Bill Jackson’s Techdirt Profile

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  • Nov 7th, 2011 @ 5:20pm

    Why States want taxes

    The lawmakers have allowed the unions to steal the shop. Did you know a cost of living allowance is not a raise? So the unions have COLA clauses, and they agitate and strike for 2-3% above that. Do that for 30-40 years and this is where we are now. These lardlords we call civil serpents have now convinced themselves they are well worth the money. In fact they produce nothing, and are simple form fillers and issuers at the office level and haulers of freight at the trash level. Make no mistake, the USA MUST reduce wages across the board among the unions. The lower wage people need to be upped to a $10 minimum wage so they have a chance of buying what the union men and women make an administer. Look at those silly Greeks, well, we have copies of them here, taking the $$ out of your pockets.

    Civil serpents should not have the vote to elect those that pay them, that is a conflict of interest and decades of crooked unions and politicians have put us where we are now

  • Nov 5th, 2011 @ 5:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: internet taxation

    They are already the largest in their field and growing. You have seen how they dictate prices and rates? Much like Apple who is a similar beast.
    Not that this is bad, but it needs moderation. We are both too young to know about the standard oil monopoly that gave rise to counter measures.
    Here is an interesting read.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standard_Oil

  • Nov 5th, 2011 @ 2:23pm

    Re: To: Bill Jackson, Nov 5th, 2011 @ 12:02pm, Re: Common Cartridges.

    I agree with you. A memorized formula provides no true understanding and fails without it. Being a retired teacher I have seen the value modes and failure modes of various types of computer teaching. Success comes more easily in the rule based hard sciences. The ones that work teach one small component of a subject, be it Chemistry, Geography Physics or Math and then pose a short test to see how the student has comprehended the session. Based on the answers, he can progress to the next module or be retaught the module with another approach, and again be tested and then proceed, or to a final third session, failure at which should elevate the student to a human teacher or to a more basic module which the failures have indicated may have caused the lack of comprehension in the student. They call this multiple re-entrant and it has been maturing for 10-15 years now, and it is quite good. It does the same thing that a real teacher does, with infinite patience and has the ability to handle the entire class at varying rates, and leave the slower ones to the staff.
    The method is not as good in drama, or music, or the many softer subjects.

    We are far beyond the original teaching applications that emerged in the middle 80's which were not re-entrant and were hobbled both by processor power and lack of proper programming.

    Back in the middle80's (I retired in 1998) the teaching union, of which I was a member, was very much against any degree of computers used to seemingly replace teachers in classes. Teachers were mixed on this, some thought it had potential. The union brass saw job losses and lower wages and have opposed on this basis alone ever since, as far as I can see.

    We are now at the point where computers can help enormously and try to bring all the students forward as well as their ability - which varies widely, some can open a book and progress in grade 10 as well as a College student - others not.

  • Nov 5th, 2011 @ 12:07pm

    Why are text books so costly.

    There is massive conflict of interest between the textbook publishers, the schools(bookstores) and some profs who write the books and get huge royalties for books that cost well below $10 to print, and even less to e-book.

    There is no incentive for this to change, except for the open text idea, which is being fought hammer and tongs by the publishers, the SChools(most of them) and the profs(who like the gravy)
    So change must be imposed

  • Nov 5th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    (untitled comment)

    The FAQ says What is Common Cartridge?

    It's a set of open standards, freely available and without royalty, developed by a global industry consortium with over 80 voting members. These standards, if followed by content developers and learning platforms, enable strict interoperability between content and systems. They also support great flexibility in the type of digital content supported (content can actually be applications) and where such content is located (content and applications in a Common Cartridge can be distributed). (See a diagram of Common Cartridge )

  • Nov 5th, 2011 @ 11:59am

    Re: Re: I feel all retailers should be treated equally

    This is one aspect of what is called the tragedy of the commons.

    The tragedy of the commons applies to a shared resource. There is no such shared resource in this scenario.

    DUHHHHH

    So the consumers of the USA/WORLD are not a resource shared amongst all retailers (both internet and B&M)?
    Well, I say they are and the sales tax not charged by out-of-state merchants constitutes a tragedy of the commons in the classical sense.

  • Nov 5th, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Sales Tax as discussed by a panel largely made up of morons!

    Local businesses can only compete in the see-buy-take-home-now market. They can not compete is the see-buy-get-it-in-three-days market, so they will have to make do with the crumbs. They can compete with downloads by offering store downloads + sales tax, and thus will have to reduce their margin by the sales tax rate to get that sale on a same cost basis.

  • Nov 5th, 2011 @ 11:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: internet taxation

    From Wikipedia:

    'Stalinist policies in the Soviet Union included: rapid industrialization, Socialism in One Country, a centralized state, collectivization of agriculture, and subordination of interests of other communist parties to those of the Soviet party.[2] When used in its broadest sense, the term "Stalinist" refers to socialist states comparable to the Stalin-era Soviet Union (i.e., those characterized by a high degree of centralization, totalitarianism, the use of a secret police, propaganda, and especially brutal tactics of political coercion). According to Encyclopędia Britannica, "Stalinism is associated with a regime of terror and totalitarian rule."'

