[bestbits] RE: [governance] Hmmmm... Google: "Internet Freedom!"... (from taxes?

michael gurstein gurstein at gmail.com
Mon Dec 3 11:24:59 EST 2012

Thanks Milton and I couldn't agree more.


If governments, companies and (g at d preserve us) certain elements of civil society want to pursue (project) a libertarian political agenda globally that of course, is their g at d given right… But as you are very clear, let's drop the hypocrasy and call a bit a bit and stop confusing a bunch of well intentioned people that this is some sort of holy crusade to "save the Internet". 


I would be the first one to argue for a transparent, net neutral, open access, free speech Internet but I'm also for an inclusive Internet in a decent socially equitable environment with proper schools, and healthcare, and an adequate physical and social infrastructure for all, not just for the rich (or those in rich countries) and that means that companies, like everyone else has to pay their fair share.


Greed is greed and the best way to keep from paying taxes as you have pointed out, is to make sure that there are no laws/regulations in place to require you to pay taxes.




From: governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org [mailto:governance-request at lists.igcaucus.org] On Behalf Of Milton L Mueller
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2012 6:36 AM
To: governance at lists.igcaucus.org; 'Dominique Lacroix'
Subject: RE: [governance] Hmmmm... Google: "Internet Freedom!"... (from taxes?


Suresh, I think the debates are related. Now it is not just ETNO and the old telecom incumbents who want to grab a share of the new wealth being generated by over the top internet services, it's national governments as well.  So what is new here? Governments want to tax whatever they can for their own (political) self-interest, while businesses (and most citizens) want to reduce their taxes as much as possible.  


What's interesting is  how un-selfconsciously the Dominiques and Gursteins of the world assume that more taxation = always better for society. Not a shred of critical perspective on the governments' demands for more revenue. And as usual, Gurstein approaches the debate by attaching labels ("Reaganomics") rather than mounting a serious argument.  


Do governments have some kind of right to these revenues? If so, what is the basis? If so, what is a reasonable rate of taxation? How are these revenues used? How do they benefit the internet users who generated them? Might be good for you all to contemplate the answers to some of those questions. The implication of your statement is that more taxation is always better. You don’t have to be a supply-side economist to understand that taxation can reach a point of diminishing returns and that it can destroy economic activity as well as help sustain social services. Please, a more intelligent perspective on this… 



Some Internet companies can escape taxes because their activities aren't linked to territories. Others are linked to countries and pay full taxes.

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