Thursday, March 10, 2011

Update on Amazon Associates in Illinois

So Amazon decided to carry out its threat to punish the residents of the State of Illinois who participate in its Associates program by kicking them out. This is the email I just received from the greedy bastards at Amazon who are willing to lose revenue from their associates in the huge state of Illinois because they are unwilling to pay taxes and think that they should be above the law:

For well over a decade, the Amazon Associates Program has worked with thousands of Illinois residents. Unfortunately, a new state tax law signed by Governor Quinn compels us to terminate this program for Illinois-based participants. It specifically imposes the collection of taxes from consumers on sales by online retailers - including but not limited to those referred by Illinois-based affiliates like you - even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state. We had opposed this new tax law because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It was supported by national retailing chains, most of which are based outside Illinois, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors. Similar legislation in other states has led to job and income losses, and little, if any, new tax revenue. We deeply regret that its enactment forces this action. As a result of the new law, contracts with all Illinois affiliates of the Amazon Associates Program will be terminated and those Illinois residents will no longer receive advertising fees for sales referred to, or Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to April 15, 2011 will be processed and paid in full in accordance with the regular payment schedule. Based on your account closure date of April 15, 2011, any final payments will be paid by July 1, 2011.
I'm appalled with the gall of these people who try to manipulate the residents of Illinois into withdrawing their support for the progressive and honest Governor Pat Quinn (D). It's disgusting that Amazon would try to use the idiotic rhetoric of illiterate Tea Partiers about the unconstitutional and counterproductive nature of taxes.  I'm more than happy to stop being an associate of a company that is as dishonest, manipulative, and backwards as Amazon. My blog will now have more space for progressive, honest advertisers.

I hope that people will respond with outrage to Amazon's blatant attempts at political manipulation.  


Anonymous said...

You clown. Pat Quinnochio is a dirty rotten liar and this action does nothing but further hurt small businesses.

I don't know where you went to college, but you need to ask for your tuition money back because you were educated into imbecility.

Clarissa said...

I wonder why these tea baggers even open their mouths if all that they manage to produce is something as unintelligent as this.

Poor losers.

Anonymous said...

Good for Amazon. They shouldn't bend over for money grabbing state governments. The last thing we need is for other states to follow suit and then we all have to pay more.

Clarissa said...

Pay more of what, you simpleton? Is Bezos planning to share his profits with you any time soon?

"Money grabbing" states "grab" money in order to repair roads, pay police officers and firefighters. Do you really not get that, you poor deluded tea bagger?

Anonymous said...

^So where the hell do you think your state income taxes, property taxes, sales taxes, etc. go to?

Sheesh, just because I say the state governments shouldn't tax us anymore than what they already tax us does not mean I don't believe in taxes.

Clarissa said...

OK, since you are obviously not from Illinois, let me tell you about our state. We are broke. The state carries an amount of debt that it has no hope in hell of paying off any time soon. Public workers are being forced to take furloughs because the state simply has no money. There is NO WAY to cover the deficit other than to raise taxes. No way whatsoever.

Of course, if you know how to solve this problem, feel free to make your suggestions. I hope that you are smart enough not to suggest that the state needs to "balance its budget" to cover a humongous deficit.

Anonymous said...

So your solution is to tax people who are already bearing the brunt of the economic downturn? We aren't talking about big corporations here, we are talking about small business who are already struggling.

And I'm from NY, so I know a thing or two about living in a state that is going broke.

Also, please ask yourself these questions. Why does the state have no money? Doesn't the current state of affairs say a lot about the management skills of the people who are in charge? Why should we trust these people with more of our money?

Clarissa said...

I find it very strange that you identify with Jeff Bezos to this extent. Since when is Amazon's money "our money"? Or are you a Communist who dreams of expropriating Amazon?

The current state of affairs is not about "management skills." It's about this global economic crisis we are all experiencing right now. I'm sure you've heard about it.

IL is trying to tax Amazon. Amazon retaliates by dumping small businesses. Ergo: Amazon is the one who hurts small businesses. Isn't this obvious?

Anonymous said...

An internet sales tax is a tax on people who do business on the internet. In other words, you, me, and anyone else.

There is such thing as planning for when things are bad. So blaming the downturn for the glaring errors in management from both private industry and government is absolutely ludicrous.

No, Illinois is not taxing Amazon directly. This is not a tax on Amazon, this is a tax on people who do business with Amazon. I really don't see how you can argue that a sales tax is not a tax on the consumer.

