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I know, I know, we're all guilty. We use amazon because they have "everything", they've got relatively good pricing, it gets here quickly, and despite a limited interaction capability with any kind of customer service, the experience is more or less consistent. But lets quickly go over some basic tenets of capitalism. 1) Competition requires a level playing field. 2) When there is no fair competition, we, the consumers, pay the price. (And boy will we pay.)
Now, you may or may not be aware of the progress of legislation that would require any company with annual sales in excess of $1 million dollars to collect and distribute taxes to all 50 states. While it is the consumers' responsibility to pay these taxes, nobody does, and here's the rub: Amazon's buying power is comparable to that of Walmart, that much-loved behemoth destroyer of local economies. Now, with all of that buying power, they're obviously going to get the lowest prices, which they now pass on to the consumer because, well, because the have to, since mom-and-pop.com is living on the margins they get from the difference in taxes uncollected, while Amazon is forced to collect the taxes for all of the states in which it operates.
Amazon's stance is that they're the company with an unfair disadvantage, because joe-shmoe.com doesn't have to pay those taxes in each state. They even thanked congress for bringing the issue to the floor. When's the last time you've heard of a company doing something like that? Prior to being pressured to start collecting sales taxes by traditional retail, a huge part of Amazon's strategy was to stay out of large states to avoid paying the taxes. Now, it makes sense that brick-and-mortar companies support this legislation, but c'mon people, we're 1.5% into the 21st century, that's not the standard anymore.
It's time to get real. I'm all about laissez-faire and pure capitalism; you should be too. it means we leave it up to the people (well, market) to decide and do the right thing. I used to have a lot of respect for Bezos. Now he's just another clown. If we let this pass, you can say goodbye to your-favorite-botique.com, and we'll all be one step closer to an online retail environment that looks just like your small town, USA. Lots of empty storefronts, and people that can only afford to buy the cheap shit from china from a company that pays $10 an hour. Even worse, they'll be delivering by drone from an automated warehouse, so there goes the supportive infrastructure and manpower...
Read what NPR has to say about it. Can you see the future? I can, and it's so not good. DON'T LET IT HAPPEN PEOPLE. CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES.