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#870015 - 03/28/03 10:43 PM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
DT and Ryan,

Surely you know the Dear Dr. Laura letter, don't you? If not, I've posted it below.

The fact is that *some* of the laws of the land from way back when have carried over into the world as we know it today. And *several* religious groups justify their beliefs based on "the bible". KSK is correct, he would be arrested if he followed the rules as written in the bible.

Yet why is it that only *some* of the "hand picked" rules and regulations can be written off by the religious right as "the law of the land at the time" while other, "hand picked" rules are as valid today as they were 3000 years ago?

I'm not siding with anyone, just pointing a few things out.

Derick

Dear Dr. Laura,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific biblical laws and how to best follow them. In particular:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can't I own Canadians?

I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some flexibility here?

Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.19:27. How should they die?

I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev. 24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14).
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.

Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.

Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#870016 - 03/28/03 11:25 PM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
gryphon Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 11678
Loc: Okemos, MI
This is what happens when people talk about things they know nothing about. I don't fault you---after all, that's never stopped me before. \:D Still, yes, we've all seen the Dr. Laura letter before. The problem is the writer doesn't understand the Bible. And although I probably agree with most, or at least a lot, of the things Laura says, she ignores the New Testament as well. You are picking and choosing parts of the Bible.
_________________________
"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
Wheels

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#870017 - 03/28/03 11:50 PM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
Derick, DT beat me to the punch, but you proved my point. Do you really think that people today should carry out state punishments? Do you honestly believe that people did back then? Not only would someone who did these things (i.e. kill their neighbor for "not respecting the sabbath) go to jail today, they would have probably been executed for it back then under the "though shalt not murder" statute. I am certainly not a Bible scholar, but this seems pretty straightforward to me.

As for the other things, I have to say that it always confounds me that people think they should put themselves under a law or cultural rule that was applicable to a different nation in a different place in a completely different time. I'm not ancient Hebrew living under judges, are you?

I don't see how the fact that our laws contain some smilarity to Old Testement law has any bearing on this discussion. I bet ours isn't the only one that bears certain similarities. The New Testement does a pretty good job of explaining why the strict law of the Old Testement didn't work and why a higher law of love superceeded it. It says to live in peace and follow the laws of whatever land you live in. Also prety straightforward to me.

I also don't see how what various groups believe or don't believe has any bearing on this discussion. There have been some very unchristian things done in the name of Christianity. But how many people honestly believe that these things were done for purely religious reasons? The Crusades? Purely an attempt to recapture the Eastern part of the Roman Empire and the wealth and power that went along with it. Religion was just a way to make it more acceptable, i.e. "we will win because we have God behind us", etc. I think they might have partially believed their own words. The religious wars in England? Purely a power struggle to determine who would rule the country: king, commoner, Rome, distant relation, etc. There is usually a deeper reason for people doing things that have religious trappings put on them.

There is no way I can do this topic justice on a forum, in just a few minutes, late on Friday after a long week. But hopefully you can get the gist and go from there. It really isn't that difficult, but you have to put off your preconcieved ideas about "church" and look at the Old Testement from a historical perspective.

Ryan

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#870018 - 03/29/03 12:33 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
Gryphon writes:
 Quote:
This is what happens when people talk about things they know nothing about. I don't fault you---after all, that's never stopped me before. Still, yes, we've all seen the Dr. Laura letter before. The problem is the writer doesn't understand the Bible. And although I probably agree with most, or at least a lot, of the things Laura says, she ignores the New Testament as well. You are picking and choosing parts of the Bible.
Educate us, please. I mean that; I come from a religious upbringing yet that letter makes perfect sense to me vis-a-vis the judgementalism coming from the fundamentalist right. Show us the error of our ways. How is it the writer of that letter doesn't understand the Bible? Tell us. And please tell us which parts of the bible we are leaving out.

