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Sat Aug 10, 2013, 12:59 AM

I'm still trying to wrap my head around Oprah's purse.

The story was that a sales clerk in a shop in Switzerland refused to show Oprah a $38,000 purse because she felt Oprah couldn't afford it probably because she was black.

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/08/09/oprah-winfrey-and-the-handbag-she-couldnt-have/?_r=0

I admire Oprah and that, unlike trust fund babies, she made all her money from scratch, so sure she deserves the best of anything she can buy. However, a little voice in the back of my head keeps saying, she could have a lovely designer purse for between $1,000 and $2,000 and still be able to have something most women can't afford. The rest of that $36,000 could have supported a homeless family for a year.

Here is my problem, it's not Oprah. Some other rich woman will buy that purse and probably wear it once or twice for an elegant affair and then it will sit on a closet shelf for the rest of its life. The problem is that there are women so rich that they can afford to throw away money on accessories like that. It's not like a purse is diamond jewelry that in itself is pricey. You can buy a perfectly attractive and serviceable purse at any price and a designer purse for about $1,000.

So while families go homeless, children get denied school lunches, and seniors go without meals on wheels, the 1% can shop extravagantly for items that could support a family for a year, because our tax code is hell bent on giving tax cuts to multi-millionaires and billionaires so they can buy shit like that to decorate themselves with. Time to bring back the tax codes we had before Reagan.

No, I'm not upset with Oprah and it's awful she had to suffer that humiliation, but I am upset with the system and the fact that there are so many poor, underpaid and unemployed people because we have a pampered elite class that aren't paying their fair share of taxes.





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Reply I'm still trying to wrap my head around Oprah's purse. (Original post)
Cleita Aug 2013 OP
MotherPetrie Aug 2013 #1
onehandle Aug 2013 #2
Democracyinkind Aug 2013 #21
question everything Aug 2013 #3
BainsBane Aug 2013 #4
duffyduff Aug 2013 #85
phleshdef Aug 2013 #95
BainsBane Aug 2013 #109
JI7 Aug 2013 #5
Phentex Aug 2013 #30
Squinch Aug 2013 #35
Phentex Aug 2013 #46
Scootaloo Aug 2013 #102
hfojvt Aug 2013 #45
Bandit Aug 2013 #166
ZombieHorde Aug 2013 #61
whathehell Aug 2013 #63
duffyduff Aug 2013 #82
lumberjack_jeff Aug 2013 #76
La Lioness Priyanka Aug 2013 #98
CakeGrrl Aug 2013 #151
leftstreet Aug 2013 #6
Fridays Child Aug 2013 #8
truedelphi Aug 2013 #20
Beacool Aug 2013 #137
Bettie Aug 2013 #160
TBF Aug 2013 #31
Squinch Aug 2013 #36
FourScore Aug 2013 #7
Phentex Aug 2013 #32
Cleita Aug 2013 #97
BainsBane Aug 2013 #112
Ilsa Aug 2013 #132
Liberal_in_LA Aug 2013 #9
moondust Aug 2013 #10
pnwmom Aug 2013 #12
Democracyinkind Aug 2013 #22
Squinch Aug 2013 #37
Democracyinkind Aug 2013 #44
moondust Aug 2013 #50
Democracyinkind Aug 2013 #53
SMC22307 Aug 2013 #92
JustAnotherGen Aug 2013 #38
Paladin Aug 2013 #39
JustAnotherGen Aug 2013 #58
tblue37 Aug 2013 #88
Kablooie Aug 2013 #11
darkangel218 Aug 2013 #26
NoMoreWarNow Aug 2013 #57
BainsBane Aug 2013 #113
pnwest Aug 2013 #13
HiPointDem Aug 2013 #24
David__77 Aug 2013 #27
okieinpain Aug 2013 #77
HiPointDem Aug 2013 #89
bluestate10 Aug 2013 #120
HiPointDem Aug 2013 #126
duffyduff Aug 2013 #73
hughee99 Aug 2013 #104
Dr. Strange Aug 2013 #116
bluestate10 Aug 2013 #121
Cleita Aug 2013 #125
Egalitarian Thug Aug 2013 #158
avaistheone1 Aug 2013 #14
duffyduff Aug 2013 #74
Safetykitten Aug 2013 #15
defacto7 Aug 2013 #16
mainer Aug 2013 #54
niyad Aug 2013 #56
UncleTomsEvilBrother Aug 2013 #155
CJCRANE Aug 2013 #159
AZ Progressive Aug 2013 #17
Spitfire of ATJ Aug 2013 #18
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Raine Aug 2013 #23
oldhippie Aug 2013 #51
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lynne Aug 2013 #25
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ZombieHorde Aug 2013 #72
niyad Aug 2013 #79
ZombieHorde Aug 2013 #87
CJCRANE Aug 2013 #162
niyad Aug 2013 #164
TBF Aug 2013 #33
duffyduff Aug 2013 #71
Cleita Aug 2013 #93
TBF Aug 2013 #100
Cleita Aug 2013 #103
rhett o rick Aug 2013 #117
TBF Aug 2013 #146
Phentex Aug 2013 #34
ananda Aug 2013 #40
kelliekat44 Aug 2013 #41
bluestate10 Aug 2013 #122
Octafish Aug 2013 #42
MichiganVote Aug 2013 #43
magical thyme Aug 2013 #47
TBF Aug 2013 #84
magical thyme Aug 2013 #148
TBF Aug 2013 #149
magical thyme Aug 2013 #150
TBF Aug 2013 #156
magical thyme Aug 2013 #165
TBF Aug 2013 #167
X_Digger Aug 2013 #48
whathehell Aug 2013 #66
duffyduff Aug 2013 #75
gollygee Aug 2013 #80
hfojvt Aug 2013 #49
Duckhunter935 Aug 2013 #52
hfojvt Aug 2013 #55
Cleita Aug 2013 #90
Hassin Bin Sober Aug 2013 #110
hfojvt Aug 2013 #123
TroglodyteScholar Aug 2013 #60
name not needed Aug 2013 #65
Igel Aug 2013 #91
duffyduff Aug 2013 #67
hedgehog Aug 2013 #68
abelenkpe Aug 2013 #78
gollygee Aug 2013 #81
Cleita Aug 2013 #94
KoKo Aug 2013 #96
eilen Aug 2013 #154
Grateful for Hope Aug 2013 #86
indepat Aug 2013 #99
truedelphi Aug 2013 #101
hughee99 Aug 2013 #105
Cleita Aug 2013 #106
rhett o rick Aug 2013 #119
bluestate10 Aug 2013 #124
Marr Aug 2013 #140
daleo Aug 2013 #107
Rex Aug 2013 #108
BainsBane Aug 2013 #111
RedCappedBandit Aug 2013 #114
Californeeway Aug 2013 #115
bluestate10 Aug 2013 #118
Oakenshield Aug 2013 #127
Cleita Aug 2013 #128
chervilant Aug 2013 #129
Cleita Aug 2013 #131
chervilant Aug 2013 #145
reformist2 Aug 2013 #130
pansypoo53219 Aug 2013 #133
Beacool Aug 2013 #134
niyad Aug 2013 #135
Cleita Aug 2013 #136
Beacool Aug 2013 #139
Marr Aug 2013 #138
doc03 Aug 2013 #141
valerief Aug 2013 #142
Cleita Aug 2013 #143
Zorra Aug 2013 #147
Moonwalk Aug 2013 #144
The Velveteen Ocelot Aug 2013 #152
CBGLuthier Aug 2013 #157
Marr Aug 2013 #161
Cleita Aug 2013 #163

Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 01:08 AM

1. I am not losing any sleep over an obscenely wealthy woman being insulted by a snooty shop asst.

 

No, it shouldn't have happened. Racism is ugly and needs to be called out. But for the Swiss Tourist Board (or whatever it's called) to issue a frickin' public apology to Oprah for it?

