Recently, I ripped through three seasons of BBC’s Robin Hood. The fabulous thing about Netflicks: Watch Instantly is that you can see one after another, all free from commercial interruption, until you can’t sit still for another minute.
I’ve always been able to suspend disbelief when watching TV and/or movies. I think that stems from early childhood, when I believed so fervently in fairies and leprechauns that I perched for hours on a stool in the kitchen, waiting to meet one. So I sat, enthralled, through the entire 36 episodes of the thief of Sherwood Forrest.
I love Robin Hood. Who, except the greedy and powerful, could hate a hero who steals from the rich and gives to the poor? I couldn’t help thinking that we need a Robin Hood now. He could start with the billionaire Koch Brothers, just because they’ve been flexing political muscle lately, then begin on the rest on the Forbes list, until he hit all 400. All together, they have 1.37 trillion dollars. That money could make a difference in the lives of many of the almost fifty million Americans living in poverty.
You might complain that these people worked hard for their money. Some of them did, that’s true. But these guys on the top have mind-boggling money. Bill Gates, the richest man in America right now, has a fortune estimated at over 54 billion dollars. Each of the Forbes Four Hundred has at least a billion.
True, Gates is a philanthropist. That should count for something. And he gives to good causes, as does Warren Buffett. In fact, Buffett would have been first on the list, except that he gave 37 billion to the Gates’ Foundation.
Others on the list are also philanthropists. For instance, David Koch has a reputation for giving his money away; but he makes the grand gesture: millions for buildings with his name on them, millions more on organizations that help promote public policy that will benefit his financial interests. Examples include: The Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, the Institute for Justice, the Reason Foundation, the Heartland Institute, the Libertarian Party, the Tea Party, the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, and the George Mason University.
Oh, and he supports the arts. I’m not saying that the arts are not deserving of beneficence, but hey, people are worried about food out there, and anyway, the Kochs only gave away 600 million. I know, but compare that to Buffett’s 37 billion.
Once Robin finished the Forbes list, he could turn his attention to corporations, beginning with the 10 on Bernie Sander’s list of corporations who paid no income taxes.
I’m not suggesting that Robin actually steal from the rotten rich and give it to the great unwashed. That would be wrong. But how about this? Take that money and use it on education, services for children and the poorest members of society.