And we thought Sergey Brin had a massive pair on him; today it’s been revealed that the Alliance for Main Street Fairness, which consists of mom-and-pop shops like Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy, and Sears, is whining to the federal government about how AMAZON DOESN’T HAVE TO COLLECT SALES TAX AND THAT’S NOT FAAAAAA-AAAAAIRRRR, and they’re doing it by…threatening Little League teams:
[The group] distributed a press release last week arguing that Little League games could be imperiled unless Congress acts. Warned the big-box stores: “Little League teams across the country receive donated jerseys, sports equipment, and much-needed financial support from America’s Main Street retailers.”
Then they had the balls to say this:
“…when local retailers lose sales to out-of-state, online-only retailers due to an unfair competitive advantage, it threatens jobs nationwide and damages local businesses that create those jobs.”
First of all, Wal-Mart is more than happy to use its unfair advantage to destroy jobs and depress wages when they’re the ones benefitting. Secondly, the law is actually fairly clear about this: you can’t apply state sales tax to interstate commerce. You can’t even force mail-order retailers to help you collect on your “use tax,” as Colorado recently learned the hard way.
This isn’t stopping multiple states from trying, but the Constitution is not in their favor on this one, and Amazon has a lot invested in not paying sales tax.
In short, a bunch of huge companies have seen the writing on the wall about Internet shopping and instead of trying to compete or change their economic model, they’re whining about an unlevel playing field.
Sorry, guys, even with sales tax, Amazon will still be more convenient and cheaper for just about everything. But if we need an ancient digital camera for more than a modern one would cost, we’ll call you.
(Image via dave_mcmt on Flickr)