The Problem With All Things Internet

The US Internet

While we all now appreciate the wonder of the Internet and its global reach that connects the world in milliseconds, it’s just a damn shame that the governments of the world have not caught up. Still looking inwardly and only interested in their little patch of turf and of course, taxes. At the same time, international corporations fare little better as they pick and choose their profitable markets around the globe and well, stuff everyone else. As a self publisher I know how Amazon are very selective in what services and products they offer to only limited parts of the world. They also have price variations that do not simply reflect local

My Generous Neighbour – Michael Schumacher

Schumacher

Not everyone had a seven times Formula 1 champion living just down the road. My wife is even closer as his house is right opposite where she works. In the Swiss tradition though, we let Schumi lead his life and don’t bother him if we stumble over him when shopping on a Saturday morning. The news that he is now confirmed to come out of retirement after three years and once again race in Formula 1 was a very big surprise. Us locals had envisaged Shumi enjoying his retirement here along with a few of his predecessors. However we all really wish him the best of luck on his return

Those Nasty Red Lines

shipping

If you watch television news for too long, you would come to the conclusion that we live in a marvellous new global economy. Full of wondrous and simply magnificent borderless trade and opportunities for all. The internet also gives us this feeling of borderless communication, and above all. Shopping! Don’t you just love wandering the virtual aisles of online stores and finding treasures beyond belief. Sports memorabilia from Tibet. Ice picks at a very cheap price from Morocco. Purified air in a sealed glass jar from Mexico City. Real kangaroo leather wallets from Mumbai. Spices and cooking utensils from Sydney. And of course there are book, books, books and CDs,

Uncle Sam

Uncle Sam

  Just spent the whole morning trying to complete all the forms necessary for the US Internal Revenue Service. This was a lot of time for someone who is not a US citizen. But apparently, as I want to sell my books and CDs on the net, I need to be registered with the IRS so I can avoid paying 30% withholding tax in the US on top of my tax obligations here in Switzerland. I think the internet is a wonderful tool, but I am starting to wonder about it. As much as I love it, governments and agencies such as the IRS must think it is ‘Wonderland’. All