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Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Torquemada » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:32 am

Hmmm. I have no comment on the gun debate, as that argument has been thoroughly exhausted on both sides. But I will say that I hope nothing happens to Barack Obama between now and Jan 20, 2017. I never voted for him, but he's infinitely better than this senile buffoon.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Shoju » Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:10 am

I figured I would drop this here. I don't normally ask people to get involved in things, but this is the type of thing that I care about.

http://www.ebaymainstreet.com/campaigns ... ax-burdens

I love the net. I love E-commerce. It's how I make a living. I Can tell you, imposing new tax laws on small businesses (of which I am one) will not help. It wont solve the problem.

It will have a far greater negative impact than any Tax Revenue it may happen to generate.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Torquemada » Thu Feb 07, 2013 12:11 pm

Shoju wrote:I love the net. I love E-commerce. It's how I make a living. I Can tell you, imposing new tax laws on small businesses (of which I am one) will not help. It wont solve the problem.

It will have a far greater negative impact than any Tax Revenue it may happen to generate.


Burdensome tax regulation usually has that effect. That said, /signed.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Thu Feb 07, 2013 2:01 pm

Shoju wrote:I figured I would drop this here. I don't normally ask people to get involved in things, but this is the type of thing that I care about.

http://www.ebaymainstreet.com/campaigns ... ax-burdens

I love the net. I love E-commerce. It's how I make a living. I Can tell you, imposing new tax laws on small businesses (of which I am one) will not help. It wont solve the problem.

It will have a far greater negative impact than any Tax Revenue it may happen to generate.

My position on this may be surprsing to some, but I'm ok with it.  I generally view taxation as a necessary evil that ought to be minimized as much as possible.  However, I tend to favor consumption based taxes and tax fairness is crucial.
 
The problem that this is trying to fix isn't a revenue problem, it's a fairness problem.  The current system basically allows online businesses to operate in a loophole that hides their transactions from tax jurisdictions if the customer is from a different state than the vendor.  To me that's an unfair advantage created by government which needs to be addressed.
 
Now I haven't read the two bills, so there may be specifics to them that I don't agree with, but the general notion of subjecting online transactions to the same sorts of regulations/taxation as local transactions is fair.  There's a fair debate over implementation, and setting up a system that minimizes the burden of dealing with this for businesses, but the overall concept seems just to me.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fivelives » Thu Feb 07, 2013 4:50 pm

Economic Left/Right: -2.75
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.18
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Dantriges » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:06 am

Seems to me that the bill is actually ok if they find some system or regulation where you don´t have to manage the 15000 different regulations. Perhaps they could introduce one general system or so. But the current ruling looks like it can be exploited and it has to be regulated anyways. The market has grown quite a bit.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Nooska » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:38 am

And since its been 2 pages since the last link, and I've updated for Fivelives, I'll post a new link;
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Edit: updated for Kysen second go and Shoju.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby KysenMurrin » Fri Feb 08, 2013 5:15 am

I went through the quiz again to see if I got the same result, and I guess I must have changed some of the "agree/strongly agree"s around, because I swung further left:
Economic Left/Right: -5.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.49

I think the questions I tend to waver on are if land should be bought and sold (I lean yes but not sure how strongly), whether inflation is more important than employment (not sure of impact on society for each option), and if people who don't work should still expect help (depends what kind of help you mean. I lean towards yes).
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Aubade » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:05 am

Link the Quiz Again?

Nevermind. found it!

Economic Left/Right: -5.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.26
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Klaudandus » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:10 am

I still think its faulty because there are no neutral answers as choice. Why do I have to be in favor or against every single issue they bring up?
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby KysenMurrin » Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:59 am

They answer that in the FAQ. The quiz is about tendencies rather than absolutes (the final result is important, not the individual questions), and offering a neutral answer makes it harder to categorise people when they can just skip a question using it.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Shoju » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:11 am

Fridmarr wrote:My position on this may be surprsing to some, but I'm ok with it.  I generally view taxation as a necessary evil that ought to be minimized as much as possible.  However, I tend to favor consumption based taxes and tax fairness is crucial.
 
