Tuesday, March 9, 2010

amazon is not patriotic, but Jennie is and she is a *gasp* liberal

While listening to the radio this morning I learned that Amazon fired marketers in Colorado who promote Amazon. Why? Because Colorado passed bill HB10-1193 basically stating that Colorado residents are to pay taxes on items purchased online. Taxes could be collected at the time of sale or online retailers could let the purchasers (and the state) know how much tax they owe and to pay up. Obviously this second option is a bit more cumbersome to all involved and basically the state was hoping for people to just pay at time of purchase (like they do when they physically hand over their credit cards to rack up unsecured debt.) However, Amazon realizing that it could potentially lose their competitive edge (i.e. no tax is quite the incentive to wait a few days for an item that can be purchased at the local mall, taken home loved for 24 hours, and then unceremoniously cast aside as you covet your next item) isn't playing nicely, instead it fired Colorado marketers Amazon will still sell to Colorado residents but marketers based in Colorado, sorry "it's not you it's your state." About 4,000 CO residents got cut out of the Amazon marketing loop. States, however, are losing out on $23-$25 BILLION from online sales! Now I don't like to pay more money more than the next person for things, but seriously this amount is quite large and could be used for things such as EDUCATION! Spending on higher education in Colorado is pathetic, we rank 47th. If you look at actual expenditures for K-12 students we rank somewhere in the middle, however, when you adjust for Colorado's higher than national average personal income (13th) Colorado's expenditure on education ranks 49th. Now some people would prefer budget cuts and some would prefer privatization in order to deal with the states budget shortfalls. I personally do not mind paying a sales tax when I see that it actually benefits my kids, my community, and quite honestly my standard of life. Having an economy based on shopping only works if we tax that shopping.

Now climb into my soapdish with me and we shall splash together, no? It seems to me that this nation has become one of '"I want something for nothing." People love to bitch about the state of education but they are never willing to put their money where their mouth is; never mind that fact those kiddos in that failing school WILL be adults and will be changing your geriatric diapers. Also, not to mention they will be running the country one day which will more likely than not include seriously poor decisions about invading nations and bombing them. So why is it that people educating kids make such pathetic salaries, even when they have advanced degrees? Why is it that people who are the bottom of the education grade system totem pole are even allowed to teach kids? (I also agree that firing teachers is tactic that should be employed )

Now on to health care, yes I am going there. People love to bitch about health care but would rather have profit making companies in charge of their care than an actual reform where your health care is not tied to your job, but instead to the idea that you are a human being. I hear chatter about this would stifle innovation: um, by innovation do you mean the drug pushing that is now occurring every bloody time one goes to the doctor versus encouraging actual healthy lifestyles or do you mean a plethora of tests that one has done "just in case" and despite the results of the test the outcome is generally the same which is, "here take this pill" or if we can't find anything wrong with you "how about some vitamin P." Now about those wait times that everyone is just so sure we will have: My kids just waited a month to see a specialist, that is about the same as our Canadian friends where 57% of which report a month wait time to see a specialist. So that argument fails to hold water with me. Two out of my three kids are requiring procedures (we are calling them procedures because mentally I handle that better than surgery) and the wait time is six weeks! Six weeks, oh yes America wonderful health care you have here. Don't get me started on our global rankings. (Oh and ever wonder why that insurance you get at your job is called a benefit, me too since when is health care a benefit? So when you work for a large company you get good insurance and a small company equals crappy insurance. Nice. And for that matter WHY is it attached to you employment status?)

So when publicly traded companies, looking at you Amazon, who are making a net income of $902 million and net sales of $24.51 billion want to keep their competitive edge and not have their customers pay taxes, Jennie gets annoyed. Raise your hand if you have heard of such corporations asking for tax breaks? Taxes pay for things everyone in the community uses, taxes can put everyone on a level playing field when it comes to health care. Business is for profit. Why is it OK for them to make a profit, but not OK for us to pay taxes to provide better services for the people in our nation? Some say that people should be able to keep their money in their own pockets because they know what is best for their money. Now I ask you, how many of you would say, "ah yes today I am going to go out and fix that pothole because I don't like driving over it instead of taking the weekend trip to Vegas." Hardly. Also, does obnoxiously high credit card debt ring a bell to anyone, or how about that housing crisis because people thought their houses were ATMs? Bueller? Yep, we are a national full of fiscally responsible people.

Yes, certain companies give back to schools, local communities, and charities, some more than others. Yes companies drive innovation and people have jobs because of companies. I don't think that making a profit is a bad thing. However, when companies are laying off people, asking for bailouts for bullshit that was their own fault, the economy is still in the crapper, and states are failing, I get annoyed when all of the sudden we are to bow down to corporations. Corporations who lobby to get their way, who are not interested in people but rather their bottom line, and will fire workers or make accounting discrepancies when that bottom line is threatened. Why is it OK to show all the proverbial love to these corporations and not the the government who we elect? When was the last time you got to watch an Amazon, Goldman Sachs, or Toyota board meeting on CSPAN? Just saying.

To quote President Kennedy, "And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

sources for this rant:

1 comment:

Kathleen said...

I saw this article too. I notice the other thing CO is doing is taxing soda to try make it more expensive and discourage drinking it.

I am totally shocked at the education stats for CO. explains a lot. Personally if we paid better wages to teachers we wouldn't keep loosing the good ones to other industries who head hunt.

As for health care, don't get me started either stupid insurance companies, i have never seen such a monopoly and so many back handers, except for maybe in the oil industry!

Good for you for speaking your mind.