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The following comments focus on interesting topics.
- Copying Our Ideas Is Flattering.
- Is Your Band Really Profitable?
- Capacitor Use In Electric Guitar And Bass Instruments
- Electric Guitar Pickups
- Does Wood Affects Solid Body Electric Guitar Pickup Tone?
- Marketplace Fairness Act is it really?
Copying Our Ideas Is Flattering
It is now becoming hard for us not to notice how others have "discovered" us, our ideas and our products and are leveraging our relentless innovation and impossibility-defying ingenuity to provide benefit to other players. Here are just a few examples.
As early as January 2012, we promoted the notion among all pickup manufacturers to consider creating unbalanced (i.e., asymmetric) humbucker coil pairs. The reason is that this would create a greater dissonance in the pickup coil combinations from our high performance Pickup Switch UpgradeTM products. The result would be a much wider Grand Canyon Wide range of possible pickup tones especially when paired with our upgrade products. Although the suggestion was admittedly self-serving, it also had the potential of significantly enhance the electric guitar performance for everyone in the industry from a pickup tone power standpoint.
TV Jones has released special Brian Setzer asymmetric 4-wire humbucker pickups. And previously, Jeff Lace introduced his Bill Kelliher "dissonant aggressor" humbucker pickups which use unbalanced coils in both the neck and bridge positions. We congratulate Jeff Lace for his interest in using our idea to introduce something new and "out-of-the-box" to the smart players. We are also thankful that he decided to use our terms "dissonant" and "unbalanced" for his products because that's what they truly provide when used with our upgrade products (sadly, he missed using the "asymmetric" term.) Word has it they will not be releasing "uncovered" asymmetrical humbucker pickups. This means that we need to work with some smart and nimble pickup maker to produce the uncovered asymmetric 4-wire humbucker pickups we need. Is there a pickup winder that is interested in this opportunity?
Even FMIC recently released a "knock off" of our high performance Pickup Switch UpgradeTM products with their American Deluxe Strat PLUS instrument that has "personality cards". This is interesting because this release came about eight months after we shared our products with them (both the now-outgoing CEO and also the head of their Custom Shop) to foster mutual collaboration. The fact that they released one of their instruments at substantial corporate cost (as a "Plus" guitar) is strong evidence that they are seriously worried about what we are doing. And rightly so! We will shortly be releasing complete instruments that will produce 276 pickup tones and will be the ONLY instruments in the world that will give you numerous QuadraBuckerTM and PentaBuckerTM pickup tones. For the heavy metal crowd, this means that you can now very easily get numerous incredible pickup tones that are so "fat", they're... Obese! All this copying still shows others that truly, We're not just light years ahead of everyone; we are completely in the next galaxy. (2014-03-24)
Is Your Band Really Profitable?
The current "marketing" trend finds many musicians/bands now exclusively using resources like ground(ctrl), reverbnation, band camp, soundclick, snotpope or one of the so-called social media websites like facebook, myspace, etc. Although perceived as a "convenient" way to do business, this also has a downside that is devastating to your profitability. When you exclusively use one of these resources, you are also totally insulating yourself from easy contact by fans and others. This increases the likelihood of alienating potential PAYING customers who actually have the spare cash to spend on your concert tickets, tshirts, caps, CDs/DVDs, etc.
Over the last decade, several new music genres have cropped up (e.g., rap, electronica, hip hop, techno, etc.) all of which are competing for those spare dollars. Put another way, others have been eating away at the pool of spare cash people have to spend on your stuff leaving less for you. It's called competition. When you deliberately (or stupidly) do things that are designed to discourage purchases, you are the loser.
Do you know the main reasons that discourage sales?
By making it hard for potential customers and fans to contact you (especially if they are not a member of a "specialty" website mentioned in the first paragraph), your revenue stream suffers. If your band does not have a real website that contains a direct email address you immediately lost a lot of fans that actually have cold hard cash cash that is the most likely source for your current and future sales revenue.
These days, most smart people (the ones who DO have the money to buy your stuff) are very concerned with identity theft and are no longer willing to "sign up" at a multiplicity of websites. They want to be as anynomous as possible on the web. They clearly understand that they are unwilling to flush their life down the toilet with Pavlovian reactions to every irrelevent message. If you don't have an easy way that these PAYING CUSTOMERS can directly contact you without jumping backwards through flaming "hoops"... your band is losing sales EVERY DAY!