The problem that this is trying to fix isn't a revenue problem, it's a fairness problem.  The current system basically allows online businesses to operate in a loophole that hides their transactions from tax jurisdictions if the customer is from a different state than the vendor.  To me that's an unfair advantage created by government which needs to be addressed.
 
Now I haven't read the two bills, so there may be specifics to them that I don't agree with, but the general notion of subjecting online transactions to the same sorts of regulations/taxation as local transactions is fair.  There's a fair debate over implementation, and setting up a system that minimizes the burden of dealing with this for businesses, but the overall concept seems just to me.


The big problem that I have with it is this.

If you set it up so that Sales tax is charged via the location of the seller, any company located in a state that doesn't have sales tax stands to lose out on sales, because you have states with no general sales tax, and then even inside those states, you have places that do have a sales tax.

If you set it up so that the Sales Tax is charged via the location of the buyer, you have just placed a huge burden on small business to succeed, just by shear volume of Tax enforcement that they have to deal with.

I don't see it as a loophole really. As a business, we have to show, and account for all of our sales. Nothing is hidden, and it's only an unfair advantage to those who live out of state. There is no advantage to one retailer over another.

Personally, if we have to come to a point where there is a sales tax levied on the internet, it needs to be a flat rate, charged on all online transactions. Not based on state of purchase or shipment. The problem that this will run into, is that it could negatively impact "brick and mortar" shops in states where Sales Tax is higher than the "Net Tax".

I don't think the bills as constituted are a solution, and I'm not one to think that having a solution just to have a solution is better than taking the time to make sure that the right solution is implemented. it's the biggest reason Why I've been against the Online Piracy bills that have been tossed about lately. I'm staunchly in the "anti-piracy" side of things, but I don't think that having a bad fix just to have a fix is the way to go about that either.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

On another note, Jim Wright, over at Stonekettle Station Dropped a new blog last night, about the net, and social media. It's well worth the read.

Jim Wright wrote:In this day and age, twitter and Facebook give you far more real power than the Second Amendment ever did. If you value liberty, Americans would be well served to amend the Constitution to ensure unfettered access to communications and social media instead of unrestricted access to guns. This is one of the reasons I am foursquare against laws that, for example, prohibit the recording of police officers and other authority figures in the routine performance of their duties, or ill-conceived restrictions on public access to information such as SOPA/PIPA. I feel the same way about this that the NRA does about guns. And on that note, regarding access to social media over firepower, nobody ever slaughtered an entire school with a smart phone and a twitter account – they have, however, toppled governments.


This to me is a fantastic point. I love it.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

EDIT:

Your political compass

Economic Left/Right: -5.12
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.69

From the looks of it, I'm in there with a lot of people.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Torquemada » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:03 am

KysenMurrin wrote:I went through the quiz again to see if I got the same result, and I guess I must have changed some of the "agree/strongly agree"s around, because I swung further left:
Economic Left/Right: -5.25
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -7.49


I did it again on a lark too. I took it quickly without stopping to second guess my answers, just putting what first came to mind.

Economic Left/Right: 3.00
Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.95
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:06 am

Shoju wrote:The big problem that I have with it is this.

If you set it up so that Sales tax is charged via the location of the seller, any company located in a state that doesn't have sales tax stands to lose out on sales, because you have states with no general sales tax, and then even inside those states, you have places that do have a sales tax.
The problem with it being at the seller location is that e-commerce sites are easily mobile, so that they can move their "seller" location to a state that's beneficial to them from a tax rate perspective. That's better than the current solution, but it's still creating a government incentivized behavior over the market which can ultimately be problematic.

States have to compete now, so the fact that a state choose a no sales tax model is neutral to the equation.