Isn't it a fact that when fundamentalists persecute homosexuals, they are "picking" and "choosing" from the bible?
_________________________
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

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#870019 - 03/29/03 12:39 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
gryphon Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/09/01
Posts: 11678
Loc: Okemos, MI
 Quote:
And please tell us which parts of the bible we are leaving out.
The New Testament. We do not live under "the law" of the Old Testament. Well, the Jews try to.
_________________________
"If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to."
MSU - the university of Michigan!
Wheels

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#870020 - 03/29/03 12:45 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
Bernard Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/06/01
Posts: 3857
Loc: North Groton, NH
Sorry gryphon, I was editing my post as you were answering it! The wonders of modern technology.

So, therefore, we should do as Christ would have done and we should be tolerant, forgiving, and loving.

What is the adgenda of many on the fundamentalist right? Two things come to mind immediately: persecution of homosexuals and the death penalty.
_________________________
"Hunger for growth will come to you in the form of a problem." -- unknown

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#870021 - 03/29/03 01:08 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
Peter_dup2 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/22/03
Posts: 269
 Quote:
Originally posted by Larry:
 Quote:
Originally posted by TomK:
Larry,

No one would ever accuse you of being a "doctor in economy" after reading you post--great job.[/b]
Thank you Tom.[/b]
If this relationship gets too intimate I think you two should go somewhere else... this is a family forum.
_________________________
"When you want something so badly that you're willing to do ANYTHING to get it odds are you wont get it." -Peter

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#870022 - 03/29/03 04:57 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
benedict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 2519
Loc: European Union
ksk,
I don't get it. If I lived by the bible and followed some of the more barbaric advices given in the old testament, I would be arrested, and in the US I could probably be executed as well. You are raging against the fundamental muslims but seem to be fundamental christians yourself. Ok, I admit that there are considerably fewer terrorist among the cristians but the crusades in gods name wasn't exactly a walk in the park. [/b]

I propose you start a thread on all these barbaric advices.
If it is written and out in the open, Jolly and Larry will have to really explain why everything in the Bible is necessarily true and good.

Some people do not seem to understand that one has to decide for one self and not just take one's heritage (whatever love one may feel from the ones who handed that heritage over) without choosing what one wants to live with.

So, I propose we go to our Bibles and just quote whatever it is that makes Saddam look like a very calm and respectful guy.

\:\)
_________________________
Benedict

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#870023 - 03/29/03 05:10 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
benedict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 2519
Loc: European Union
Nina
Nice post. I will refrain from adding my 2c here, because it's simply too frustrating to "discuss" these things over the internet.[/b]

Thank you Nina.

I find it very heavy too.

Maybe exchanging is absolutely useless.

Those who have an opinion/attitude/political-religious genetic code cannot change anything at all and will feel threatened by different ideas like they were bullets.

I think I am slowly going toward political/religious relativism.

It is such a useless battle to try and turn a cowboy into an indian or the other way around.

As far as universal peace and friendship is concerned, I think this Coffee Room gives us a lesson. It will never happen.

There always have been and always will be Jollies and Larries and TomKs.
And there always have been Lazy pianists and ksks.

The only thing that is new and shining around is you Nina and me Benedict.

Ah Ah ! \:\)
_________________________
Benedict

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#870024 - 03/29/03 05:23 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
.rvaga* Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 2046
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Larry,

Outstanding post, just read it tonight. Obviously you have thought long and hard over these differences to substantiate your perspective. I am one that for the most part very much agrees with your analysis.

Has anyone here changed their liberal/conservative stance over the years (decades)? Or, is the die cast at a young age, and if so, how?

hmmmm. My parents were conservative, and I guess I am too in many (but not all) of my perspectives. But, my sister is a liberal, and has a de facto union card (masters in psychology). We see eye-to-eye on. . . nothing.


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#870025 - 03/29/03 05:45 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
David_J Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/02
Posts: 175
Loc: Australia
Benedict:
Life in Australia is the same: nothing happening.
Howard claims terrorist threat is dangerous. Shocked and awed.

My long post summed up:

:Many things which people say are leftist views or rights views or not so, and are irrelevant:
e.g. Dictatorship vs freedom has nothing to do with whether you're left or right.

:People left or right have the same principles, just different ways of achieveing them.

