i can't speak for tim's opinion, though having known him for as long as i have, i can say that he's got a pretty low tech recording setup and i'd be surprised if the total cash value of his gear would amount to very much at all. i'm not sure i am reading into his posts in quite the same way that you guys are, but i never saw his comment here because he removed it in order to avoid getting into a pointless flame-war on my blog.
from what kevin and lash both said in your responses makes me think he suggested some sort of government-sponsored tax in order to help artists buy gear?
well, pretty much the rest of the western world has government financing for artists, while the usa - who tout ourselves as the wealthiest nation on earth - makes it increasingly more difficult to support oneself through producing art. kevin, you can't say it wouldn't be nice to receive some sort of stipend that provides financial aid for reptilian records or scapegoat publishing.
something that has been put forth in a variety of forums is the idea that the end user pays for music on a bandwidth usage basis, rather than for individual downloads. i'm not quite certain of how this would be implemented, i haven't read much about the subject, but it might end up being the ultimate solution for the mainstream record industry to keep itself afloat. who knows if that's a good thing or not...