Yes, it takes a little more effort to review customer emails and respond to them (by hiring someone to review the emails and reply if needed), but it fosters a better atmosphere of easy communication. For the bands that missed the point, it's called "customer service" something at which you need to be proactive... if you want to avoid quickly becoming obsolete. It's that personal attention that wins the hearts (and wallets) of potential newbie fans. The minute you forget this truth, you are history.
Although perceived as popular, if your primary way for others to interact with you is one of those so-called "cool" specialty site or social media website, this will likely result in severely diminished profitable revenue. Even worse, most people on social media websites habitually lie they lie about who they are and they lie about their purchasing intentions. Your band can't deposit lies in its bank account. But when you have an actual website coupled with powerful demographic and analysis resources (freely available from Google and other companies) to measure who visits your website, who sends emails, who makes purchases and why, it helps you to intelligently and scientifically develop strategies to enhance your sales as well as plan your financial destiny.
The young groupies (that don't have a job and live in their mommy's and daddy's basement) but spend every waking minute on Facebook, Myspace, twitter, yada-yada-yada to get their "15 minutes of fame fix" to feel like they are saying something important are NOT your target audience. These non-purchasers don't realize that they're flushing their entire life down the toilet with no benefit much like ducks with their useless "quack-quack-quacking". Even worse, they do NOTHING for your profitability. Clearly, these are NOT your target customer because they don't have two nickels to rub together and is why they are living in their mommie's and daddy's basement. Yes they may post drivel on your social media site and give you "likes", but how many actually have the cash to buy your products? Do you even know this crucial information? If not, then it is a strong business case for having your band on an actual website where you can intelligently evaluate these metrics.
If you are a band that wants to be profitable, you should know that most of the "over 30" crowd no longer wastes their valuable time with this social media nonsense because there is only 24 hours in a day to use. One third of the day they're working (to make the bucks that will buy your stuff), one third of the day they're sleeping, and they are certainly not interested in flushing the remaining third of their life down the toilet lurking on multiple social media websites that gives them NO direct benefit.
You need to be smart and have a real website that gives your customers a direct way to contact you. This also lets you use the metrics analysis resources (already mentioned) to look for effective ways to enhance customer experiences. For example, if you see that the bulk of the caps you are selling are green colored then perhaps your concert lighting should be skewed with green to enhance attendee enjoyment.
Another example of obstacles that prevent you from capturing incredible benefit is our Band Support program that we extend to many undiscovered groups but only to the ones that we can directly contact. Our time is valuable too and we don't fritter it away with people that cannot be easily contacted. To date, about 420 bands who were difficult to contact did NOT receive our Band Support program invitation. However, about 760 bands that were easy to contact are embracing our products and are getting a huge edge over those who don't. If you are difficult to directly contact (because you don't have an email address), then you totally missed out on getting easy access to incredible career boosting products which are available by invitation only products that are giving your competition a Les Paul edge in today's fiercely competitive music market. (2014-01-17)
Capacitor Use In Electric Guitar And Bass Instruments
Capacitors are electrical components designed to behave in a specific way, and that predictable behavior is described in its specification. This component is frequently used in electric guitar and bass instruments as a way to "bleed" off treble (i.e., high frequency) sounding tones via an RC (i.e., resistance/capacitance) circuit. This gives the musician a way to use a "tone" control to reduce the treble intensity of their instrument's pickup output by diverting some of the brilliant tones to ground before the signal is sent to the amplifier input.
The tone control in an electric guitar or bass is really a poor substitute for the superior circuitry that a quality amplifier already provides. Based on their characteristics, capacitors (regardless of the type) are "commodities". This means that a 2-cent .05 MFD ceramic capacitor will provide the exact same result as a $10 orange drop .05 MFD capacitor in any simple RC circuit. So why would someone purchase the $10 cap over the 2-cent cap? It is because some of these manufacturers have misled customers into believing that there is some "benefit" to using only their product. The reality is that no capacitor manufacturer can offer up any evidence as to the benefit of their product over a less expensive one.
Does it make sense to pay more for identical performance? Would you be willing to pay $3.00 MORE per gallon for "Chrysler" gas instead of the lower priced generic gas? Most people would not. In fact, there are many of you that will drive several miles to get gas that is just a few cents cheaper because... gas is gas. Likewise, MFD is MFD (MFD is an appreviation for "microfarad", one of the several terms used to describe a capacitor characteristic).
