Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stop Slandering Robin Hood!

We've been through this before, but it bears repeating. Every once in a while, someone demonstrates they they either don't know medieval folklore, or can't figure out how to use metaphor properly in the use of Robin Hood.

One paragraph of the article reads
“It’s a clear repudiation of Bush’s policy,” said Peter Morici, an economist at the University of Maryland in College Park. “It’s more Obama Robin Hood.”

Uh, no. Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor because of high taxes. Arguably, lowering taxes might make someone Robin Hood, but even then the metaphor doesn't work, because Robin Hood wasn't really in charge of tax policies -- he stole taxes from the state and returned them to the people.

I keep trying to find some way to fit the metaphor into the situation here, and the closest I can come is that Obama is Prince John, raising taxes ostensibly to pay for King Richard's (Bush's) war in the Middle East, while the Sheriff of Nottingham (Tim Geitner) gives a wink and a nod to the ruling class, letting them know that they won't really have to pay their taxes; those will have to be paid by all the peasants without government connections.

The most depressing part of correcting the above metaphor? No Robin Hood to be found.


  1. Anonymous7:45 PM

    I agree with the comparisons, except that isn't Prince John only raising taxes on the upper middle class?

  2. John might have raised taxes primarily on the wealthy and upper-middle class (Barons), but that would certainly affect the day to day living of any villeins beholden to the land-holder.

    Add to that the possibility (I would have to ask a medieval scholar about the reality) that John also taxed Freemen, the Miller and the Blacksmith might be in need of a little tax relief as well.