The recent showdown between Wall Street hedge funds and everyday people, using apps such as RobinHood to buy shares of GameStop, reveals a great deal about our financial system.
Big money on Wall Street has manipulated the market for decades, creating artificial booms and busts which enable short term profit at the expense of stability and sustainable growth. Recently, the “Big Shots” got a taste of their own medicine, as people investing small amounts managed to send the price of GameStop stock from around $20 to almost $400 in two weeks. Hedge funds which had bet on GameStop to fail were forced to settle contracts and lost billions of dollars.
It's not hard to see that wild swings in stock price do not reflect the actual value of the business, but rather the whims of gamblers in a high tech casino. Financial trading has grown increasingly detached from reality — we see profits soar on Wall Street while, at the same time, businesses are closing and people are out of work and cannot pay rent.
What if we could put the brakes on speculative trading and, at the same time, raise funds to provide immediate relief for those who lack food, housing and medical care? We can do just that with the Stock Transfer Tax, a small tax on the sale of stock.
New York has rebated the Stock Transfer Tax, which averages $15 billion yearly, since 1981. That means we give enough money to close New York’s current budget deficit back to Wall Street every year.
The Green Party of New York has always supported a Stock Transfer Tax, while other political parties have offered distractions and excuses. We kept talking about this when no one else would. Now the subject is again being taken seriously, and proposals have been introduced in the legislature. We need your help to make sure progressive voices are heard.
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