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Thread: Boycott Amazon UK?

  1. #1
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    Boycott Amazon UK?

    Amazon are raking in profits from their economic activity in Britain by using a range of devices to avoid paying their fair share of corporation tax. Should we boycott them?

    Should teachers in the UK use Kindles when our taxes pay their wages?

    Of course it is up to government to act, but will they? Shouldn't consumers use their power too? Online and high street sellers like W.H. Smiths & John Lewis pay tax, shouldn't we shop there?

  2. #2
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Well I am a teacher and I won't be using either to be honest if I want something I will go and buy it from the shops.
    I like the feeling of money exchange in my hand and I also like face to face dealing when it comes to shopping.
    My partner gets stuff from amazon sometimes and a couple of times they send him two of the same order. They are not very good at keeping track of what they are sending either.
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

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    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    I don't think that boycotts work, for the simple reason that people usually take the line of least resistance and still find Amazon and other online outlets useful.
    I don't use Amazon or any online retailer unless it's for something that I can't get elsewhere. I usually buy books from a bookstore because I like to browse with the book in my hands rather than using a website. I do agree that, if companies are evading their tax liability they should be penalised, but it's up to the government to work out a way to do it.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

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    The caffeinated newbie SFG75's Avatar
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    Interesting brouha on your side of the pond over this.

    Daily Mail article; have yourself an Amazon-free Christmas

    The U.K.'s missing billions

    In the U.S., many states are red hot about amazon not paying state sales taxes. The brick and mortar stores have to pay it and inevitably, they are undercut by online stores. A good read on the fight can be found here, though it takes a more laissez-faire economic approach.

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    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    I frequent a local chain of discount and used books. Most of the small independent book stores are gone... and even Borders went under... unable to compete with online dealers such as Amazon. I have found any number of books that I have sought (without any success) in real "bricks n mortar" stores for years. I purchase almost all of my music (CDs) through Amazon and Amazon Marketplace dealers... and occasionally Barnes and Noble. The reality is that I have been able to find recordings there that I cannot find elsewhere... or cannot find at a comparable price. As for cacian's experience with them not being very good at tracking orders, I can only think that cacian, as usual, is an exception. I have purchased literally a couple thousand books and CDs through Amazon and Amazon secondary dealers and have had perhaps two or three problems which were rapidly rectified.

    I certainly agree that any corporation should be paying it's fair share of taxes, but that is the responsibility of the government to enforce this. I am always suspicious of these anti-Amazon stories that come out every holiday season just as certainly as annoying holiday commercials. I always suspect such stories are started by envious competitors. It seems likely to me that if a legal loophole exists, any corporation with a staff of accountants and lawyers worth their salaries would be jumping on it.

    Should teachers in the UK use Kindles when our taxes pay their wages?

    I don't know how often I come across this sort of BS... as if teachers and any public workers are indentured servants. Public workers are paid for the services they render... for doing their job. Teachers and public workers are taxed as well as anyone else. The public has absolutely no say over how they should be allowed to spend their money any more than they do over anyone working in the private sector. And who is not a beneficiary of public tax dollars? Public money pays for the roads, trains, subways, sewers and sanitation, water supply, police and fire departments, public education, and too much more to even begin to count. Are we to assume that anyone who has ever benefited from any such service is forever to be indebted to the whims of the public and must first check with them before spending any of their money?
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
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    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    Is Amazon using size and clout to ignore the law, or are they simply taking advantage of loopholes that anyone can use (and others probably are). If the latter, rather than attack a business for acting like a business, shouldn't people be lobbying to close the loopholes?
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

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    Registered User Sreenan's Avatar
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    Lmao, you can try all you want but it won't work. What about Starbucks? Or Google? This is what happens when Toffs get voted in time and time again!
    Absurdist writer and occasional poet from Bronte County.

    Self publishing my first novella soon once the artwork is complete...

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    I use Amazon for pretty much everything I buy, apart from the few things they don't sell on there. I see no more reason to boycott Amazon than there is for any other large corporation (although that's not to say I'm ok with them exploiting the system). You could probably dig up dirt on pretty much any big company out there, and not enough people will ever boycott them to make a difference.

