ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » USA Politics
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags Amazon.com , corporation issues , Jeff Bezos , tax issues

Reply
Old 25th March 2020, 05:59 AM   #1
Hercules56
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 1,985
Billionaire Bezos asks for public $$$

Amazon is setting up a relief fund for the company and its workers.

The company has donated so far, $25 million.

They are asking for the public to donate money.

The company's CEO, Jeff Bezos, is worth $135 billion dollars.


Anyone see a problem here?

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-a9422236.html
Hercules56 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th March 2020, 06:06 AM   #2
SuburbanTurkey
Illuminator
 
SuburbanTurkey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Norwood, MA
Posts: 3,329
Covid-19 killing the myth of the benevolent billionaire, god willing.
__________________
Gobble gobble
SuburbanTurkey is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th March 2020, 06:07 AM   #3
applecorped
Rotten to the Core
 
applecorped's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 19,993
Bill Gates has been rather benevolent in comparison
__________________
All You Need Is Love.
applecorped is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th March 2020, 07:20 AM   #4
Bob001
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,931
From the link:
Quote:
The structure to operate a fund like this, which hundreds of companies do through the same third-party, requires the program to be open to public contributions but we are not soliciting those contributions in any way,” a spokesperson with Amazon told The Independent.
It sounds like they're trying to comply with charity laws, not asking for handouts.

Here's the bigger scandal:
Quote:
In 2018, the company reported an income of $11bn but paid $0 into federal taxes.
Bob001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th March 2020, 07:39 AM   #5
Resume
Troublesome Passenger
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 16,319
Originally Posted by applecorped View Post
Bill Gates has been rather benevolent in comparison
Yeah, but according to Q-nuts, he started the whole thing.
__________________
I didn't know people died from the flu.

President Donald J. Trump
Resume is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th March 2020, 09:31 AM   #6
Segnosaur
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 15,150
Originally Posted by Bob001 View Post
From the link:


It sounds like they're trying to comply with charity laws, not asking for handouts.

Here's the bigger scandal:
In 2018, the company reported an income of $11bn but paid $0 into federal taxes.
To know if its a scandal, we'd have to know the context....

- They had a multi-billion dollar income, but what were their expenses? What was their profit? If they were losing money, then a 0% tax rate doesn't seem that bad.

- Were there other extenuating circumstances (like massive charitable contributions, or large one-year write offs for capital costs?)

- Is this a one time thing, or do they always pay zero (or near zero) taxes?

- What do other companies in the same field pay in taxes?

- Are they complying with all federal laws, and avoiding any valid (but shady) loopholes?
__________________
Trust me, I know what I'm doing. - Sledgehammer

I'm Mary Poppin's Y'all! - Yondu

We are Groot - Groot
Segnosaur is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th March 2020, 09:35 AM   #7
plague311
Great minds think...
 
plague311's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 8,115
I don't think there are many justifiable circumstances where you shouldn't have to pay any taxes at all on $11B.

The "do other companies pay, etc" is irrelevant to me. If they make that money, all of them should have to pay. If it has to start with Amazon, fine. They own half the ******* internet and I assure you they didn't take a loss in 2018.

Rationalizing them getting off with not paying taxes doesn't help, and I don't think your average American will feel better when told, "We know they made $11bn, but they did have a tough year (while making 11 bn?), and they don't always pay taxes, and other companies don't, and they were complying with the laws that have allowed them to do this for years."

I get what you're saying, that there are reasons this might happen. I won't argue with that, I'm saying that the public should say **** those reasons, close those loopholes and lets get these ass holes paying their due.
__________________
"Circumcision and death threats go together like milk and cookies." - William Parcher

“There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind.” - Patrick Rothfuss
plague311 is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th March 2020, 10:03 AM   #8
Bob001
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 9,931
Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
To know if its a scandal, we'd have to know the context....

- They had a multi-billion dollar income, but what were their expenses? What was their profit? If they were losing money, then a 0% tax rate doesn't seem that bad.

- Were there other extenuating circumstances (like massive charitable contributions, or large one-year write offs for capital costs?)

