24 comments posted · 1 followers · following 0

5 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Sales Tax · 1 reply · +1 points

There are already plugins and services that do some of that for you. As noted in the article, they work by zip code and taxing jurisdictions aren't neatly divided by zip code. That still leaves out the problem of tracking, filing and remitting the taxes. Looks like in about 24 states you can have some other service do this for you.

Even if you could get all the states on board with this, and that would require changes in state law, that's still a non-trivial burden for small businesses who may not even have anything like shopping cart software. Many small, online shops just have a list of things for sale and a PayPal "Buy Now" button.

5 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Sales Tax · 5 replies · +1 points

Big companies like Apple or Amazon aren't going to have any issue with it. It's small and medium-sized companies who will take it in the neck.

If someone wants to start up a small business selling things online, a law requiring that they properly track, calculate, collect and remit sales taxes to thousands of individual taxing jurisdictions all over the country means they may as well not even start. The barrier of entry is far too high for all but the most well-capitalized startups.

Also, giving states the power to pursue and prosecute out-of-state businesses that they believe have not properly collected and remitted tax revenue for items sold in their state is opening up a huge can of worms. Some taxing authorities, like the one here in New York State, are notorious for pursuing businesses for non-payment of sales taxes on the flimsiest evidence. I have a friend who is a tax attorney that handles these types of matters and some of the cases are so ridiculous I can hardly believe they're true.

The fact is, this is still a solution in search of a problem. Online retail is still a small part of total sales and the big players, like Amazon and Apple, already collect sales taxes for all or almost all US states to which they ship.

5 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Enforcing laws against... · 0 replies · +1 points

Around here, most of the heavy smokers get their fix from the local Indian reservation.

5 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - RIP Andrea. You are mi... · 0 replies · +1 points

I knew Andrea, mostly online, through our mutual appreciation for the New York Football Giants. We met several times at training camp up in Albany.

She was a great spirit and will indeed be missed by many.

5 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - While we're on the sub... · 0 replies · +1 points

Well, there's no excuse for unpleasantness, rudeness or abuse, but if some large passenger asked me to pull up the seat rest because his or her body didn't fit within the confines of their seat I would kindly, but firmly refuse.

Obviously the issue of people who are too large to fit in a tiny airplane seat is a problem. But it's not my problem. It's not up to me to solve it by allowing myself to be squashed by an obese seatmate for hours on a long flight.

5 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Languages · 0 replies · +1 points

The WPA wasn't about useless make work or making something shitty so that it it will break in a year and you'll have to fix it again. The WPA gave people jobs, which was great. It also created useful and valuable resources, which was even better.

WPA workers built roads, bridges, schools, etc. Many of those things are still in use today. The Federal Art Project created some really wonderful things that have had great benefits to art and culture.

I have no problem with the government giving people jobs. I'm all in favor of it. But La Lei de las Obras is just bullshit.

5 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Languages · 5 replies · +1 points

You don't have to be a Randroid to object to this kind of nonsense.

Make work is tremendous waste. It's a waste of both money and of human labor, both of which could be put to good use making things that benefit humanity instead of squandered digging holes and filling them back up again.

6 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - A Pet Peeve: Animals i... · 0 replies · +2 points

I agree. It's kind of ridiculous that anyone can buy a little dog vest and a laminated card and their animal gets full access to restricted spaces without any sort of direction or approval from a medical professional. We restrict animals from certain public spaces for good reasons.

6 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - Donald Trump just appo... · 1 reply · +7 points

Not for nothing, but we tried that whole "let's come together for the good of the nation" stuff back in 2000. How did that work out for us?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, you can't get fooled again.

6 years ago @ The Reality-Based Comm... - At 25, this would have... · 0 replies · +3 points

My Mom has been gone a decade now. I wish she were still around to annoy me.