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We need an email tax

A penny charge for every email would stop spam, and fill the empty public purse

Spam: a stupefying supply for which there is no demand

Market failure has been much in the news of late, but one notable breakdown has attracted little attention: spam. Some 200bn junk emails are sent daily. More than 40bn come from the US and Canada, and about 6bn from Britain. Estimates vary, but the best guess is that more than 90 per cent of all email is spam.

What causes this stupefying supply for which there is no apparent demand? The answer is simple: sending an email is free. Yet billions of junk messages take a toll in complex…

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