G.M.A.F.B.!!!!!


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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 01:13 AM

2. Switzerland is the most xenophobic place in Europe. Machine guns at every entry point confirm this.

That being said, Oprah is not exactly humble.

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Response to onehandle (Reply #2)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 05:04 AM

21. Nonsense. nt.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 01:23 AM

3. To give them the benefit of the doubt

These women may, indeed, wear the purse only once or twice. And, then, perhaps, auction it off and donate the proceeds. Someone may be willing to pay a lot of money to say that she owns Oprah's purse.

So you can, and should use the same rationale, when men (mostly) spend $10K to attend the Superbowl, or when people spend a lot of money to own some trash that belonged to a celebrity.

Sigh..

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 01:28 AM

4. She's got billions

If she wants a $40k purse that's her business.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 12:16 PM

85. She's the one whining about how she was mistreated.

She could have kept her stupid mouth shut and try not to paint herself as some kind of civil rights symbol.

She made herself into an international laughingstock because she is whining over not being able to see a fucking $38,000 purse.

It's like she has utterly no conception of how people are struggling every damned day on income far less than that stupid, overpriced purse.

It's all about her screwed-up values, values that are typical for the megarich class.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #85)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 03:22 PM

95. Wow, so just because you are rich, you aren't allowed to speak out against racist treatment?

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #85)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:36 PM

109. Your comment is offensive

Racism is wrong. She never claimed to be a civil rights symbol. She was treated like a black people are treated all over the world, not that you give a fuck about that. She know a lot about poor people's lives. She was born and raised poor, and contributes many, many millions to improve the lives of thousands of people. The fact you hate a black person with money makes racism okay as far as you're concerned. At least everyone can see exactly what you are.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 01:29 AM

5. what bothers me is people dismissing the racism

and yes oprah did make her money herself.

because there happens to be a poor white guy somewhere the black woman can't complain about racism ?

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Response to JI7 (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:42 AM

30. and nobody is dissing the shop owner for selling a $38,000 purse or

the maker of said purse, etc. Or the fact that such purses exist in the world because some wealthy person would buy one.

No, it's about what Oprah might pay for a purse?

It's really about racism.

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Response to Phentex (Reply #30)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:18 AM

35. It is about racism, but isn't it a legitimate side issue that a family could live happily for a

year on what some people spend on a bauble?

It's a pretty stark illustration of the historic income inequality we have right now, much of which is also driven by racism and classism.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #35)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 09:10 AM

46. Yes, but that's another topic...

and how far do we want to take it? We all live in glass houses.

It's fair to discuss both but it's not right to dismiss this racism against Oprah based on what she can afford.

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Response to Phentex (Reply #46)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 06:13 PM

102. Well, that other topic happens to be the main topic of this thread

Which doesn't dismiss the racism, but instead takes on another problem.

You seem to be engaging in "How dare you talk about X, you should only talk about Y!" reasoning here.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 09:07 AM

45. I think the saying goes like this

Once I was sad because I could not look at a $38,000 purse in Switzerland then I met a guy with a $35,000 house.

She can complain about it all she wants, but you generally do not get any sympathy for your paper cut from a guy who lost his arm in an industrial accident, do you? And it is possible the amputee might have some sympathy if only he was not told that the victim's paper cut proves that he has privilege.

I mean, really, shall we all sing a chorus of "nobody knows the trouble I've seen" for the poor, poor victim who only wanted a $38,000 purse in Switzerland?

Hey, Oprah, I had a crappy shopping experience or two myself. Went to Nebraska Furniture Mart one day to get an MP3 player. Employees all over the place, but none offers me any help. Find the MP3 players, locked in a glass case. Nobody around to show me one, or explain if I can play my WMP files on it. Go to another area and look at laptops while I am waiting for some help. Finally, an employee asks if I need assistance. I said, yeah, I am looking for an MP3 player. He points to the locked case some 30 feet away "they are over there". I said something like "yeah, they are locked up". He says something like, yeah they are too easy to steal or something. He does not offer to show me one of them. Does not offer to FIND somebody else who can help me to buy one of them.

At this point, I am rather steamed and figure that this store does not deserve to pass GO, does not deserve to collect my $200 that I was ready to spend on an MP3 player. She could not get ONE employee to open a locked case for her. I couldn't apparently get a whole store full of them to even speak to me.

I shall now wait with baited breath for the state of Nebraska to issue a public apology to me (even though the store with the lousy service was in KCK).

Oh, and if only I was black, or female, (or both just like poor Oprah) then I could tell the homeless white guys I meet how this makes them totally privileged in their white skin or with their Y chromosome and penis.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #45)

Mon Aug 12, 2013, 11:49 AM

166. Another racist rant

Oprah did not buy anything let alone a $38,000. dollar purse. she was not even allowed to look at it. wopuldn't you be curious what such an expensive purse might look like? No you are too hung up on a black woman complaining about racist treatment and saying boo fucking hoo.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:14 AM

61. Do you think the OP is dismissing racism? nt

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Response to JI7 (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:21 AM

63. Exactly...The point is, if even a very wealthy & well know celebrity can experience racism,

it's obviously a deeply rooted problem around the world.




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Response to whathehell (Reply #63)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 12:06 PM

82. According to her. We don't really know the truth. n/t

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Response to JI7 (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:42 AM

76. What happened to Oprah is illustrative of what happens to blacks every day.

Oprah isn't a victim of anything, and doesn't really need sympathy for this incident, and I think she'd probably be the first to agree.

There are two issues here: racism and wealth concentration which her $38,000 purse (roughly our family income for each of the last 8 years) is plain and obvious proof of.

Gotta be able to separate the two. And the reactions "damn Oprah" or "poor Oprah" both miss the point entirely.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 04:21 PM

98. this. nt

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Response to JI7 (Reply #5)

Sun Aug 11, 2013, 06:11 PM

151. +1000 - they're either oblivious to the point Oprah was trying to make

or willfully ignoring it to point out something that matters more to them personally.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 01:41 AM

6. PETA's 2008 Person of Year - looking at crocodile handbags

These rich fucks make me sick

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Response to leftstreet (Reply #6)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 02:00 AM

8. Seriously?

I haven't checked in on the details of this story but, seriously? PETA's 2008 Person of the Year is in the market for dead animal goods?

Has PETA commented on this?

Oprah squandered her credibility as a role model and leader, a long time ago. If PETA lets this go, they're risking a pretty significant hit to their credibility, as well.

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Response to Fridays Child (Reply #8)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 04:19 AM

20. Mainstream media's reports are that this was an alligator handbag -

My head started spinning at the idea that there are $ 38,000 purses out there.