- Is this a one time thing, or do they always pay zero (or near zero) taxes?

- What do other companies in the same field pay in taxes?

- Are they complying with all federal laws, and avoiding any valid (but shady) loopholes?

The article used the wrong word. That $11 billion is profit, not gross income. The U.S. corporate tax code is so packed with deductions, credits and other loopholes that Amazon isn't the only corporation paying less in income taxes than the average teacher or cop.

Quote:
Profits for online retail behemoth Amazon soared in 2018, but it paid no federal income tax for the second consecutive year, according to a report published Wednesday.

The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy says the company is subject to a 21 percent tax rate on its U.S. income. However, through various tax breaks and credits, the company will receive a tax rebate of $129 million.

That's despite the company nearly doubling its profits to $11.2 billion in 2018, up from $5.6 billion the previous year, ITEP reported.
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money...ys/2886639002/


Quote:
In 2018, Amazon paid $0 in U.S. federal income tax on more than $11 billion in profits before taxes. It also received a $129 million tax rebate from the federal government.

Amazon’s low tax bill mainly stemmed from the Republican tax cuts of 2017, carryforward losses from years when the company was not profitable, tax credits for massive investments in R&D and stock-based employee compensation.
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/03/why-...ncome-tax.html


Quote:
Nearly 100 Fortune 500 companies effectively paid no federal taxes in 2018, according to a new report.

The study by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a left-leaning think tank, covers the first year following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act championed by President Donald Trump, which was signed into law in December 2017.

The report covers 379 companies from the Fortune list that were profitable in 2018 and finds that 91 paid an effective federal tax rate of 0% or less. Those companies come from a wide range of industries and include the likes of Amazon, Starbucks and Chevron.
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/16/thes...s-in-2018.html

Last edited by Bob001; 25th March 2020 at 10:05 AM.
Bob001 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th March 2020, 10:56 AM   #9
Elagabalus
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 5,534
Didn't I already chip in by getting Amazon Prime?
Elagabalus is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th March 2020, 10:06 AM   #10
Darat
Lackey
Administrator
 
Darat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: South East, UK
Posts: 90,450
Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
To know if its a scandal, we'd have to know the context....



- They had a multi-billion dollar income, but what were their expenses? What was their profit? If they were losing money, then a 0% tax rate doesn't seem that bad.



- Were there other extenuating circumstances (like massive charitable contributions, or large one-year write offs for capital costs?)



- Is this a one time thing, or do they always pay zero (or near zero) taxes?



- What do other companies in the same field pay in taxes?



- Are they complying with all federal laws, and avoiding any valid (but shady) loopholes?
Thanks in part to this type of tax relief the likes of Amazon have been able to bankrupt many competitors by running at a loss for many years. Often those competitors couldn't afford to run at a loss or borrow the cash needed to compete with a loss making company.

When you look at many of these "disruptors" they managed to disrupt the market in a very old fashioned way, i.e. make huge losses by undercutting and running at a loss.
__________________
I wish I knew how to quit you
Darat is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 28th March 2020, 10:29 AM   #11
Lukraak_Sisser
Illuminator
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 3,601
But surely with this tax relief Amazon has ensured that its workers get payed more than average, have solid contracts and good vacations, access to the best healthcare and no contracts will be severed during this crisis?
Lukraak_Sisser is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old Today, 03:02 AM   #12
MoeFaux
Suspicious Mind
 
MoeFaux's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 4,462
Garbage person; if I let my rage flow, I actually hate him more than Trump. Immoral, horrible scum.

One of two people I've thought would be neat to have ship off from the virus.

I've said for a while now, if I ever see him in person, I'm going to spit in his face and tell him to pay his workers more. (It would be: "Pay your employees!!" and then spit. I'm a good spit shot, it will be a great moment.) A friend saw him dining out once and I am so looking forward to seeing him myself. A fine reason to be arrested.
__________________
This post brought to you by the artist fauxmerly known as Moe.
MoeFaux is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old Today, 05:05 AM   #13
Donal
Illuminator
 
Donal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,199
Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Thanks in part to this type of tax relief the likes of Amazon have been able to bankrupt many competitors by running at a loss for many years. Often those competitors couldn't afford to run at a loss or borrow the cash needed to compete with a loss making company.

