San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
About Make Your Case:
Make Your Case is a facilitated debate that combines the audience participation of our public debates with the expert-led guidance of our training workshops. Our aim is to help our members forge workable solutions to complex problems by engaging in constructive debate.
What we will be doing and how you can take part:
This debate will start with a presentation from our guest speaker, charity CEO Colin Crooks, who will make his case for applying the principle of the Robin Hood Tax to create jobs for the unemployed. The audience will then be invited to question and critique Colin's plan and come up with amendments or alternatives, after which he will be invited to make a final pitch for the audience's support.
The role of the club's on-site trainers will be to lead and moderate the debate by asking the audience questions, analysing their comments, offering feedback, and ensuring everyone is given the opportunity to speak. They will also conclude the evening by leading a group reflection on the key talking points of the debate.
Briefing on the Robin Hood Tax:
Austerity is not an economic necessity, but a political choice. So said the new shadow chancellor, John McDonnell at the Labour party autumn conference this year. It is on this basis that he supports the Robin Hood Tax - otherwise known as the financial transactions tax - a levy of about 0.05% on the transactions of UK based investment banks.
The official Robin Hood Tax campaign estimate that such a levy could raise as much as £250 billion. They say this could be used to reverse the cuts to public spending and drastically improve the living standards of the most vulnerable people in society, while reducing the profitability of the most high risk financial transactions that serve 'no social purpose'.
Colin Crooks, CEO of employment charity, Tree Shepherd, has a similar idea. He wants to apply the principle of the Robin Hood Tax to providing meaningful work for the unemployed. Colin believes that unemployment is the most pressing issue facing society and cites it as a primary cause of homelessness, crime, obesity, and depression.
Yet, not everyone is convinced. The Institute of Economic Affairs points out that every time such a tax has been considered in the past, the idea has been dismissed. They say this is because the tax will generate a lot less than its proponents predict, while the financial services sector on which the country's economy depends will be severely weakened, and that ultimately the cost will just be passed on to consumers.
So, even if we agree that finding gainful employment for everyone is a noble goal worth doing, is the Robin Hood Tax the best way to do it?
When & Where
Great Debaters Club
The UK's only debate club and training programme for adults. We help our members to master the skills of public speaking and critical thinking and put them into practice in live public debates held twice a month.