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Response to truedelphi (Reply #20)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:55 PM

137. Nope, not alligator.

Crocodile, much more expensive and rare.

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Response to truedelphi (Reply #20)

Mon Aug 12, 2013, 09:44 AM

160. Yeah, that is amazing to me too

I think I once spent about 90 bucks on a purse, but mostly, I get them on sale when I need a new one.

It boggles my mind that someone would spend that much on an item of so little utility overall. I mean, a 40 dollar purse is functionally the same as a 38k one.

I don't get why women spend so much on shoes either, especially since the really expensive ones often look like torture devices.

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Response to Fridays Child (Reply #8)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:43 AM

31. Do a little research on PETA and the number of animals they kill -

they really have lost credibility a long time ago (I give to many animal rescue groups - they are not on my list).

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Response to Fridays Child (Reply #8)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:20 AM

36. She wanted to look at it. She didn't do anything PETA could object to. If she had bought it

that would be a different story.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 01:50 AM

7. I just bought a $68.00 handbag a couple of weeks ago, and it was a an ENORMOUS amount of money

for me to spend on a silly handbag right now. I had been using my son's $14.00 Nike drawstring bag before that. But the little purse was perfect for my needs, and Im so glad I bought it for myself. I love my little bag! It was worth every penny. If I ever get to be as wealthy as Oprah, I hope I buy lots of women the perfect reasonable handbag -- one they can be just as thrilled with -- rather than one obscenely expensive bag for me to add to my ridiculous collection.

Otherwise, racism is always bad. Sorry she experienced it.

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Response to FourScore (Reply #7)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:45 AM

32. and many would diss you for that...

many, many people would claim that your purse was an extravagant purchase and ask how many mouths you could feed. Others will buy $300 purses and not think anything of it. Famous actresses will pay thousands and it's out of the realm of the average person's thinking. I don't see how it's different for Oprah.

And the point is the racism, not the fact that she can afford the purse or vacation in Switzerland etc.

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Response to FourScore (Reply #7)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 03:29 PM

97. I hear you. My bags are usually under $20, however, I was eyeing a Michael Kors

bag at Marshall's, discounted to $60 from about $200. It was a bargain, but I couldn't even scrape that amount together. However, I don't think even a $1,000 for a purse would be obscene for a rich person. It would accomplish what rich ladies set out to accomplish, own something that most women can't afford and still not be the price most people need to live off of for a year or buy a new car or many other necessities that could be purchased by ordinary people for that amount of money.

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Response to FourScore (Reply #7)


Response to FourScore (Reply #7)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:41 PM

132. Your $68 handbag will last you awhile, I bet.

I shop for $200 handbags on sale for $60-$100. This last one has lasted me three years and counting.

As for Oprah, I'm sure she understands what her purse budget could provide for the poor. I also believe that she has an image to maintain in dealing with other schmucks out there. She isn't the millionaire next door.

I also think she was the victim of racism, but not to the degree that devastates a person's life. If she was angry enough about it, she could have bought out the store and fired the employee if she had wanted to. But she wisely blew them off, they didn't get her business, and she ratted them out for stupidly not recognizing her.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 02:02 AM

9. she gives a lot of money to charity

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 02:11 AM

10. Was it really racism?

Maybe the clerk was under orders not to let anyone walk in off the street and handle something that expensive (and potentially run out the door with it) unless the boss was present.

Or only by appointment.

(I obviously haven't followed the story.)

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Response to moondust (Reply #10)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 02:41 AM

12. Then she could have explained the policy and called the boss. n/t

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Response to moondust (Reply #10)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 05:05 AM

22. The clerk and owner of the store maintain that it was a miscommunication.

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Response to Democracyinkind (Reply #22)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:22 AM

37. Nah. I think they didn't let her see it because she was black, and they assumed she was

wasting their time. It was racist.

That being said, I can see the OP's point.

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Response to Squinch (Reply #37)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:53 AM

44. After hearing the statement from the owner, I doubt it.

Bahnhofstrasse is very international and it's not as if Oprah is the only african american that ever shopped there...

T o me it seems an Oprah-ish faux pas that she misunderstood and is now milking. Exactly like the story in Paris 8 years ago.

That said, if this was motivated racially, then it's inexcusable.

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Response to Democracyinkind (Reply #44)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 09:46 AM

50. Zurich is probably quite familiar with monied elites.

From all over the world. Including wealthy women from Africa and the Middle East whose husbands have their loot stashed in Swiss banks.

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Response to moondust (Reply #50)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:21 AM

53. That was the drift of my post ...

I still live in Zurich part time. People act as if it was some kind of white heart of darkness.

There's no denying that there is racism against non-whites, but Bahnhofstrasse is about the last place you're gonna find it.

The owner of the boutique was a guest at Tina Turner's wedding too.

As I said, Oprah seems a bit touchy, just like in Paris.

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Response to moondust (Reply #50)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 03:10 PM

92. That's what came to my mind as well.

And Oprah's buddy Tina Turner is now a Swiss citizen, renouncing her U.S. citizenship.

Yep, life looks pretty damn good in Switzerland:



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Response to moondust (Reply #10)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:24 AM

38. Nope!

The clerk was just being a bigot. I believe Oprah - its called Shoppong While Black. We "know" when it's happening. The difference is Oprah can highlight it. Me - I will just never step foot in Bloomingdales again and will take every opportunity I can to tell people the one at Bridgewater Commons in NJ is rife with people intent on telling us - well you couldn't afford it. My time is short, my wallet deep. Don't call the manager - just go to J Jill where they are polite, respectful, and know you. She's Oprah Winfrey - it takes her ten seconds to spread the word around the world and well . . . Now we know.

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Response to moondust (Reply #10)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:27 AM

39. Rush Limbaugh doesn't think it's racism. See today's "Salon." (nt)

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Response to Paladin (Reply #39)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:39 AM

58. Now I'm doubling down

See - what ever Rush says or thinks I automatically think the opposite.

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Response to Paladin (Reply #39)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 01:58 PM

88. For me the take away point from Rush's rant is that

HE called someone else fat and then said being obese is commonly seen as an indication that the person is poor and stupid.

Obviously there's plenty wrong with that nasty rant, but I keep coming back to the idea that Rush called someone else fat.

(For the record, I am fat, too, so I am not fat bashing--just Rush bashing.)

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 02:13 AM

11. Who the hell is Tom Ford who prices a purse at $38,000?

These designers that make ordinary things and then sell them at horrific prices simply because they can, disgusts me.

Too many people live to perform toady obeisance to these empty status symbols.
It's sickening.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #11)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 06:55 AM

26. +1000

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #11)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:36 AM

57. exactly... it is a sick part of our society. The question is-- where does the money go?

 

is there some chance that he employs a lot of people and pays them a decent wage?

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #11)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:50 PM

113. On any day of the week you will see bags that expensive for sale

on sites like Hautelook or Ruelala. Bags can get expensive. That really isn't the point though. The point is racism, which people here work assiduously to avoid confronting.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 02:47 AM

13. Oprah has donated MILLIONS to charity

built a school for girls (don't remember exactly where) in Africa. Has given so much to so many via her show and Angel Network. Built her fortune up from scratch to do good in the world. If she wants to buy a MILLION dollar purse, she's earned it.

