We understand that adding an additional tax to streaming services –specifically Netflix– is an extremely unpopular idea, but hear us out and you might just see why there probably should be a Netflix tax.
Before we begin laying out why we are in favour of a Netflix tax, if you are totally anti-tax then please stop reading this immediately. There is no point in convincing you that a Netflix tax, let alone any other kind of tax, can be a good thing. Instead, why not listen to “Tax Man, Mr. Thief” by Cheap Trick because any link to “Taxman” by The Beatles we provide you with will probably be DMCA’d by the time you read this.
So why should there be a Netflix tax? You (or more likely someone you know who forgot to log out of their account on your browser) already pay under $10 a month for a subscription to the movie streaming service. Is it really so bad that the state slap an additional 9% or so on the price? We don’t think so. A Netflix tax would simply be in line with other sin taxes levied on goods that have been dubbed vices like alcohol, cigarettes, candy, soft drinks, coffee and gambling.
Before you object, Netflix is most definitely a vice.
When people use Netflix, it’s either to “binge-watch” or to “chill”. To binge, by definition, is to devote a short period of time indulging in an activity to excess. Before Netflix introduced its streaming service, it was literally only used to describe a person with alcohol and junk food problems. “Chilling,” meanwhile, has now become a euphemism for casual, unprotected sex.
Call us crazy, but we firmly believe that keeping people glued to their screens for days on end (i.e. living the sedentary lifestyle that Coca-Cola says is bad for your health), foregoing sleeping, eating and speaking to loved ones just to find out how Frank Underwood glides through his latest politiwoops without an ounce of consequence makes Netflix a product harmful to society. And that’s especially true if one contracts HPV in the process.
Therefore does that not make Netflix eligible for a sin tax? Besides providing us with unlimited hours of entertainment, all the streaming service does is make us fat off sedentariness and 100% more HPV-positive than before. If obesity with a side of cervical cancer isn’t harmful to society, than I don’t know what is.
Don’t take this as an endorsement of sin taxes. As impoverished smokers, we are obliged to tell you that sin taxes are regressive taxes since taxation of a product deemed harmful to society does not account for ability to pay, therefore poor people pay a greater amount of their income as tax. We merely want some goddamn consistency. Otherwise, we’re fucked when 29.4 million people are lined up around the block trying to get bed sore and HPV medication.
Now let’s forget that this is even an issue and rock out to Cheap Trick.