:Basing intellectualism on left/right is incorrect

:So many different types of left/right, and individuality: 2 far rights can be completely and utterly different.

:Viewpoints are a blend of both left and right.

:Impossible to define Liberal and Conservative completely.

Therefore: All left right blab on this board is moot because principles do not need to be discussed because pretty much all people share the same.

Rather real solutions to further these principles are the only thing worth discussing.

(very summarised)

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#870026 - 03/29/03 06:02 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
David_J Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/02
Posts: 175
Loc: Australia
There are a couple of things wrong with what you've said. First, anyone earning a high income (let's do away with the 10b figure and substitute 100K for the sake of discussion) *is* paying a higher tax rate than someone earning minimum wage.
[/b]
The issue wasn't whether or not they do, the issue is whether or not it is fair.

You have to admit Larry, someone earning something really high (eg. 200k +) should pay a higher rate than someone earning 60k with a family (kids)with a mortgage to pay off.

Things like higher tax rates and family assistance are fair. If you're going to chop, chop from the dole bludgers. Give 'em food coupons \:\)

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#870027 - 03/29/03 10:05 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14051
Loc: Louisiana
DavidJ opined:
 Quote:
You have to admit Larry, someone earning something really high (eg. 200k +) should pay a higher rate than someone earning 60k with a family (kids)with a mortgage to pay off.
You really don't have clue, do you?

I would be tickled to death to see a "flat tax", or perhaps a national sales tax, in lieu of the American "progressive" tax system.

By having an ever upward spiral of tax percentages, as income grows, you are accomplishing two things:

1. You are penalizing anybody who seeks to climb the economic ladder. The more I make, the more in percentage terms you want to take a way from me.

2. You are discouraging growth. People will spend the extra money. Most folks with higher incomes, have higher bills. It seems to be an axiom that one does not live over one's means, but one lives up to every penny of them.

An example: Back during the Carter administration, someone in the peanut gallery had the bright idea to increase the luxury tax on yachts. The rich had plenty money, they were going to buy yachts anyway, and they could well afford it.

What actually happened? Well, the American yacht industry was almost destroyed. Thousands of Joe Average workers were without jobs building boats. Banks got caught with all the bad loans, which in turn helped to dry up available capital. Oh, and the rich? They bought their yachts in other countries, they bought used, or they bought nothing at all.

Repeat after me:[/b] Punitive tax systems do not work, and are good for no one!
_________________________
www.coffee-room.com

Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

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#870028 - 03/29/03 10:33 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
Mike Morone Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/02
Posts: 46
Loc: Indiana
 Quote:
Originally posted by David_J:

[/b]
You have to admit Larry, someone earning something really high (eg. 200k +) should pay a higher rate than someone earning 60k...[/b]
Wrong, David. I trust you're far enough along in your education to realize that at identical tax rates the person earning $200K will pay more than 3 times the taxes as someone earning $60K. Not good enough for you?

Even more fair than a flat-rate tax would be the simple requirement that every family pay, say, precisely $25,000 per year, regardless of income. Those who couldn't afford it would be required to take out a government loan, with payment due upon receipt of inheritance from the filthy rich uncle who lucked out in life.

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#870029 - 03/29/03 10:56 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
Lazy Pianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 973
 Quote:
Originally posted by Jolly:
By having an ever upward spiral of tax percentages, as income grows, you are accomplishing two things:

1. You are penalizing anybody who seeks to climb the economic ladder. The more I make, the more in percentage terms you want to take a way from me.

2. You are discouraging growth. People will spend the extra money. Most folks with higher incomes, have higher bills. It seems to be an axiom that one does not live over one's means, but one lives up to every penny of them.

[/b]
Recent American experience does not seem to bear this out.

If people felt penalized, they would not continue to climb the economic ladder. But Americans do continue to climb it -- working hard. starting businesses, seeking promotions. If the tax system we have penalized people so badly, this would not be occuring.

George Bush (the first) was attacked for raising taxes and a couple of years later, Clinton did the same thing and was equally attacked. This led to the longest period of economic growth in American history. Clearly, economic growth was not stopped by the tax increase.