Clarissa said...

So do you now agree that, unlike what you claimed at first, nobody is trying to tax small businesses?

Now, why do you think Amazon is getting into a huff to the point where it is dumping all its affiliates?

Another question: who is blaming glaring mistakes in management on what you call a "downturn"? And how is bemoaning mistakes helping a situation where people are not getting paid for their work right now?

Clarissa said...

Everybody who wants to argue on thus subject, please read the following sentence written by Amazon and try to understand what it's saying:

"Online retailers - including but not limited to those referred by Illinois-based affiliates like you - even if those retailers have no physical presence in the state."

In case that's too hard, I'll help you out: "those retailers [who] have no physical presence in the state" is a way of referring to Amazon. Amazon couldn't give a rat's little toochie as to whether consumers or small businesses pay taxes. They don't want to be taxed on the revenue they make. Come on, people, try to read a text, OK?

Anonymous said...

They're trying to increase taxes on overtaxed consumers. What's the big difference?

Because increasing taxes is bad for business...

I was responding to this: "The current state of affairs is not about "management skills." It's about this global economic crisis..."
You're basically excusing government financial mismanagement because of circumstances while ignoring how we got to where we are.

It was nice discussing with you, but I must get some sleep. Good night.

Clarissa said...

It's sad that people argue before even trying to understand the situation. Amazon has been avoiding taxation until now because it operates online. More and more states are suggesting that Amazon should be taxed in the same way as brick-and-mortar bookstores. What can possibly be unfair about this? Mom and Pop bookstores have been going bankrupt like crazy because Amazon is in a better position initially. You can't compete with a business that is not taxed in the same way you are.

I'm shocked at how Tea Baggers managed to manipulate people into believing the silly rants about "big, bad government" and the need to defend good, humane, consumer-friendly corporations.

If this level of ignorance and intellectual laziness is wide-spread (and I'm afraid it is), humanity is doomed, people.

pjc said...

Why are you still running your Amazon affiliate widget??

You don't seem to like the way they do business.

Clarissa said...

This post isn't about business. It's about politics. When Amazon limited itself to doing business, I supported it wholeheartedly. When it decided to mess with politics, I reacted with outrage.

Pen said...

Clarissa, I agree wholeheartedly.

And now, a belated response to that lovely little argument up at the top of the comments: yes, New York is in a really tough place financially. But you know what's preventing us from digging out of it? People who complain and protest about every little tax. There was going to be a new license plate mandate in a city the next county over. The revenue that came off of these plates was to be used to help the city, which was going broke. The reason it didn't work? People complained about the taxes; they said it wasn't fair. I honestly think it's partially their fault that our schools are in the situation they're in--no one wants to do anything in any other area to help dig themselves out of this mess.

When I view everything in context, Amazon is clearly in the wrong. It was inevitable that someone would try to tax them for something. Now they're just avoiding the issue.

Clarissa said...

"But you know what's preventing us from digging out of it? People who complain and protest about every little tax."

-Exactly!! Such people don't say a word when they are being ripped off by corporations but whine about ever tiny little contribution they are asked to make for the common good. I find this to be incomprehensible.

Pen said...

I believe the excuse that's often used is socialism. The logic many people seem to follow goes something like this: "Common" good = socialism. Socialism = communism. Communism = bad.

I don't think they realize that sometimes you really do need the common good. Capitalism does tend to cause huge socio-economic rifts; taxes help bring everyone a little closer (and help develop a successful middle class). Too many taxes can be a burden, of course, but it's also important to weigh the benefits against the risks. This I learned in history; I think it's really sad that a high school student could see that, but many adults can't.

Clarissa said...

Such people don't know the first thing about Communism, which is that it is absolutely not in favor of the common good. Communism favors a dictatorship of one social class (proletarians) over all other social classes.

Pen said...

A small question, one that is slightly off-topic: a few years ago, I heard that Russian children showing any sign of special ability in a certain area were culled into special schools during the Soviet era. (I think it might have been during a movie about the winter Olympics in the '80's--the example used was that a boy showing an interest/talent in hockey might end up in a specialized school for other boys who demonstrate a similar interest/talent; the analogy was also applied to musicians.) Was this true, or even feasible?

Clarissa said...

There were specialized schools in the Soviet Union. But nobody invited people into them. You had to bribe your way into such schools. I'd know, since I went to a specialized school that concentrated on learning English.

Poor children who had athletic talents were treated badly in such schools. They showed great results but only because they were treated inhumanly.