64.2 F
Seattle
Saturday, July 2, 2022

The Robin Hood of Piedmont

An Italian governor grabs for Amazon’s bulging swag-bag

Amazon and other huge on-line marketers have made out like the proverbial bandits since COVID more or less shut down their competition. Now, in Italy at least, the revenooers are coming to claw a little back, just in time for Christmas.

Actually, not so little. This morning Rome’s La repubblica reported that Alberto Cirio, the president of Italy’s heavily industrialized province Piedmont, has introduced a bill to introduce a supertax on the proceeds of web-based businesses grossing more than €5.5 million a year in Italy and €750 million worldwide. He called on governors of other Italian provinces to do the same. If four of them do, the tax could become law for the entire land.

Cirio’s basic proposal makes no direct reference to COVID, but its intended effect is spelled out clearly. By raising the base tax on gross revenues from 3% to 15%, he expects to raise the current tax bite of an annual €750 million to €5.5 billion (6.5 billion dollars).

Alberto Cirio Peidmont’s white-collar Robion Hood (photo Wikipedia)

But his “Step 2” goes on to levy another 15% on gross revenues as long as Italy’s current lockdown lasts, specifically to relieve the losses of commercial enterprises forced to close as the giants of on-line commerce have made hay while the plague reigns.

To immediate cries that he’s over-reaching the powers of his office, Cirio said:

“I am a liberal [in economic policy]; but to be one has to mean guaranteeing that everyone starts from the same point. Why has e-commerce increased its sales 31% since the beginning of the year? Not because it’s done such a good job[literally: “has been a good boy”] , but because the competition is kept from [competing], due to Government decisions made to look after the health of the public—in other words, due to a distortion [of the marketplace]. It is this distortion which our proposal is intended to correct.”

Roger Downey
Roger Downey
Born in Canada moved to Peru's altiplano at the age of six; came to the U.S. at 10 to discover that you don't use your feet to dribble the ball. Learned from the git-go that "America" is an idea, not a place.

Post Alley welcomes comments to our articles. Our guidelines: no personal attacks, stay on topic, add something of value to the discussion. Our editors will edit comments for clarity and to conform with our guidelines. We encourage writers to use their full names.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

LATEST

Why the Keystone State will be Key in the ’22 Election

1
No place is more pivotal than Pennsylvania, where Donald Trump has yet to concede his narrow loss to Joe Biden two years ago.

Disconnect: Missteps Over an Intruder at a Seattle Elementary School

0
On June 2nd, a series of events occurred in the Sand Point neighborhood including an incident at Sand Point Elementary School where an intruder...

Time to Lower the Heat in the Post-Roe Commentary

5
If the SCOTUS decision is the beginning, not the end, of the debate, we will need a lot more thoughtful commentary. Here are some examples.

Bolting for the Bigs: USC, UCLA Abandon PAC-12 for Big Ten (UW Next?)

14
It’s official now that the industry has fallen off the edge of the flat Earth propped so long by the mythology of amateurism.

Inside City Hall’s Serious Budget Shortfall

7
The multimillion-dollar gap -- viewed in the perspective of an annual budget in the $7 billion range -- is perhaps not horrific. But it still is bound to impact what the city can achieve towards meeting its on-going needs and ambitious social goals.

TRENDING

Bolting for the Bigs: USC, UCLA Abandon PAC-12 for Big Ten (UW Next?)

14
It’s official now that the industry has fallen off the edge of the flat Earth propped so long by the mythology of amateurism.

Disconnect: Missteps Over an Intruder at a Seattle Elementary School

0
On June 2nd, a series of events occurred in the Sand Point neighborhood including an incident at Sand Point Elementary School where an intruder...

Time to Lower the Heat in the Post-Roe Commentary

5
If the SCOTUS decision is the beginning, not the end, of the debate, we will need a lot more thoughtful commentary. Here are some examples.

Why the Keystone State will be Key in the ’22 Election

1
No place is more pivotal than Pennsylvania, where Donald Trump has yet to concede his narrow loss to Joe Biden two years ago.

Inside City Hall’s Serious Budget Shortfall

7
The multimillion-dollar gap -- viewed in the perspective of an annual budget in the $7 billion range -- is perhaps not horrific. But it still is bound to impact what the city can achieve towards meeting its on-going needs and ambitious social goals.