The Government wants to protect you

There is an interesting war going on between Amazon and Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has decided that Amazon really is a threat and is staging a campaign to protect “Main Street” vendors (you know, the ones that Wal-Mart put out of business) from the rapacious and exploitive practices of web retailers like Amazon who wickedly avoid paying taxes. Legally, but wickedly.

The convinced California – long known to be a staunch ally of Wal-Mart and a supporter of Wal-Mart’s corporate goals – to pass a law requiring internet vendors to pay tax. So Amazon flat out stopped partnering with anyone selling out of California. Amazon will make no shipments from California, and therefore not be subject to California’s laws.

But Amazon would like to ship from California, so they got a referendum going where they try to get enough voters to sign up in support of overturning California’s law that it is done so. This referendum thing is one of the best things California has got going, because if the legislators get too corrupt the people can simply make the law themselves.

Oh, wait, that would threaten the power of the legislators! Good thing there is a secret emergency escape clause that allows the legislators to ignore the people forever and ever if the matter is urgent, such as taxing Amazon!

Soon you will be safe from accidentally forgetting to self-report and self-pay taxes. You can rest your fretful mind knowing that you will get taxed no matter what. Government is for the common good, and you’re special, so don’t go expecting anything.

Links for Today

Lost Incan City of Machu Picchu: 100 Years after Discovery by ‘Indiana Jones’

A Bridge to Somewhere (but in the wrong place)

Thanks for the doctors, New York

WHEAT AND TRADE: Primarily interesting because of this comment….

Even if the US eventually signs the agreement, wheat growers will not be able to capture that market from the Canadians, who are by far the best wheat growers in the world. The ordinary farmer in Saskatchewan or Manitoba cleans his grain to seed grade before it ever leaves the farm. Downstream from there it might be cleaned up even more, right down to zero weeds and zero foreign matter.

American export standards allow up to 3% foreign matter and 1% weed seeds. There’s no reason for an American farmer to clean his grain because he knows that once it gets to the river terminal the consolidator has tanks of sand and bins of weed seed available to ADD to the grain in order to get right up to the export limits. As a general rule, once foreign buyers have experienced Canadian quality, they don’t care about American price.