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Tuesday, April 23. 2013
As the bloggers fall all over themselves decrying this outrage to humanity, bear in mind that the entire sales tax issue is inconsequential compared to what's really going on.
I thought the following deserved a repost at this point in time.
Congress has only been talking about taxing online goods for, oh, about as long as the online has existed. But without any kind of precedent or track record to go from, they could never pull it off.
Now they have a track record (at least on paper) to point to and, sure enough:
Like you, my hackles bristle reading such words, because the Web is supposed to be free, Free, FREE! Always has been, always should be.
Or, should it?
That is, if you consider half the cost a "price advantage".
In other words, the point it inadvertently makes is that the tax is nothing compared to what's really taking place out there.
— Inlet valve for water hose, $56 at the store, $26 online
— Starter motor for engine, $278 at the store, $168 online
— Fuel pump for engine, $115 at the store, $59 online
— Macerator pump for toilet, $254 at the store, $156 online
— Packing for steering boxes (needed 6'), $14/ft at the store, 60' roll for $13 online
And then there was discovering there's a whole new genre of printer ink out there. A 4-pack for my Epson printer is $63 at the store, picked it up online for $9.95. And don't forget used books for a penny.
Eventually the article quits talking about taxes and gets down to the nitty-gritty:
Guilty as charged. I removed my bad starter, noted that the model number had long dissolved away in the salt air, so I hauled it into NAPA, had the guy look it up, then noted that I couldn't afford it at the moment but had him scribble down the number "for next time". I then promptly spent a whopping five minutes online and saved a hundred and ten goddamn dollars, free shipping included.
The reason it's hard to feel sorry for NAPA is raised by the obvious question, if others can sell these official name-brand parts for this price, why is NAPA so much higher? I would have happily paid thirty bucks more to support my local community — plus, you can take it right back if it doesn't work — but a hundred and ten? That's just too big a gap, and you see that same incredible gap in all of the above prices.
And I specifically mention 'name-brand' parts because we're not talking about knock-offs here. All of the above parts were the real deal, up to and including the o-fficial Epson printer ink.
As for just why NAPA and the rest are so much higher, I imagine by the time the dust settles, "incredibly high transportation costs" will be a big factor, and by the time that dust settles, it'll all come back to our dear EPA and its massive regulations and taxes, all endorsed by Democrat-approved higher gas prices. (Higher gas prices, I remind you, means you drive less, which means you're saving the planet and thus sparing the lives of countless polar bears everywhere)
So it's kind of a funny problem with a number of different angles. If you support your local community, then you should welcome an online tax if it'll help keep the playing field level, right? Isn't that what fair competition is all about, a level playing field? What about tariffs on foreign imports? Aren't those designed to maintain a certain equality in the market? Why is the Internet any different? To the brick-and-mortar establishment, isn't the Internet also a 'foreign' competitor?
On the other hand, there's no fighting progress, right? And if businesses can't compete with their online competitors, well, that's what the buggy whip industry bitched about. "It's just not fair!" they whined to the empty corridors of history.
Your thoughts on this are welcome in the comments. As you can see, I'm somewhat torn, in that I really do like supporting my local community, plus having the ability to immediately return a bad part, and I don't mind paying a bit more for the privilege, but it's the gap that's so disparate. Twenty or thirty bucks, sure. A hundred and ten? That crosses the line.
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If the money fell out of the sky somehow then maybe it would be a good idea. But the money has to come from somewhere. It will come from reduced sales and fired employees. Taxes are like a parasites, they live off the host and suck the lifeblood from it. They make the host unhealthy and cause early death. Can you live with just a few parasites? Sure but why? Somehow we have to elect smarter politicians and start reducing the parasites on our lives and businesses. If we don't stop spending more and more money and taxing businesses out of business we will fail.
Your local NAPA store requires 4 or 5 times as much expensive retail room to carry the same stock as a cheaper warehouse. The sales clerks are very expensive per order compared to a central processing depot. Retail counter space, parking lot, lighting and rest rooms are further expenses.
UPS is as much a factor in the changing scene as are computers.
423 million for a state the size of Virginia is literally a drop in the bucket. I can't gripe, as I have been happy to avoid taxes on online purchases this long. Overall, I am surprised its taken states this long to finally tax us this way.
