Innovate the French way!

Innovation in France apparently consists of taxing successful products in order to subsidise the industries they're replacing:

Mr Lescure believes that a 4pc tax on the sale of smartphones and tablets, namely Apple's iPhone and iPad and Google Android products, could boost government revenues as consumers are spending more money on hardware than on content.
Well, yes; it could boost government revenues. Taxing everyone age 16-25 €12 would also boost government revenue, and probably have a very similar effect and generate a similar level of income. It might even be cheaper to implement. It's an interesting approach to making content generate revenue: charge for the device, and hand out that money to whichever content generator has the best political connections. I'm not sure that it's quite the best approach for the consumer, however.

France is, as a sovereign nation, entirely within its rights to tax whatever it likes and give money to whomever it likes. It is not the first nation to try to protect old media industries, nor will it be the last. I would however be interested to know what lobbying has been going on to point "businessman" Pierre Lescure [warning, contains French] at this particular approach. His Wikipedia biography seems to label him as a professional TV journalist and theatrical director, but I'm sure that had nothing to do with his selection...

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