Two senators, one democrat and one republican, have been advocates for a law which denies states to place an Internet-access tax on all users of the world wide web. Thank you Senators Wyden (D-OR) and Thone (R-SD) for your perseverance throughout the last decade or so for pushing for access-free Internet.
Over this passed weekend, Congress extended for one year the Internet Tax Freedom Act (originally passed in 1998), allowing people to continue using the Web without being charged taxes –yahoo! Of course, it’s hard to even fathom that there might come a time when we will be taxed –”how preposterous” is my gut reaction.
Senator Wyden stated, “I am very hopeful that next year, a permanent –a permanent– version of the Internet Tax Freedom Act will be enacted. Senator Thune and I are going to continue to work together on a bipartisan basis until that is done.” They also informed us they are working hard to pass a bill which will prohibit states from taxing digital downloads which are executed online. Keep up the good work, boys, because it might get awfully expensive for me to continue writing these commentaries here on the Golden Age of Gaia News Roundup (wink wink).
Government Sanctions: Stay local and swallow what you can chew, or jump into the deep end unable to save anyone?
I’m not sure how I feel about the US or other countries getting involved with another country’s issues. Yes …I know, I know: Some countries genuinely need external help, most likely being those ruled fastidiously by dictatorship governments. However, just a few days ago I’ve come across a concept which makes a lot of sense to me, and wanted to share it.
It’s very simple, and in fact, too simple… but most sound. Basically, by keeping things local, then problems can be solved. In other words, when problems are addressed by a small community, typically people can come to agreements best suited for that city or town. Yet, when we expand an issue into the ethers of the whole country, or even the whole world, then by definition, the opportunity and ability to realistically meet Everyone’s needs and wants are drastically reduced to nil. How can everyone’s needs possibly be met all around the world when each city or region has different assets, different beliefs, and different resources? And this brings us to our next story….
Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine, happily reported that his country has witnessed the first day without a single casualty in seven months –Wow! And bravo, what a blessing. “He told the Lowy Institute the milestone was proof the west’s diplomatic pressure and sanctions against Russia –which is backing separatist rebels in the east– were bearing fruit.” So Poroshenko is crediting the US sanctions for this, and while I’m elated our involvement has been deemed beneficial this time around –that does not always happen. Again, I’m a bit torn: In this case, another country stepping in seemed to help, but our record of “getting involved” is far from 100% perfect. When is the appropriate time to step in? I wish there were some tried & true concrete rules….
What does Amazon have up their sleeve this holiday season?
Following in the footsteps of eBay, Amazon is taking a stab at online bargaining. In the gates, they have placed approximately 150K items within the arts & collectibles department up for a potential bidding war. Of course, this could be good for some and bad for others, depending on several components: Amount available to pay, shrewdness at bargaining, quickness at responding to bids, etc.
“Venders who sell on Amazon can enable a ‘make an offer’ feature that allows customers to offer a lower than list price. The seller can accept, reject, or counter the offer. If one makes a counter-offer, [then] buyer and seller can haggle over e-mail and –if they reach an agreement– pay Amazon its commission.”
It seems these type of business interactions work best when both parties are comfortable with negotiations, and considering that haggling would take place online (behind the safety of your computer in your own home), then it might prove most advantageous for customers not adept at the in-person bidding wars. By swimming in eBay’s ocean, Amazon may level the playing field, which means Amazon could increase their customer base. “In the end, merchants may sell more stuff, and buyers will get better deals. That’s a pretty good offer.”
As always, dear ones… if your current situation is heavy, please remember that this too shall pass!
We Are All One