If I was a brick-and-mortar retailer I would be happier with the online tax, as my customers would have paid it on my goods for decades. That said, I don't think the tax will seriously hurt online purchases. As Doc said, the prices are often WAY lower than buying from a local store offline.
I had another link on the subject and they never even mentioned the price differences, it was all on taxes. At least the above article alluded to it.
And I suppose the manufacturers are in something of a bind, because they might be aware of what they're doing to the big companies by selling to Amazon dealers so cheaply, yet if they did anything about it, they'd be accused of the heinous crime of 'price fixing'.
It's tricky. Retail survived mail order. But, UPS has changed that dynamic a lot. The question becomes, how do you recognize a "Tragedy of the Commons" before the Commons are destroyed?
Overhead is expensive. If enough people get their stuff online, then the business goes away. All of it, not just the expensive stuff. Are you looking forward to having to order nails online with $10 shipping and handling? Looking forward to ordering parts without a guy to "look it up for you"? And will you be able to get free shipping to return the wrong part, once the stores that online was competing against have gone away?
This is not abstract. I have seen it happen with the RC hobby. Enough people got the expensive stuff online to put the actual stores out of business. Now the hobby is dying, because there's no place to go to race your cars against other people. I know all of this because I own and run a hobby store and get weekly calls from people looking for the ten cent washers and other cheap pieces needed to keep their cars running. Enough that I asked one of my distributors about getting into it, and he just laughed at me. Not a good sign when the guy paid to sell you stuff tells you to run, not walk to the nearest exit.......
Amazon recently reached an agreement with Texas to collect sales tax on its behalf. It started showing up on our checkout page a few weeks ago. I'm sorry to see it happen, and even sorrier to hear it justified as a way of government "leveling the playing field by imposing taxes," because no good ever comes of that line of thinking. But Texas had some leverage on Amazon because of its processing facilities in-state. (For years now I've been accustomed to getting charged state sales tax on on-line purchases from companies with brick-and-mortar stores in Texas.)
What I really hate to see is Washington, D.C., getting involved, in order to "level the playing field" among the states. I'd rather see some states try to tax it and others refuse.
And as for companies that resent having their physical stores used as showrooms, wah wah wah. Adjust to the future or die, dinosaurs.
The only thing D.C. has leveled is the countries infrastructure as they have focused their spending of billions and trillions on cash to voters in exchange for the votes of voters. Politicians are like druggies that need another hit of OPM (other peoples money) and an online tax will temporarily fill that "fix". Then what tax is next? You can actually "feel" the panic of politicians, state and federal, that wonder where the next dollar will come from to buy the next vote.
Some random thoughts:
One wonders why they never complained about the old fashioned mail order catalog sales? They never charged sales tax either. What's the difference between mail order and internet orders?
While sales taxes aren't paid on internet sales there are often shipping charges that cut greatly into that advantage.
As for the showroom looking and buying elsewhere, that complaint was being made by department stores 50-60 years ago when the discount chains started to emerge. It is a very old gripe.
As for taxing internet sales, I fear it will come eventually. Governments are desperately looking for more places to loot and the internet has a big red bull's eye painted right on its chest. Of course that tax will suck money out of the economy and slow economic growth just like any other tax. The buffoons we elect are very short sighted and can't see more than one move ahead.
I am not all that concerned with supporting my local community. They don't support me so that guilt trip isn't going to work.
> One wonders why they never complained about the
> old fashioned mail order catalog sales?
Because most of the mail order stuff wasn't the stuff you can buy at your local store. It was specialty goods, or certain companies (LL Bean, etc.).
Now I can walk into REI and try on a pair of boots find the right size and then go online and fine exactly that pair from Amazon and they'll show up at my mailbox in 2 days and at least 8.5% cheaper--and since I buy so much stuff off amazon I have prime, so the shipping's baked in.
I'd rather they "level the playing field" by removing sales taxes, but no one ever brings up that option.
A lot of the 'online' stores ARE brick and mortar. As far as transportation costs, the consumer pays that one way or the other. Something not mentioned is the guy who looks it up on the internet then CALLS the store and places his order with a credit card. No taxes!
All it takes is one state to refuse to tax online retailers, and every company would all move its HQ to that state.
See above -- even Texas just caved to the pressure to find some more tax revenue. Very disappointing.