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Response to pnwest (Reply #13)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 05:59 AM

24. no, she hasn't earned it.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #24)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:05 AM

27. That's right, the elites always give to charity.

And they can afford to and still amass fortunes beyond the comprehension of normal people. So what? The robber barons did even.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #24)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:43 AM

77. lol, socialist. how you going to tell

Someone what to do with the fruits of their labor. Give your stuff to the homeless, if O wants a stupid 40g handbag she has earned it.

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Response to okieinpain (Reply #77)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 01:58 PM

89. no one 'earns' the kind of money oprah has.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #89)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:12 PM

120. That is an incredibly logic empty comment.

Some people do earn massive wealth through loving hat they do, and some of those people pull a lot of people up with them. Not everyone that have lots of wealth are evil, or even close to it. That is something some can't seem to understand.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #120)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:05 PM

126. no one earns it. no one. that is something folks like yourself can't seem to understand.

 

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Response to pnwest (Reply #13)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:34 AM

73. If you are giving away that much money, then you don't need it at all

and it should be plowed back into the Treasury to help more people.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #73)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 06:37 PM

104. So, after taking what she needs to live, the proceeds from Oprah's labor

should go to the government?

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Response to hughee99 (Reply #104)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:59 PM

116. Hey, spying costs money.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #73)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:24 PM

121. Why don't we get a law passed to take rich people's money. Obviously they don't need it.

While we are at it, let's pass a law that says no one can ever earn more than 10% above the poverty level, clearly anyone earning more that that don't need the extra money. Fortunately no such law will ever pass. Free will on every issue is important in a working society. Many rich people are bastards that have lost the connection with other human beings other than those in their inner most circle, but there are many rich people who are very tuned in to helping less fortunate people. Critics who propose pounding rich people simply because they are rich miss the point and are likely no more empathetic than the most bastardly rich person.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #121)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 09:54 PM

125. I would be on board with that.

Anyone who owns more than $500 million needs to pay 100% in taxes on everything over that. I think $500 million is enough for anyone.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #121)

Mon Aug 12, 2013, 09:34 AM

158. If we had such a law, we'd all be surprised at how quickly the poverty level

 

would rise, and along with it, everybody's standard of living.

People wouldn't resent the rich nearly as much if the rich were better stewards of their wealth.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 02:59 AM

14. Oprah is the 1%

I really think it is out of character for Oprah to buying $40,000 purses.

There are too many people in the world, and in this country who don't make $40,000 in year.

I am really disappointed in Oprah's garish, conspicuous consumption.

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Response to avaistheone1 (Reply #14)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:35 AM

74. Actually she is like the top one thousandth of the one percent. n/t

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 03:03 AM

15. It's the lavishness of the celebrity culture. That's why I find celebrities repulsive if they are...

 

spouting crap about caring, while all the while they use enough resources for 100 people and make it all bout what they do, which usually is not much.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 03:22 AM

16. One possibility seems to be missed

She didn't ask to buy the purse, she asked to see it. Maybe she wanted to look it over to see why the price was so high or what made it worth so much. Just because she asked to see it doesn't confirm she intended to buy it. She could have as well thought it was a ridiculously priced item and would have made that into a media response.

Just perspective based on the info at hand minus the preconceived opinions or prejudice.

As for the store workers response, that sucks.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #16)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:24 AM

54. If I saw that price tag, I'd want to look at it too

Which one of us wouldn't be curious about why it was priced so high?

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #16)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:33 AM

56. one time in vegas, I was looking at judith leiber purses--absolutely beautiful little works of art.

the prices ranged from 2k up. now, there is no way in hell I could ever afford one, and, even if I could, would probably never buy one. but they were beautiful, and I was able to look at them, and admire their beauty, as was my late friend betty (also a DU member). the salesperson knew we could not afford them, since we told her so, but were able to look and admire anyway.

one can look at beautiful and expensive items with absolutely no intention to buy them. there is nothing wrong with that.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #16)

Sun Aug 11, 2013, 08:51 PM

155. That's my same point...

...we're not even sure if she was trying to buy the purse. She asked to see the purse.

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Response to defacto7 (Reply #16)

Mon Aug 12, 2013, 09:42 AM

159. I doubt Oprah needed to look at the price. That's the point of the story.

It's like the old saying "if you need to ask the price, you can't afford it".

I'm sure Oprah could say, in just about any situation, : "I'll have three, in red, white and blue".

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 03:30 AM

17. Whoever said that Capitalism was efficient in distributing and consuming resources?

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 03:34 AM

18. Did you know the upper crust still have debutant balls?

You know, that special occasion where the rich flaunt the bitch of the litter?

Think "$30,000" just for her shoes.

Raise their taxes.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 04:05 AM

19. These bags get sold like used cars.

Nora Ephron wrote about women renting designer bags in "I Feel Bad About My Neck".

It's outrageous given poverty today, but here's one seller/renter http://www.bagborroworsteal.com/

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 05:30 AM

23. I just can't imagine any purse being worth that much, I didn't know that such

a purse existed unless it was made from solid gold and diamonds.

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Response to Raine (Reply #23)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:08 AM

51. There are some pieces of canvas .....

 

... with some old paint splashed on them, the price of which would really blow your mind!

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Response to Raine (Reply #23)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:23 AM

64. the most expensive purse in the world valued at 3.8 MILLION. lots of gems!!

Last edited Sat Aug 10, 2013, 12:07 PM - Edit history (1)

. . . .



Prices for Hermes' Birkin bag a square, sturdy tote that has become one of the most-coveted luxury handbags since it was introduced in the 1980s start at about $10,000, but have gone as high as $200,000, for a red crocodile skin Birkin sold at a 2011 Christie's auction.

Hermes also produced a platinum version studded with 2,000 diamonds, designed by Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka and valued at almost $2 million.

That, however, is not the world's most expensive handbag. According to Guinness World Records, that honor goes to a heart-shaped gold purse from jewelry house Mouawad covered in 4,500 diamonds and valued at $3.8 million

. . .

http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/celebrities/38-000-tom-ford-handbag-realistic-for-consumers-like-oprah-1.5863461

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 06:49 AM

25. I have no doubt that they'd refuse to show it to me, too -

- and I'm as white as they come.

A purse of this price has a very limited clientele that I would think the store is already familiar with and caters to. No doubt the store clerks are aware of the clients who normally purchase these expensive items. Oprah wasn't one of them. I'm not, either. Obviously, they don't want persons who won't be buying the item to handle it due to potential damage, staining, and even the possibility of someone running off with such a portable item.

The clerk certainly could have handled the situation better. They need some sensitivity training for those times when they are trying to determine if a client is a serious buyer or just window shopping.

No, can't get myself too worked up over this when I know they wouldn't let me fondle the purse, either.


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Response to lynne (Reply #25)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:50 AM

59. That is what it seems to me as well.

Go walk into a guitar shop that has some classics ...

I'd like to see that guitar in that room, the locked room, the guitar in the locked case in the locked room ... you know, the mint '58 gold standard Les Paul.

Uhhh ... no. You can not see that guitar.

Would make no difference who you were ... to see that item you are going to have to speak with the highest up dude in the place and he would have to have a reasonable thought that you; 1:could buy it, 2:might buy it.

