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    Copyright 2008-2015Slow Food Fast. All writing and images on this blog unless otherwise attributed or set in quotes are the sole property of Slow Food Fast. Please contact DebbieN via the comments form for permissions before reprinting or reproducing any of the material on this blog.

    ADS AND AFFILIATE LINKS

    I may post affiliate links to books and movies that I personally review and recommend. Currently I favor Alibris and Vroman's, our terrific and venerable (now past the century mark!) independent bookstore in Pasadena. Or go to your local library--and make sure to support them with actual donations, not just overdue fines (ahem!), because your state probably has cut their budget and hours. Again.

    In keeping with the disclaimer below, I DO NOT endorse, profit from, or recommend any medications, health treatments, commercial diet plans, supplements or any other such products. I have just upgraded my WordPress account so ads I can't support won't post on this blog!

    DISCLAIMER

    SlowFoodFast sometimes addresses general public health topics related to nutrition, heart disease, blood pressure, and diabetes. Because this is a blog with a personal point of view, my health and food politics entries often include my opinions on the trends I see, and I try to be as blatant as possible about that. None of these articles should be construed as specific medical advice for an individual case. I do try to keep to findings from well-vetted research sources and large, well-controlled studies, and I try not to sensationalize the science (though if they actually come up with a real cure for Type I diabetes in the next couple of years, I'm gonna be dancing in the streets with a hat that would put Carmen Miranda to shame. Consider yourself warned).

Too big to fail? Too good to pay taxes?

Source: Library of Congress

Every so often I review books and movies on Slow Food Fast, but as of yesterday, I’ve dropped my affiliate links to Amazon.com. In the past few weeks they’ve decided to fight tooth and nail not to pay sales tax like everybody else and support the states where they sell. First they cut off any Californians who had joined their affiliate seller program, which is annoying and kind of insulting. Not that I’d been getting anything much out of it, but I’ve also been a customer for years.

They’re even lobbying right now to add a ballot measure reversing California sales tax law for internet businesses. Their excuse is that they’ve built their empire on a tiny profit margin and paying sales tax will ruin the penny-seller pyramid. At the same time, they seem to believe they’ve got favored trading status and that any minor threat to their current model can be countered by threatening to withdraw their hiring. Forget that.

I live in a state that’s bent over backwards to court big business and internet retailers, given them all kinds of tax incentives and concessions for years so they wouldn’t move to Nevada or Delaware, and as a result has been absolutely gutted budgetwise. California takes in about a quarter of the nation’s new immigrants each year, has higher unemployment figures than most of the country, LA County alone has more than 300,000 women and toddlers enrolled in the not-very-generous WIC program,  and basic services are being cut right and left to meet the state’s budget deficit. The poor–and that’s starting to include more of the middle class here too–are paying for Amazon.com’s free ride.

And yet Californians represent one of Amazon.com’s biggest markets.

Even the (now former) California affiliates are thinking Amazon should be ponying up like the rest of us. If you sell here, you should be paying sales tax here.

And our sales taxes have finally gone down recently. For years they were up to 9.75 percent. Two days ago I bought a pair of jeans and was shocked–8.75 percent. Apparently that’s dropping further into the 7 percent range for online purchases.

But Amazon’s looking to sue, as they did (and lost at trial) in New York.

Where can you get the books I recommend on this site? Alibris pays sales tax in California, and I’d recommend them.

Or, if you’re in Southern California, head to Vroman’s in Pasadena. Not only is Vroman’s a century-old independent bookstore, both branches are well stocked for hip, academic and traditional booklovers. And the staff are personable, they do lots of readings events, have a huge cooking section, and do online orders if you need something special. The bigger branch on Oak Knoll has a nice café as well.

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