I hear tell that Amazon is going to open up distribution centers in every state, to deal with the state sales tax business. With their smarts, organization, and fulfillment system, they are going to cream the local businessman, who in turn will scream at the governments who made the situation happen.
Good going, greedy and stupid state legislators!
Heard about Amazons move as well. There are a lot of local mom and pop as well as small delivery outfits that underbid UPS, FEDEX, and the USPS for in state delivery on the same day as you order. With that combination it is likely to put many stores out of business. The state may gain in the short term on sales tax but long term shrinkage of real estate tax, business and occupation taxes will negate the gain. A large warehouse away from the big city taxing authorities will not equal the taxes from brick and mortar stores. Statist government loses again. Tough times breed business ingenuity and with government unable to reform itself, government becomes even less useful and less resilient.
Amazon is the modern equivalent of Sears&Roebuck of 100 years ago, just faster and more reliable order and delivery systems.
Sears paid for catalogs to be delivered by mail, and the customer paid for delivery of the product.
Amazon pays for their Internet access, and the customer pays for delivery.
In the heyday of catalogs, were there the same issues of "fairness" in taxation? States didn't tax based on where the Sears catalog office was, nor what state the delivery was destined for.
Local businesses had to adapt back then, and will have to adapt today.
Each user and business has to pay for their access to the Internet, and the businesses and ISPs pay taxes based on the profits from the products and services that they provide.
The original intent of not taxing online purchases was based on a few key points:
1. Helping a new business model take root (the internet)
2. The difficulty of determining who, at a local level, got to benefit from taxation - the point of purchase or the ambiguous point of sale, since the two activities can take place in different regions. I don't know how taxes on the old Sears catalog were assessed. I'm fairly certain they weren't paid at the point of purchase, however. Times have changed, though, as have services.
3. Originally the revenues generated were insignificant. By 2005, politicians were starting to take a closer look. Today, they can't avoid gazing at untold perceived riches.
4. The nature of the way purchase is done is essentially interstate commerce, making it subject to the Commerce Clause (that of the recent healthcare ruling) and open to Federal taxes.
5. There was a fear that taxing online purchases would drive more retailers to ONLY do online sales. In other words, if you're going to get taxed, you may as well get taxed in the most cost effective manner possible. Originally, many brick and mortar companies opened online options to offset the online only retailers, but provide the kind of convenience and service online only could not provide (which we all take advantage of). This gave them the ability to profit with scale to keep their brick and mortar operations open. Tax the online portion and you kill the goose that laid the golden egg - what's the point of paying for something your competitors are only taking advantage of? This is a tougher point to understand, but it was pretty compelling when I cut a deal with Best Buy back in the day for a major ad budget. Best Buy was happy to provide a service in real life even though they knew it suffered from free riders, because they could drive business to their online portal and scratch a better % profit. When they are taxed, they don't have that option.
I'm against taxing online purchases. I think the growth of the internet and online retailing is a great story for the politicians to take a look at when they wonder how taxation has caused faltering manufacture and business in the US. Why has online grown so much? Surely lack of taxation has played a major role. The discussion, by Obama and his minions that taxes are not repressive is, more or less, proven incorrect by the very fact that one area that has grown (both in terms of businesses, employment, and spending) during our recession is online purchasing.
BTW, Amazon is setting up a network to offer same-day delivery for general purchases. Might be a good time to sell your local brick-and-mortar store (and buy Amazon stock).
What a lot of brick-and-mortar retailers won't acknowledge, because it would instantly undercut their whining, is that Amazon's appeal is not only its sales tax advantage, but even more its unparalleled, efficiently SEARCHABLE inventory of products that no single local store (or even an entire shopping mall) can offer its customers. The things that I buy on-line are often nowhere to be found where I live. Last month I ordered a pair of prescription bifocal lenses for my dive mask. I had to go out of state to get the lenses made and installed on my mask because no one in town does that sort of work. The local Barnes & Noble carries only a fraction of the endless book titles that I can order through Amazon. I'm sure that's true in other states as well. My wife buys canned soup from the local Costco. She also buys other flavors of soup from Amazon at 99 cents a can. The local supermarkets all charge $2.69 or more for the same soup. Does anyone seriously believe she'll start buying her soup locally once Amazon begins to charge her 4 or 5 cents sales tax per can? Duh. The cost of gasoline to drive to the local supermarket is more than that. It's cheaper for her to have Fedex or UPS or USPS deliver the soup from Amazon right to our front door. An on-line sales tax will not change many of our buying habits. An on-line national sales tax isn't an effort by local governments to "level the field" for local retailers. It is a naked grab by politicians for more money, which is intended to help them stave off the hard choice of downsizing government bloat and making local government more efficient. They could not care less where the tax money comes from, from out of state or locally, just as long as it keeps flowing like the great Mississippi.
