Thursday, August 4, 2011

Money, Shoes and Taxes

In today’s edition of the NY Times there is a story about how the rich are doing so well in the recovery. It talks about how high-end luxury stores are actually “marking UP’ their merchandise, yet it's still “flying off the shelves”. The article includes a photo of this gorgeous young woman buying a pair of Louis Vuitton shoes at Bergdorf’s for the mere price of $1495. This “outrageous extravagance” was brought to my attention by the talking heads on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show. (Yes, I must admit that I watch MSNBC on occasion. Just for the record, my morning channels in order of preference are: CNBC, FOX-Business (only because Don Imus is there), CNN, ESPN, The Weather Channel, The Golf Channel, MSNBC, The Cartoon Network and FOX News.)

At any rate, this morning I happened to catch the discussion on MSNBC regarding this young lady’s purchase of a pair of $1495 shoes. There was outrage and expression of disbelief that our nation has come to this point. That the gap between the rich and the poor is too large. That the middle class has been virtually wiped out. That we are a nation of the wealthy, for the wealthy, run by the wealthy. That this again was a clear message that the wealthy should be willing to step up and pay higher taxes instead of buying designer shoes. (Wonder what the sales tax was on those shoes?)

Ok, I’m already on the record as saying that some sort of tax increase must be part of our long-term plan to push the federal deficit down to a more manageable level. And, I fundamentally agree with a moderately progressive tax system where higher income brackets pay marginally higher tax rates. But, if I could wave a magic wand, I’d rather see our young lady friend buy two or three or four pairs of $1500 shoes than give more of her (or someone’s) hard earned money to the government.

Where do the liberals think the money goes when a rich person buys something? Do they really believe that there is a members only economy where just the wealthy are involved in manufacturing, distributing and selling $1500 shoes? Is it just rich folks who build yachts and luxury homes and $80,000 automobiles? The liberals (who now prefer to be called progressives) really believe that $1500 given to the government is better than $1500 spent on a pair of designer shoes. That’s the issue. Plain and simple. When Rachel Maddow looks at the Hoover Dam and preaches that this is the type of super project that only a government can build, their argument makes some sense.
The problem is there are far too many government projects and programs which are not “super”. Frankly, I’m inclined to believe that $1500 spent on a pair of designer shoes does more good for the economy than $1500 given to the federal government. (I would even argue that $1500 given to your state or local government is better than $1500 given to the Feds.)

So if you have some extra money, if you’re one of the rich (whatever that means these days), don’t let the liberals guilt you in to not buying something. The most patriotic thing you can do is go buy something. At least then your dollar has a better chance of going to someone along the line who’s actually earned it. What a novel concept.

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