the rich also pay a greater % of their income until you get to the top 1% of the population. This groups is not comparable. Take Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, or even Romney or the Koch Brothers. These guys get most of their income from capital gains and they give very large amounts of money to tax-deductible charities.

In any case 30.9% of $10 million is still $3.9 million, a high tax bill.

As usual, I have to caution you to read and understand the charts you post.

The chart is a little dishonest and the headline is wrong. The middle 20% pays 27% rate while the top 1% pays 30.9%. Only when you compare the top 1% to the top 19% do you find a small drop.

You will notice that it takes the income groups in 20% until it gets to the top 20%, where it breaks it out into subgroups. If you take the top 20% as a group, their tax rates is the highest. If you want a fair chart, you would also take the bottom 10% etc, where you would find no net taxes paid.

Posted by: C&J at May 30, 2012 9:02 PM
Comment #345753

C&J, I am a little surprised that your feathers are ruffled to such a degree over this. I would have thought you would have wanted us to call you on this issue. It is one thing to accidentally remove comments while removing spam but to then flippantly tell us it is due to laziness and carelessness on your part is over the top IMHO. I would have thought you would have considered it a disservice on our part to let you slide with these lazy careless ways. When you set higher standards for yourself don’t blame the messenger for telling you the effort this time out was substandard. I have a feeling you are more upset with yourself than with us.

Posted by: j2t2 at May 31, 2012 11:25 AM
Comment #345771

j2t2

My feathers were not ruffled at the original complaint.

I wrote this to you “I was trying to knock out a bunch of adds for Louis Vitton handbags (never buy any of those, BTW). I must have knocked out some others. I hit a few of my own too. Sorry about that. The spam is getting worse and worse.”

It was only after the attacks on my honesty that I got annoyed. I dislike the tedious labor of clipping out the spam and I am a bit lazy. I admit to being lazy in these sorts of things. I have turned down jobs that required too much of this kind of work or proof reading. But I have never been dishonest with you. I place great store in always telling the truth. I told you the truth about what happened. You, and especially Adrienne, questioned that in a personal way.

In all the years we have been writing for this blog, have you EVER had reason to believe I was lying to you? When I disagree, I tell you. I have no trouble telling people this.

So if you accuse me of being lazy, I admit it. You know what I get paid to do this editing work I dislike? Nothing.

The last straw was Adrienne telling me that IF she was editing she would do a better job. Come-on. The women doesn’t even bother reading her own linked sources. It reminds me (excuse the shot) of OWS, who leach off honest citizens and then complain that they are being mistreated.

Posted by: C&J at May 31, 2012 5:30 PM
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