(BTW, I agree with Jolly that our tax system needs to be scrapped, but not because of its economic effects -- it seems to work just fine economically -- but because of the way it is administered and enforced attacks our political values and rights).
_________________________
WMD = W[/b]ords of M[/b]ass D[/b]istortion
----------------------
Seek those who seek the truth.
Avoid those who have found it.

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#870030 - 03/29/03 11:00 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
Gardener Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/26/02
Posts: 290
Loc: New Jersey
 Quote:
Originally posted by David_J:
someone earning something really high (eg. 200k +) should pay a higher rate than someone earning 60k with a family (kids)with a mortgage to pay off.

Things like higher tax rates and family assistance are fair.[/b]
Hard work, persistence and drive to acheive should have its reward. This is a principle every parent tries to impart on their child through their developing years. Successful completion of an objective is the highest motivator for our efforts, second only to actions spent to fulfill responcibility. One of the rewards of this hard work, spelling success, is income compensation.

What you propose in the above statement is an abomination of the very foundation of the fundemental principles of a human drive. Your statement suggests PUNISHMENT of hard work, persistence and drive. Punishment is what is employed to decrease the frequency of a given behavior. My opinion is those who share your sentiment have based their opinion purely out of envy and/or likely incompetence with personal goals.

Flat tax is currently the leading solution to equitible sharing of a Nations burdens and places no postiion of our governments involving themselves in either rewarding or punishing our choices, thereby having no agenda in social engeneering....... as it should be.
_________________________
Gardener--
Two roads diverged in the woods and I ... I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.(R. Frost)

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#870031 - 03/29/03 02:15 PM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Ryan & DT,

Your comments, along with Bernards, sum up my problem with the religious right. Dr. Laura, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, etc... do, of course, preach the New Testament, but they also often call-up, hand-picked, bits and pieces, of the Old Testament to back up their philosophy.

They can't have it both ways. If the religious right wants to use hand-picked phrases from the
old testament, it's certainly fair game for anyone else to point out the absurdity of it via other, hand-picked, old testament phrases and toss it back in their faces. (i.e. Dear Dr. Laura letter)

Laura, Patrick and Jerry pay lip-service to the will of Jesus by seemingly preaching love, tolerance and forgiveness. But the second they feel the need to preach hate and intolerance, they whip the old testament out of their back pocket, faster than I can spit, and recite it chapter and verse.

They are hypocrites. And it irks me to no end to watch tele-evangelist ask for "love donations" to support their "good" works with an
art-carved, gold-leaf, Boesie Imperial in the background.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#870032 - 03/29/03 02:35 PM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
Derick Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/03/02
Posts: 3290
Loc: New York
Gardener,

I agree with part of what you said:

 Quote:
Hard work, persistence and drive to acheive should have its reward. This is a principle every parent tries to impart on their child through their developing years. Successful completion of an objective is the highest motivator for our efforts, second only to actions spent to fulfill responcibility. One of the rewards of this hard work, spelling success, is income compensation.[/b]
But I am in complete agreement with David_J and disagree with your statement:

 Quote:
What you propose in the above statement is an abomination of the very foundation of the fundemental principles of a human drive. Your statement suggests PUNISHMENT of hard work, persistence and drive. Punishment is what is employed to decrease the frequency of a given behavior. My opinion is those who share your sentiment have based their opinion purely out of envy and/or likely incompetence with personal goals. [/b]
Let's change the numbers, albiet a bit extreme, and use the flat-tax structure you propose of 10%. Family A makes $10,000/year, family B makes $100,000/year. With a 10% flat-tax, family A would be left with $9000 and family B with $90,000. Isn't $1000 worth a hell of a lot more to the first family, than $10,000 is to the second?

Another fact you are overlooking is that hardwork does not necessarily guarantee a comfortable income. Some of the poorest people I know work the hardest. Some of the most wealthy also work just as hard. But by and large, there are more wealthy people who take it a hell of a lot easier than poor people. The wealthy have gobs of vacation time, and fly all over the world enjoying it. The poor waitress, attending night school,with 3 kids whose husband just left her is lucky to get two weeks off and won't have the time, or the money, to do anything. Is that because she is lazy and isn't working hard? Or is it because she got a bad break in life?