The 2-cent .05 MFD ceramic capacitor is going to behave in the EXACT same way as that $10 orange drop .05 MFD capacitor, especially in a simple RC "tone bleeding" circuit that contains almost no voltage or current. So the next time you have an instrument project that needs tone control work, buy yourself a 2-cent capacitor and take the other $9.98 and reward yourself for being so practical with a six pack of quality craft beer that you have never tried. You may learn two new things as a result. (2013-12-21)
Electric Guitar Pickups
There are three main categories of electric guitar and bass pickups; copper coil wound magnetic pickups (passive), battery powered pickups (active), and piezoelectric pickups. This topic only discusses the coil wound magnetic pickups.
The following components are what contributes to the tone produced by any copper coil-wound magnetic pickup.
- The thickness (i.e., diameter) of the copper wire in the pickup coils.
- The length of the copper wire in the coil (sometimes referred to as the impedance).
- The type of magnet used (i.e., alnico, ceramic, neodymium magnet types).
Together, these three items when combined in various ways are the core "receipe" for producing different pickup tone "flavors". This is how we get the various pickup tones ranging from Muddy/Dirty Blues tones at one end of the pickup tone spectrum to those glass shattering, out-of-phase tin-canny Mark Knopfler/Robert Cray pickup tones at the other end of the pickup tone spectrum. The total range of pickup tones that are possible is presented below by using several standard benchmark tones and where they reside in this pickup tone range:
BLUES JAZZ METAL SURF COUNTRY TIN-CANNY
So the entire range of pickup tones is a result of how the above three components are combined. Just like with the previous "Capacitor" topic, any pickup manufacturer who claims to have "different" or "better" (a subjective term) pickup tones is not being forthright. There are pickup manufacturers that would have you believe their products are unique. However, with rare exception pickups are not all that unique regardless of who makes them. Increasingly, pickup makers are using subjective hyperbole words which appear to have been deliberately selected to influence the purchasing decisions of people who are easy prey for these words.
In an industry now filled with people who make pickups, the industry sorely needs an independent pickup certification organization that can objectively and honestly evaluate and "quantify" a manufacturer's specific model pickup's characteristics. Having an entity that can certify that a manufacturer's pickup model(s) will perform in a predictable and definable way and will produce a specific pickup tone type. As a result, the claims by all pickup manufacturers would be based in honesty and not subjective euphamisms.
By combining the above three components in the correct way means that anyone can now produce pickups that will result in these universally recognized "benchmark tones". In looking at the bigger and longer-term picture, the Chinese are already doing it in a limited sense. And it won't be too much longer before they finally get a clue about how to consistently produce pickups that provide specific benchmark tones. When that happens, an entire industry of U.S. pickup manufacturers are going to be standing in the unemployment lines. This is because the benchmark pickup tones will quickly be "commoditized" by hundreds of Chinese factories that are fully automated and using low-cost labor to produce pickups with consistent and predictable performance that they will sell directly on the internet worldwide to customers. (2013-12-14)
Does Wood Affects Solid Body Electric Guitar Pickup Tone?
This is a seemingly controversial topic until you understand both the science and mechanics behind it. Sadly, the controversy is fueled by people whose opinions aren't grounded in scientific fact. There are two categories of electric guitars; solid body and hollow body. This topic only discusses solid body electric guitars.
Here are the most common "Tonewoods" currently used for electric guitar bodies.
- Paulownia (similar to Ash)
Several wood types are designated as "endangered species" and are no longer legally available, so they may not be included in this list.
The notion that a solid body electric guitar made with a specific wood type will have an effect on the tone coming out of an amplifier is preposterous. The scientific physics that govern the operation of copper coil wound magnetic guitar pickups does not support this claim. These pickups are mounted to the guitar's body under the (steel) strings and surround the strings with a magnetic field. When the strings are "plucked", they vibrate back and forth causing the enveloping magnetic field to also move back and forth following the steel string's vibrations. This back and forth vibration of the magnetic field "cuts" across the copper coil winding and induces a small voltage into the coil. This small voltage is supplied to the amplifier and produces the amplified version of the guitar string vibration.
The electric guitar pickup's output is not influenced by the type of wood to which the pickup is mounted. In fact, if the pickups were simply "suspended" in the air and not mounted to anything, the amplified signal being produced would be identical.
