Friday, March 12, 2010

Greedy Government, Colorado Edition

I get fighting mad every time I have to endure someone label a person who tries to preserve what they earned or own as 'greedy'. The real greed lies with rapacious governments, ever trying to spend other people's money. That's greed.

Now, while I am woefully underemployed right now, the next time I am buying a CD or book, it's coming from Amazon, who reacted to the State of Colorado's greedy hands with a a cutting of ties with their online referring associates. From Huffington Post:

In response to recent legislation in Colorado (HB 10-1193), has sent a letter to its affiliates in Colorado informing them that the on-line sales giant will no longer be advertising through businesses in the state that that make money by referring buyers.

In order to close a $1.5 Billion budget gap, Colorado Democrats this session have passed a law that would make it possible to collect sales taxes on on-line purchases by creating an economic nexus between state residents and on-line retailers.

The bill, which was part of a package of tax measures aimed at increasing revenue, originally sought to create a nexus between the state and on-line retailers based on their ties to local affiliate websites, which link to products. The bill was ultimately altered due largely to fears that retailers like Amazon would simply cut ties to Colorado companies that make money by referring buyers.

The final bill, which was signed into law in February, instead required large online retailers to start collecting sales taxes or provide a summary of people's web purchases in the state, leaving affiliates out of the equation. This created an economic nexus without making local affiliates a scapegoat for paying local sales taxes.

Amazon has apparently elected to cut dies (sic) to its Colorado affiliates regardless.

Good! I can't blame any business that decides the tax burden is too onerous to carry on, and quits or moves to a less offensive location. Do we learn nothing from history? This country was made on being a place of lower taxes, fewer wars, and cheap labor. Got any idea how the British Empire sank? Higher taxes, endless war, and very expensive labor.

Too bad Amazon didn't decide to stop selling to Colorado entirely. That would have been a wise pre-emptive strike message to any other state that wants to crush the economic engine that powered the Clinton years.

In a press release, Governor Bill Ritter admonished Amazon:

"Amazon has taken a disappointing - and completely unjustified - step of ending its relationship with associates. While Amazon is blaming a new state law for its action, the fact is that Amazon is simply trying to avoid compliance with Colorado law and is unfairly punishing Colorado businesses in the process."

Well, go pound sand, Governor Ritter. Your lack of understanding is profound.

Is Amazon trying to avoid future taxation? You bet! That makes them smart. Unjustified? Should people and their business be chained to locations? Should they be forced to make decisions to work against their own interests? Ritter apparently thinks so.

Too many elected officials forget why businesses exist- so that goods or services can be sold, to the mutual benefit of consumer and provider. Nobody goes into business for the purpose of fattening the coffers of state government. Only an idiot- a greedy idiot- would lose sight of this. When too put upon by greedy pinheads, of course sensible people want to leave. For reference, see: Cleveland, Detroit, Youngstown, DC, and a host of cities that have bled population as a result of their tax policies.

Lucky I visted Colorado in 2008. It's off the list for places to spend money for some time to come.

Note: Huffington Post is one of the most irritating sites to use. There is so much junk going on that scrolling down, and cutting and pasting is a painful chore, waiting for all the crap to load. Great that they get the ads, but HuffPo makes Facebook look sleek and elegant by comparison.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Drew Carey Series Soon

I'm really excited to see the series 'Reason Saves Cleveland', just five days from launch. As posted earlier, I am one of most of my friends who left Cleveland. Of my close friends, I was the last to leave. I moved to Indiana and gave myself an immediate, large raise, just because the taxes were so much less here- and Indiana isn't even my idea of a low-tax state!

Cleveland has been more or less controlled by Democrats and Democratic, liberal, progressive ideas for more than 100 years, starting with Mayor Tom L. Johnson. Those ideas have done nothing to save the shedding of more than half the city's population since 1950. I tried to build interest in libertarian ideas, but who am I, right? So, it's exciting that Drew Carey, one of Cleveland's most prominent favorite sons, who also left town for better opportunities, is the face of this Reason documentary. I don't think Cleveland would give it a serious look if it weren't Drew Carey.

On Monday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer put the series on the front page, above the fold. Here's an online version's highlights:
Cleveland's woes -- population loss, failing schools, lack of economic spark -- are no joke to comedian and native son Drew Carey, who advocates for less government, more competition and lower taxes to bring the city back.

Carey took time off from his gig as host of TV's "The Price Is Right" to help produce and star in a series of Web reports detailing Cleveland's woes and a number of proposed fixes that will be launched next week on, the Internet arm of the nonpartisan, libertarian-leaning Reason Foundation, on whose board Carey serves.

Carey established three years ago and has developed a number of short Web documentaries to highlight government's heavy-handedness. Now, the lens turns to his hometown with a six-part series called "Reason Saves Cleveland." It comes on the heels of Cleveland's "most miserable city" ranking by

The series, reported and produced by's editor Nick Gillespie, explores problems in Cleveland and other rust belt cities and offers solutions using examples from other cities -- such as Houston -- that are enjoying success and population growth.

Bottom line? As the Web site's motto reads, "Free minds and free markets." In other words, move out of the way, government. In a town like Cleveland, with big government bureaucracies, cumbersome regulations and old-school unions, the series argues, it's no wonder times are so tough.

Now, will Cleveland listen? Hard to say, especially in light of repeating failing policy for 100+ years. When I lived there, I always found myself muttering, "What will it take?" Maybe this is the thing. I hope so.