If [online] sellers may be required to handle sales taxes may I hope there is a sensible cut-off, perhaps only enforce for firms with a minimum of five-hundred-thousand-dollars annual gross sales?
Even when software is available, it will doubtless cost around forty-thousand a year, maybe more. With weekly updates, sometimes more often. Ask a doctor in private practice about putting records online: sure, a PC is cheap enough his/her kids have one - but approved software packages do run around $40K...
Here in Britain Amazon collects a sales tax on kindle books. At 20 per cent the Government earns more from my British kdp sales than I do.
Then again they probably need the money more than I do.
The irritating thing is that I need to link separately to Amazon.Com and Amazon.co.uk wherever I'm trying to sell.
Everybody wants a slice of the pie:
NASCAR wins fight to keep taxpayer funding
I don't watch NASCAR anymore. Any particular reason I should help them keep their business afloat?
Uh-yup. Personally, I think it's amazing the online has gotten away with such shenanigans as long as is has. I expected this to be enacted a decade ago.
Well, Doc, the internet originated in the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. "Free is everything and everything is free", some such drivel by folks that thought Abbie Hoffman knew about Life. Pachouli and paisley, oooh. Kinda like, uh, like a Whole Earth Catalog in the sky. (Note: the WEC charged money if you wanted one).
Ironic, naive, thinking the internet should be free compares to all those Occupier meatheads carrying iPods and sucking back Starbucks.
Luddites, they knew what to do.
Well, we're talking about a 20-year track record here of it being free, Free, FREE!, so it's hardly 'naive' to wish it to remain so.
I suppose the bottom line will boil down to the bottom line. People who buy little things, like books and CDs, wouldn't even notice a little tax. People who buy cars, that's another story.
Doc, not flamin' ya. I stand by my use of the woid naive .
For me and you and many others to have a blog site, check things out on Wiki, do the maps, the weather; all the machinery, the servers, the transmitters, the wires and satellites. Where's the money coming from?
I go into a restaurant, eat the surf & turf, afterwards I pay the bill. I want to drive to Kansas, I got to have the vehicle, and every so often along the way I got to put fuel in the tank.
The internet, huge, global, wealth of knowledge, watch movies on it, talk to my pals in New Zealand, so forth ... Oh, that's OK chasmatic, no problem, it's all free.
Somehow does not compute. Yeah, I use it and yeah, I don't pay a dime (at least directly). But the money comes from somewhere.
This is not like free health care, right?
Okay, to expound, it would be 'naive' to continue thinking the free ride will last forever. Fair 'nuff? I can't believe it didn't happen years ago. As I noted in my article, to a brick-and-mortar businessman, there's no real difference between foreign goods and Internet goods -- they're both coming at you from 'offshore' -- so why does one have tariffs and the other not? That'd be my gripe.
Er, sorry Doc. I was so busy listening to my own voice I didn't hear you. Methinks we agree, for the most part.
The whole thing is dollar-driven, eh? Long-standing conundrum: Joe has a small factory, makes garbage cans right here in (Tulsa/Cleveland/ ...). Good steel, galvanized, so forth. Cost twenty bucks. I go to Home Depot, WalMart, wherever and can buy one for ten bucks. Yeah, cheapo, made in China, but ten bucks cheaper. Or as in our topic (I haven't lost sight of shore) a couple clicks and buy it online for the same ten bucks. I have to think twice or thrice before I buy from Joe. If Joe tried to match prices he'd close his door.