When you look at many of these "disruptors" they managed to disrupt the market in a very old fashioned way, i.e. make huge losses by undercutting and running at a loss.
If you ever read The Everything Store, which is the semi-unofficial history of Amazon, you'd see how much Bezos loved Walmart's model of business. Undercut your competitors until they go out of business and force your vendors into indentured servitude.
__________________
SuburbanNerd A blog for making tech make sense
Donal is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old Today, 09:38 AM   #14
rockysmith76
Muse
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 980
Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
I don't think there are many justifiable circumstances where you shouldn't have to pay any taxes at all on $11B.

The "do other companies pay, etc" is irrelevant to me. If they make that money, all of them should have to pay. If it has to start with Amazon, fine. They own half the ******* internet and I assure you they didn't take a loss in 2018.

Rationalizing them getting off with not paying taxes doesn't help, and I don't think your average American will feel better when told, "We know they made $11bn, but they did have a tough year (while making 11 bn?), and they don't always pay taxes, and other companies don't, and they were complying with the laws that have allowed them to do this for years."

I get what you're saying, that there are reasons this might happen. I won't argue with that, I'm saying that the public should say **** those reasons, close those loopholes and lets get these ass holes paying their due.
thats some good commie logic there
rockysmith76 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old Today, 10:22 AM   #15
Segnosaur
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 15,150
Originally Posted by MoeFaux View Post
Garbage person; if I let my rage flow, I actually hate him more than Trump. Immoral, horrible scum.
That's certainly a lot of vitriol directed at Besos.

I'm a little bit more Ambivalent. I recognize that he is a rather successful (and perhaps ruthless) businessman. But, lets look at his record a little bit more;

- Yes, there are complaints about the treatment of employees. But Amazon employees a large workforce of semi- or non-skilled workers. In any sort of situation like that you are likely to get complaints.

- Outside of his work with Amazon, Bezos has purchased the Washington Post (Overall, I think that's a good thing... he's providing stable ownership at the time when the newspaper market is shrinking, and appears to be taking a hands-off approach to the business), and founded Blue origin (a company trying to do private space flights... which I think is a good thing, now that NASA no longer provides manned space flights.)

- He has donated (or pledged to donate) millioins/billions of dollars to 1) support freedom of the press, 2) combat homelessness, 3) provide schooling to undocumented immigrants, 4) address climate change

- while he has donated to various republicans, he has also donated to Democratic politicians

- politically he supports same-sex marriage, as well as more open immigration policies.

Does that mean he's a great guy and some paragon of virtue? No... Amazon didn't increase their worker wages until under pressure, and they are eager to use whatever tax loopholes they can. But there is nothing there to suggest Amazon is doing anything worse than many other companies.
__________________
Trust me, I know what I'm doing. - Sledgehammer

I'm Mary Poppin's Y'all! - Yondu

We are Groot - Groot
Segnosaur is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old Today, 10:39 AM   #16
Solitaire
Neoclinus blanchardi
 
Solitaire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,318
Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
I get what you're saying, that there are reasons this might happen.
I won't argue with that, I'm saying that the public should say **** those reasons,
close those loopholes and lets get these ass holes paying their due.

How do you feel about a 23% national sales tax?
__________________
Be very careful what you put in your head, because you will never get it out again. — Phineas Gage
Solitaire is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old Today, 10:43 AM   #17
thaiboxerken
Penultimate Amazing
 
thaiboxerken's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 30,596
Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
But there is nothing there to suggest Amazon is doing anything worse than many other companies.
This shows that the problem is with the more laissez-fair capitalism that Trumpublicans want so much to become even more unregulated.
__________________
1. He'd never do that. 2. Okay but he's not currently doing it. 3. Okay but he's not currently technically doing it. 4. Okay but everyone does it. 5. He's doing it, we can't stop him, no point in complaining about it. 6. We all knew he was going to do it which... makes it okay somehow. 7. It's perfectly fine that's he's doing it.
thaiboxerken is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » USA Politics

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:28 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.