On the other-hand, when the President calls for tax-cuts it is absolutely absurd for anyone to think that those who pay more in taxes should get less back. Such ideas DO punish the wealthy, but a graduated tax structure is not a punishment.

I should also point out that the wealthy often have many more tax write-offs than do the poor. Mortgage interest on a house, for example. The bigger the mortgage, the bigger the write-off. Yes there is a graduated tax structure in place, but it really isn't as lop-sided as one might believe.

Derick
_________________________
Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

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#870033 - 03/29/03 03:21 PM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
 Quote:
George Bush (the first) was attacked for raising taxes and a couple of years later, Clinton did the same thing and was equally attacked. This led to the longest period of economic growth in American history. Clearly, economic growth was not stopped by the tax increase.
Anyone who honestly believes that tax increases create economic growth has no understanding of economics. The Bush tax increase was followed by a recession that was only beginning to end when Clinton took office. His tax increase was followed by two years of stagnant or lethargic growth and it wasn't until the Republicans took control of Congress, reformed welfare, cut spending and cut the capital gains rate (among other things) that the economy began to take off. However, I have repeated this over and over and so have many others and still the revisionists repeat this nponsense as though it was established fact.
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#870034 - 03/29/03 03:33 PM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
Lazy Pianist Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 973
 Quote:
Originally posted by JBryan:
Anyone who honestly believes that tax increases create economic growth has no understanding of economics. The Bush tax increase was followed by a recession that was only beginning to end when Clinton took office. His tax increase was followed by two years of stagnant or lethargic growth and it wasn't until the Republicans took control of Congress, reformed welfare, cut spending and cut the capital gains rate (among other things) that the economy began to take off. However, I have repeated this over and over and so have many others and still the revisionists repeat this nponsense as though it was established fact.[/b]
There is a big difference between saying that a tax increase causes economic growth and saying it does not hinder it.

What actually happened in the 1990's was that the economy began to take off as the Federal deficit was reduced and became very strong once it was eliminated. This freed up capital for the private sector to use and the paying off of the debt freed up even more.

Yes, the boom ended and the economy adjusted, as it always does. But the real catalyst for the economic strength in the 1990's was the infusion of capital into the private market because it was not being used by the Federal government.

Of course, now because of tax cuts it appears we will have a $400B deficit this year. Additional tax cuts and this war will add to that. It will be interesting to see how long it now takes the economy to return to the state it was in the 1990's with the Federal government again using the capital markets as a check guarantee card.
_________________________
WMD = W[/b]ords of M[/b]ass D[/b]istortion
----------------------
Seek those who seek the truth.
Avoid those who have found it.

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#870035 - 03/29/03 03:50 PM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
Pardon my misunderstanding but this:

 Quote:
George Bush (the first) was attacked for raising taxes and a couple of years later, Clinton did the same thing and was equally attacked. This led to the longest period of economic growth in American history.
is difficult to construe as anything other than a statement that tax increases caused economic growth.

I would not quarrel much with the rest of what you said except to say that deficits by themselves do not hinder economic growth. Another important part of the picture is total government spending as a percentage of GDP. You can have zero deficits and still have a stagnant economy since, as you said, the government is draining away too much of the available capital. If we are now running high deficits then maybe we need to hold down domestic spending which has been ballooning in recent years (no kudos to the Republican Congress on that I might add).
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#870036 - 03/30/03 12:23 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
Steve Miller Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 3290
Loc: Yorba Linda, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by lb:
I think that most individuals choose, but not necessarily believe in, principals from each side. What makes them comfortable and fits their agenda are the principles they choose. Education and morality has nothing to do with it.[/b]
I have been mulling this one over for days.

Are you proposing that the common man makes political decisions solely on the basis of personal gain without regard for consequence to others? Without regard for the lessons of the past? It seems a harsh indictment, if this is indeed your position.

