If American teenagers ever heard the phrase, “apply a tax on the internet,” I’m pretty sure there would be an upheaval of the government, and a rebellion for even suggesting such a ludicrous idea.

In our developed age, the internet is a staple in the lives of teachers, students and parents. A wealth of information is available at our fingertips on a vast array of topics.

Our ability to stay informed about current events and other happenings in the world keep us educated and aware of what’s occurring, not only around us, but on a large scale as well.

Last week, the Hungarian government drafted a bill that would levy the equivalent of a 62 cent tax on every gigabyte of data transferred.

Since the announcement on Oct. 27, the internet tax has been taken off the proposed bill due to mass riots and protests from the people of the country.

Many civilians speculated that the reason their internet usage was being taxed was to discourage other people from using it, and finding out information the Hungarian government would rather keep concealed (such as the deteriorating relationship with the United States).

Additionally, it would force people to rely on state-sponsored media and limit any unwanted third-party information.

Knowledge is power. If the government can keep its civilians from gleaning any information other than what they want the people to learn, then the government has the upper hand.

Technology allows us to evaluate our choices and make the best decisions for ourselves. By limiting information, the Hungarian government is violating basic human rights.

Taxing the internet was possibly the worst the decision the Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, could have made. The internet is extremely popular, especially among young adults who have discovered the power they have as a unified group.

Young adults have realized that to have the future they desire, the change starts now. Older generations often comment on younger people’s attachments to their electronic devices and their need to be constantly connected.

Why on earth would the Prime Minister believe that levying a tax on internet usage would be the way to solve the country’s tax problems?

It is quite commendable that Orban managed to unify essentially the entire country over a single act, as both his political supporters and adversaries rallied against him.

It is a feat that not many people can say they have achieved, though I would not think that this is actually a point in favor for Orban.  However, the unity of the people as they rallied against Orban was one of the driving factors behind the repeal of the draft.

Could you imagine if the United States implemented a tax on internet usage? The response and backlash that would follow, would call for the resignation of the president faster than someone can screenshot a bad snapchat.

If there is one thing that unifies young people across the United States, it is the usage of the internet.

This overturn of the internet tax is an example of the power that young people have once they put their mind to something. We have seen examples from all around the world, including Egypt and Hong Kong. Why should the United States be any different?

It is our future, and the only way we can shape it is by voicing our concerns, and calling attention to what we want. If we take anything from the efforts against the Hungarian internet tax, it should be the importance of power of young people and unity. If we want to change the world, we should start now.

About The Author

--- Senior | Executive Editor Emeritus --- Finance/English

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