To believe otherwise, you would also have to make the same claim with microphones; that the microphone's output (or tone) is influence by whether it is mounted in a metal microphone stand, a wood microphone stand, or just hand held. Because there is no such claim being made in the microphone industry, one has to wonder if a different wood body type will have any effect on the output (i.e., "tone") produced by the magnetic pickup as a result of vibrating guitar strings. An extensive web search has not produced any scientific evidence to support this claim.
An emerging (and likely correct) belief is that some people mistakenly confuse the wood body of a solid body electric guitar vibrating against their body with the "tone" coming out of the amplifier. One way to confirm this is to put these passionate adherents in a different room with an amplifier and while being isolated from the the guitar vibration listen to the the strings being plucked on the guitar that is in a separate room and have them identify the type of wood body being used. They simply cannot do so when confronted with this scientific "double blind" methodology.
There is also more to this topic of wood vs. tone. One example includes a white paper published in May, 2007 by Keith J. Soper. He wanted to determine if there really is a difference in sound between a Telecaster made of Ash vs Alder. We believe that he obliquely came to the same conclusion. You can read this paper Here.
There can be agreement that the wood type of a solid body electric guitar will influence "sustain" albeit slightly. But the term "sustain" is relative and subjective in the context of guitar string vibration. What is needed is to have someone take two identical guitars, everything the same except one with a solid steel body, the other with a "balsa wood-like" low density wood body. This would provide a practical minimum/ maximum density range to measure the output duration of a string plucked on each with identical plucking energy.
Measuring the time that it will take for the output signal of each guitar to degrade to a specific signal intensity will scientifically establish the "time" range for practical sustain of string vibration. We believe that there is not all that much difference in the sustain time between these two body densities.
One more area of "sustain" involves the heavy metal crowd using the amplified output to cause the string(s) to further vibrate which is not really sustain, but rather a type of "feedback" that causes the string(s) to continue vibrating. Calling this "sustain" is just muddying the water of scientific analysis even further.
Regarding lighter weight solid body guitars: the Paulownia wood (similar to Ash) a virtual unknown until recently is very lightweight and is now being used for some guitar bodies. A standard blank Stratocaster body weighs in at about 5.9 lbs. The Paulownia equivalent is around 2 lbs. That's dropping as much as 4 lbs. off the weight of a guitar! Although repeated removing and replacing screws can more easily cause this wood to have the screws "strip", this issue can be solved by using nylon anchors where the screws would normally go. Having an axe that is several pounds lighter is a heaven-sent solution to all the older rockers who just can't strap on a 12 pound weight for five hours a night. (2013-12-07)
Marketplace Fairness Act is it really?
There is a minority of people in the Musical Instrument (MI) and other industries that are talking about "Leveling the Playing Field" and advocating for the passage of the "Marketplace Fairness Act". To put it simply, this is a bad idea and here are the reasons why...
First, although the Brick and Mortar (BM) retailers have to collect the state/city sales tax which these advocates erroneously decry as a disadvantage, they also conveniently never mention that they (i.e., the BM dealers) are NOT incurring the cost of shipping the item to their customers as are their web-based counterparts. Also remember that the web-based business still has to collect the sales tax for the state in which they are located from customers who are also in that state.
In many cases, the shipping charge that the web-based business incurs is equal to and in some cases (e.g., shipping heavy 60-plus pound amplifiers) can frequently exceed any so-called sales tax collection disadvantage the BM retailer has to charge for sales/city tax and have the customer carry the amplifier out the door. It would interest you to know that many of these web-based businesses now "eat" that cost by offering free shipping.
For a true level playing field, we believe that a mandatory "free shipping" requirement should be added to this proposed law so that purchasers at BM stores enjoy the benefit of having their purchases shipped. Why should a customer have to lug the purchased item home? If they stop somewhere before going home, they risk having it stolen. This shipping requirement is a huge benefit to the BM customer. If the web-based businesses have to ship, shouldn't also the BM businesses be required to do so?
Without this mandatory provision, if this so-called "Marketplace Fairness Act" (which is hardly fair) is implemented then there will still be unfairness in the marketplace. This idiotic law will just shift who is the recipient of this "unfairness". If this is enacted without being amended as described herein, then the retail customers should be within their right to tell the BM dealers to ship the purchased item to them for free, or they will not purchase the item(s) because the web-based dealer provides free shipping. If the web-based dealers have to ship the purchased item (and for the same price), then so should the BM store also provide free shipping for their customers. It's only "fair", don't you agree? You can't pick and choose your argument points to have it both ways. It would also be "patriotic" because customers can play a part in helping our shipping industry (e.g., USPS, UPS, FEDEX, etc.) avoid layoffs. It's simple, it's equitable, it's... Fair.
