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Race to the bottom

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2 hours ago, Kisaha said:

Do you buy shoes from the "hood" then? With no receipt?

I can legally buy them from anyone selling them, whether it's off eBay or a dude off the street. As long as they're not stolen, it's legal. You might be expecting too much out of America, a country where private sales of guns is pretty much completely unregulated.

There aren't a lot of jobs in the United States that require licensing. Most would be in the medical field. I mean shit, we elected a president that's a complete racist moron. The bar is pretty low in general here, in both good and bad ways, when it comes to job qualifications. 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

That is why if you want to go Pro you better go BIG time Pro mode. When you are in business, I don't care what it is you have to make a Ton of money to make it worth the effort. Hiring an Accountant here is almost a must because you have to pay out every month for Workman's Comp, Social Security, Insurance, any kind of benefits like healthcare, pensions, profit sharing, on and on. So you can't do that alone. That adds up to an amazing amount of money if you have employees. Add wages, and city, state and federal taxes, and rent or a mortgage on a building and add equipment, insurance for all of it in the mix and you had better be pulling in some serious money.

Most people are WAY better off just Moonlighting and keeping their day job. Here you don't get any credits for Social Security when you are self employed for the years you are. That can bite you in the ass when you retire big time. And the trouble is it takes more luck than anything, right place right time, to even luck into a really good successful business over the long haul. I have had 3 pretty big time businesses in my life and it was an amazing amount of time and hard work, and overall I am not too sure it would not have been easier to just had worked for someone else. Let them fall over dead worrying about it lol.

The problem is it all takes Way too much time away form your family to be in business for yourself when you look back at it. And you can Never get that time back, never. That is my biggest regret looking back. I think most people, me included, just make their life Way too complicated. Less is more in the long run. Fun and happiness is a rare gift for most, and it is really what we should strive for. But we seem to just keep running in the Rat Race. Pretty crazy way to live a life for all involved. Maybe we all need to just go buy a Canon EOS M with ML in it and be happy..

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54 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

I can legally buy them from anyone selling them, whether it's off eBay or a dude off the street. As long as they're not stolen, it's legal. You might be expecting too much out of America, a country where private sales of guns is pretty much completely unregulated.

There aren't a lot of jobs in the United States that require licensing. Most would be in the medical field. I mean shit, we elected a president that's a complete racist moron. The bar is pretty low in general here, in both good and bad ways, when it comes to job qualifications. 

To be honest I know nothing about U.S! Only from Michael Moore documentaries :)

I have lived and worked in 4 E.U countries and more or less it was a similar system.

Things are much more regulated here and we have the strictest laws and regulations (environment, food and drinks, internet, monopolies e.t.c) but for the benefit of the citizens and our societies. In my opinion, E.U and the rest that are very close in essence (Switzerland, Norway, Iceland) are the most democratic and forward thinking in the world (add Australia, NZ and Canads to those). 

Anyway, I was just trying to make a point, and I believe I brought a different approach to the subject matter which is true for many blue collar video and photo professionals around the world.

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22 hours ago, Kisaha said:

@newfoundmass @noone

Do you pay taxes for your income as a photographer/videographer? Do you have license for it?

If not, then you are certainly illegal in your country and you can undercut my pricing because taxes here are close to 50-55%, and I have to have a physical space for my trade, which adds 300-400€ for my "shop" per month - which I never visit, but I have to have.

If I get 50 pair of shoes from ebay, went downtown and try to sell them, I will be immediately arrested, and the fines are severe.

However you see it, however it fits you, in every sense you are criminals. 

No I don't have (or NEED a licence) and would not if I did earn income from it but I don't.    It is purely a hobby for me and I do it because I WANT to.    I have been offered money from time to time but always turn it down as I do things (mostly) on MY terms and so I don't have to pay taxes either.      Again, in my city there are far too many trained and well equipped professionals for many to make a full time living and many of those would still be too expensive for many people with small jobs/short hands and deep pockets.

