Another rich guy’s case for higher taxes

Source: A rich guy’s case for higher taxes.

To give you a little background on the rich guy this article talks about here is a quote introducing piece.

Like Warren Buffett, David Levine — retired executive, student of the federal tax code and very rich man — is begging the government to raise his taxes. Here, he explains why.

David Levine spent his life in the corporate world studying the federal tax code. If anyone knows about its effect on the prosperity of the country it is probably him. He retired in his forties and flatly states he might have worked longer and produced more if he had been taxed more.  Here is one of the most telling quotes from the article.

It would be one thing, Levine says, if the economy had performed so much better after taxes on the rich were cut. But it didn’t. Some of the fastest economic growth of the post-war period came in the 1950s, when the top tax rate was above 80 percent. The slowest growth came in the 2000s, when the top tax rate was 35 percent. So the fastest income growth for the top 1 percent has come under the low-tax regimes, while the fastest income growth for the median American came when taxes on the richest Americans rose.

My Republican friends love to constantly state that if we dare to raise rates on the rich we will shut down our economy. One of the experts in this field says that in not true and history proves him out.

The Faith of our Founding Fathers… continued

This is a continuation of a post I did in March 2009 on my blog at

This is a continuation of the last post where I covered George Washington’s religious beliefs. I will conclude this topic by talking about Thomas Jefferson.

 Thomas Jefferson — Jefferson was undoubtedly the strongest advocate for religious freedom of the Founding Fathers. This was quite evident when he composed the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom in 1777. Jefferson was definitely raised in a Christian household. He seemed to have also been brought up in the rituals and customs of the Anglican Church as it existed in colonial Virginia which was much less a high church institution than its England counterpart. He later took up the Deist mantle as was the dominant theology among intellectuals in the English speaking world at the time. Jefferson’s revolving attitudes toward religion was one of the driving forces behind his staunch beliefs in freedom of religion.

In his later years, that is after his presidency, he spent quite some time thinking about his faith. During that time he went back to his Christian roots but rejected the Trinitarian concept of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost saying it was Platonic mysticism. From his many letters to John Adams it is evident that he took to heart the “doctrine that flowed from the lips of Jesus himself” and wrote extensively about the “Morals of Jesus”. He wrote two books during this period about his faith. The Philosophy of Jesus and The Life and Morals of Jesus. Many Christians today don’t know that he even wrote his own version of the New Testament. In that work he systematically eliminated all references to miracles and the supernatural saying they were unnecessarily added to the actual accounts. He believed that these and other distortions, took the simple message of Jesus and unnecessarily complicated it. He believed this fault was not due to the simple fisherman who were for the most part his apostles. He instead blamed the sophisticated, well educated including and most obviously Saul of Tarsus (St. Paul). He obviously did not include any of St. Paul’s writings in his version of the New Testament.

So it is true to say that the person who wrote our Declaration of Independence began and ended his life as a Christian. But, he was very much unlike any Christians we run across today.
Another very interesting person also covered in the book was Benjamin Franklin. He also had a very interesting concept of religion. I will leave it to those more curious to get the book and read about him. I will conclude here by paraphrasing what President Obama has been saying lately. We in the United States are not unique because we are a Christian nation but instead we are unique because of our diversity of religious views and tolerance. The diversity of our founding fathers beliefs were pretty much as we are as a country today.

A Mind Is a Terrible Thing To Waste…..

When a fellow don’t have much mind it don’t take him long to make it up. – November 3, 1935  Will Rogers

As Will mentions here it doesn’t seem like many today have much mind and what they have is most often closed. They are fixated on one tunnel vision world view and absolutely nothing will shake them from that view. They have made up their minds long ago that their view of the world is the only valid one. It is almost like that guy about one hundred years ago that tried to shut down the U.S. patent office because he was totally convinced that everything had already been discovered. I’m sure to that poor stifled soul the pace of invention was dizzying and therefore would soon come to an end. He couldn’t imagine it unfolding any other way! He was very closed minded about that.

Closed minds has been a top of conversation for years. One thing about closed minds is that they always come with in-born prejudgment that are almost impossible to break. Here are some famous quotes about that

  • A closed mind is a dying mind.   — Edna Ferber
  • Small is the number of people who see with their eyes and think with their minds.  ~Albert Einstein
  • Prejudice is the child of ignorance.  ~William Hazlitt
  • If only closed minds came with closed mouths.  ~unknown
  • What is tolerance?  It is the consequence of humanity.  We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other’s folly – that is the first law of nature.  ~Voltaire
  • Judge me all you want, just keep the verdict to yourself.  ~From a Winston advertisement
  • Morality is simply the attitude we adopt towards people whom we personally dislike.  ~Oscar Wilde

Dealing with people who have long ago made up their minds about almost everything is like beating your head against a wall. What does it take to reach people like that? Or is it even possible? Maybe the best thing to do is simply walk away. But then again maybe that is just the easiest thing to do…..
But then again what do I know…..

And The Ranting Goes On….

Source: NYT: NRA gathers amid storm over gun laws – US news – The New York Times –

Simply put gang, when guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns. You will NEVER take mine. I am NOT the enemy. I stand WITH the police and have NEVER discharged my weapons. BUT if someone comes to harm me, wife or my doggie, that is a different story. The second amendment exists for a very specific reason. The Obammy admin is not only trying to destroy the second amendment but the US Constitution in total. He is a dangerous Marxist. Read your history of his family gang. Sorry libs but those are the facts.

The above quote is not actually from the cited article but is instead one of the many comments that followed it. Yes, I actually did go below the bottom of the article to look at the comments. I was hoping to see maybe a few that were meant to generate some meaningful dialog. Of course my hope was dashed at usual.

Here is a typical radical right commenter who manages to get in a racial slur of our president and of course says that he is intent of bringing down the constitution.  He says these are the facts but in reality they are facts only in the minds of the totally demented (ha).

Moving on to the general topic of the source article the NRA, like a typical radical right organization, is using fear as their primary tool in their battle against anyone who disagrees with them.   I recently saw an interview of a British correspondent who attended the NRA convention where Mr. Romney spoke. He, like most British, is totally dumbfounded by the fixation with guns in this country. Britain has one of the lowest murder rates of any nation and of course also has the lowest private gun ownership so I can understand his confusion with this fixation.

But the most interesting thing of this interview was his statement that almost every one of the attendees at the convention were “old white men”. He saw almost no people of color among the crowd. Correspondingly he speculated that maybe these folks were not so much into guns as they were actually just afraid of the coming demographic make-up of the country.  It will soon be that the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant will be a minority in this country and that terribly troubles many of these folks. They are used to having almost absolute power and losing it strikes terror in their hearts. They are lashing out against this inevitability. I can certainly see this interviewees’ view as a possibility.

Of course, most NRA members are also radical right Republicans who I imagine also see their party and its beliefs under attack. At a most basic level I can understand their fear of the future. They feel threatened and rightly or wrongly will vehemently strike out at those who they see as the enemy and they see enemies all around them. These types of battles remind me of the racist southern views I saw during the civil rights era of the 1960’s  The typical white southerner saw his world being turned upside down and like today did almost anything to prevent it.  The hatred shown in the quoted area above is somewhat typical of many and show this to be somewhat true.