Or rather is it your position that the educational system has deteriorated such that the common man is no longer capable of rational thought? That the religious institutions of our day no longer present their parishioners with guidance adequate to make moral decisions? Or sufficient reason to make decisions on that basis?

Or have I misread the entire thing?
_________________________
Defender of the Landfill Piano

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#870037 - 03/30/03 01:13 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
David Burton Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1757
Loc: Coxsackie, New York
 Quote:
Originally posted by TomK:
 Quote:
"Truth" or "facts" don't simply exist in the world as givens.
[/b]
Yes they do.[/b]
The essential difference.

FACT: The US was attacked on Sept 11, 2001 by a concerted terrorist effort that required years to plan and execute, was determined to kill people and bring down our society and way of life.

FACT: This terrorist menace was financed and aided by a number of national governments including that of Saddam Hussein.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,82542,00.html

FACT: We do not live in a world where everyone can just get along because we have different opinions of what is right and wrong.

[Before the white man arrived on the American Great Plains, the Cheyenne and Arapaho people fought wars against the Ute and their relatives over the issue of eating dogs. The Cheyenne and Arapaho considered this practice worth killing for.]

FACT: Wars are staged and fought to prove that the loserís view of the world was mistaken.

FACT: Wars will no longer be necessary when all regard certain opinions as foolish, stupid or dangerous.
_________________________
David Burton's Blog
http://dpbmss041010.blogspot.com/

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#870038 - 03/30/03 03:57 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
David_J Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/02
Posts: 175
Loc: Australia
That's the problem with some of you. You disagree with a point and make it clear you can't accept any chance you'd be wrong.

I would be tickled to death to see a "flat tax", or perhaps a national sales tax, in lieu of the American "progressive" tax system.[/b]

You're point?

Repeat after me: Punitive tax systems do not work, and are good for no one! [/b]

We'll have a look at that.

1. You are penalizing anybody who seeks to climb the economic ladder. The more I make, the more in percentage terms you want to take a way from me.[/b]

Oh come on! My example was 200k...
Once you get to that level of pay you're not going to go up in little increments... chances are you're some managing director who gets 20% pay rises or so. You'll still work hard. (See enterprise environment)

I'm not suggesting that the difference between a 61-80k and 81k-100k bracket should be overwhelming.

When you get to 200k, losing a few of those extra dollars aren't going to hurt you as much as if you were lower down the scale.

You are discouraging growth. People will spend the extra money. Most folks with higher incomes, have higher bills. It seems to be an axiom that one does not live over one's means, but one lives up to every penny of them. [/b]

You'll probably not believe me since I can't remember which issue of BRW this came out of. But anyhow:

-Countries with a higher % of wealth in middle class have better growth (in OECD).
-Consumer confidence falls less during economic downturn in countries with less concentrated wealth (the rich are not going to be as liberal with their money but everyone has to buy food).

Wrong, David. I trust you're far enough along in your education to realize that at identical tax rates the person earning $200K will pay more than 3 times the taxes as someone earning $60K. Not good enough for you?[/b]

Firstly: If you assume everyone you don't agree with has a grade 3 education the U.S.A. is some uneducated place. (Unless interest rates are learnt in university? :p )

Anyhow: Let's suppose we set the rate at a flat 40%.

Person A drops to 120k
Person B drops to 36k

You might argue, well person a is paying 56k more tax!!!!

But wouldn't you agree that the difference between 10k and 15k is much larger than 20k and 30k in real living terms? The difference between 40k and 30k is much larger than 80k and 60k?

Sure it's 4 times the difference of money, but hey... any difference (practically) between 500 million and 1 trillion?

Now you'll argue that person A worked harder to get more money, went to some private school and never used the public health system. But I'll counter that with:
-Everybody should be entitled to the same set of basic living conditions (more income required to meet that when running a family with children)
-Person A does not work harder just because he earns more (I used to do odd jobs in IT for around $30 an hour, a lot more than some cleaner working his bum off and getting $10- I believe I did a lot less work).
-Person A would've been able to earn that because of the taxes paid by previous generations to pay for his education, safety in the country, etc.
(Would he have the same chances if his parents didn't have to pay tax, but lived in Bangladesh? Only if he was at the pinnacle).

