Friday, March 18, 2011

Stay The Fuck Out of Amazon's Business

Brick-and-mortar retailers are pissing and moaning, as they have for years, that Amazon unfairly gets a free pass on taxes. Big-box retailers are now piling on in hopes of doing some serious damage to Amazon's bottom line. The Argument basically goes, if Amazon doesn't have to charge taxes, then ordinary stores could never match the price. Only, this is ridiculous. Amazon does have a tax that users have to pay, and that's in form of shipping. Shipping, especially for large items, frequently makes stuff on Amazon more expensive than stuff at Wal-Mart. I'm not going to Amazon as a replacement for Wal-Mart or Best Buy, I'm going as a supplement. I go for things I can't get at ordinary stores.

Furthermore, the states have no claim to sales taxes. Taxes are a due that we pay to fund some system, be it the economy, police, or schools. If the actions of a company do not partake in that system, then the system has no right to claim any money. I live in Rhode Island, and Amazon is not benefiting from Rhode Island's system. Amazon benefits from states in which it has warehouses, because Amazon relies on the fire, police, and regulatory agencies therein. As such, they owe taxes. Amazon does not owe taxes to states to which they are simply mailing crap. If the states have a problem with taxes, go after people who order from Amazon and don't report the purchases.

But even then, as far as I'm concerned, the states can go screw. They have no claim to that revenue. Simply because I live someplace doesn't mean that you can levy taxes on my behavior all over the planet.

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