A small bit from slashdot has made me think of how the government works, and how interesting it might be to see the trail of money in the overall telling of this long and winding story.
theodp writes “Recalling that CEO Jeff Bezos originally explored placing Amazon.com on an Indian Reservation near San Francisco to ‘have access to talent without all the tax consequences,’ the NY Times argues it’s time to put an end to the e-tailer’s ‘entity isolation’ tax-avoidance games. The LA Times chimes in, saying Amazon’s claims that collecting sales tax constitute an undue burden are ‘worth a horselaugh,’ noting that Amazon boasts it has no problem keeping track of millions of unique products.”
The idea that the United States government would have allowed Amazon to operate in such a manner is laughable, much more so than anything these two newspapers can think of.
I am reminded of a PBS story of a while ago giving an account of the hardships and restrictions placed upon another “sovereign nation”, which is a handy euphemism that gets used any time a backhanded reference to American Indian tribes is needed.
The tribe was trying to use the growing of industrial hemp (not marijuana, and not a source of easily extracted THC) for the production of clothing, other textiles, and also paper-like products. These were to be used for the tribe’s purposes, and also as a source of income, to bring these people out of some of the worst unemployment and abject poverty found anywhere on this continent.
After beginning the crops, which are one of the few things that will grow on their rocky and dry lands, the DEA came onto the reservation, clearly violating any semblance of sovereignty they might have otherwise had, and removed the hemp plants. (The PBS documentary shows a great clip of “W” trying desperately to give an explanation of the word sovereign, ending in an idiotic self-referencing spiel. Perhaps the fact that the leader of the nation could not simply look up a definition before sending the DEA to do its “work” is a clue to why this suit brought by the Lakota Sioux is still running through the courts, when it should have been a simple smack down of the governmental lunacy of the first 8 years of the 21st century.)
A couple of things to note here are the fact that the hemp cannot simply be dried and smoked, or used in various foodstuffs to hallucinogenic effect, because the amount of THC is so low as to be, for all practical purposes, negligible, and also the idea that these Indians are truly holders of their own destiny. Any time the U.S. government so decides, any sovereignty goes up in smoke faster than you can pronounce the word “doobie”.
So for anyone to think that Bezos could remove himself from the burden of taxation by this method is simply ludicrous. At the first attempt to ship anything out of the “sovereign areas of the chosen reservation” you can bet the the appropriate agencies (yes, more than one) would have been on the spot to block any movement of goods.
Perhaps that is why not many want to read newspapers anymore – the absence of reasoned address to facts is missing from most of these institutions today.
George W. Bush – Lifetime Achievement Award for Unaware Self Deprecating Humor
“One of the very difficult parts of the decision I made on the financial crisis was to use hardworking people’s money to help prevent there to be a crisis.” –George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 2009
“I’m telling you there’s an enemy that would like to attack America, Americans, again. There just is. That’s the reality of the world. And I wish him all the very best.” –George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 2009
“So I analyzed that and decided I didn’t want to be the president during a depression greater than the Great Depression, or the beginning of a depression greater than the Great Depression.” –George W. Bush, Washington D.C., Dec. 18, 2008
“Yesterday, you made note of my — the lack of my talent when it came to dancing. But nevertheless, I want you to know I danced with joy. And no question Liberia has gone through very difficult times.” –George W. Bush, speaking with the president of Liberia, Washington, D.C., Oct. 22, 2008
Why someone during the years 2002 to 2008 did not try to use the provisions of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to remove George W. Bush as President is a testament to how much more afraid we all were of Dick Cheney.
- the oracle
– Simon Bar Sinister Dick Cheney