Talk for Article "Analyzing Trump’s criticism of Amazon"

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  1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    I think the article should acknowledge that the long period from 1994 through 2017 when Amazon paid almost no state and local taxes has given them a huge advantage during a long period when many physical retailers struggled to compete resulting in the collapse and middling of Borders and Barnes and Noble as Amazon focused on books to Circuit City and Best Buy struggling against Amazon and other online electronics retailers (which were also later covered in these new state tax laws).

    Also it seems like the fight is only just beginning now that online retailers pay any local taxes. The mayor of Albequrque, NM was recently profiled specifically complaining about the defunding of his city by the lack of local sales tax from online retailers of which Amazon is a huge portion.

    On monopoly power, Amazon makes up 44% of online retail dollars spent. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/03/amazon-grabbed-4-percent-of-all-us-retail-sales-in-2017-new-study.html

    I hope there’s an analysis of the shipping costs subsidized for amazon vs other online retailers since I would think that Amazon’s share is even larger than their 44% dollar share since they result in so many little low cost purchases. Almost half of US households have an Amazon Prime membership so it seems likely http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/26/technology/amazon-prime-memberships/index.html

    Amazon has executed a monopoly strategy of paying no state or local tax, barely any profit to shareholders or to cash reserves, and has been subsidized by the USPS and we’ve seen retail employment fall and retailers file bankruptcy. https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/04/retail-meltdown-of-2017/522384/

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      *and as the USPS has become more and more reliant on advertisers while Amazon has used it’s monopoly power and resultant ability to make a threat of starting their own postal delivery service (much like John D Rockefeller did to the railroads) to extract a subsidy from them all while Republicans have been trying to defunded and sabotaged them.

      *(Democratic) mayor of Albuquerque, NM

    2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Hi Tom,

      I used your Atlantic link to begin a section on how Amazon affects brick & mortar businesses. Could you give a look and expand as you see fit? I kept it basic for now, and will circle back later.

  2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    There’s a contradiction in “Does Amazon avoid state and local taxes?”

    “Trump has criticized taxes imposed on “third party” sellers (CNBC).”
    Trump is opposed to sales taxes on third party sellers?

    “If the third party seller is based in another state (Amazon is based in the state of Washington), Amazon doesn’t collect state taxes – except in two states: Washington and Pennsylvania(CNBC).
    These two states have Market Place Tax Laws that force online retailers to charge sales tax. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated that the Trump administration is interested in implementing a similar policy nationwide (Bloomberg).”
    Trump is in favor of sales taxes on third party sellers?

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      William- thank you for pointing this out. Not sure what happened there, but I fixed it. Trump wants sales taxes on third party sellers.

      Please let me know if other things are missing. We’re looking for help with explaining the relationship between USPS and Amazon in particular.

  3. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

    Somewhere in this story recognize that our Derp-tweet-In-Chief refuses to reveal his own tax records yet willy-nilly comments about Amazon’s tax records that are public.

    Though the story points out what it thinks Trump is asserting regarding 3rd party storefront sellers on Amazon his frequent online babbling is a problem and a problem for media besides the USA general population. The media (WT) has to defer writing/reporting about Trump’s tweets as sensible information until it dawns on him to delegate some information gathering to professionals in government. Once the media is able to decipher sensible statements from Trump, then a story can be developed, merely parroting Trump’s tweets, (and trying to make sense of them) is a ‘feeding the beast’ recipe and does not serve the public, if you think about this misuse of information it is very dangerous.

    This administration should not get attention from this ongoing tweetstorm of misinformation. Meaning when information of relevance to home or world matters comes from POTUS, before acknowledging a news story maybe WikiTribune should have their own Snoops sidebar reporting e.g. non-validity-check-box that is waiting for clarification.
    Keep hammering home this message until some consistent information appears. Stop feeding this beast.

    1. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      Hi Tim,

      These tweets are more than speculation. Axios reported that Trump has deep concerns about Amazon. The White House confirmed that he’s interested in a Marketplace Tax Law in response to Amazon.

      Which part is “misinformation?” If there are factually inaccurate claims, could you correct or add context?

    2. [ This comment is from a user you have muted ] (show)

      This particular assertion happens to be a pretty well established criticism of Amazon’s monopoly power and Washington Post’s biases that had existed on the left well before Trump happened to start caring and tweeting about it and potentially acting on it in what looks like a very sensible way.

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        *Washington Post’s biases towards Amazon and towards the CIA who Amazon (currently) has a contract with that’s worth more than the value of the entire Washington Post.

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