I do believe that Person A should pay a higher rate (reasonably, otherwise that becomes communism).

Hard work, persistence and drive to acheive should have its reward.[/b]

Absolutely, but see above.

Anyone who honestly believes that tax increases create economic growth has no understanding of economics.[/b]

Yup. Don't take me wrong, this is correct. But tax cuts to the middle class are going to be better (socially, and economically) than tax cuts to the top.

If you want some sort of idea what tax system I'd think is appropriate (this isn't thought out [prolly cause a budget collapse! :p ], but just to show I'm no communist)
Tiered System
0-20k no tax
20-50k 30%
51-150k 40%
150+ 50%

E.g. Earn 60k, 10k is taxed at 40%, 30k taxed at 30%, 20k not taxed.

Of course, the very rich all have their ways of scamming things. \:\/ (Research done in BRW showed the average CEO payed a lower tax rate than the average person earning 100k Damn their competent accoutants! )

And if you're interested, here are Australia's tax scales (1998, with the new tax system. I haven't checked if they've changed, and these are purely from my memory so don't kill me if I'm wrong)
0-6k no tax
6-20k 17%
20-50k 30%
50-60k 40%
60k+ 47%
But then our welfare system is shocking. If you're a lazy bum with half a brain you can rort the system and become a dole bludger, getting about as much as minimum award wage. Enter food coupons \:D

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#870039 - 03/30/03 07:03 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
benedict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 2519
Loc: European Union
Steve Miller
That the religious institutions of our day no longer present their parishioners with guidance adequate to make moral decisions? Or sufficient reason to make decisions on that basis?[/b]

From what I have read most religious institutions in the world (including the USA, including GWB's own church) are strongly opposed to this war and 75% of the US citizens support it.
_________________________
Benedict

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#870040 - 03/30/03 07:16 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
JBryan Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/19/02
Posts: 9798
Loc: Oklahoma City
 Quote:
Originally posted by David_J:

If you want some sort of idea what tax system I'd think is appropriate (this isn't thought out [prolly cause a budget collapse! :p ], but just to show I'm no communist)
Tiered System
0-20k no tax
20-50k 30%
51-150k 40%
150+ 50%

E.g. Earn 60k, 10k is taxed at 40%, 30k taxed at 30%, 20k not taxed.
[/b]
Whew! Am I ever glad that this guy does not set our tax rates!
_________________________
Better to light one small candle than to curse the %&#$@#! darkness.

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#870041 - 03/30/03 10:14 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14051
Loc: Louisiana
An open note to Peter,

Dear sir,

Would you please explain to me, and many of the other non-economic professionals, your take on progressive tax structures, and their economic effects upon the taxpayers of a country that uses such a system, such as the U.S.?
_________________________
www.coffee-room.com

Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

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#870042 - 03/30/03 10:23 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
benedict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 2519
Loc: European Union
The 8 years of prosperity under Bill Clinton's presidency had nothing to do with taxes IMO, but with a general confident approach to life.

How long is it going to take you to understand this ?

The essence of capitalism is confidence, not self-rightneousness and anger.

Confidence is a spiritual/managerial quality.

Bringing democracy to the Middle East though is a very confident project.

There is so much self-rightneousness and anger though.

Well, the main thing is to succeed and learn to love and respect thy neighbour.

I'm joking.

First, let's sent Saddam to The Hague.

So much for the parking lot theory addicts.
\:D

I would suggest putting him in the same cell as Milosevic.

Larry, wouldn't that be very close to your torture pole ?
\:D

I bet both of them would suffer more.

Two stalinian dictators playing Mine is bigger than yours for decades.

I can't wait.

