Moderator: Nicole Marie
"PRINCETON, NJ -- Overwhelmingly, Americans view international terrorism and the possible spread of weapons of mass destruction as the two most critical threats facing this country, according to a recent Gallup survey. Further down the list of threats to the country is the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, followed by Islamic fundamentalism, possibly high levels of immigration, the conflict between North and South Korea, and economic competition from low-wage countries. Conflicts in Asia, as well as the military power of China and Russia, are viewed with less concern.
The poll, conducted Feb. 9-12, asked respondents to evaluate a list of possible threats to the vital interests of the United States over the next 10 years. Two-thirds or more of the respondents identified each threat as either "critical" or "important but not critical." Relatively few respondents said the threats were not important at all.
The results show 82% of Americans citing international terrorism as a critical threat, compared with 75% who make the same judgment about the spread of weapons of mass destruction to unfriendly powers.
Critical Threats Compared by Party Affiliation(differences of 10 points or more between Republicans and Democrats)
Reps Indies Dems % % %
International terrorism 92 79 77
The spread of weapons
of mass destruction
to unfriendly powers 83 74 69
Islamic fundamentalism 61 51 42
The conflict between
North Korea and
South Korea 58 45 42
from low-wage countries 40 48 50
Republicans are much more likely to cite international terrorism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, Islamic fundamentalism, and the conflict on the Korean peninsula as "critical" threats than are Democrats -- with independents falling into the middle. Democrats are more likely to cite economic competition from low-wage countries than are Republicans."
”At the core of this conflict is a fundamental struggle of ideas. Of democracy and tolerance against those who would use any means and attack any target to impose their narrow views.
The War on Terror is not a clash of civilizations. It is a clash of civilization against chaos; of the best hopes of humanity against dogmatic fears of progress and the future.”
"''I'm pretty tough on Castro, because I think he's running one of the last vestiges of a Stalinist secret police government in the world,'' Kerry told WPLG-ABC 10 reporter Michael Putney in an interview to be aired at 11:30 this morning.
Then, reaching back eight years to one of the more significant efforts to toughen sanctions on the communist island, Kerry volunteered: ``And I voted for the Helms-Burton legislation to be tough on companies that deal with him.''
It seemed the correct answer in a year in which Democratic strategists think they can make a play for at least a portion of the important Cuban-American vote -- as they did in 1996 when more than three in 10 backed President Clinton's reelection after he signed the sanctions measure written by Sen. Jesse Helms and Rep. Dan Burton.
There is only one problem: Kerry voted against it.
Asked Friday to explain the discrepancy, Kerry aides said the senator cast one of the 22 nays that day in 1996 because he disagreed with some of the final technical aspects. But, said spokesman David Wade, Kerry supported the legislation in its purer form -- and voted for it months earlier."
Originally posted by operatenor:
Originally posted by dai bread:
[b]CHOIR?!! I am a soloist, sir! (That is, of course, unless it's a good-paying choir job.)Originally posted by operatenor:
[b] Hi DB,
Any room for imported tenors in NZ?
An awful lot of water has gone under the bridge since I last visited this thread.
I didn't mean to impugn your prowess, O.T., but I'm afraid openings for soloists here are in very short supply. We do have one national opera company, and a few local ones, particularly here in Auckland, and in Dunedin and Christchurch.
There are some places where you can get gelato though.
I'll get on to Haggis' post later. Suffice to say at present that socialised medicine is definitely worth it, and it costs us about 7% of GDP against about 17% I believe for the U.S. Most of our taxes go on various unemployment benefits, thanks to Rogernomics.
And some comes my way, since I am now officially an old-age pensioner.
<Ed: "There's goes that d@#% tenor ego again. But I notice you're not too proud when it comes to the almighty dollar!"> [/b]
Not the best way to run a business...but there's a difference between a corporate environment where people are important and one where they are ground down. It's been proven time and again that the happier a worker, the less turn over and the more productive they are.Originally posted by Nicole Marie:
The bottom line doesn't always count.
Not really...it's pretty much the "I was operating with the information I had at the time and now have better intelligence" argument that the Republicans are using for the Iraq conflict.Originally posted by Haggis:
These kinds of statements are going to continue to haunt Kerry and he really is making it too easy for the Republicans to point these conflicts out.
