The New Wealth of Nations: Taxing Cyberspace


101 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 1-896357-10-5
DDC 336.2'783843'0971





Reviewed by Jeffrey Moon

Jeffrey Moon is head of the Documents Reference/Data Centre at Queen’s


Consisting of just three chapters, this book proposes adjusting tax
policies to fit an information-based economy that is in no less need of
tax revenues than the economy it is replacing. The book as a whole
presents a compelling picture of the emerging digital economy that is
currently operating in a tax-free zone.

The first chapter describes and discusses four politico-economic
perspectives on taxation in the information age. Particularly effective
is the placement of global issues in a Canadian context. The next
chapter focuses on changing economic and technological realities and the
resulting disparities in society, and proposes a “bit tax” that
could be levied on content (dollar transactions) or traffic (bits of
information transferred). The final chapter examines in more detail the
nuts and bolts of changing to a new digital tax base. All three chapters
raise, among others, the related issues of copyright, information
pollution, and prioritized Internet use.

This timely work will no doubt garner both accolades and arrows for its
controversial ideas. Information consumers take note: if policy-makers
read this book, surfing conditions could change dramatically.


Cordell, Arthur, et al., “The New Wealth of Nations: Taxing Cyberspace,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 17, 2024,