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I read a good book about this sort of thing: Anthony Shaxson's Treasure Islands. He said many international corporations barely pay a penny of tax in any country in which they operate. They declare their losses in high tax countries, and their profits in low tax countries, usually in tax havens. Bricks and mortar companies based in one country have a hard time competing because they do have to pay corporation tax. One large chain of department stores over here, John Lewis, recently wrote a letter to The Times complaining that they would be driven out of business due this unfair competition. One of Anthony Shaxson's main points was that quite often the governments of rich countries are often more able to amend corporate law to close down these abuses, but that leaves the developing countries that cannot respond as fast. Shaxson argued, basically, that these tax havens should be closed down because they actually have very little economic benefit to the world economy. They mainly enable powerful corporations to avoid paying tax, allow criminals to stash their money, and corrupt national leaders to spirit the money out of their countries. He said for every dollar that goes to a developing country in aid, ten dollars are spirited straight out into an offshore bank account. Shaxson said one of the worse countries in the world for enabling tax havens was the UK, which has a number of small, semi-independent islands that are overseen at arm's length. These include Jersey and the Cayman Islands, two of the worst offenders. Even the City of London, which is the name given to the financial district of London shares many attributes of an offshore, secrecy jurisdiction, as Shaxson terms them. The US has its own tax haven in Delaware.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    Amazon are raking in profits from their economic activity in Britain by using a range of devices to avoid paying their fair share of corporation tax. Should we boycott them?

    Should teachers in the UK use Kindles when our taxes pay their wages?

    Of course it is up to government to act, but will they? Shouldn't consumers use their power too? Online and high street sellers like W.H. Smiths & John Lewis pay tax, shouldn't we shop there?
    A Range of devices? If I recall correctly they are a corporation registered in Luxenbourg and thus only have to pay taxes to the Luxenbourg government, which rather conveniently are rather minimal compared to britain.

    It's all perfectly legal and to be honest Amazon would be idiots to pay taxes in England.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cacian View Post
    Well I am a teacher and I won't be using either to be honest if I want something I will go and buy it from the shops. I like the feeling of money exchange in my hand and I also like face to face dealing when it comes to shopping.
    Good points, but what about the tax issue? There is no sales tax on books in the UK. As Amazon UK also pay no corporation tax, do they pay any tax at all?

    Careful about Waterstones and Book Depository, both of those are now owned by Amazon.

    So, besides the tax issue, we really need to give others a chance to get competition going.

    Quote Originally Posted by Emil Miller View Post
    I don't think that boycotts work, for the simple reason that people usually take the line of least resistance and still find Amazon and other online outlets useful.
    Tell that to the suffragettes who boycotted the washing up, and other female aids to male dominance. If you make enough noise, boycotts work.

  12. #12
    Internal nebulae TheFifthElement's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post

    Careful about Waterstones and Book Depository, both of those are now owned by Amazon.
    Waterstones isn't owned by Amazon, it's owned by A&NN Group which Russian owned.
    Want to know what I think about books? Check out https://biisbooks.wordpress.com/

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    Careful about Waterstones and Book Depository, both of those are now owned by Amazon.
    Bother. I use Book Depository, Blackwells online http://bookshop.blackwell.co.uk/jsp/welcome.jsp or Abe http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SignOffPL?ph=2 books for second hand.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Registered User Delta40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    Tell that to the suffragettes who boycotted the washing up, and other female aids to male dominance. If you make enough noise, boycotts work.
    Yes but when you mess up a man's castle and deprive him of physical pleasure, you're bound to get a result.

    On the other hand white South Africa lived quite happily with apartheid and the international boycotts imposed without batting an eyelid.
    Before sunlight can shine through a window, the blinds must be raised - American Proverb

  15. #15
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    Tell that to the suffragettes who boycotted the washing up, and other female aids to male dominance. If you make enough noise, boycotts work.
    I wasn't aware that suffragettes boycotted the washing up, they were principally about getting the vote. In any case the two aren't comparable because, while some women might have refused to do certain tasks, I doubt that many of those I see regularly using a Kindle would go back to buying hard copies, just as the great numbers of them that pack Starbucks coffee shops would be unlikely to forgo their usual chatter in that tax dodging company's establishments.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

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