Some a you economic whizzes, chime in and help me out: Joe has overhead, wage regulations, taxes and tarrifs and all kindsa other costs to make and sell his cans. The internet has free salesroom space, and whether a mega corp like WalMart or some guys selling on a laptop off the tailgate of their truck, access to products made in countries that don't have any regulations at all, therefore low overhead.Didn't the US have trade agreements, we buy so much from a country, they sell us so much and it was price-controlled?
Also, today's consumer mentality is "cheap and cheery" use it and throw it away. I have screwdrivers older than some of you readers; I buy things once and keep 'em and give 'em to my sons before they're worn out. I don't think the majority of consumers think beyond, oh, maybe next week.
Jeez, see what three espressos can do?
"so why does one have tariffs and the other not? That'd be my gripe."
Simple solution: If the government spends less, then they need less of our money and the taxes and tariffs can be eliminated. That's what you have to fight for,
The government does not need or deserve more of my hard-earned money.
I am even surprised that you would even consider adding internet taxes to even it out.
It sounds the same as a state with high taxation complaining about another adjacent state with lower taxes. Would you allow the higher taxed state increase the taxes in other states to make up for people who are moving out?
PS: Companies like Amazon, Walmart & Sears are no longer warehousing for their internet sales. When you click 'buy', the purchase order is actually going to the supplier, who is now doing the shipping via UPS or Fedex direct to your home. The are expected to ship the goods within a few hours.
"I am even surprised that you would even consider adding internet taxes to even it out."
I think you kind of have it backwards. We've been getting a free ride all these years, when, in theory, we should have been paying sales tax. You bought it, you pay tax. That's how it is everywhere else. So I'd say it's a misnomer to declare they're "adding" a tax, when all they're really doing is applying a tax like they do everywhere else.
I'd also note that even if it passes, it won't take place for a year or so, and in the meantime we're still getting a free ride. Complaining that a free ride is over doesn't sound very gracious or grateful.
What about the tomato tax?
I raise my potted tomatoes on the side of the house and the side door, since the crop has ripened, every UPS delivery is costing me a pint of cherry and other verities!
Well, I do offer. But he doesn't have to accept! Every time!
Thanks for the repost, doc. Missed it the first time through. And you're right. The list for my camper looks just like yours. A couple of weeks ago my bathroom faucet needed replacing. $159 at the RV store, $64 on Amazon for the exact same faucet. And the usual free shipping with my Prime account. If I'd suddenly had to pay a few bucks in tax, what's that compared to the savings?
BTW, my youngest bro says "THANKS!" for the post on the sub sim the other day. He's apparently kickin' butt and takin' names to beat hell. He said something in email yesterday that I thought you'd like:
"I lost Thresher and almost cried."
You war guys. :-)
Just thinking of the loss of Pike brings a tear to my eye. O, valiant steed, thy exploits shall not be forgot!
Where were we? Oh, right -- taxes. My DVD-ROM went out a few months ago. $69 at the local Office Depot, discounted to $59. Picked up an exact replacement online for nine bucks.
I did, however, have to pay a few dollars in tax because the company was in Florida. What a wallet-killer THAT was!
So why are we making ourselves more non-competitive with sales taxes? I don't know about any of you, but it is very easy nowadays to order things directly from manufacturers in China. I order my eye glasses that way...spent $32 on a nice pair of glasses. About 1/5 the cost of buying them from my eye doctor. I picked them out over the internet, gave them my measurements and prescription, and they mailed them right to my house from China in a couple of weeks.
If we now are tacking on the 5% or more sales tax to internet purchases, we going to slow the market in the U.S. and once again allow outside supplies to take advantage of us. They can provide the same things at a lower cost. And now it will be at least 5% lower for most!
Just to point out an interesting case of a student from overseas who went to school in the U.S. He could buy textbooks much cheaper in his home country than here (because of the price collusion with universities and book publishers in the U.S.). He bought them cheap and then resold them in the U.S. for profit. He just won a court case. Expect this to happen in other areas of the market...
Boy is the federal government dumb. Oh, well.
Well, the one big dif is the thought of using your credit card on some foreign country's site. Amazon? Sure. Jim's Used Books Online? Sure. But at least they're on American soil, presumably using some security-conscious American credit card go-between company. A lot of people might balk at entering those precious 19 digits on a foreign site.
On the subject, though, one thing I recommend in my security posts is having a second credit card for online use only. You normally just keep $20 in it. Given that most banks allow instant transfer of funds, when you see something you want, you just dash over to the bank's site and transfer the funds. If some nefarious company then sells the number to the bad guys, all they'll get is $20.
