Hanes HallbirnTuesday,22 January 2013

The Snap:

The New York Times is reporting that the French government is actively considering a proposal to tax American companies, such as Facebook and Google, for their use of French citizens’ data in their respective services. According to the NYT’s Eric Pfanner, the report justifies taxing American companies “on grounds that users of services like Google and Facebook are, in effect, working for these companies without pay by providing the personal information that lets them sell advertising.”

The Download:

I know the French aren’t big fans of hard work, but geez. Classifying the time that French citizens spend playing on Facebook and searching for shit to read on Google as work? Yeah, that should totally count as part of France’s standard 35-hour work week. Hell, I spend 35 hours on those two services each month and I’m not getting paid shit for that time.

But seriously, the most hilarious part of Pfanner’s article is its revelation that a previous proposal to tax Internet advertisers — most notably, Google — was discarded “after local companies complained that it would affect them more than Google.”

So, in a nutshell, France’s government is all but admitting that it’s just not competitive in the global economy and is going to have to resort to protectionist measures against companies (and nations) that actually innovate. This is critically important, apparently, in order for France to balance its budget and protect the leisurely lifestyle that its people have grown comfortable with over time.

To which I say: Enculés vous êtes paresseux.

Oh, and a note to the guy in China who will write a nearly identical article in the not-too-distant future about the U.S. and American companies compared with innovative Chinese firms: I’d appreciate a backlink, please.

Hat Tips:

The New York Times, Google Translate, Image Credit: Flickr

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