Von Maur has the greatest men's shoes in the world. Wednesday night I found a pair of Johnston-Murphy Venetian loafers that I just had to have for summer slumming. I checked out the price at Zappos.com and found that the prices were the same in both places. While searching Zappos, I noticed that there were over a hundred different kinds of shoe suppliers. The list is here. It appears to me that shoes are produced in a purely competitive market. That's what bothers me.
A ruling by the US Supreme Court in Brown Shoe Co., Inc. v. United States, 370 U.S. 294 (1962), blocked the merger between Kinney shoes stores and Brown because the merger would be the beginning of a monopoly. At the time of the ruling, Kinney had less than 1% of the market share. Like dominoes, each shoe producer would be bought up and a monopoly would "tie the laces up" on the shoe market. This is a slippery slope arguement since it allows for, as Thomas Sowell states in Economic Facts and Fallacies, "unlimited extrapolations". The Vietnam war was a result of this kind of thinking. This kind of thinking might say, if we allow girls to wear short skirts to school, next they will come naked. A slippery slope argument is a non sequitar.
When regulating the shoe industry, the government should allow the free market to distribute goods and services. With the hundreds of shoe supplies, you can bet that shoes are being bought and sold in a competitive market.