the problem of collecting sales taxes on Internet transactions,Why its bad:
Sadly, no. Rather, as an SBA guidebook for small businesses points out, you have to file a tax return with each and every locality for which you have collected tax. The bill streamlines this a bit, but you've still got to keep 50 states’ worth of records and file 40-odd states worth of returns.Why its good for big business and bad for small ones:
For Amazon—the actual target of these laws—this is trivial. Its staff of crack accountants can probably roll these things out before their Monday-morning coffee break. For a small vendor, however, that's a whole lot of paperwork. Imagine being a small eBay vendor that has to file a different set of tax returns every quarter or every month, depending on who happened to buy your handmade toaster cozies. The bill makes this slightly easier by exempting the smallest businesses and saying that you only have to file one return per state. But that's still hours and hours of work per month, for folks who are probably already working pretty damn hard.The disappointment:
This bill, in fact, is good for Amazon—it kills off their small-fry competitors who can't afford the staff accountants (or the software) to file 46 returns every month. And it frees them up to open warehouses in more states, the better to minimize their shipping costs. Presumably, that's why they're in favor of the bill.A conclusion:
It doesn't seem worth hassling them to get a few extra bucks out of Amazon. Some of those small businesses are the future big businesses of the world. More of them are a way for hardworking people to achieve the American Dream of being their own boss. All of them are contributing to the general welfare. At least until we kill off their Internet sales by demanding they file dozens of monthly or quarterly tax returns.***
Liberals always confuse slave labor with the making of money through free trade of goods and services. They always think that the rich got rich by "stealing" from the poor. This isn't the case in America.
It is difficult in trying to explain that free exchange of goods and services for money will occasionally result in some providing lots of goods and services and them getting lots of money.
Working against our attempts to describe this is crony capitalism. Where the government helps big businesses limit the competition from competitors. This crony capitalism is the reason why some big businesses support things like Obamacare. They get to prevent competition and they don't need to improve or adapt.
Its not really the fault of the big businesses (here's where the Occupy Wall Street people went wrong). These businesses are doing what they need to in order to survive.
The big businesses had better go along with it, and encourage it. If they don't, someone else will write the laws to oppose them.
The only way to end it is to end government involvement in the free exchange of goods and services.
This is one reason for a small government that does not enter into these affairs is better than one that picks winners and losers. No big government and businesses will need to survive on their merits alone. They could ask for all the bailouts and favorable laws that they want, and it wouldn't matter if the government refused to get involved.
Both political sides have some measure of similar ground here. By way of analogy: liberals want the crack addict to stop asking for it, and the conservatives want the enablers to stop enabling.
Government laws that help established business and hurt new ones is not new.
When you need a license to drive a taxi, that is crony capitalism.
When you need a license to be a plumber, that is crony capitalism.
A tariff is crony capitalism.
Legally required training for anything, is crony capitalism.
Light bulb bans are crony capitalism.
CAFE laws (gas mileage standards) are the same crony capitalism.
The government does hurt big businesses too:
This bill, in fact, is good for Amazon—it kills off their small-fry competitors who can't afford the staff accountants (or the software) to file 46 returns every month. And it frees them up to open warehouses in more states, the better to minimize their shipping costs.If it were not for the onerous government laws and taxes we already have, Amazon would be able to open more warehouses, etc. (read that as: "jobs")