"one thing I recommend in my security posts is having a second credit card for online use only. You normally just keep $20 in it"
Huh? Perhaps I misunderstand you. Keeping a low balance may be a reasonable precaution to take if you are foolish enough to use a bank debit card to make on-line purchases but it doesn't apply to credit cards. According to federal law, if you lose your credit card or have it stolen and a thief presents the card in person to make a purchase, you are liable for up to $50. It's a good idea to notify your card issuer as soon as you notice your card is missing in order to assure the card issuer you were not a party to what you say is unauthorized use of your card. Most card issuers will waive the charges in the case of fraud, at least I know mine does. On the other hand, if a thief uses your credit card NUMBER to make an unauthorized purchase over the phone or on-line, your liability by law is exactly $0.
Apart from that, the limit on purchases that can be made with your card is determined by your authorized credit limit, not by the balance of any bank savings or checking account with which the card may be linked. Whether the account balance is $20 or $20,000 is irrelevant for credit cards (but important for debit cards, which is why you should never use debit cards to purchase ANYTHING, EVER...cut them up into tiny pieces or just hide them away in a drawer or in your safe deposit box). If you're afraid you won't notice or become aware of any unauthorized charges against your credit card until they appear on your periodic statement, do not sign up with your bank for automatic bill paying. Instead, make payments yourself on-line only after you've had a chance to verify all the charges that appear on your credit card statement, or else do it all in paper form using the USPS mail.
And finally, there are many credit cards that aren't linked to an underlying savings or checking account. American Express is one example. When there's no linked cash account, there's no money to be stolen.
First off, I meant debit card, not actual bona fide, indemnified, certified "credit" card. Try to be just a tad less pedantic in the future, okay?
Also, I never mentioned anything about limits.
Also, I'm not sure what your beef against debit cards is. Someone here told me a while back that the bank doesn't cover you if a debit account is illegally charged, but I asked the BofA gal and she said they were both covered equally. It might be part of the 'ID theft' package I have, which does things like limit it to $1,000/day and closes down when 'strange' things happen, like the day I went to the gas station four times and each time filled up two 5-gallon jugs. I was making sure the boat would make it to the nearest gas station when I first bought it. Four almost-identical purchases a half-hour apart and the bank finally went "WTF?" and shut 'er down. Fine by me. I was glad they were paying attention.
"Try to be just a tad less pedantic in the future, okay?"
>>>When you offer advice to people, try to get it right in the future, okay?
"Also, I never mentioned anything about limits."
>>>Yes you did. You advised people to keep no more than $20 in the account to which the card was linked so that a thief could not steal anything more than that. Sounds to me like you're giving advice to people on how they can put a LIMIT on their liability: "If some nefarious company then sells the number to the bad guys, all they'll get is $20." Drats. Convicted by your own words.
You were talking about maximum limits, I was talking about minimum limits. Kind of a different thing.
"I'm not sure what your beef against debit cards is"
Sorry, I forgot to address this point, which is not unimportant. Currently, a business cannot charge its credit card customers a higher price than it charges its cash or its debit card customers. This is an agreement that's incorporated into the contract between the card issuer and the business. This could change in the future, for example businesses could be allowed to charge their credit card customers more than they charge debit card users in order to reflect any difference in the cost of the swipe or service fees imposed by the card issuer. But for now, when we buy something, we all pay the same price for the same goods. So, AFAIK, when it comes to BUYING things, there is NOTHING a debit card does that can't be done equally conveniently with a credit card. On the other hand, a debit card forgoes the as-much-as 50 day float that a credit card provides, which amounts to a short-term interest free "loan" from the bank. Banks hate giving their customers interest free loans. That's not my problem, I say. Bottom line, I see a definite downside but no upside or advantage to using a debit card instead of a credit card. So why bother with them? I buy almost everything these days with my credit card. And for the record, I've never missed a monthly credit card payment in my entire life and I've never paid any late fees or interest....ever.
Got it, and thanks for continued reply.
The dif is that almost anybody can get a debit card. With no 9-to-5 job or tax returns to prove I have a steady income, there's no way the bank would give me a bona fide credit card. Put another way, I have no credit that merits being carded.