    That doesn't sound like Amazon.com to me.

    Stalin had a broad stifling effect on capitalism. All aspects were denied validity. Competition by brand name, quality or price was not allowed. Promotion by advertsing was not allowed. This all acted to limit product development, innovation and competition, all with no advertising. One brand of corn flakes, shoe polish, toilet paper etc. In like manner having a sole distributor has a stifling effect when items with small markets are denied a listing or charged a listing fee. Amazon approaches stalinism from the other end. What happens when Amazon is the only book seller left, online or bricks and mortar? This can happen as the Amazon monolith can easily do this. Will we then regulate Amazon as a monopoly?

  • Nov 5th, 2011 @ 11:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: internet taxation

    Your point is fair, but the problem is forcing sales tax collection from every internet merchant would be seriously problematic, and forcing it only on a list of the biggest ones would be unfair.

    Every internet merchant already collects sales tax on their state (save for those with no taxes on sales) So it is no real problem, just a small burden paid for by allowing them to keep part of what they collect

    Specialty stores can prosper with unique products - which are few, and with client hand-holding - which far away internet suppliers are unable to easily supply(if they hire local hand holders = presence = sales taxes)

    So no problem there, right?

    As for Stalinism = central distributionism with excess power in one supplier.

    From Wikipedia:

    'Stalinist policies in the Soviet Union included: rapid industrialization, Socialism in One Country, a centralized state, collectivization of agriculture, and subordination of interests of other communist parties to those of the Soviet party.[2] When used in its broadest sense, the term "Stalinist" refers to socialist states comparable to the Stalin-era Soviet Union (i.e., those characterized by a high degree of centralization, totalitarianism, the use of a secret police, propaganda, and especially brutal tactics of political coercion). According to Encyclopędia Britannica, "Stalinism is associated with a regime of terror and totalitarian rule."'

    That doesn't sound like Amazon.com to me.

  • Nov 5th, 2011 @ 11:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: internet taxation

    Back when internet sales were small, the sales tax was a minor problem, but now it has become a major loss to the states as well as the retail businesses.

    It's not a loss to the states. Failure to tax something that was never taxed is not a loss. And yes, local businesses are losing some revenue, but the government ought not to step in and level the field every time someone starts losing money. That would be a disaster, and completely anti-free market./


    Are you blind? As retail sales that were taxed at retail within a state move to out-of-state internet sale there is indeed a loss of taxes/

    Your point is fair, but the problem is forcing sales tax collection from every internet merchant would be seriously problematic, and forcing it only on a list of the biggest ones would be unfair.

    Specialty stores can prosper with unique products - which are few, and with client hand-holding - which far away internet suppliers are unable to easily supply(if they hire local hand holders = presence = sales taxes)

    So no problem there, right?

    As for Stalinism = central distributionism with excess power in one supplier.

    From Wikipedia:

    'Stalinist policies in the Soviet Union included: rapid industrialization, Socialism in One Country, a centralized state, collectivization of agriculture, and subordination of interests of other communist parties to those of the Soviet party.[2] When used in its broadest sense, the term "Stalinist" refers to socialist states comparable to the Stalin-era Soviet Union (i.e., those characterized by a high degree of centralization, totalitarianism, the use of a secret police, propaganda, and especially brutal tactics of political coercion). According to Encyclopędia Britannica, "Stalinism is associated with a regime of terror and totalitarian rule."'

    That doesn't sound like Amazon.com to me.

  • Nov 5th, 2011 @ 7:58am

    Student Books

    In most subjects the material taught is a mature matter and one would expect a text book to be generic and have a life of at least 10 years. It is well within the capability of the colleges to agree to a set of standards for each subject and commission the creation of a digital text, with annual added updates each year - as needed, with a major rewrite every 10 years.

    Why will they not do this? They are in cahoots with the publishers via the sales at college book stores which have a 35% locked in markup. Some colleges insist that each student show a receipt for the purchase of the mandated course book as a condition to attend classes and even graduate. How can 4 students shares a $250 book with that situation. Students can not even use the library copy - they must buy one. In addition, profs often sell books they print locally to the students at high margins on trapped fish.

    Open it all up

  • Nov 5th, 2011 @ 7:47am

    Re: Re: internet taxation

    I am in favor of efficiency, but I also am in favor of equality of competition.
    Why should trade between states escape sales taxes any more than trade between countries escapes duties?

