Late last week, the US Supreme Court ruled that US businesses must levy State sales taxes on all goods sold according to each target State’s regime thresholds.
In giving its opinion the court revealed that Amazon is already complying with this burden. In other words Amazon’s computers are dealing with roughly 50 separate sales taxes—and nary a hiccup’s been heard.
Well, in just under 24 hours Amazon USA will close its US and UK doors to Australia: an entire First World nation will be geoblocked from the globe’s biggest storefront. The pretence given, is that Amazon can’t logistically cope with a single new sales tax on goods sold to Australia.
Hence, at the stroke of midnight Sunday, July 1, Australians will be shunted to Amazon’s struggling months-old Aussie site.
So I browsed Amazon Australia yesterday, and noticed something interesting. As one example, many books will still have to come from overseas. And guess what a source will be?
That’s right: Amazon USA.
In other words, Amazon’s geoblocking of Australians has nothing at all to do with sales tax, logistics or infrastructure. It’s merely a ruse to push Australians to an impoverished local storefront to—wait for it:
The local grocery business is what Amazon wants. Meaning this policy is nothing but a sham and an affront.
Simply put our “retail giants” Harvey Norman, Myer, David Jones, JB HiFi, Coles, Woolworths, Bunnings and Mitre 10 still won’t be able to furnish me with a double-ended spring clamp on a flexi-arm. A common tool used in photography.
Oh Amazon USA can: for under $20 I can choose from a beautiful multi-brand range delivered to me in three days if I hurry.
But once that door closes it’s then up to Amazon Australia. They can get me a single brand compromise (not at all what I want) and charge me $60 for the privilege. While I wait 30 days.
Is this Stalinist Russia? Are we now a nation of single-coloured goods of a single size and queuing to find them? Finally, a Right-Wing Australian government has pushed us so far Left, we’ve stepped off the global stage back to the 1950s. Their response to Amazon should simply have been, “No!”
This definitely isn’t Capitalism. Here’s a company willing to forego a market where it currently charges massive currency swaps before shipping a single item. Money for nothing and they’re walking away? No one walks away from money.
So what’s it all about then?
A murky river, it seems.
© 2018 Adam Parker.