What was he thinking?
"A mind that can change is a mature mind that alters opinions as more information comes available.'
”And with regard to the unemployment statistics, these reflect who's on the roles, not a total of unemployment...so if someone's exhausted their benefits, they drop off the chart as if they were employed...this is one of the reasons I don't trust Labor Dept. “statistics
”Which comes back to the vexing issue of outsourcing. No one doubts that it is having an impact -- though exactly how strong is hard to say since good numbers are unavailable. While some put the number higher, Forrester Research Inc. estimates that of the 2.7 million jobs lost in the last three years, only 300,000 have been from outsourcing.
However, the same issue came up in the 1990s jobless recovery. "My gut reaction," says Princeton's Krueger, "is that the amount of outsourcing hasn't changed dramatically, but what has changed is the types of occupations that are affected." Now, white-collar jobs are increasingly being outsourced -- something that didn't happen during previous business cycles. The fear is that as the trend spreads, many more jobs will eventually be at risk. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley recently estimated that some 11% of the U.S. workforce is vulnerable.”
” "Despite the political outcry over the outsourcing of white-collar jobs to such places as India and Ghana, the latest U.S. government data suggest that foreigners outsource far more office work to the U.S. than American companies send abroad.
The value of U.S. exports of legal work, computer programming, telecommunications, banking, engineering, management consulting and other private services jumped to $131.01 billion in 2003, up $8.42 billion from the previous year, the Commerce Department reported Friday..."
” Many economists estimate that only about 1 in 100 layoffs are caused by outsourcing “
I have to say that I am somewhat amazed at the seemingly amateurishness of some of his more recent statements; his claims that heads of states have privately told him they want him to win, or his claim that the Libya deal was deliberately delayed to maximize political gain for Bush."We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you."
No, we don't have a payroll tax. We did have, once, but it was dropped pretty quickly for the reasons you cite.Originally posted by Haggis:
39% on $60K NZ?!?! That’s like...(multiply by current exchange rate, carry the one drop.... darn! I always screw up multiplication in my head, time for the calculator) $40,500 US.
So if you make $60K NZ you pay $23.4K NZ in taxes?
Four out of every 10 dollars goes to the taxman?
AND a 12.5% sales tax??
Do you also have payroll taxes?
Ouch, I hope that socialized medicine is really, REALLY good. Ya wanna rethink the immigration angle again Piq??
[b]” I don't know what U.S. rates are, or U.K. ones either. Suffice to say that no matter what they are, I'm still surprised the U.S. rich pay them.”
Maybe some don’t, but the top 0.1% of American taxpayers account for 19% of the total tax revenues, that’s pretty incredible.
The minimum Adjusted Gross Income required to be included in the top 0.1 percent of taxpayers was almost $1.6 million for 2000. These taxpayers reported 10.6 percent and 19.0 percent of the total for adjusted gross income and total income tax, respectively.
In 2000, before the latest Bush tax cuts, the top 1% of taxpayers (with an adjusted gross income of $269,496) paid 34.8% of federal income tax revenue and the top 5% (with an AGI of $114,729) paid 54%; that is, 5% of all tax paying Americans paid over half of all income tax revenues. Put another way, the bottom 50%--fully half of taxpayers--paid only 4.2% of the tax take while the top half accounted for 95.8%.
Taxes on a typical middle-income family have fallen to their lowest level in more than 20 years. So, without a reduction of the payroll taxes, it would be impossible to reduce taxes more for poorer people, many who aren’t paying any income tax to start with!
If the U.S. Congress were really serious about helping the poor, they would reduce the payroll tax. The payroll tax is horrible, especially to the poor who pay a disproportionate share of their income to the federal government long before income tax time rolls around. No president since Ronald Reagan has even suggested cutting the payroll tax and I think that’s shameful. [/b]
My youngest went to Australia for that reason. He took his BA, LlB and Bar Exams and went into credit analysis in Sydney. For an American company, as it happens.Originally posted by jmfryar:
I've been looking for a new job for 6-months - don't want to get into the length of time friends of mine have been looking. It's not good when I'm actually thinking of leaving the country in order to get employment in a position that used to be down the street.
Lofty thoughts are all well and good when you're employed, paying your bills, and comfortable. Too many Americans are not in that situation.
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