Me being who I am, there is no way in hell I would be allowed to put a strap on that bad boy, plug it into an amp, and drop some chops on it. Just not going to happen. And, the guy would most likely be extremely condescending when telling me to take a look at the "other" ones that are hanging on the wall.

When you're done with that swing by the Lambo dealership and see if you can test drive that Aventador, the one they have to move furniture to get outside ... see how that works out for you.

This was most likely handled improperly by both parties and ended up being more than it really was.

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Response to Lurker Deluxe (Reply #59)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:28 AM

70. Nobody would show it to me, either.

I dress neatly, but comfortably.

I cannot comment on the idea that this was racism, but anyone who has ever shopped in a German-speaking country knows that what we call 'customer service' in the US is a far cry from what customer service is there. Most of the employees treat customers as if they're a necessary annoyance; no lively banter from the cashier, no "Have a nice day!" or "How are you doing today?", usually not even a smile. Actually, it was much the same in Scandinavia and France. I never felt anyone was being overtly rude, but I sure wouldn't call their attitude friendly. When my German family comes here, they're really surprised at the level of friendliness in American stores.

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Response to lynne (Reply #25)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 12:12 PM

83. I think you've hit the nail on the head.

I think anybody would have been refused unless they had a clear intent of buying the item.

Oprah is making a mountain out of a molehill and making herself into an ass.

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Response to lynne (Reply #25)

Sun Aug 11, 2013, 06:55 PM

153. Don't bags like these have wait lists?

People reserve these bags ahead of time. Maybe the bag was already sold. I have heard about this. You cannot just "buy" a Birkin on a whim.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:08 AM

28. I agree with the point you're making. I am also unsurprised by the point missers pissing on your

thread.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:35 AM

29. she has the last laugh though.

I think of the scene with Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman where she goes into those stores on Rodeo drive and gets that look of disgust. I am thinking maybe Oprah wasn't dressed in a high priced outfit. Maybe she was dressed like a normal person.


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Response to ejpoeta (Reply #29)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:17 AM

62. The store had the last laugh in that scenerio. nt

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #62)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:27 AM

69. how did the store have the last laugh, since it lost out on a pretty big sale?

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Response to niyad (Reply #69)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:32 AM

72. Didn't they buy a bunch of clothes?

I thought the prostitute complained to the John, and then they both went to the same store and bought a bunch of stuff. Did they go to a different store?

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Response to ZombieHorde (Reply #72)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:56 AM

79. yes, vivian and edward go to a number of different shops. when vivian is finished shopping, loaded

down with bags, she returns to the shop that refused to serve her, pointing out what a huge mistake they made.

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Response to niyad (Reply #79)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 12:39 PM

87. Ah. That does sound familiar now that you have described it. nt

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Response to niyad (Reply #79)

Mon Aug 12, 2013, 09:56 AM

162. Yes, that's the trope that this incident resembles.

The old "don't judge by appearances" + "rags to riches" scenario.

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Response to CJCRANE (Reply #162)

Mon Aug 12, 2013, 10:11 AM

164. when I was in college, back before the earth's crust cooled, most of the students looked and dressed

as was typical for the time. most shopkeepers would not give them a second glance, not knowing that, for the most part, those students had MONEY. I learned then about never judging by appearance.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:48 AM

33. You're right - it's not the purse it's the general idea

of there being an elite class that spends this kind of money on themselves - the purses, yachts, private planes - you name it. It's not just this country either. There is a global superclass of billionaires who pretty much do what they want and spend what they want while others are homeless on the streets.

This is US specific, but I like to bring out this chart when folks start talking about economic inequality. We can do better.

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Response to TBF (Reply #33)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:31 AM

71. It's appalling. Oprah should have kept her big mouth shut.

Is she that far removed from reality not to see how outrageous her petty complaint is?

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Response to TBF (Reply #33)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 03:11 PM

93. Thank you for this chart.

I'm printing it out and carrying it with me for further discussion with my Fox News brainwashed acquaintances.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #93)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 05:28 PM

100. If you go to the link there's more --

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph

The hardest part is convincing a brainwashed country that we don't have to have capitalism. They've been told since they were little - via press, parents, teachers - that we have the best political and economic systems in the world. I agree that democracy is preferable to dictatorship, but when you vote yourself into this kind of situation (allowing 1% to have so much) the democracy isn't helping much either. I find it completely immoral that some humans are allowed to have so much more than others (and this is from someone who played all their games and has benefited from it). We can do better - we can put people in front of profits if we all put our minds to it.

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Response to TBF (Reply #100)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 06:24 PM

103. I live in an affluent area and since I work out at the gym with some really rich people,

I have had occasion to engage in conversations with them about our economy. I'm not well off myself. I live on Social Security and rent a trailer in the back of my in-law's property, but they don't know I'm poor, only that I live in an area with a lot of well off property owners. They are all Fox News brainwashed and when I try to explain to them that the homeless are not just the bums they want to think of them as such, but children and people who have jobs but can't afford rent, they just glaze over. It's good to have some concrete facts and figures to present to them. Also, they seem to think they are part of the 1%. They are not. They of course resent being taxed to pay for social services for the less well off and I have tried to tell them that the tax cuts the Repubs talk about are not meant for them but people much wealthier than them. That chart will help a lot in making them understand where they are in the economy.

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Response to TBF (Reply #33)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:02 PM

117. Is there a similar chart for accumulated wealth? I think that would make more telling.

The wealthy have a way of lying about their incomes.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #117)

Sun Aug 11, 2013, 07:43 AM

146. I'd love to see one -

I don't know if it's possible to track accumulate wealth, other than the totals we see from Forbes each year (billionaire level) ... folks are required to report income and that information can be found on IRS websites, but I wouldn't know where to look for accumulated wealth (especially since a lot is also hidden outside of the country). You make a very good point.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:48 AM

34. John. Edward's. Haircut.

The rich are very different.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:30 AM

40. Thank you for using the word poor.

The poor, the homeless, and the poor working class people
are not middle class, not even close.

And there are a LOT of them living right here in the USA right now.
And we all need to understand that there but for the grace of God
go all of us.

I always think that every damm politician and official in the USA
should have to live solely on minimum wage for at least two years.
They need to walk in the shoes, so to speak, and grow a heart.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:33 AM

41. I can't even deal with anyone, including Oprah, who would spend $38,000 on a purse

when people are trying to hold onto their homes for a $900 mortgage payment. Good for the obscene wealthy but my mind just doesn't register interest in their "dilemmas".

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #41)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:37 PM

122. I can deal with them. But some of their spending habits are misguided. nt

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:34 AM

42. That's no rant.

That's analysis.

Trickle-Down has worked to make life infinitely better for the Have-Mores. They have not shared the loot made in the greatest economic expansion in history. David Stockman said it's something like 7/8 of all wealth ever has been created in the last 31 years.

How much sits in Switzerland? Too much, as it's not being invested in making life better for the he Have-Nots.

Thank you, Cleita.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:37 AM

43. That's ok. As long as the 1% can work the rest of us

At minimum wage, rig it so the middle class pays all the taxes and send our kids to war every decade, it's all good.

