The worst idea I’ve ever heard: US Gov’t to slap 5% tax on all electronics…to “save journalism”.

Leave it to the U.S. Gov’t to come up with one of the worst ideas known to man kind. Much like other places around the world are unfairly subjected to bogus taxes on electronics under the false guise of “saving the music industy, movie industry, journalism, etc”, our own government is now falling in line. Specifically, the FTC and the U.S. Gov’t are releasing some suggestions as to how the country as a whole might be able to “save journalism”.

The forefront of this new plan — a 5% tax on all electronic goods…

Specifically, the tax is suggested to include (but is not limited to): iPads, iPods, iPhones, laptops, desktop PCs, Macs, netbooks, Zunes, Sansas, Creative MP3 players, digital cameras, video cameras, Android smart phones, Nintendo DS’s, PSP Go’s, Xbox 360s, Wiis, and the PS3. And this — all in the name of “saving journalism”…
 
Mind you, many states already have similar ridiculous taxes in play, meaning upwards of 10% is going to be added on to our electronics’ prices. The linked PDF going over the full list of “suggestions” is linked below in case you’re in for some length reading.

On a more personal note — where do I begin? You would think that people that are supposedly so intelligent to have won these offices that they’d have at least a small of common sense. As we have seen many times over, politicians and “intelligent” never go hand in hand.

With that said, taxing electronic goods because a print industry — one that makes it’s livelihood off of outdated technology and business models — is failing is not how you go about fixing the problem. It’s the same thing the Gov’t did with GM and the U.S. car industry. They artificially kept a defunct and technically outdated and irrelevant company in the running, delaying the inevitable.

No, journalism is not going to die with the print media’s death. Technology is evolving. As such, so are the industries that make use of certain technologies. Printing text on a paper, having to physically walk to a place that sells said paper, and then flip the pages by hand is going the way of the dodo, quick.

Replacing it are smartphones, laptops, tablet PCs and many other gadgets that allow us to consumer media (and in this case journalism) in countless different forms from anywhere in the world. And you ask me to have sympathy for these print-based companies bitching and moaning because no one cares about them, their again business model, or their inability to adapt and change. Please.

I have no doubt that even with a fairly strong public voicing of disapproval, the Gov’t will push on with whatever makes industry lobbyists happy. That’s how a gov’t is run anyway, right?

  • Full list of Gov’t opted “suggestions” for Electronics Tax: PDF

DailyTech

   
  • Jon

    1. It’s a FTC – not ‘Government’ – staff discussion document, not a proposal. Did you notice the bit at the top in really bold print that says: ‘Please note: This draft does not represent conclusions or recommendations by the Commission or FTC staff; it is solely for purposes of discussion.’ Do you need someone to explain that to you?
    2. It’s not ‘in the forefront’ – it’s No2 in a list of of several proposals, all of which raise more money. Tax on broadcast spectrum 6bn, easing of public interest programming 10bn, advertising taxes 6bn+2bn, cell-phone tax 6bn. Consumer electronics tax 4bn.
    3. Don’t see any list: ‘iPads, iPods, iPhones, laptops, desktop PCs, Macs, netbooks, Zunes, Sansas, Creative MP3 players, digital cameras, video cameras, Android smart phones, Nintendo DS’s, PSP Go’s, Xbox 360s, Wiis, and the PS3.’ Can we assume you just made that up?
    4. The worst idea you’ve ever heard? Really?
    5. In conclusion: let’s make something up, then get outraged by it.

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