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Interesting Social Commentary - in a Virtual World
sl-newspaper ^ | 2/13/09 | FoxM Ember

Posted on 02/14/2009 11:02:00 PM PST by J. Worthington

SL In-World Transactions to be Taxed

As a result of the worsening financial condition of the world’s largest economy, a new tax is set to take effect April 1st, 2009. The little known details of this new tax, now included in the high profile U.S. Stimulus Package, will be applied to all web-based commerce conducted through servers housed in the U.S. This reporter has now confirmed that, because in-world currency is transferable and convertible, SL is among several simulations whose in-world transactions will be affected.

President Obama’s $879 billion dollar stimulus plan, recently passed by both houses of the U.S. Congress, contains a number of tax increases found in the low-profile “Proposed Stimulus Funding Mechanisms” section of the bill. Included among these tax increases is a 16.75% sales tax on all transactions conducted in-world beginning April 1st, 2009. The provision, proposed by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Electronic Industry and Security, has garnered little attention to date, as these taxes amount to less than one-half of one percent of the total funding provisions in the package.

A representative of the administration, speaking on condition of anonymity has confirmed that in-world transaction will be affected and were purposefully targeted given large amount of SL transactions and the obvious revenue potential for the U.S. government.

“Given the fact that sims such as yours, are totally recreational and so can be construed as a ‘luxury’ purchase by those fortunate enough to have disposable income, it was reasonable to target these transactions. This is completely in keeping with President Obama’s stated mission of wealth redistribution.”

“The disparity in our world today between those that have the financial means to participate in online recreational games such as SL, and those who are less fortunate due to no fault of their own is glaring and shameful,” the source continued.

In addition to generating an additional and as yet untapped funding source for this package, this initiative also changes the strategy of the current U.S. administration’s position from creating an environment of encouraging economic fairness, to legislating it. However, reactions from SL residents who have been interviewed have been noticeably sanguine. Here are some comments from SL residents:

“I think it’s time for this kind of thing, I mean I’m not really rich in my mind, but I suppose for someone who’s unemployed and got 8 kids to feed and buy stuff for and only gets welfare, I probably am rich to them. It’s not really their fault, and I can afford it, so I suppose that’s fair.”

“I don’t really like it – but if it means more people will be able to live more comfortably and maybe even be able to buy a computer to enjoy what we do in here, then I’m OK with that.”

“I don’t live in the U.S., but I support it because it’s not fair that so many Americans have so much and can afford to buy stuff here in SL, while others don’t even have a nice house or flat screen television of their own. The rich have too much and if you have the money to buy stuff in here for fun, then in my book, you’re rich. Maybe 17% isn’t enough!”

Judging by the handful of reactions so far, it appears that SL residents will be willing participants in the U.S. administrations new initiative to achieve economic parity through the redistribution of wealth, be it real or virtual.

"Would that he had been able to endure prosperity with greater self-control and adversity with more fortitude!" C. Asinius Pollio

Submitted by FoxM Ember

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: economy; secondlife; speculativefiction; stimulus
Interesting social commentary delivered in a fictional story - but the comments posted to this blog are interesting. Some people not understanding it's fiction.
1 posted on 02/14/2009 11:02:00 PM PST by J. Worthington
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To: J. Worthington

1st and last shameless bump.

2 posted on 02/14/2009 11:11:50 PM PST by J. Worthington
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To: J. Worthington

Please. lol interNet.

3 posted on 02/15/2009 4:13:11 AM PST by happinesswithoutpeace (You are receiving this broadcast as a dream)
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To: J. Worthington
Why not? I'm paying tax on "imputed income" from a life insurance policy that my company took out for me, yet, I have told them I have no need or use for it. So, my plan is that when I die, since I had to pay taxes on it, I'm taking it with me. I'm going to have the cash stuffed in my pockets before being cremated!


Or maybe I'll donate it to the LolCats Foundation!

4 posted on 02/15/2009 5:37:44 AM PST by MarkL (Do I really look like a guy with a plan?)
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To: MarkL

You may be onto a new trend!

5 posted on 02/15/2009 11:40:36 AM PST by J. Worthington
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To: All

I’m on Second life myself and i’m trying to open a store,but let’s just say it’s tough.

BTW, it seems image tags don’t work.

6 posted on 02/19/2009 9:43:33 PM PST by Bookmite
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