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TAXING TIMES "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes" - Benjamin Franklin Many illegalities occur via the Internet: however, they are difficult to end completely, as it is extremely hard to locate the anonymous perpetrators of these online crimes - this is why many question whether it is at all possible to regulate the Internet completely. Thus, I propose a tax on a specific aspect of the Internet which is actually completely legal (and hence has known parties and is as such taxable), and yet still has negative side-effects attached, as well as other physical products associated with it. The battle against global warming is now imprinted in the minds of many: indeed, it has become one of the defining factors of our generation. The usual scapegoats for global warming include cars, jets and polluting firms. However, according to a recent ICF survey commissioned by the Internet security company McAfee, the carbon footprint of spam is a colossal 33 billion kilowatts per annum, equivalent to the carbon footprint (per annum) ...read more.


This shows that the imposition of even a minute tax upon online subscriptions to UK porn sites and general porn would mean untold increases in governmental revenue, with inelastic demand guarding against huge drops in demand. Additionally, the negative side-effects of pornography (which include increased rates of sexual crimes - in the words of writer Robin Morgan "Pornography is the theory, and rape is the practice" - adverse psychological effects and, of course, the huge carbon footprint) would also decrease if the right level of tax was introduced: the inelastic nature of demand for pornography (as many become addicted to it) would mean that taxation may be used to ensure businesses in the industry would remain profitable, that the mentioned negative effects would decrease in significance and quantity and that enough revenue would be generated to combat the side-effects and other ills of society. I propose that a small fixed percentage tax should be imposed upon every subscriber to British-produced or hosted online pornography, as well as introducing charges to ...read more.


In times of crisis, luxuries are usually the first to suffer: however, pornography has a stable level of high revenue, as it serves as a distraction of sorts for people during these difficult times. So why shouldn't the vast wealth derived from something which provides no social benefit be used to help the nation? An industry should feel burdens befitting its effect on society and its stature, and the government should consider tapping this source of revenue in the same way that they have for alcohol and cigarettes (both of them, as pornography often becomes, addictive products), rather than considering an increase in VAT to 20% as they have rumoured to have been; such an influential and powerful industry (as portrayed by its rumoured role in the rise of VHS and the fall of Betamax) should come to the aid of the government which allows it to exist in its time of need. And there can be no doubt that the need at present is dire. ...read more.

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