NOT

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 09:12 AM

47. At least she was circulating the money. The $38,000. (likely over)paid a bunch of people, who

then spent their piece of the action, which paid another bunch of people, and so on.

It's the wealthy gambling their money and losing it in speculative ether bubbles, such as derivatives, that brought down the economy on the 99%ers heads that is leaving people hungry and homeless. Money created out of the ether that artificially inflates prices, and then disappears back into the ether, leaving us with inflated prices and no way to pay for anything, is the problem.

The more the wealthy squander on their toys and trinkets, the better.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #47)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 12:13 PM

84. We can do better than that.

You may wish to sit around waiting for crumbs to drop, but I am not so patient.

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Response to TBF (Reply #84)

Sun Aug 11, 2013, 09:02 AM

148. I don't doubt that

And accusing me of wishing to "sit around waiting for crumbs" is bullshit.

Exactly what are *you* doing to change our current economic situation?

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #148)

Sun Aug 11, 2013, 04:35 PM

149. Your statement -

"The more the wealthy squander on their toys and trinkets, the better." is the problem.

No, we don't sit around waiting for crumbs to trickle down -- they have billions. That is a status quo argument because nothing will ever change w/that approach.

I am advocating that we change the entire economic system.

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Response to TBF (Reply #149)

Sun Aug 11, 2013, 06:09 PM

150. advocating how? who is listening? what changes are you actually effecting.

My statement was in specific reference to Oprah. I'm not advocating the system. I'm saying its better that they spend their loot then gamble with it. Most of life is not "either-or." Saying one this is better than another is not saying it is the best answer or the only answer. But go ahead. Blame me for the status quo. I didn't make it. I don't support it. I actively pull the plug on in wherever I can.

Just like when I was against the war in Vietnam and the draft. I actively protested it. I actively counseled young men n how to avoid being drafted.

That was before the days of keyboard warriors, though.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #150)

Mon Aug 12, 2013, 07:03 AM

156. Some folks advocate bandaids and crumbs

some folks advocate removal of system. I'm not sure how much more clear I can be here.

As to your personal experiences, that's nice. My family actually serves. All that and a dollar will buy a cheap cup of coffee. It is not what each of us do individually. It is what we can do collectively if we work together.

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Response to TBF (Reply #156)

Mon Aug 12, 2013, 11:20 AM

165. ah, I see. Still not answering the question. nt

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #165)

Mon Aug 12, 2013, 12:04 PM

167. If you are having problems with comprehension

or don't like the answers I can't help you.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 09:12 AM

48. This is a 'perfect storm' of cognitive dissonance for DU.

Straight up racism in a (virtually) culturally homogeneous European country vs 1%'er (and a woman!).

For what it's worth, I can separate the two. I despise the racism- I would feel the same way if the bag were $50 or $500,000.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #48)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:25 AM

66. Yes -- Too bad so many here can NOT separate it to see the bigger picture. n/t

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #48)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:41 AM

75. Her attempt to make herself into the Rosa Parks of the top thousandth of the top one percent

is an EPIC FAIL.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #75)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 12:02 PM

80. She's not trying to make herself into any kind of Rosa Parks

Yes it's a stupid amount for a handbag, and the fact that $38,000 handbags even exist is evidence of a serious problem.

But it shows that racism exists for all people with dark skin, including those in the 1%. They're two different issues. The fact that it's an obscene amount of money for a purse doesn't mean it wasn't racism. And if it happens to her, it happens to all people of color, and those who don't have her privilege of wealth and fame have to encounter this much more often and in much uglier ways.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 09:26 AM

49. that seems like a silly article to me

the thing is, that $38,000 does not just evaporate when it hits the purse. The author says that $36,000 could have been used to help somebody, but when you spend money anywhere, any time, you ARE helping somebody, several somebodies in fact.

For example, in this case, you would be helping - the purse designer (and by extension, their suppliers), the store clerk, the store owner, the owner of the building where the store is, the government that collects a sales tax, a VAT tax, and income taxes from the business and/or store owner. If those people were not getting income, then they too would be homeless.

Luxury items provide income and employment to people too.

Oh, and it was 38,000 Swiss Francs, which would be $41,000 at the current exchange rate.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #49)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:10 AM

52. purse designer

$37,950 and the last 50 dollars to everyone else. Purse maker was probably paid 50 cents an hour in China.

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Response to Duckhunter935 (Reply #52)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:30 AM

55. oh, I bet there is more of a mark up than that

In Kansas, the sales tax alone on a $38,000 item would be $2,850.

Of course, unless the clerk is paid on commission, then only the store owner's income depends on an individual sale. The landlord and the clerk get paid as long as there are enough sales for the shop to stay in business. Each additional sale beyond that, does nothing for them.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #49)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 02:12 PM

90. The article says it was $35,000 Swiss Francs and $38,000

in dollars.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #49)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:44 PM

110. +38,000

I agree.

It's all explained right here:

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #110)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:41 PM

123. Al Franken usually gets it

but he just sat back and voted for ATRA without making a peep.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:56 AM

60. Thanks for sharing your insight n/t

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:24 AM

65. So when do you people plan on attacking the First Lady for wearing Tom Ford?

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Response to name not needed (Reply #65)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 02:42 PM

91. "You people"? n/t

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:26 AM

67. No sympathy for Oprah

With her money, she could have personally called the designer and ordered a custom-made purse.

Neiman Marcus has the same bags for under 3k.

It is sickening in the extreme that 38k for a lousy purse that probably cost pennies to make is more money than millions of Americans make in a YEAR. Something like that is a frivolous expense to a billionaire.

We shouldn't even HAVE a billionaire class to begin with, and that is the direct result of tax policies by our wonderful Congress that created this situation.

I can remember some 40 years ago when there were FOUR billionaires in the entire WORLD--Getty, Hunt, Hughes, and Perot (you could actually name them)--and now there are something like 1,400. Even taking inflation into account, something is terribly screwed up with that number.

Remember, that money came from someplace. Money is finite. Oprah didn't "earn" that money all by herself. Neither did her fellow billionaires.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:27 AM

68. I can't think of a better illustration of what's wrong with the 1%!

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:55 AM

78. 38,000 for a purse is obscene nt

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 12:03 PM

81. Thank you for making the purse a separate issue from the racist incident

People saying racism doesn't matter if it happens to a really rich black person is pissing me off. It's still wrong. Yes, no one should make, sell, buy, or look at $38,000 purses, but that is an entirely different issue.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #81)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 03:13 PM

94. I'm sorry I mentioned Oprah at all.

I should have just pointed to the obscenely priced purse in a world of starving children.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #94)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 03:26 PM

96. I don't think you should be sorry for that. It was news...and

I thought your point about the price of the purse was a good one. The articles I've seen on this were all about Oprah's treatment...but, the price of the purse is something almost unimaginable given what's going on with so many people in the world today. It's Oprah's money and she can do what she wants with it...but, I think many people have felt she was a worker for the poor, disadvantaged and left out. Her early career certainly drew people to her show because she seemed to care about "them" and their needs. She had such a disadvantaged childhood she brought compassion and insight to her show.

