E-Commerce Times Talkback
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The overriding message is certainly true:
Leading members of Congress are telling President George W.
Bush that truly global e-commerce is necessary
for a strong U.S. economy.
No arguments there. But the next step is one that
should be taken with great care: Bush is being urged
to jump into the fray and help pave the way for
worldwide e-commerce growth.
E-biz should not be seen as a panacea for global commerce and exchange. Indeed the exchange of goods permits a surge in competition (and therefore in quality and productivity which in the end enhances the quality of life of a state or a country), but there are several problems ahead.
First of all, taxes work as a system for the redistribution of wealth and the development of public services, as you see... imagine 7 of every 10 e-companies (such as amazon or the like) are in New York, or California or let's say Texas. The counties and state governments gather a fairly big amount of "normal" taxes because of the sale, but in the normal process there is a distributor, a retailer (or wholesaler) that also pays a tax in the non e-commerce state (one of the other 48 states with non well developed initiatives), so the e-commerce transaction leaves this non e-commerce state with no tax at all and only a one-direction flow of cash, out of the state.
That is one of the main problems and where the government will have to intervene, no matter how much the industry will regulate itself.
In the US, I think that would be true where the governments intervention could cause more harm than good since the market regulates itself. In a place like Singapore where the government plays a leading role in making the decisions and the telling, I would think it would be reversed. In Singapore, the government is trying their best to get involved and support e-commerce since it opens doors to the global business world. I think that there is a fine balance between allowing the market to regulate itself against enacting rules. Besides that, there are areas in e-commerce where the governments role is inevitable eg. where security or privacy is concerned, hence, laws need to be put in place to protect the public at large. Another way is to incentivise the public and private sectors so that they could get interested and participate in e-commerce initiatives.
In conclusion, I am not supporting nor criticising the issue, however, I think that e-commerce needs to be looked at a deeper angle in order to make a decision on it. At the moment, I think that the Bush adminstration should take their hands off since the republicans have a notorious reputation for their ulterior motives to get rich quick and screw up the economy all at the same time.
While I agree that privacy is an issue the government should step in to govern, issues like security are best solved by the high-tech businesses themselves...