Years ago I WAS going to sell shoes (well clothes anyway) on Ebay by buying more expensive brands second hand cheap from the US (reversed seasons).  I actually had a reasonable small stock of cashmere jumpers but ended up giving them away to friends and family as I couldn't be bothered in the end but it is always something I COULD do if I wanted.

So, what crime have I committed?

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12 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

I'm surprised at the incredulity about requiring some degree and combination of registration/licensing to work legally or effectively as a professional photographer/videographer.

I couldn't get access to events without being registered as a professional with the organiser's media control operations, I can't get that registration without being a member of a recognised professional media union or association, I can't get that registration without proof of professional publication, which I can't do without invoicing to accompany the publication and I can't invoice without registering my trade with the tax authorities.

To actually then go and do these events, I can't do it without proof of public liability insurance which, again, is linked to the specific profession.

I also can't insure the equipment without that specific association to its use and my status in using it.

And thats before we get into things like licensing content such as music and/or stock into your productions where proof of amateur/professional status is a requirement in granting the correct license or even when we are dealing with the more sensitive assignments for public bodies that require background checks by the authorities. 

To be honest, there is so much proof of status required to do it professionally that this whole bootlegging of shoes thing in downtown Athens sounds like a pretty tempting gig to me ;) 

I guess I was lucky being older as I got some great gigs as an amateur years ago as few were shooting live music then years ago (starting with film).     I got some support from the local paper and all the venues and then sent samples to band managers and they were all fine with it and then I shot FOR a  few smaller (and some slightly larger festivals) and had no problems getting photo passes to most gigs (up to and including the Dixie Chicks at their height- they had really horrid conditions but I was still fine with that as it was a hobby- I got very sick on the way and could not do the gig though and have stuck to mostly more local stuff since then).   Many of the smaller festivals didn't have any real budget for photos anyway.    As far as video goes, it is really only since having an A7s I did video of some songs at gigs and then I just do it for me though send the better ones to the bands.    Just means I have a few videos from some favourite bands of mine that I can watch whenever I want that very few others will see unless the bands use them (US Foghorn string band did with one).

Just a lot of fun for me but I doubt I would get close to the access I have had if I was starting out now.

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On 4/5/2019 at 3:38 AM, MrSMW said:

They then try to do that and the work begins to dry up. Most then give up and go back to their 9-5 day job with all it's securities when they realise the reality is not swanning around the world at their clients expense and editing on a laptop in coffee shops.

I have a friend who is the greatest guy. He has these dreams and aspirations that some company is going to hire him to be the 'marketer' creating all the video content and that then he and his long distance love can get married and start their own video company.

But he doesn't have a reel. He can't three point light worth a damn and he's 40 years old living in his mom's basement. All this, not to mention a failure to understand what a marketer truly does.

This is the competition who will take the corporate commercial job for less than $500.

He's not trying to make a living. He's trying to survive.

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On 4/7/2019 at 8:56 PM, Kisaha said:

Do you have license for it?

As a kiwi it sounds utterly crazy to me to need a "license" to be a videographer!!

But I guess there are many countries like that, however I can only imagine such red tape must act as a massive strangle on the economy. 

On 4/7/2019 at 8:56 PM, Kisaha said:

If I get 50 pair of shoes from ebay, went downtown and try to sell them, I will be immediately arrested, and the fines are severe.

 However you see it, however it fits you, in every sense you are criminals. 


Oh gee, I feel equally sorry also for countries which makes "criminals" out of parallel importers! (guessing you're referring to that?? Or some other made up law a person would be breaking?? :-/  ) Another thing we also don't have in New Zealand. 

 

20 hours ago, UncleBobsPhotography said:

Photography is not exactly bridge building or heart surgery.

Exactly!

(not that I'm keen on the government regulating bridge builders either...)

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15 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

As a kiwi it sounds utterly crazy to me to need a "license" to be a videographer!!