Go troops Rahhhhhhh! Rahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
_________________________
Benedict

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#870043 - 03/30/03 10:55 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
Gardener Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/26/02
Posts: 290
Loc: New Jersey
 Quote:
Originally posted by Derick:
Let's change the numbers, albiet a bit extreme, and use the flat-tax structure you propose of 10%. Family A makes $10,000/year, family B makes $100,000/year. With a 10% flat-tax, family A would be left with $9000 and family B with $90,000. Isn't $1000 worth a hell of a lot more to the first family, than $10,000 is to the second?

[/b]
Taking your examples into consideration a few things strike me. Family B pays 10 TIMES[/b] the tax of family A. This is on a flat tax scale. What you propose is an even greater difference. Also, family A's income is an amount of one income @ minimum wage w/o overtime, or apparently ambition. This individual lacks the additional aspect of 'drive' that I spoke of. Laziness should not be rewarded as is currently the tax system (ex. earned income credit--where more tax then was paid in is given to low income bracket such as you describe with family A. That is a REWARD!! Rewards are MOTIVATORS of behavior.) I feel concerned for family A but I do not feel bad for them as they are not exercising good judgement or basic human survival skills.

When we allow our government to get involved in sliding tax scales we are in essence giving them the power to motivate our earning/spending habits, thereby 'govern' by social engineering. It is not expected that they should be concerned in playing out scenarios of different outcomes for family A or family B. They can't govern effeciently if they are exercising obiously opinionated formulas of family living (that will change person to person when public office positions change) when deciding something as important as tax contribution. Flat tax takes out governmental opinion and bias/influence.

 Quote:
originally posted by David_J:
And if you're interested, here are Australia's tax scales (1998, with the new tax system. I haven't checked if they've changed, and these are purely from my memory so don't kill me if I'm wrong)
0-6k no tax
6-20k 17%
20-50k 30%
50-60k 40%
60k+ 47%
[/b]
This backs up what I'm talking about. Lower tax brackets actually have more take home pay then some in the higher tax bracket. In your scenario I wouldn't WANT a raise! So I'd better start slacking off on the job!
_________________________
Gardener--
Two roads diverged in the woods and I ... I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.(R. Frost)

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#870044 - 03/30/03 11:57 AM Re: Jolly, Jbryan, and Larry
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana
Steve

You keep implying that education will allow a man to make moral decisions. Education only makes a person more knowledgeable in their area of study, it has nothing to do with moral decisions, and it definitely does not give them common sense.

Education broadens a person's knowledge of earthly things. Morality separates man from animals.

My position? Let's combine your two scenarios.

The common man, because of a deteriorating social system makes decisions, both political and moral, solely on the basis of personal physical comfort without regard for consequences to others. The social system not the education system has deteriorated such that the common man is no longer capable of rational thought. The religious institutions today for the most part no longer present their parishioners with guidance adequate to make moral decisions.

The bible (moral law) and civil law are two separate entities. Civil law governs you body and your actions; moral law governs your soul and you thoughts.

The bible recognizes and acknowledges civil law and authorities. In some cases moral law and civil law are compatible and in some they are in conflict. The bible though expects man to obey all civil laws even if the civil laws are in conflict with moral law. The trend I see is that the conflicts between civil law and moral law are becoming more numerous, and most religious institutions are bowing to the comfort demands of their parishioners and relaxing their positions on conflicting laws in favor of the civil law. The bible hasn't changed its position though.

The bible recognizes and acknowledges the need for civil authorities to make laws to maintain civil authority and to punish criminals for violating these laws even to the point of capitol punishment. It does not authorize or condone abortion in any form. A lot of religious institutions are relaxing their stand on this matter. What once was a moral law and a civil law that were compatible is now a law in conflict. Common man for his comfort and convenience has embraced this civil law so strong that we now are aborting over 5000 innocent babies every day.

The common man is not capable of having rational thoughts. The, in your words educated, people that are protesting capitol punishment which is acknowledged by the bible are the same ones that are proponents of abortion, which is prohibited by the bible. Are these rational thinking moral people?

This same thing can be applied to drugs, homosexuality, material possessions, idolitry, etc.

Because something is legal by civil law does not mean it is by moral law. Civil law may save your body, but moral law can save your soul.

lb

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