It’s time to tax the Wall Street casino!

20 May, 2017 at 15:18 | Posted in Economics | 2 Comments

Speculators may do no harm as bubbles on a steady stream of enterprise. But the position is serious when enterprise becomes the bubble on a whirlpool of speculation. When the capital development of a country becomes a by-product of the activities of a casino, the job is likely to be ill-done.8489342The measure of success attained by Wall Street, regarded as an institution of which the proper social purpose is to direct new investment into the most profitable channels in terms of future yield, cannot be claimed as one of the outstanding triumphs of laissez-faire capitalism — which is not surprising, if I am right in thinking that the best brains of Wall Street have been in fact directed towards a different object.

These tendencies are a scarcely avoidable outcome of our having successfully organised “liquid” investment markets. It is usually agreed that casinos should, in the public interest, be inaccessible and expensive. And perhaps the same is true of Stock Exchanges … The introduction of a substantial Government transfer tax on all transactions might prove the most serviceable reform available, with a view to mitigating the predominance of speculation over enterprise in the United States.

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2 Comments

  1. The British Labour Party are proposing a similar tax to that suggested above in the current General Election. Naturally finance companies are coming up with all sorts of scare stories and end of civilisation as we know it scenarios!

  2. Wouldn’t a capital gains tax that sticks be a more effective way of demotivating speculative stock trading/churning without demotivating long term stock investment?


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