    Back when internet sales were small, the sales tax was a minor problem, but now it has become a major loss to the states as well as the retail businesses.
    Specialty stores can prosper with unique products - which are few, and with client hand-holding - which far away internet suppliers are unable to easily supply(if they hire local hand holders = presence = sales taxes)

    As for Stalinism = central distributionism with excess power in one supplier. In the USSR there was one brand of toilet paper - scratchy. With excess centralization, products can fall below a threshold of sales and not be worth distribution, much like orphan vaccines and other medical products.

  • Nov 4th, 2011 @ 8:54pm

    I feel all retailers should be treated equally

    bulk freight to retailers plus sales tax to the customer versus individual out of state shipping to the customer with no sales tax is one form of levelling, but it depends on weight. Costly items, like $300 CPUs only cost $1-2 for freight, but have sales taxes of $20 - so people buy online to save the $18, and the retailer suffers a decline in sales. Few people buy coal shipped via UPS, freight is the killer there.
    This is one aspect of what is called the tragedy of the commons. Google it.
    People see their own ends and motives ahead of those of others

  • Nov 4th, 2011 @ 8:18pm

    No tax on internet purchases

    And when all purchases have moved to the internet?

    Let them eat cake?

  • Nov 4th, 2011 @ 4:57pm

    internet taxation

    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 3:19pm

    ""I guess if they start taxing on the Internet, I will stop ordering on the Internet. May as well go to the store and
    buy and pay the taxes there.""

    The balance had shifted to large internet companies, and what better way to balance the playing field.

    I remember Stalin, when asked why Americans had stores full of plentiful goods, and the stores in the USSR were empty, replied that Americans were so poor they were unable to enter the stores and buy good, but the Russians were so wealthy that they all the goods had sold out.

    I see a similar Stalinist mindset in you.
    The truth is we will all balance price, availability, delivery, warranty and taxes and each will vote with their feet and wallet.

    Right now many stores are dying after showing a product to a person, who then goes and buys it online to save taxes etc. Do we want local shops? If not, what will those people do? All work for UPS or ??.

    An economy is a complex system of purchase and distribution of goods and services and a balance needs to be struck as we change from one form to another.

    A reasonable tax for a reasonable government is good enough for me. Right now the USA has too many fat cats in the various government services for a good economy, only the fat cats can survive these days. Yes, I mean the unions and their pensions and bosses that are breaking the USA just like they broke Greece and Italy etc.

  • Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

    Re: Retailers COLLECT sales tax - they do not pay it!

    In man states there are added township and city taxes, who get to add a little to the state sales tax. What this means is there are thousands of sales tax jurisdictions in the USA, not just one per state that levies sales taxes.

    From goole, see this.

    http://zip2tax.com/

    there are lots more.
    the 33% plan is just a way to impose a more or less level playing field compared to local sellers

  • Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:27am

    (untitled comment)

    Anon I addition to EZK's points, someone else also mentioned a big issue that these online tax table solutions don't address: If I live in Michigan, buy from a company in Texas, which ships the product out of Indiana, to my gift recipient in New Mexico, which tax rate applies?

    Currently, where the goods end up is the state that gets the taxes - if it can find out who shipped what to whome. Under the 33% plan, the place it was physicallt shipped from gets 33% and the place it was shipped to gets 33% and the Feds get 33%.

  • Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:35am

    sales tax methodism

    RE SailingCyclops
    "I agree with everything you have said! What I don't understand is how any federal statute, allowing states to collect out-of-state sales taxes, can possibly be enforced. It seems impossible on it's face."

    What is needed is a sales tax treaty between the feds and each state that wants to sign up for the 33% of the 6% sales tax.

    On the face of it, high sales tax states would lose - but they actually win, because they keep all taxes on their own sales with the state and in addition, get 2% of whatever is shipped into the state and what is shipped out of the state.

    States with no sales tax, can waive their 2%.
    I think a scheme like this is the only way.

  • Nov 4th, 2011 @ 8:21am

    (untitled comment)

    Bengie, Shipped from Indiana to Michigan. Those 2 states and the feds each get 33% of the 6% sales tax. Now if you drive to Michigan and carry it home to NY, then you owe NY sales tax in addition to the 6%. Better if you ship to NY.

    I feel the it is in the interest of the states and the feds to adopt my plan, as it solves all the problems.

  • Nov 4th, 2011 @ 7:00am

    Jurisdiction

    NY can not force an out-of-state seller to collect NY state sales taxes on sales to NY residents unless the seller has a physical presence in NY.
    States have tried to say that an affiliate marketing arrangement, like Amazon has with many people, is a physical presence and Amazon must collect and remit. So Amazon turfs those affiliates.
    NY can enforce sales tax collection from any NY buyer - if they know who they are. Sellers never reveal this. NY has chased a number of people who dodged sales taxes on high ticket items if they find out about them from insurance records etc. (say you have a fire, and your $10,000 big screen TV burns up, and you make an insurance claim, then NY will ask for the details of the acquisition of this TV and get you if you had it shipped in from NJ, and so on. Small stuff escapes this net)

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