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How Can I Afford A New Pair Of Shoes If Barack Obama Raises My Taxes?

26 October 2008
Tom Brokaw, News Reporter

Tom Brokaw, News Reporter

What’s wrong with the media?  Too many pretty news readers and not enough Tom Brokaws.

Betty Nguyen, CNN

Betty Nguyen, CNN

One of the things that reminds me that I’m getting old is that, instead of “sleeping in” on Saturday morning, I often find myself up at 5:00 a.m. drinking coffee and watching television newscasts.  However, there are things on at that time of a weekend morning that rarely show up at other times.  Such was the case as I watched CNN yesterday morning.  Betty Nguyen had what first appeared to be a frivolous interview with this Frenchman named Christian Louboutin.  Now, this guy is no mere cobbler; he is a shoe designer.

Christian Louboutin, Paris, France

Declic, $825

Monsieur Louboutin had come from Paris to market his line of “shoes” in America.  Now, I can’t tell that such a trip was necessary, since both he and Ms. Nguyen stated that business is “booming” for him and his company here in America.  And booming it is.  Monsieur Louboutin designs, manufactures and sells a very exclusive brand of shoes.   Now, I

Fringe Boots, $1,575

Fringe Boots, $1,575

had never heard of him or his shoes, but I quickly learned about them through this fascinating report.  It seems that they are very pricey, some costing as much as $1,000 a pair.  Are you kidding me?  $1,000 a pair?  FOR SHOES?  No wonder it cost Sarah Palin so much to dress properly.  I had no idea how much it cost to live in the working world today.  And Monsieur Louboutin has a unique way to make sure that people in the know readily recognize his shoes out in public: they have a signature red sole.  That way all of your friends know whether or not  you can afford $1,000 shoes.

You may wonder why I am talking about shoes today, but I think this goes to a central issue facing the American people in this election cycle.  This morning on Meet the Press Tom Brokaw interviewed Senator John McCain on his economic plan for the United States of America.  McCain stuck to the old line that the rich need a further tax break to stimulate the sagging economy and create new jobs.  You know, the old trickle-down economic plan that Ronald Reagan brought to the White House.  It remains, at least to me, to be one of the lamest arguments for his election as President.

Whether they leave in shame or glory, top executives are retiring in more splendor than ever.

Whether they leave in shame or glory, top executives are retiring in more splendor than ever.

We have had eight, long years of strict adherence to unregulated trickle-down economic models, and what we have seen is CEO and executive salaries climbing at an unprecedented rate as joblessness grew among the working class.  We have seen the recipients of OUR government’s tax benefits wreck the stock market, financial markets and send thousands if not millions of jobs offshore.  We have also seen

Lou Dobbs

Lou Dobbs

these same people use their influence on our government to look the other way as they brought a cheap, illegal workforce across the border to drive down wages for American workers.  We’ve also seen the demonization of those poor unfortunate people who were lured here from back-breaking poverty, while corporate America has escaped any real scrutiny or punishment for their culpability.  Lou Dobbs, pay attention to this!

Carpenters construct the wooden frame for a suburban home near Houston, Texas. With the common use of steel and concrete for most building construction, work opportunities for carpenters have been concentrated in the area of residential construction.

Carpenters construct the wooden frame for a suburban home near Houston, Texas. With the common use of steel and concrete for most building construction, work opportunities for carpenters have been concentrated in the area of residential construction.

As regular readers of my site know, I live outside Houston, Texas, and we are absolutely flooded with these poor unfortunates.  Every once in a while ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, makes a big deal of calling the media to go along on a raid against a company that is breaking this law.  The only two lately were a doughnut bakery and a rag factory.  While I salute the enforcement of our immigration laws, it is still a mystery to me why the INS cannot drive out to any suburban subdivision under construction and round up the illegals that are building houses all around the outskirts of Houston, send them home, and then prosecute the home builders who employ them.  I surmise that the answer is simple: politics.  I don’t know why some journalist doesn’t do an investigation of the home builders in our area and expose this.  Could it be that home builders put a lot of commercials on the local air?

