ericjones12398 writes: "Internet denizens tittered a bit last week as online retailer Kogan instituted a so-called “browser tax.” The tax (which is, of course, not an actual tax but rather a private surcharge) applies to anyone still using Internet Explorer 7. Users still browsing the web with IE7, superseded by Internet Explorer 8 in 2009, must pay a 6.8 percent surcharge. Internet Explorer is currently on version 10, a preview version of which was released on May 31, 2012. The so-called “browser tax” caused giggles, but it follows one of the main rules of economics: Tax behaviors you want to curtail and subsidize behaviors that you want to encourage. Kogan has done both, discouraging customers from using old browsers and encouraging the same users to update their browsers. However, there’s a little add touch of nastiness in Kogan’s recommendations for a “better browser.” Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera are all represented. The latest version of Internet Explorer is nowhere to be seen."
ericjones12398 writes: "Today, many developed and developing countries including European Union nations, Australia, South Africa, Egypt, Turkey, Bangladesh and Vietnam apply excise taxes on unhealthy products. Research has shown that both for tobacco and alcohol, excise taxes are an effective way of reducing consumption. With respect to tobacco, a 10 percent price increase in cigarettes is shown to reduce demand by 4 percent in high-income countries and by 8 percent in low-middle income countries. Taxes imposed on cigarettes have not only prevented people from starting to smoke, but have also reduced rates of relapse for those who recently quit smoking."