Sunday, January 25, 2015

Looking for Robin Hood

Glenn Beck , on the radio got into the current round of Robin Hood tax  schemes. I find Beck in small doses useful for his more expansive perspective. His solutions, thought out as they may be, are short sighted in comparison. That aside, the point was that Obama is not Robin Hood. Obama is the sheriff. It is not a new thought.

 Of interest is the idea that the Sheriff of Nottingham is a representative of his government, a bureaucrat.Getting my head around it, there is this form 2002:

"As one wag perceptively pointed out some time ago, Robin Hood’s claim to fame was not that he took from the rich to give to the poor, but that he took from the tax collector and gave back to the people their own money. The central issue was over taxation, and Robin Hood was most emphatically not on the side of the bureaucracy. The ultimate bad guy was Prince John, the very caricature of greedy, arrogant government; the proximate bad guy was the Sheriff of Nottingham, the ruthless enforcer whose audit strategy was even more intimidating than that of the IRS"
 Tax is only the beginning. Follow any right leaning or libertarian new source for very long and there is a bureaucrat out of control and getting away with it. It follows as well that Robin Hood is often painted as some libertarian crusader protecting the poor.  Are we looking for someone to take his place?  Forget the economics, it about freedom and forget Robin Hood. Today in the United states he is the "poor".

Money is often used as a stand in for power. Remembering just that would make the story useful. In most of the Robin Hood stories its about more than just tax money. The sheriff can do what he at least pretends to be necessary to collect the tax or what ever pretense is used, absolute power. He is a tyrant. The people have no freedom. The stealing is just a reaction to the tyranny. It is not the story.

Comparisons the Nottingham poor afraid of starving and the US poor aside. For simplicity let's define "the poor" as those in fear of what the sheriff / bureaucrat  will do next. A Robin Hood is an alternative to a likely loosing revolution for "the poor" of pre-enlightenment Nottingham. "The poor" or citizen of a liberal democracy has tools. Speech , free association, libraries, hundreds of years of western thought, and a vote. Democracy only elects those who run and the vote is just an arrow. "The poor" have to identify the sheriff in all his forms and decide to become Robin Hood. Only then can they have to run and shoot. Stop looking

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