Just 48 hours ago, the online retailer Amazon was doing battle against California to save the new economy from the tyranny of taxation. They were spending millions on a referendum to block a piece of the budget. They were fighting off a supposed legislative dirty trick to prevent such a referendum. And they were arguing that high principle and jobs were at stake.
Now, well, in the words of the 20-year-old Nirvana album: Never mind.
Amazon’s deal to end its referendum – in exchange for a one-year delay before it begins paying sales taxes – was designed to save face. But this was a deal in the same way that the deal the Japanese signed on the U.S.S. Missouri was a deal. It was a surrender, by an utterly vanquished company.
Has any company so bungled relations with a state?
I never did understand the referendum gambit and felt that Amazon.com would be more successful in federal court.
But, then again, I did not know about the 7/11 store distribution plan either. In the end, it was simply about money and not principle.