The American Dream, apple pie, gold streets and toys - lots of expensive toys....
As the American economy flounders and fails to re start I have to ask myself why the US government isn't DEMANDING some loyalty, some pay back, out of Harley-Davidson.

Back when the importation of foreign motorcycles saw heavy tariffs and duties applied to slow the retail sales of the foreign products and protect the "Iconic" brand Harley-Davidson, H-D was grateful, humbled even. Back in the late 40's early 50's the US government protected H-D...It happened again in 83 when Ronald Reagan imposed a 45% tariff on imported bikes and bikes over 700 cc engine capacity...

It appears however that H-D's Colors are not red, white and blue the way they claim in all of their patriotic, chest pounding commercials but GREEN and they are a running to the green as fast as they can. (See the article on the new CKD plant in India being built)

It saddens me to realize that something the American Consumer has held so dear - gave up their hard earned dollars to defend and protect (remember - taxpayers protected it) to see that brand live to be over 100 years old and then slap the American rider, the American Consumer, the American Employee - the American government (State Govt too) right upside the head and say thanks for protecting us so we could make money.

Now that you need jobs here in the US though - well too bad - we can make or build stuff cheaper elsewhere so too bad America...employees - you will do with far less, cities and states - we WILL pull our plants out of here if you don't bend to our will...I wonder if the next time this ICON needs a bail out because of their decision making - will the American Government, the taxpayer - the employee/consumer actually look back in history and go - yah - NO....

Sorry folks - I  understand this is commerce and business and I get it that it is their right to seek those greener pastures and yet I can't help but ask myself...why...why are the the governments of the various cities and states not protecting the American job?
The bail out and stimulus needs to be revisited and should have a lot more to do with jobs in the US... (Mind you the work ethic and the wage expectation needs to be revisited as does the price of things like cars and trucks etc...) with out our biggest trading partner being healthy, our economy is going to falter farther too.

Harley-Davidson Motor Corp is about as loyal and patriotic as the man in the moon - no scratch that unfair comparison - at least the man in the moon hasn't run off to greener pastures...

It's commerce, I get that.

India...the American dream of nice cars and homes, and toys - lots of toys - has moved to a country called India where sacrifice is a way of life.
India - where generation after generation live together under one roof, learning and sharing - these people know short term pain for long term gain. Their work ethic today is what the work ethic in North America used to be. Their sense of family values and protectionism very much the same as it used to be here.

But something tells me that if H-D were to ask for protection - a bail out the way they did so many years ago here in North America - they probably wouldn't get it from the Indian government - the Indian government would look at the history books, see what H-D did to the US of A in it's time of need and say - yah, no - Hero Honda is offering us a better deal...

The American Icon - H-D sees green and is going for it, the American consumer will go on feeling loyal to the brand, the American Employee will grudgingly stay at their job at the plants that H-D threatened to move out of Milwaukee and the state and municipal governments will go on letting H-D push them around. Nothing much will change and yet...

Any company that touts itself as a patriotic one, that builds its image the way H-D has being seen as this patriotic retailer, well I think they have set themselves up to get kicked around just a bit....and that's my humble opinion.
(And yes, I ride a Harley...)

As always - I welcome your thoughts and opinions - please jump in to the discussion here in my blog, on Face Book or in the Forums on - I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Check out the days news over on Surete Quebec has
caught someone they have been looking for since 2009.

If you are riding today you luck dog...PLEASE ride safe.

Belt Drive Betty
Rider & Editor
The Busted Knuckle Chronicles

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