[governance] FW: TP: city government exercising policy on Google Applications / consumer rights / Consumer Protection Act / trial period

Daniel Kalchev daniel at digsys.bg
Wed Jul 13 10:44:07 EDT 2011

On 13.07.11 17:22, parminder wrote:
> However, the newness of the situation and need for appropriate 
> response should not be used as an excuse to declare some part of our 
> social  structure as out of bounds for taxes, polity and public 
> systems. This is the sole point of contention in this debate. This is 
> what Milton and Daniel seem to be trying to do.
Just for the record, I have never ever said taxes should be avoided. 
Also, for the record, I do not believe in the "one government" agenda. I 
am perfectly comfortable with a zillion different taxation systems. 
Choice is important.

But so far I have not been convinced the current taxation system, based 
on the principle "I am the king and I tax anyone who is around me and 
subject to my powers" can work with the Internet -- because I can hardly 
see how (at the same time):

- say the city of Taiwan can ask any company, based anywhere in the 
world pay taxes, especially as it may happens in some countries that 
particular company is prohibited to pay anyone outside it's country of 
residence (this may sound silly, but applied in Bulgaria not too long ago).
- how does the city of Taiwan know I have purchased whatever from 
whomever online.
- how can the city of Taiwan prevent the use of "Internet services" 
provided by anyone, located anywhere by residents of Taiwan?

You example with the razor is flawed. In theory, if I live in Bulgaria 
and while visiting the US purchase an notebook, I am obliged to declare 
it at the customs on re-entering my home country and pay custom duties 
and VAT. I will not touch on the issue that very few people actually do 
this. But the notebook is still a material object and I could be 
eventually detected "smuggling" it.

What about software? The customs might detect a physical medium it is 
stored on, but the days when diskettes, tapes etc were rare and easily 
spotted are long gone. Today, a software of significant value might 
reside on the flash storage of my MP3 player, or, of course somewhere in 

If I buy a razor and attempt to declare it and pay taxes and VAT they 
will luckily laugh at me. Why? Because it is of 'small value'? Or 
perhaps because it is 'apparently' for personal use? What about 
software? The software application I bought in App Store might be even 
lower value and it is very likely for personal use.

Again, to not distract the topic. I am not against taxes or governments. 
I just see their problem in enforcing their "rights". It does not help 
telling me "they know how to do it" because apparently they no longer 
do. And this is not only with the Internet --- Internet merely makes 
these things extremely obvious.

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