We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Something America needs more of: good shoeshine stands. This one is in Grand Central Station, NY - a train station which hosts several shoeshine stands of various styles. Those guys do a better job than you could ever do yourself, and a good, solid, comfortable pair of shoes is like a good old friend. Gotta care for them.
I am told that high quality leather shoes, well-cared for and never worn two days in a row (the 2 lbs. of foot sweat per day is a problem for leather's endurance), should last 40 years or more. I own about three pairs of 20+ year-old dress shoes which are just entering their prime years.
Yeah, but my platforms and spade toes don't go with my gray flannel suit anymore.
I think 40 years is stretching it a bit - for dress shoes. The key is finding and using a good cobbler, keeping them clean, letting them dry slowly when they've gotten wet as well as giving them a weekly polishing. I have some Florsheim shell leather oxfords that are in excellent shape after 20+ years.
I have some 15 year old florsheims that are holding up nicely. Not bad for about a hundred bucks. Sadly, I am never wearing the shoes that need shining on the rare occasion that I pass a shoe shine stand. Plus it's one of those skills/tasks -like changing the oil- that I want to keep doing myself if only so that I can pass it on to my son.