Eric Bearse – Who Is John Galt?

by Shawn Collins on April 29, 2011

I’ve been thinking about comments from Eric Bearse, Texas spokesman for the Alliance for Main Street Fairness, in the past Sunday edition of the Austin American Statesman.

Yes, that is an Amazon linkIn “Affiliate marketers may be collateral damage in Amazon’s Texas sales tax fight” by Barry Harrell, I emphasized how affiliate marketers (small business owners who create jobs and help build the economy) just want to work and contribute.

Affiliate marketers “understand that states need to raise taxes and funds in various ways,” Collins said. “They’re not looking for an unfair advantage; they just want to stay and work and provide for their families and stay in their communities.”

This was followed by a comment from self-described “p.r. schmuck” Eric Bearse.

Eric Bearse

The other side of the argument is that job losses can happen in any field. And traditional retailers say they’ve had to cut jobs because of revenue they have lost to untaxed online sales.

“If you have tax fairness, that creates jobs in sales for brick-and-mortar retailers,” Bearse said. “Then they can expand their sales forces, whether it’s virtually or in the store. They can invest more in the state, make more sales and be able to expand their online presence, maybe even through affiliate marketers.”

So the bogeyman here is the sales tax, as if there were no other factors.

In fact, Lisa Picarille has presented a well researched piece on the Performance Marketing Association blog titled, “Lack of Sales Tax Not the Driver for Online Shoppers.”

In the article, she goes over eight reasons, sales tax not included, that folks choose to shop online, including convenience, selection, and deals.

What the Alliance for Main Street Fairness doesn’t seem to understand is that you can’t legislate shopping preferences. At least I hope they don’t think they can impose such a thing.

For some reason, I can’t seem to get this out of my mind… “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

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