But I guess there are many countries like that, however I can only imagine such red tape must ask as a massive strangle on the economy. 

Even in U.S, the free-est market of them all, unions are unbelievable powerful.

Just out of curiosity.

A) do you charge payment,+VAT? Mandatory here.

B) what is your insurance status? Insured per job, or self-insured? (To be self employed here means that you have to insure yourself for future pension/health and you have to pay every month, regardless if you had a job/income)

C) do you give an official taxable receipt for your services? Here is mandatory.

D) as a company, even if self employed, have to have a registered (not a shoe salesman!) accountant, which for me is 50€ per month+ VAT=62€

..plus all the aforementioned I described on the previous posts.

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14 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

There aren't a lot of jobs in the United States that require licensing. Most would be in the medical field. I mean shit, we elected a president that's a complete racist moron. The bar is pretty low in general here, in both good and bad ways, when it comes to job qualifications. 

Actually... there is a shockingly ( or at least it feels like that to me as a kiwi, is just madness) large number of jobs in america which require government licensing 

https://reason.com/blog/2019/04/05/joe-biden-is-right-ridiculous-occupation

 

 

 

 

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53 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

Even in U.S, the free-est market of them all, unions are unbelievable powerful.

I live somewhere even better.... New Zealand! 😉
Am not joking either, on some measures we're even more economically liberal than the USA

Although yeah, are unions can be quite powerful here in NZ and are a major player behind the scenes of our current ruling party which is in government at the moment. However... compared to say the USA (let alone say France! ha), then nah, our unions are not that strong at all. 

 

53 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

A) do you charge payment,+VAT? Mandatory here.


We don't have VAT, we've got "GST" (basically the same thing). 
But if your revenue is under $60K then it is completely voluntary to register. You've got no requirement to charge GST on your invoices! (so I don't, although probably in another couple more tax cycles I will start to do so, I'm growing close to that point)

53 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

B) what is your insurance status? Insured per job, or self-insured? (To be self employed here means that you have to insure yourself for future pension/health and you have to pay every month, regardless if you had a job/income)

Absolutely no legal requirement to have insurance of any sort. 
(although of course it is a good idea to do so if you feel you need it)

53 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

C) do you give an official taxable receipt for your services? Here is mandatory.

I send invoices out. But again, no legal requirement to do so. I could do work purely on the basis of verbal contracts if I wanted to? Would be a dumb idea though. 

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3 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

We don't have VAT, we've got "GST" (basically the same thing). 
But if your revenue is under $60K then it is completely voluntary to register. You've got no requirement to charge GST on your invoices! (so I don't, although probably in another couple more tax cycles I will start to do so, I'm growing close to that point)

NZ tax system:

Personal income

33% from $70,000

30%: $48,001 to $70,000

17.5%: $14,001 to $48,000

10.5%: $0 to $14,000

Company income 28%

"Key features of New Zealand’s tax system include:

no inheritance tax

no general capital gains tax, although it can apply to some specific investments

no local or state taxes, apart from property rates levied by local councils and authorities

no payroll tax

no social security tax

no healthcare tax, apart from a very low levy for New Zealand’s Accident Compensation injury insurance scheme (ACC)."

Haha! Almost all of those are payable here!

 

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54 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

D) as a company, even if self employed, have to have a registered (not a shoe salesman!) accountant, which for me is 50€ per month+ VAT=62€

Nope. Absolutely no legal requirement for me to have an accountant. I can do my own taxes if I wish. 

Although the courier company I do some occasional bike messenger work for on the side does require me to use a registered charted accountant (read: my mum) if I wish to access the portion of my earnings they keep in a trust account. 

However that is not at all a legal requirement, that is just an internal company's process they've got in place to help their contractors manage their cashflow better. And the current courier company I'm contracted to is the *ONLY* courier company I know of in the country which does that. And I've worked with a lot of courier companies over my lifetime. and the one I'm with now is the most premium one in NZ and they're really good in how they look out for their contracts. Of which that is one example (because is not unusual in this industry to know of couriers who have screwed themselves over because they didn't keep money aside for their taxes, thus why they implemented this trust account system which has money that can only be accessed with a letter of release from your chartered accountant).

