In a letter to Jean-Baptiste Leroy, Benjamin Franklin famously wrote “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” While Ben’s resume is impressive, he did a poor job of anticipating Amazon. The company paid zero in corporate taxes last year, and they even came out ahead thanks to rebates that can be used in the future. Of course, Amazon is not alone. “For decades, profitable companies have been able to avoid corporate taxes. But the list of those paying zero roughly doubled last year as a result of provisions in President Trump’s 2017 tax bill that expanded corporate tax breaks and reduced the tax rate on corporate income.” From the NYT: Profitable Giants Like Amazon Pay $0 in Corporate Taxes. Some Voters Are Sick of It. (To add insult to injury, Benjamin Franklin didn’t even get free two-day delivery on his letter to Leroy…)

+ “At the core of these hypothetical arguments is the large question of not only how to regulate Facebook but of how to conceptualize an entity that operates largely without meaningful competitors and collects troves of information on more than two billion human beings.” Charlie Warzel in the NYT: If a $5 Billion Fine Is Chump Change, How Do You Punish Facebook? (Side question: If Facebook is getting fined billions of dollars for abusing our privacy, shouldn’t we be the ones getting the money?)