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> If you accidentally purchased a bag of M&Ms from Amazon for 500 dollars instead of 5, they will let you undo it.

Of course, and they do it out of self-interest. On one hand, 495 dollars are not worth losing a client for life. More importantly, it is not in their interest to scare people away from using their service. The story could spread and cause significant damage to their reputation.

> On the other hand, if the matter is reversed, Amazon is expected to be a good sport and take the loss

Yes, because the situation is asymmetrical. Amazon is afraid of losing customers, but customers are not afraid of losing Amazon.

> I just think it’s amazing how frail people’s morality is, how it goes out the window when certain conditions are met.

I don't think that the majority of people nowadays believes that "the system" is fair. Most people perceive the game as rigged in favor of the rich and powerful, so they feel no moral obligation towards them.

But you are right, human beings are depressingly flawed. Many people will steal or take an unfair advantage if they know they won't be caught. The customer taking advantage of a mistake to receive an unfair deal and Amazon not paying taxes are more or less the same behavior.




> The customer taking advantage of a mistake to receive an unfair deal and Amazon not paying taxes are more or less the same behavior.

This is the key insight. The customer takes advantage of Amazons' inability to deal with its highly complex and huge pricing system of millions of articles without occasionally making fatal errors, while Amazon is taking advantage of the world's population's inability to deal with the highly complex tax rule interplay between many different countries which still want to interface with each other (= do trade) and thus occasionally create loopholes that can be exploited. The latter is impossible for the consumer due to scale (there's millions of consumers paying tiny amounts of taxes each, exploiting loopholes doesn't scale down that much), and the former is impossible for Amazon due to its scale (there's just one Amazon with a giant cash flow, to exploit a pricing failure of another online store in a way that makes a difference to this cash flow is impossible for several reasons, most importantly that there is no other online store large enough).


> The customer taking advantage of a mistake to receive an unfair deal and Amazon not paying taxes are more or less the same behavior.

Disagree. Amazon are forced and obligated to use legal tax avoidance strategies to be competitive and to fulfill their fiduciary duty.

You might say that tax avoidance isn't in the spirit of the law but then why don't lawmakers implement mitigations for it? Because they don't want to, they want to preserve the possibility of tax avoidance to appease corporations. So to me that means that tax avoidance actually is in the spirit of the law as it stands currently.


> Amazon are forced and obligated to use legal tax avoidance strategies to be competitive and to fulfil their fiduciary duty

Any precedent where shareholders have successfully sued a company for failing to exploit legal tax avoidance strategies would be appreciated. Otherwise, "forced and obligated" feels a bit of a stretch.


Forced because of their competitors. Obligated for legal reasons.


Neither is true. Corporations are not fiduciaries for their shareholders and they do not have a fiduciary obligation to maximize shareholder value or even to protect their shareholders' investments.

The board of a corporation is tasked with protecting the shareholders' investments by overseeing the selection of a CEO and corporate structural issues. And that's it.


> The board of a corporation is tasked with protecting the shareholders' investments by overseeing the selection of a CEO and corporate structural issues. And that's it.

Right. So they have a duty to select a CEO who doesn't enable the unnecessary waste of corporate money on optional taxes.


> So they have a duty to select a CEO who doesn't enable the unnecessary waste of corporate money on optional taxes.

Waste is one of a very short list of categories that are considered something no one wants: https://medium.com/bull-market/there-is-no-effective-fiducia...


No, that's exactly wrong. They don't have a duty to minimize waste, otherwise they would have a duty to not award golden parachutes or large executive compensation packages or even to pay themselves more than a few hundred bucks a year.


> otherwise they would have a duty to not award golden parachutes or large executive compensation packages

That's actually true though, they do have such a duty.

http://www.shareholderoppression.com/excessive-compensation


That only applies to approving their own excessive compensation..

It helps to read things before you link to then....




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