7 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

no general capital gains tax

Unfortunately our current government is going to try and push capital gains tax. 

They stacked this "Taxing Working Group" with people who'd report back with what they want. The chairman was a former Labour Party Finance Minister, although somewhat ironically years back when he was their Finance Minster he always argued against a Capital Gains Tax.....  !! Guess you'll say anything if you're being paid $1K/day??
 

14 hours ago, Kisaha said:

To be honest I know nothing about U.S! Only from Michael Moore documentaries :)

Oh dear god....

 

14 hours ago, Kisaha said:

Things are much more regulated here and we have the strictest laws and regulations (environment, food and drinks, internet, monopolies e.t.c) but for the benefit of the citizens and our societies.

But is it for the benefit of those societies? Or is perhaps all those strict laws and regulations are related to why Greece (and some other EU countries as well) is an economic basketcase?
 

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26 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

But is it for the benefit of those societies? Or is perhaps all those strict laws and regulations are related to why Greece (and some other EU countries as well) is an economic basketcase?
 

In general, EU is at the top of democratic sensibility, environmental laws, health and safety rules, anti-trust/monopolies regulations (we have a new scandal of German car manufacturers VW/Mercedes/BMW exposed by internal affairs), safer and greener cars, e.t.c e.t.c e.t.c 

Southern and Eastern countries have a lot of catch up to do with central and North European ones, but at the same time, the North could have been a bit milder. What happened to Greece is equal to a  genocide (there are the facts all over the net) but they could have done something to protect their (my) country a lot of years before, so I mostly blame the natives!

Maybe you can't see that, because NZ is even better tham EU, but at the same time extremely small in population, but with a lot of resources and land (and sea) geographically, so a lot easier to governed right. If you compare with the majority of the world (including U.S, all of central and South America, Africa, most of Asia, if not all) EU is still a paradise!

 

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Being an amateur with access just means I sometimes get to be in front of the barrier with only a handful of other people at most (around twenty or so from memory for this Australia day concert in Canberra in 2006) instead of stuck back in this crowd or waiting at the front for many hours.   It doesn't mean I WANT to take away money from working people but If someone wants me to shoot something and it suits me, I will happily do it.

IMGP0323.jpg

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It is a question of supply and demand. In the old days when gear was expensive then relatively few people could afford the investment to get into the industry, hence low supply and high demand. Now pretty much anyone can afford the basics so there are a lot of wannabes and other folk who would have been filtered out of the industry as unprofitable in the old days. They might have had dreams but no means to execute on them, so they would have earned a living doing something else instead

The flood of marginal producers into the market as a result of readily available cheap equipment means supply exceeds demand, and the people creating the demand get to set the price, not the other way around. People still have their dreams, and now the equipment, but there are not enough clients for them to actually make a living doing it. So they will get back to doing what they should have been doing in the first place, and that is making a living doing something else.

 

11 hours ago, IronFilm said:

 

But is it for the benefit of those societies? Or is perhaps all those strict laws and regulations are related to why Greece (and some other EU countries as well) is an economic basketcase?

 

Greece is an economic basket case not because of laws or regulation, but because for a long time they have spent more than they earn (the government that is). It is not rocket science, sooner or later the chickens come home to roost and the free lunch ends.

Laws and regulation are a good thing really, as long as they are sensible and not enacted on ideological grounds. They create the groundwork for a fair and level playing field.

On 4/7/2019 at 1:40 PM, webrunner5 said:

 

Most people are WAY better off just Moonlighting and keeping their day job. Here you don't get any credits for Social Security when you are self employed for the years you are. That can bite you in the ass when you retire big time. And the trouble is it takes more luck than anything, right place right time, to even luck into a really good successful business over the long haul. I have had 3 pretty big time businesses in my life and it was an amazing amount of time and hard work, and overall I am not too sure it would not have been easier to just had worked for someone else. Let them fall over dead worrying about it lol.