I think its disappointing to see her make an issue over a shopping trip and a $38,000 bag given her status these days. She's donated to charity and just got a "Medal for Freedom Award" from our President. Yet...she is upset at a slight...when one would wonder why she felt she needed to make such and issue of a rude salesperson who might have their own issues that day. Why would she want negative publicity like that? She certainly can buy and have what she wants plus travel where she wants because she has lots of money. But, that also puts her far away from the person she was in the early days of her career and it shows that she still carries those scars with thinking it was her race...but, the other issue still is the $38,000 bag that somehow doesn't fit.

Anyway...sad that happened to her...but, she has lots of compensation with the power and wealth she holds today. Most of the rest of us are not so able to have such an outlet or platform to speak out when something offensive happens to us.

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Response to KoKo (Reply #96)

Sun Aug 11, 2013, 07:22 PM

154. I'm white, blonde/blue-eyed

and I think the sales clerk would have said the same thing to me-- in regard to this very overpriced piece of reptile skin. I don't know, there is some plausibility although I think that if a store is displaying something for sale, it should show it to customers that express interest in it. If the article was already sold and it was display only-- maybe that may explain it. But then again, what do I know being a recipient of privilege? However, I have observational ability to see when people are being mistreated. Since I was not there, I cannot be sure. I do know there are a lot of snooty people out there that do treat people like crap to make themselves feel superior. I have been on the receiving end and have to say it is about the personality of the person doing it, not the person receiving it.

Now, if O had been turned away from a restaurant; if the police stopped her for driving while black or arrested her because she "matched the description" or the grocery store clerk tests her cash only to verify it is real, being followed about (without cameras) by security in department stores- the daily kinds of little humiliations that people of color endure everyday-- that I have observed and can believe quite easily.

I think Oprah is used to people kissing up to her. Her show has been off the air on major networks for a long time now. Despite plastering her magazine with her face on it every month, --other countries don't necessarily look at American magazines. She is the kind of celebrity like Michael Jackson -- swimming in more refined waters than the rest of the population-- I think their class of wealth insulates them.



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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 12:33 PM

86. Some great points.

K&R

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 05:20 PM

99. Those in the pampered elite class aren't going to pay their fair share of taxes as long as

we have right-wing-soused governance: no one in government is willing to make the hallowed gipper turn over in his grave.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 05:28 PM

101. I am not at all sure that Oprah can be a judge of racism.

I am sure there are Southern women who are normally racist but who would make an exception for her. There are probably many examples of Oprah interacting with people and getting a red carpet treatment from those people due to her being a major American celebrity.

Yet those same people would sneer at any one they deemed to be lower middle class.

Inside that store, Oprah was told to think about buying a less expensive purse, so obviously the sales clerk did not recognize her. This happened in Switzerland - I don't know if a young sales clerk would be that familiar with Oprah. (Whose TV presence is much less a given these days than five or six years ago.)

What is important to realize is that the sort of person who clerks at these high end haberdasheries often are extremely snobby -- snobby beyond all belief. They don't just snub African Americans - they snub almost everyone but their clientele, and maybe some super star they are fond of. Would Beyonce have been snubbed? Perhaps not, as her celebrity status is more current in Europe these days.

What happened is that for a few short minutes, Oprah was treated the way most Americans would be treated in that store. She learned what it is like to be inside an "upper crust" establishment, and how those of us who are in the hoi polloi are viewed by these snobs day in and day out.


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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 06:39 PM

105. I have to admit, I've never seen an "Oprah isn't paying her fair share of taxes" thread before. n/t

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Response to hughee99 (Reply #105)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:01 PM

106. To be clear, maybe she is.

However, the billionaire class she is part of is documented to pay around 15% of their income if that much considering how much of their money gets hidden and laundered in off shore accounts.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #106)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:04 PM

119. I doubt anyone in the 0.01% is paying their fair share. nm

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #119)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:50 PM

124. What is their fair share? Tax rates should be progressive and loopholes that the rich use mostly

eliminated. But once that is done, the 0.01% will still make a shitload of money. What then? Should their money be taken away from them? If their money is taken away an the far Left is happy about that, what makes the far Left any better than the right that wants to take food and educational assistance away from the poor?

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #124)

Sun Aug 11, 2013, 12:11 AM

140. Yes, past a certain point, they should be taxed into oblivion.

Allowing too much wealth to accumulate into too few hands is bad for the society. The economy really does belong to everyone, ideally.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:08 PM

107. It's wrong that she wasn't given the chance to handle the 38k purse

But it's disappointing that anyone even wants a 38 k purse, or that such a thing even exists. The pursuit of outrageously overpriced status symbols is sad and shallow for anybody.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:10 PM

108. The racism gets to me.

I hear ya about the amount of money, but it is depressing to see that racism all over the planet. No matter what, you turn around and there it is...just as ugly ever. Never changing.

Oprah gives cars away to her audience, clearly she enjoys making people happy. That is enough for me. That purse cost a yearly income for a school teacher, cop or fire fighter or EMS in any nation. Money is the most important thing on the planet. Some day we will buy air along with our bottled water. Someday people will pay money to look at a tree.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:46 PM

111. I have one thing to say

If people think racism is justified because someone is rich, you're every bit as bad as a klansmen. It's an eye opener to see just how much hatred for wealthy African Americans many here harbor. Racism is evil. However someone justifies it doesn't change what it is or that people here are working hard to justify it.

There are a number of billionaires on earth, but the one that outrages people here is a black woman who wasn't born rich but made her own wealth. It's pretty obvious people think their whiteness means they are automatically entitled to wealth while Oprah's blackness means she isn't.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:51 PM

114. Ah, capitalism.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 07:54 PM

115. I lost respect for Oprah hearing this story

I couldn't bring myself to spend that kind of money on something so purely for vanity in an age were a 4th of all American children are going to bed hungry.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 08:04 PM

118. Like most people that go from being everyday to being super rich, Oprah has jumped the tracks.

Oprah still does important, good things, but she could have put most of the $36,000 to work helping poor people avoid setbacks like foreclosure, or helping to educate a deserving young person.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:07 PM

127. Right there with you.

It's high time we taxed wealthy elite 91% again. It's one thing to make 100 times more than your employees, its another to make 300 times more and pay less as a percentage in taxes.

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Response to Oakenshield (Reply #127)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:19 PM

128. Yep. Time to bring back real progressive taxation

and taxing wealth as well. We need to tax Wall Street transactions to slow down the casino.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:21 PM

129. Contemporary research suggests

that 'philanthropy' is a misleading and insufficient strategy for wealth redistribution. However, it remains popular with both the uber wealthy (lessens their guilt), and the uber needy (watch just one of Oprah's giveaway shows).

Radical Income Inequity is the enslavement du jour in our nation. AND, I've lost all respect for Ms Winfrey. Her filthy lucre will be cold comfort when the system collapses.

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Response to chervilant (Reply #129)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:27 PM

131. If philanthropy worked as a solution to social problems, we

wouldn't have those problems anymore. Any number of gurus over the ages including Jesus and Mohammed preached about giving alms. It doesn't work. Social democracy that is practiced by many Scandanavian countries seems to be working.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #131)

Sun Aug 11, 2013, 06:57 AM

145. True. n/t

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:24 PM

130. This whole thing smacks of a publicity stunt, done usually when celebs have a new movie or book.


Does Oprah have a new movie or book coming out? Hmm???