In addition, shouldn't the web-based business in Atlanta who will be required to collect sales tax for a Chicago purchaser also be entitled to enjoy the benefits of "services we all depend on" via compulsory taxes as is frequently claimed, by expecting the Chicago police to go to Atlanta and investigate a break in of their premises? If they are forced to pay for supporting a service, should not they also be entitled to its benefit? If not, this would be a clear example of a gross injustice by expecting a web-based business to support another state's inefficient infrastructure but not be able to take advantage of its benefit. This is the premise of state and local taxation: every contributor benefits. If you convert it to a pick-and-choose, ala-carte paradigm, then it's a compelling argument that the country is sliding into socialism via "we'll tax you to death but provide you with no benefit."
And this doesn't address the discriminatory issue that this forced inequity poses between web-based and BM dealers with accompanying slew of costly Constitutional challenges by refusing to offer the Atlanta dealer (who is forced to collect sales tax for another state) "equal protection under the law." If the geographic location is irrelevant for the web-based business that will be forced to collect taxes for another state, then the geographic location of the web-based business to ask for, and expect, those government services to which they paid for via the forced taxation government services that are available to others should also be equally irrelevant.
Second, some of the BM dealers (let's call them TURDs: Terribly Underachieving Retail Dealers) are using this unfounded non sequitur claim of "unfairness" as a thinly veiled excuse to mask their exceptionally poor business practices that actually discourage purchases by potential customers. There is ample evidence of this that is published in monthly trade magazines like Music and Sound Retailer with their "Spy" guy who (to his credit) objectively assesses each music store for how they interact with newbie visitors. After following these vignettes for over five years, it is clear that many of the BM stores are TURDs who project an attitude of indifference to visitors (i.e., potential customers). This is most likely the REAL reason for their abysmal sales. To blame sales tax collection as the reason for their poor business ethic and attitude is... well, unfair. Yes, it is a new business economy that requires putting in a 201 percent effort. If you are not surviving and thriving, you should look in the mirror to see who is to blame.
The smart BM business that ARE able to continue to survive and thrive are the ones that educate themselves and are aware of trends that are constantly changing and reinventing themselves to stay relevant. These beacons of light take both the time and effort to offer exceptional service, treat all store visitors as valued customers, give them the attention and support they deserve, have well-trained employees, and have formulated effective strategies to enhance and close the sale. The Attitudes of the TURDs and their employees are their own worst enemy and is likely the REAL reason for their sagging sales and profitability.
Even worse, China with its tens of thousands of small manufacturers are about to collectively overwhelm the MI business in the U.S. with the goal of displacing everyone and become the sole source of supply for instruments, amplifiers, and accessories of all kinds. They have quietly use this method to destroy and replace other industries; golf clubs, electronics, dog food, etc. (just search the web for "industries taken over by China" to get an eyeful.) Hords of oriental companies will be flooding our markets with low-cost goods that are Made in China by cheap labor that will overwhelm every American business that is not nimble enough to compete and survive. Compared with what the Chinese are preparing to do, the sales tax parity issue is going to be the least of your business survival problems!
Third, we continue being in a worldwide depression thanks to the poorly conceived social engineering strategies of the current crop of incompetent democrat politicians. This mean that fewer people are buying things in the MI industry other than essential "maintenance" things like strings and low-cost accessories because CASH IS KING! customers are (rightly) concerned about their job, their future, their ability to pay for their mortgage/rent/food and other bills. This has frozen sales for almost eight years. These greedy democrat government agencies created legal gambling via lottery schemes, taxed our gas to the tune of 37 percent (an outrageous 37 percent SALES TAX that is levied by an entity that does not produce anything of value) all to purportedly "help the schools", "fix the roads", "feed the children" "help the poor", endless yada-yada-yada.
The REAL problem is there is no accountability, nor transparency about where all this money goes and how it is REALLY used. After almost 50 years of crushing taxes devised by democrat politicians, We still have poor performing schools, our infrastructure (especially in Detroit, the motor capital of the world) can only be described as a collection of potholes that are linked together by asphalt material shoveled on the street forcing drivers to ruin the finish of their vehicles by driving over this stuff to pack it down. We spend $15,000 a year per pupil on education more than any other country in the world and yet our educational outcomes trail those of third-world countries. We spend nearly a trillion dollars a year on antipoverty programs, and yet the official poverty rate has barely budged in 50 years. We are being strangled with ever-increasing taxing schemes while children are still going hungry in record numbers. So the single question that you should be asking your politicians is WHERE DID ALL THIS MONEY GO?
