Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Tax Protesting Companies and Government Intrusion

Here is an article on thestreet.com that highlights Amazon's (and others) efforts to go against states levying taxes on their services. No surprise here, but, it is great that companies are banding together to fight for their own interests, against this sort of marketplace disruption ( which ultimatly makes us less efficient of an economy). In the event that legislation of this nature would pass in all states, it would make big box book sellers more competitive, thus, wasting a tremendous amount of resources and time belonging to the consumer.

Here is a brief synopsis: Every time that I buy something on Amazon, I not only save a trip to the book store (sometimes multiple ones, if they don't have what I want), but I also get the option of buying the book- used from some mom and pop used book store; on the cheap too! In addition, I am able to get all sorts of reviews on books and a great recommendation list from the website. I can also add items I want to a centralized wish list, where, people can gift me things that I actually want, rather than guessing at it. The list of advantages goes on and on...

In the spirit of it being my country's independence day, I will also throw out an anti-tax/anti-regulation thought: 'If people so vigorously oppose taxing and regulation of anything related to the internet (which seems to be how the public thinks), then why would they support the taxing and regulation of anything else?'

It seems to me that we don't need regulation to protect me from Amazon.com, since, if they screw up, I will go to some other on line vendor. This being the case, why would I need protection from the evil oil conglomerates (pollution being a property issue), Wal-Mart, or even food producers (both similar to AMZN)? While certainly, we need some government to keep us from killing each other (to quite literally protect life, liberty, and property), it does seem that we have way too much intervention...

To highlight this, let's take a look at the first 15 minutes of my day: using the alarm on my cell phone to wake up, I just paid direct taxes at times; once for the power the phone uses and the other for the usage fee of the cell service (which controls the phone's clock)... I get out of my bed, of which, it is a crime for me to remove the tag of. I then shower, brush my teeth, and take a vitamin; the government regulates that, too- water quality, water company ownership, and the FDA regulating the toothpaste and vitamin. God only knows the amount of regulation that is dealt with if I choose to eat breakfast that morning...

Really, it's pretty absurd.

Happy 4th of July. To any readers in England; thanks for putting up far too little of a fight roughly 230 years ago ;-)

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