 

In Canada if you are self employed you have to contribute to CPP yourself. However, since CPP contributions are made by both the employer and employee (50:50), if you are self employed you have to pay double what a normal employee would contribute, since you are both employee and employer. That can come as a surprise for a lot of people come tax time, since they don't know that and are suddenly faced for a demand for a sizeable CPP contribution when they file.

There are other things too. As a business and service provider you are required to collect the goods and services tax that would normally be charged, and if you have not been taking that into account your extra bill on filing can be very substantial. 

In short, if you are going into business for yourself you need to do the things every other business needs to do.

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On 4/7/2019 at 10:02 AM, newfoundmass said:

Yes, I pay taxes. You don't need a license in the United States to sell video production services (or shoes, for that matter!) I've never even heard of such a thing! 

What country do you live in?! 

😂

I think he is referring to a business licence. That is required in most developed countries, even the US. You can sell stuff individually without one, but if you actually set up a physical business you need a license. It is primarily for local/state/federal authorities to track your activities when it comes to regulatory practice and tax collection. If you are supplying a service and do not have a physical place of business then you generally do not need a license.

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3 hours ago, Mokara said:

It is a question of supply and demand.

Yup, and is one of the reasons it is a better idea to be a mixer or a gaffer than to be a writer or an actor. 

 

2 hours ago, Mokara said:

I think he is referring to a business licence. That is required in most developed countries, even the US. You can sell stuff individually without one, but if you actually set up a physical business you need a license. It is primarily for local/state/federal authorities to track your activities when it comes to regulatory practice and tax collection. If you are supplying a service and do not have a physical place of business then you generally do not need a license.

I could be selling shoes from my basement or garage, or I could rent a small warehouse or rent a shopfront in a mall, and yet in none of these situations I would need to get a business license in NZ. 

 

3 hours ago, Mokara said:

Greece is an economic basket case not because of laws or regulation, but because for a long time they have spent more than they earn (the government that is). It is not rocket science, sooner or later the chickens come home to roost and the free lunch ends.


Absolutely Greece was spending way more than she earned for far too long. But regulation has an impact too, if it constricts the economy that impacts how much can be earned which then lends to that earnings/spending imbalance. 

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5 hours ago, Mokara said:

I think he is referring to a business licence. That is required in most developed countries, even the US. You can sell stuff individually without one, but if you actually set up a physical business you need a license. It is primarily for local/state/federal authorities to track your activities when it comes to regulatory practice and tax collection. If you are supplying a service and do not have a physical place of business then you generally do not need a license.

There's an interesting thing here in Australia where there's a type of business called Sole Trader, which means you can trade as an individual.  You don't need to register a business name or anything.  It's kind of like how you can get a job, which is essentially a business deal, and reflects the fact that you as a person are a legal entity.

Back in the day the company that controlled the .com.au domain had a rule that you could only register a domain name that reflected your business name (to prevent domain squatting) and my dad applied for his name (in the format firstnamelastname.com.au) and was refused, but appealed on the basis that you can trade under that name, and ended up with the domain name on that basis.

Australia does require quite a lot of occupations to be registered and qualified, and I think the basic idea is that it protects consumers from buying services from people that don't know what they're doing.  I think it's probably a bit overdone now, as there are restrictions on occupations that don't seem to be so dangerous, and there are likely all sorts of certification rackets too, but in the sense that it protects consumers there is a good idea behind the principle.

There's a fundamental problem with 'freedom!' as a goal, because not all freedoms are compatible.  The right to live in safety requires that other people do not have the right to kill, rape, rob, or otherwise hurt my possessions or myself.  A society where people are freed from all rules is anarchy, not nirvana.

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