What is sorely needed is a "pay as you go" government services model to protect us from greedy power-hungry democrat politicians from "inventing" yet even more ways to legally (but unethically) separate us from our hard-earned money (like the "use tax" and this "marketplace fairness" tax). What's next, a voting tax under the guise of helping those poor voters who don't have cars to get to the polls? How about instead giving us the tools to vote over the telephone or internet. Anyone can spend theirselves into the poorhouse buying goods and services using a telephone and a credit card. Why can't we Vote the same way? Look at all the energy saved (and reduced CO2 emissions) that would benefit the planet.
Thanks to the democrat politicians who are responsible for this artificially created depression, there has already been an estimated closing of between 11-17 percent of U.S. BM business as well as numerous other non-MI businesses. Look around when you are out driving at the disturbing number of EMPTY buildings with "For Lease" signs out in front (especially in the areas zoned for commercial/industrial business activity), certainly not an indication of a "healthy and vibrant" economy lies and fiction that the sn(ooze) media (i.e., the handmaiden whores of the anti-American democrat politicians) constantly and deliberately feeds low information voters to manipulate their behavior (maybe that's why they call it a news "story"?) It's safe to say that objective journalism is dead. Further evidence of this economic implosion is constantly cropping up when you go to a MI dealer's website and are presented with a page that says, "This Domain for Sale." The Music and Sound Retailer publication and several other sources are constantly mentioning business failures on a monthly basis. In case you haven't been paying attention, this trend has been going on for several years, which is the amount of time the democrat politicians have been in firm control. Is there a connection here? Even bigger chains like Junky Daddy's who was hit hard by the economy (again, thanks to democrat government incompetence) and had to shut the doors of all 12 of their stores putting about 220 people out of work. All of the news reporting about their demise never had them saying that "unfair" sales tax was the reason. It was the depression-like economy produced by the greedy confiscatory democrat politicians that caused them to permanently close their doors.
The good news (if there is any) is that the truly smart and nimble BM businesses have been able to stay afloat by tightening their belts, offering customers items they actually want, and creating a warm and embracing atmosphere that gives their customers compelling incentive to return and purchase more products.
Fourth, a recent trade magazine editorial (advocating for this marketplace "fairness" act) mentioned a Chicago guitar shop owner (obama's hometown) complaining about having to charge an additional 11 percent for city tax. Bluntly put, this is outrageously confiscatory for just one city to squeeze an additional 11 percent of ANYONE's hard earned dollars, especially when you consider that the almighty GOD who has the entire Universe to run only asks for 10 percent (via tithing). That the editor did NOT mention why this person still does business in Chicago if it is "so bad" is curious. If it is so bad, why haven't they "voted with their feet" by relocating to a more favorable and profitable area? Again, a question this editorial also did not raise. Could it be that even with the high combined confiscatory state and city tax levels, they are still profitable? If that is true, then perhaps the complaints of this business are just so much empty noise. It is very plausible that advocating for the "Marketplace Fairness Act" is really a way for greedy government to covertly "invent" yet another way to part us from our hard earned dollars.
Our legislators need to be lobbied to kill this evil law. If not, then encourage them to amend this law (in the name of Fairness) using the arguments contained in this commentary to require all BM businesses to ship the purchases to the customer. Without this requirement, the law will still result in unfairness but only for the web-based business who has to shoulder the cost of shipping that is not required of their BM counterpart. If they BOTH have to collect and pay sales tax, then it's only FAIR that they ALL be required to ship. Now they all are on a level playing field with True Fairness: Isn't this what these whiners want?
This also sheds light on the fact that all levels of (mostly democrat) government have become exceedingly GREEDY. The REAL question is why are the cities and states so insistent on trying to invent new ways to steal more of our hard earned dollars? Especially since none of these bureaucracies have "stepped up to the plate" and clean house by removing excess cost, waste, fraud, duplicity, graft, corruption, etc. If they ran things like a REAL business, they would be flush with cash and would be returning it to the taxpayers (something George W. Bush - our second greatest president since Ronald Reagan - did three times.) How many hypocritical democrat voters returned those three separate Bush "peace dividend" checks uncashed? Predictably, the answer is "zero."