Looking for Work

Looking for Work

The fact is, that while places like janitorial services and home lawn care services may be employing illegal aliens, those are, in fact, jobs that are hard to fill by Americans.  However, there are skilled carpenters living all over my area of Metro-Houston that are out of work and can’t get a job.  Why?  Because they were being paid more for their skills and experience, and they cannot afford to support their families for the same low wages that illegal aliens will work for.  And let us not forget that the employers of illegal aliens are not paying Social Security matching funds into the system or Worker’s Compensation.  They save a lot more than wages alone.  This, in a nutshell, is the real problem posed by lack of enforcement of our immigration laws.  I am told by relatives up in “chicken country” that the same thing is happening there in poultry processing plants, but I don’t know that for a fact.

Anemone, $825

Anemone, $825

What the great truth of this election is, is that the American middle class is under siege by corporate America and those wealthy people who own and manage it.  While we are out here worried to death that our jobs might be shipped overseas or be taken by a foreigner who slips across the border in the night, fat cats are dressing their wives and daughters in $1,000 shoes and complaining that their taxes are already too high.  With great crocodile tears running down their cheeks, they climb out of their fancy foreign-made luxury cars and walk in their fancy foreign shoes to the microphones of the media and proclaim that to raise their taxes will further stunt a non-existent growth in the economy.  They live in splendid luxury, refusing to pay higher taxes to support the sons and daughters of everyday Americans who are placing their lives on the line in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Instead they go shopping for $1,000 shoes, sending American dollars to France.  Didn’t they tell us France was a bad place with bad people when they failed to support our invasion of Iraq?  That’s right, they did.  But they weren’t going to give up fashion.  They just wanted to use the symbol of changing the name of a common fried potato found in fast food restaurants.

The Mavericky Shopper

These HYPOCRITES are now trying to deceive us into voting, yet again, for a tax policy that has been REDISTRIBUTING the wealth to the most greedy segment of our society.  It is important that we not fall for this trick one more time.  Sarah Palin didn’t go shopping at Macy’s or Dillard’s, not because she didn’t know of these fine and perfectly respectable establishments, but because the elites in the Republican Party wouldn’t be caught dead in a store that doesn’t sell $1,000 shoes.  GIVE ME A BREAK!  Shame on you, Sarah Palin, “maverick” candidate of the regular Joe, for misleading your adoring fans in such a cynical way.  For this, I do hold you accountable.

As for the rest of us, those who, like Old Jack here, didn’t know until yesterday that there was such a thing as $1,000 shoes, KEEP FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT!  I expect you, like me, are practically holding your breath until election day.  It’s not over ‘til it’s over.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. 26 October 2008 8:21 pm

    Another great post Joe.

    As a New Yorker I do know about $1000 shoes and $1000 purses. Living in central NJ now, I am surrounded by the absurdly ostentatious signs of wealth. Hummers that are way to big to actually fit into a parking spot. Kids having their own personal trainers at 10 years old. The competitiveness is out of control.

    I moved my family here 17 years ago to take them out of the city and to give them a good education. What I quickly learned is that around here you need to subtly show how much money you have by having the perfect watch and the perfect handbag, all signs of monetary wealth. The key here is that the monetary wealth is not what makes a good person. It is the ones who have a wealth of soul and common purpose who are the great people in this world. I have strong feelings that Barack Obama will bring about a change that will encourage and reward the wealth of the soul over monetary wealth.

    Let’s keep up the good fight folks. We are almost at the finish line.

  2. Left-Eyed Jack permalink*
    27 October 2008 5:46 pm


    I’m glad you enjoyed my poke at conspicuous consumption. Unfortunately things haven’t changed that much since I was in high school. There always seems to be the need for shows of wealth and power in our society. It is part of what drives capitalism. It is encouraged every day by the television. But the system has broken down when one percent of the population is running away from the rest with the help of tax breaks from the government. That’s real redistribution of wealth.


  1. How Can I Afford A New Pair Of Shoes If Barack Obama Raises My Taxes?
  2. designer red soled shoes | Bookmarks URL

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