A Retail Slump Threatens an American Dream

Milwaukee – Young Rae Cho has been selling hiphop clothing in the inner city for 20 years after immigrating from South Korea. He stayed in the neighborhood through the good years and bad. But now he is frightened for the first time, not because of crime, but because of the economic downturn.

“September [was] real slow. I got nervous, you know, scared,” Cho said, “October [was] more slow!”

September usually marks the beginning of Cho’s best period, which lasts through the end of the year. But last month, he said sales were down more than 50 percent from the same period last year. It’s the worst he’s ever seen it and that makes him worry about having enough money to send his two kids to college. His oldest child is 16.

So he’s made some changes. He’s putting more items on sale. He’s closing an hour early.

But perhaps the biggest change occurred six weeks ago when he bought a shotgun and handgun. Cho said there has been an increase in armed robberies in the neighborhood because of the economic hard times. He can’t afford a security guard like he’s had in the past, so he’s arming himself. He hangs the shotgun on the baseball hat rack to deter any would-be thieves.

The recent drop in sales has also made him look at the presidential election more closely. Cho supports John McCain because of his message of lower taxes, but he fears a McCain administration would not help the inner city as much as Democrat Barack Obama. And his business depends on a strong local economy.

“I don’t know which one [is] better,” Cho said, “I’m thinking now.”

By Travis Fox  |  October 26, 2008; 10:39 AM ET  | Category:  In-Depth
Previous: The Town the Economic Downturn Forgot | Next: From the New Deal to a "Great Deal"


BROKER -- What the last 8 years have made me.
STANDARD & POOR -- Life if McBush is re-elected.

Posted by: mytake1 | October 27, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Finally...at last someone has stated the obvious in such a succinct fashion. Great quote here, and certainly one that should convince anyone to vote for Senator Obama. In any case, this statement alone should be reason NOT to vote for Senator McCain:

"He's got seven houses. He don't need seven houses. Who needs seven houses when there are people out here don't even have a house? Haven't even got a room. Haven't even got drawers. Haven't even got anything to put in their drawers. John McCain and George Bush spending all that money on the war."

I salute this young man for expressing what all of us should be saying right now. It is the most pithy, definitive quote I have heard this campaign!

Posted by: krisegg11 | October 27, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Nothing to add to that astounding summary of our political situation. Just a fervent plea for all to vote.

Posted by: Thependulumswings | October 29, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

. . . . . it is amazing that he can believe that McCain cares about him, his business, and could lower his taxes.


Hopefully he will take the time to look at the two candidates in depth and not listening to 'Joe the Plumber' comments.

Obama has the best tax solution for the small business and middle class. McCain is all about the wealthy and John McCain.

And if you are veteran you know that John McCain thinks very little of you, check out his record.

The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America released its annual congressional scorecard. Senators Obama and Biden received a "B" rating. For the second year in a row, John McCain got a "D" rating, placing him solidly in the lowest 10% of Senators nationwide.

SOURCE: http://www.veteranreportcard.org/reportcard.pdf

How about the DAV - Disabled American Veterans

McCain doesn’t have a perfect score with DAV (Disabled American Veterans), a group of 1.3 million disabled veterans that supports more funding for veterans health care. McCain has a 20 percent record of voting the way DAV would like him to in 2006. The group is nonpartisan, but its 100 percent rankings disproportionately go to Democrats: 207 Democrats in Congress and only 13 Republicans received scores of 100 percent in 2006.

. . . . . . and what republicans are saying when they endorse Obama!


Ken Adelman, a Republican hawk who served in top diplomatic and defense posts for presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, told the New Yorker magazine that Palin's choice for vice president made him switch sides and he is now supporting Obama for president.

Former secretary of state Colin Powell, a Republican and military general who has also served as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, on Sunday endorsed Obama and said of Palin: "I don't believe she is ready to be president of the United States, which is the job of the vice president."

And one of former president George H.W. Bush's speechwriters, Christopher Buckley, a prominent conservative, announced this month he was abandoning support for McCain for many reasons, including "the Palin nomination. What on earth can he have been thinking?"

Veterans for Obama!

Obama/Biden '08 '12

Posted by: seakayaker | October 30, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

How about we give big oil companies a big tax break>?? wink!
That will ensure that nobody gets to share their wealth...

Oh right; we tried that; for 8 years now.

10% of the population make 90% of the income.

Special Forces from Iraq return to police the "have nots" and fill the detention camps.

National Guard stay in Iraq and Afghan.

Posted by: ukeman | October 30, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

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