Shoju wrote:If you set it up so that the Sales Tax is charged via the location of the buyer, you have just placed a huge burden on small business to succeed, just by shear volume of Tax enforcement that they have to deal with.

Actually this doesn't have to be particularly burdensome. The feds can setup a clearinghouse such that they maintain a tax rate by zip code list, published in all the easily digestable formats and that updates say, quarterly. The feds are entirely responsible for the accuracy of said list. Integrating an online storefront into a lookup for that is web programming 101 or even a quarterly download with a local lookup. Sites regularly do an equivalent thing today for shipping costs. Keep in mind, e-commerce sites that also have store fronts in many states are doing this the hard way as it is.

The stores will have to keep a running total of taxed sales per zip, but many already have the data because of intrinsic business needs. The stores would make a single quarterly/annual payment to the feds who handle the disbursements to jurisdictions. Stores would have a one time issue with getting their software/reporting updated, but after that it's pretty simple. The federal clearinghouse is entirely funded by the revenue taxed, and the remaining goes out to the states.

Shoju wrote:I don't see it as a loophole really. As a business, we have to show, and account for all of our sales. Nothing is hidden, and it's only an unfair advantage to those who live out of state. There is no advantage to one retailer over another.
But it is a loophole, if I have a brick and mortar store right next door to you selling the same goods, I can not offer them at the same cost. It is creating a government induced advantage. Worse, even if the customer buys it through my online store, I still have to pay sales tax because I have a brick and mortar store in his state. You're doing the same thing I am, and not paying tax on it while I have too.

We know that folks going out to brick and mortar stores, for the customer services experience, trying out the item, talking with knowledgable staff, and then going home and buying it cheaper online isn't exactly uncommon. We are seeing chains go bankrupt and close stores at a very fast rate. Now if that was the natural order of things, then fine, I have no objections, but there is some interference happening.

Further, it's not entirely clear that such an advantage is actually good for the marketplace or even e-commerce sites. Manufacturers are starting to push back against that model, because they find that customer interaction is key to selling them on more expensive options. Companies are looking at the Apple model and coming back and putting strict price controls on their wares, and excluding (especially the smaller) online only retailers to force customers into stores. That's bad for everyone.

Does a properly implemented sales tax fix that? No, there are always going to be some products that sell better online and some that sell better in stores and the marketplace will adapt to that, but it shouldn't be unduly influenced as it is now.

Shoju wrote:Personally, if we have to come to a point where there is a sales tax levied on the internet, it needs to be a flat rate, charged on all online transactions. Not based on state of purchase or shipment. The problem that this will run into, is that it could negatively impact "brick and mortar" shops in states where Sales Tax is higher than the "Net Tax".

I would be extremely leery about the federal gov't imposing a flat "Net Tax". That's too close for me to total control of the internet though taxation, a very popular tool of government to influence behavior often resulting in an overall negative as the marketplace adapts. Besides that puts the money in federal coffers and dampens competition at a state level.

I'm with you on the anti piracy stuff. I'm completely against piracy, but all the legislation I've seen so far to address it is too anti consumer, more so than the problems that piracy creates.
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Re: Politics (formerly Election 2012)

Postby Skye1013 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:12 am

Shoju wrote:Personally, if we have to come to a point where there is a sales tax levied on the internet, it needs to be a flat rate, charged on all online transactions. Not based on state of purchase or shipment. The problem that this will run into, is that it could negatively impact "brick and mortar" shops in states where Sales Tax is higher than the "Net Tax".

Not sure how a fixed tax would negatively impact "brick and mortar" shops... since having no tax whatsoever (in a lot of cases) doesn't seem to be impacting them all that much.

Shoju wrote:On another note, Jim Wright, over at Stonekettle Station Dropped a new blog last night, about the net, and social media. It's well worth the read.

I read that today at work, and felt it was quite enjoyable. I especially got a kick out of the Applebees facebook thing... I mean seriously Applebees... take your licks and move on.
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