Monday, December 26, 2011

Riots, fights break out among shoppers in line for $180 sneakers

On Christmas Eve, fights broke out at shopping malls across the country as people lined up before dawn to buy the new Air Jordan Retro XI shoes, which cost upwards of $180.

A crowd busted down the doors of a mall outside Detroit. Shots were fired around 6 am at a mall in Richmond, CA. Police were forced to use pepper spray in Seattle. People were trampled in Indianapolis. A woman in Atlanta left a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old in her car for over an hour while she went in to buy the shoes.

These actions seem even more disturbing to me considering the recent nationwide wave of protests over income inequality and against the so-called "1 percent." I doubt many of these shoppers were Wall Street executives, oil magnates, Fortune 500 CEO's, or their families. Yet these people are literally trampling each other in order to buy a pair of ridiculously overpriced sneakers (my last pair of sneakers cost about $35). According to Obama's logic, these shoppers are clearly not paying their fair share in taxes.

As I have said in many previous posts, I have no doubt that serious income inequality exists in this country. But something is wrong when people claim to be impoverished and then start tweeting on their iPhones. In fact, when I was a student teacher at a poor inner city high school, 100% of the students had smart phones. I feel like it would help a lot if people had better priorities, more responsible spending habits, and were not so addicted to consumerism.

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