An unanswered question is this: Exactly HOW will a BM business get ANY benefit from TAXES levied on web-based customers?
The behavior of these democrat politicians reminds me of the lyrics to "Taxman" on the Beatles Revolver album (written by George Harrison) and is partially shown below because of its foretelling content.
Let me tell you how it will be
There's one for you, nineteen for me
'Cause I'm the taxman, Yeah, I'm the taxman
Should five percent appear too small (i.e., that's what YOU have left)
Be thankful I don't take it all
'Cause I'm the taxman, Yeah, I'm the taxman
If you drive a car, I'll tax the street
If you try to sit, I'll tax your seat
If you get too cold, I'll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I'll tax your feet, taxman
For these government agencies to claim they are "helping" business under the guise of addressing "fairness" is a total lie. They are really "gearing up" to enact yet another way to STEAL YOUR MONEY. This gives them a flimsy excuse to immunize themselves in a stealthy neo-cheating way from being identified as greedy opportunists looking for any opportunity to create yet another tax. They can avoid being identified as directly taxing everyone in an unvarnished (i.e., easily seen) way to steal more of your money. This "fairness" scato gives them a way to covertly cast themselves a the "good guys" trying to address a non-existing fairness issue rather that be honest about telling everyone what greedy confiscatory power-hungry scoundrels they really are. All sales tax should be completely eliminated because it is immoral theft by greedy government.
Or to put it bluntly, HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU HAVE TO PAY A TAX ON THE MONEY YOU EARNED?
Fifth, the web-based business can sell their products at a lower price because their Business Model of being on the web does not constrain them into a specific town/city/county/country. It is because they are able to offer their products to the entire world that they are able to be competitive with lower prices while making it up in volume to still be profitable. The naked truth is that the Business Model contrast (web-based vs. BM) is this the REAL reason that is so upsetting to these non-productive whining TURDs. Even though they are not required by law to stay where they are, they have opted (their choice) to stay in a 19th century Business Model at a physical location that "oppressively taxes them". And now they want to make others responsible for their poor choices. This is true liberalism at its worst everyone else is responsible for their failures that is, everyone except them.
Because most of these BM businesses already have a web presence, perhaps we should compel them all to shutter their doors and exclusively be a web-based business. That will truly result in REAL fairness. Everyone will be on the web only, and everybody only needs to collect their state's sales tax. It retains simplicity by not having to manage sales tax collection for all 50 states. Nothing could be fairer than that. This way, the businesses with value-driven competitiveness will be the ones who prevail. Let's see a show of hands from you BM TURD whiners who are all for this idea in the name of "Fairness"?
Over the last decade, there have been several new music genres that have become mainstream, including Rap, electronica, hip hop, techno, and several other categories. Most of these genres do NOT require someone to actually buy a musical instrument and spend the time practicing to get proficient. Now you can buy a "thump box" and push a button to produce the necessary accompaniment to "perform". This has produced a constantly shifting sales objective, and (unlike their TURD counterpart) is something the smarter MI business have spectacularly addressed by seeing the writing on the wall and giving customers what they wanted adding "thump boxes" to their inventory for example, as well as electronica related software and other similar accessories to their product offering to address new emerging trends.
Yes, things are constantly changing and getting tougher than ever before in the MI business and there is no evidence that it will get better in the foreseeable future. The truly smart businesses (both web-based and BM) that have been nimble enough to analyze what the future holds, have developed effective strategies to address and exploit these emerging trends, are the businesses that will continue to survive and thrive. These smarter companies are using the internet to cut out wholesalers and avoid the markups that come with getting on retailers' shelves.
What is really unfair is the crying BM TURDs who refuse to proactively embrace this direct-to-consumer business model make no such effort except to constantly whine about all the unfairness swirling around them. Even worse, they are manipulating eager and willing democrat legislators to enact unneeded legislation to "protect" the BM TURDs from themselves and their incompetent business practices while simultaneously empowering these power-hungry and greedy democrat politicans to legally but unethically STEAL even more of your hard earned money. You have to wonder if this is even a valid complaint. And honestly, this type of 19th century attitude is something that no Marketplace Fairness Act is going to fix.
Let's get back to a Sane America with pro-business conservative candidates who will work for the best interest of America, and not look at you as their personal ATM machine to financially rape you in order to increase their wealth, power and influence. (2014-01-10)