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 10:55 PM

133. not sure this is so racist. the shop lady DID show her other bags.

i think it was nice of her not to want to sell over priced designer togs. that's for screwing rich whites, or what i call, a stupid tax.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:26 PM

134. I've never been to Zurich, but I was reading comments from people who lived there

and traveled there. Apparently it's a snobbish place. It may have been more a perceived class thing than due to race. Most of the people who said that they got similar treatment by snooty salespeople were white. The owner claims to be a friend of Tina Turner. So I don't know if it was racism, but it sure as hell was poor people skills. Didn't the stupid saleswoman want to sell the bag?

BTW, who the hell needs a $38,000 bag????? There is something obscene about spending so much money on a purse.

I don't know why it was $38K anyway. The Jennifer bags at Bergdorf's don't reach $3K.



Here's Jennifer Aniston with one of her namesakes.

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Response to Beacool (Reply #134)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:47 PM

135. here:

. . .



In the upscale boutiques of Singapore, New York or Zurich where Winfrey claims a sales clerk refused to show her a luxurious bag purses priced in the four figures are common. In fact, they're so common that a higher level of extravagance exists to set the super-rich apart from the merely affluent.

A budget of about $1,000 to $2,000 will buy one of the cheaper bags by luxe labels such as Prada, Hermes, Fendi, Chanel or Louis Vuitton.

But that's just the starter step. Many labels create the same style of bag in a range of fabrics, from leather to more expensive calfskin, snakeskin and crocodile skin. Adding silver or gold clasps or precious stones can increase the price tag, while limited editions and one-off creations can fetch astronomical sums.

The item at the center of the Winfrey dispute was reportedly a Tom Ford Jennifer bag named for Jennifer Aniston, a fan of the American designer. The version on sale at Zurich's Trois Pommes was one of the higher-end models, priced at 35,000 Swiss francs ($38,000).

. . .

http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/celebrities/38-000-tom-ford-handbag-realistic-for-consumers-like-oprah-1.5863461

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Response to Beacool (Reply #134)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:51 PM

136. Point was about the price of the bags.

Really.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #136)

Sun Aug 11, 2013, 12:05 AM

139. The price is obscene.

I just realized why it cost $38K. The one Oprah wasn't shown was a crocodile bag. Making the whole thing doubly obscene.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sat Aug 10, 2013, 11:57 PM

138. There are people out there dying of diseases that could be treated for the price of

that casual purchase.

Oprah's been in her little opulent bubble too long if she actually thinks anyone has an ounce of sympathy to spare for her hurt feelings when shopping for a purse that costs more than most people make in a fucking year.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sun Aug 11, 2013, 12:22 AM

141. I think what really bothers Oprah is her ego was damaged because

the clerk didn't know who she was. I have no problem with Oprah of anyone else that
has made a lot of money but $38000 for a purse is just obscene. Just think of all the people she could help with that money. I think of all the people that have worked every day of their adult life and never made that kind of money in an entire year. Sorry I don't give a damn about Oprah's ego.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sun Aug 11, 2013, 12:46 AM

142. Yes, but you're missing one point. Rich people deserve the best, no matter

how much that costs, because they obviously deserve it. After all, the most important thing in the world is to make rich people richer so they can buy whatever they want. Freedumb. American. Liberty. Bootstraps. Jesus. Etc.

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Response to valerief (Reply #142)

Sun Aug 11, 2013, 01:03 AM

143. You are so right.


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Response to valerief (Reply #142)

Sun Aug 11, 2013, 07:56 AM

147. Yes! Good point! Would you like a dish of this excellent Almas caviar, dear?

It was a steal at $25,000!

I couldn't believe it...ever since the Beluga sturgeon was placed on the critically endangered species list, real wild Beluga caviar has been nearly impossible to find!

Whatever will we do if they become extinct? Can you imagine living life without Almas caviar? I simply couldn't bear it. We better get it now, before there isn't any more!

Extraction of caviar

Commercial caviar production historically involved stunning the fish and extracting the ovaries. Another method is extracting the caviar surgically (C section) which allows the females to continue producing roe but this method is very painful and stressful for the fish and is illegal in some countries. Other farmers use a process called "stripping", which extracts the caviar from the fish without surgical intervention. A small incision is made along the urogenital muscle when the fish is deemed to be ready to be processed. An ultrasound is used to determine the correct timing. This is the most humane approach towards fish that is presently available but not all farmers use it due to the lack of knowledge in this field.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caviar#Extraction

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sun Aug 11, 2013, 01:37 AM

144. Two wrongs don't make a right. Whether racism or class snobbery, the shopkeeper...

...was wrong to act the way she acted. HOWEVER, if we're taking sins here, I think we can all say that racism/snobbery is not the biggest sin of the shopkeeper. That, IMHO, is selling a crocodile purse, and Oprah is complicit in that because she wanted to buy one, which is what keeps such shops--and by extension poachers in business. Crocodiles aren't cows with plenty of hides to spare. Once an animal is extinct, it's extinct. And for it to go extinct because rich women want purses made of such rare materials...that, to me, is the worser "wrong" here.





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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Sun Aug 11, 2013, 06:11 PM

152. What is a $40K handbag made of, unicorn hides?

It amazes me that there is such a thing as a $40,000 purse.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Mon Aug 12, 2013, 09:25 AM

157. The assumption is she was going to BUY it.

Maybe she just wanted to see it closer so she too could laugh at the idea of a 38,000 purse.

But even if she did want to buy it I do not care. Not my money. Not my business. I may be poor but I have too much fucking dignity to envy the rich.

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Response to Cleita (Original post)

Mon Aug 12, 2013, 09:45 AM

161. I think it's odd how Americans tend to project their own local ideas of racism onto

other countries. These things tend to be very region specific.

Sweden doesn't exactly have a large black population. If you were running a shop in a high-priced area and a black woman walked in, you could pretty safely assume she's a foreigner, likely with a lot of money. Oprah just assumed the clerk's attitude was due to the color of her skin, but it very easily could have had more to do with the simple fact that items like $38,000 crocodile bags appeal to a tiny clientele that the shop is familiar with, and this clerk didn't know who Oprah Winfrey was.

To assume it was about racism is a very big assumption-- unlike the obscene (and uncontested) fact that this woman was going to casually drop most peoples' annual salary on a bag made out of a dead animal.

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Response to Marr (Reply #161)

Mon Aug 12, 2013, 10:03 AM

163. Melissa Harris Perry, an African American woman dismissed the claim of racism and

stated that Oprah was having a one percenter problem instead on her show Sunday. I believe this to be true. The clerk did not recognize her as of the class who could afford the purse. I believe it had nothing to do with her color as I'm certain much of the high end clients they deal with are not lily white. She just didn't have the facial recognition in Switzerland as she has here. Also, Melissa went through a laundry list of what that money could have bought, including food for a family of four for thirty months.

Yeah, the fact that overpriced baubles like that exist shows how uneven the world's wealth distribution is. I don't know the solution to this but in the USA we need to go back to the pre-Reagan tax structure, so that those with excess wealth pay their fair share to fund social programs for the needy. Until the poorest person has a roof over his/her head and access to health care and other necessities of like, such obscene wealth should not be permitted to happen.

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