BOA has a feature called shopsafe. You can generate a temporary card number - you pick the duration and a vendor(or not).
Can't get to your card that way, just the temporary number. Use it all the time online, except, as you say, with Amazon and Joe's Lacy Underwear and gun range.
I'm with you as far as online shopping goes. Being female you would think I would cherish my trip to the mall, but frankly, haven't been in one in years and hope to never have to go into one. I've never understood that 'need to shop'.
Shop till you drop!
My mother has a handbag that says, "When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping."
I like going to malls, cuz I'm a people watcher, but I hate the mundane stuff, like groceries.
Speaking of online and groceries, my mom tried doing the online grocery thing with a West Coast chain called Safeway, but all of the items were more than in the store (because of the 'extra handling'), plus there was a delivery fee, so she canned the idea. No pun intended. So the 'online price' story can work both ways.
As a very small businessman who makes occasional online sales, this tax would put me out of business. According to a CBS news report last night, there are more than 9000 tax districts in the United States. How in the hell am I, as a single businessman, supposed to keep up with all of them? How long will it take me to get the correct forms and remit the correct amount? What will I have to do to register with the various agencies?
A much, much better way to do this is treat the sale as having occurred at the point of sale. That way, each seller would collect local sales tax and pay it.
Also, I suspect this will destroy eBay - how are the sellers going to deal with paying the tax?
Doc, where's your revelation comment about the Right?
been waiting since you mentioned it last week.
Well, to be precise, I'm not 'revealing' anything about the Right that everyone doesn't already know. Well, everyone except those 40 million people.
(I originally said 38 million, but that was based on what I found out to be old data)
Probably Friday. I let the Internet deadline come and go. It just woulda killed me to go without. Also have a fun 'word exercise' scheduled for Thursday. Gotta be on the road tomorrow.
What about people(thinking myself) instead of buying something, might not buy anything and just get by without it. Add a couple more dollars sales tax and its just not such a great deal. Maybe I don't need it.
Wonder if mail order catalogs might not make a comeback. If I printout the form and mail it in do I avoid the tax?
Funny went to Ace Hardware and Home Depot this week for stuff and figured that even though I figured Ace was higher for a $30 part it wasn't worth saying $5 or $10 to drive across town and look for the thing at Home Depot. Bought it there and went and smoked a cigar(Padron '64) with my friends to complain about the Federal government.
My fear is this is only they beginning - the next 'giant-leap' for revenue-strapped governance is VAT, and that monstrosity will be epic upon the buyer.
If they think that 'its inevitable to pay your fair share', wait until VAT arrives, and buying big ticket items (and pretty much everything else...) shrivels worse than an emaciated prune.
Remember when buying online wasn't safe?
The paradigm is shifting.
I wonder when it will occur to them that its easier to assess the tax by rifling through your online activity rather than the business?
Every time I hear someone talk about paying "just a little more", "it is for the community", "it is for the kids" or whatever, I always ask them. "Since it is so little, you won't mind paying mine, then, would you?" For some reason, the answer is always "No!". I buy some things online that can't be had in my little town like books, videos, music, etc. and other things I buy in town, like clothes, food, yard and garden supplies. I don't have to have a lot of things and I can make do with less. If I pay more in taxes, then that means I will buy less from either. I used to live in a town that voted to build a stadium and they raised the sales tax to pay for it. Since I voted against it, I found it remarkably easy to shop for groceries in the town where I worked rather than the town where I lived. There were better restaurants and car dealers there, too.
For once I would love to hear someone say, "Let's cut politicians' salaries and perks first, then see if we need to raise taxes."
First, stop weeping for businesses losing to online sales. Brick&mortar businesses either get with the program or they go out of business. EVERYbody is online, so the whingeing is not persuasive.
Remember that markets exist for the benefit of the BUYER, not the seller. Those who serve the buyer best win. Those who don't, fail. Only government is immune to this, more to our sorrow.
Second, and not that it matters, the first thing to notice about the collection of taxes on interstate sales is against the law. Article I Section 9 of the Constitution forbids it. As I said, not that it matters, because these days the Constitution is honored more in the breach, but it is the fact. Amend it or no tax. The more widely that fact is disseminated, the better chance We the (Little) People have.