September 13, 2012. “The King of Style”

What in the attached picture of Olaf styling down the highway is made in America?

Well my fashionable helmet is made in China as are my one of a kind Crocs. Note those marsh camo colors.  I bet you want a pair of them too.  The shirt and shorts are made in southeast Asia.  My 49cc scooter causing me to cruise at upwards of 35 miles per hour is a classic Vespa made in Italy.  You got to love the orange paint.  I was disappointed they didn’t offer it in bright yellow.

What is the answer?   Only me, I was made in America.  Guess what fans, we are in a global society, like it or not.  Personally I love it, cause it is too big to fight.  It seems things made in America lack style of Europe or seem to lack the utilitarian suefulness of Asian designs.  Let us look at my scooter.

Does Vespa have a monopoly on Scooter transportation?  What American company even makes scooters?  i know of none.  We have two motorbike companies, Harley and Victory which is a Polaris brand.  Niether of them make scooters.  There are lots of comanies that make scooters.  Honda makes scooters, as do many of the European motor bike companies.  The Chinese even make cheap scooters.  Why can’t we make a decent American one?

For that matter, why are there all sorts of motorbike companies in Japan and Europe and we have two that specialize in heavy over the road bikes?  Can’t we do it?  Do we lack the engineering or the marketplace?  I think not.

Maybe it just doesn’t matter.

So we know why I bought an Italian scooter. but why do I drive a Volvo?  They had an AWD when nobody else did.  They had seven airbags when nobody else did and I liked their style.  It is the technology again and the look.  Again, American penchant for cheap good with little design.  We buy what we are told until we notice something better and then we jump brands.

I have on my helmet because it is cheaper to make overseas.  Same with my Crocs and clothing.  Crocs are a classic American design yet none of them are made in America.  It is a sad state of affairs but companies demanding outsized profits and you and me demanding cheap products at any cost means we can’t compete.  Built in America has little meaning.  It makes me sad to think about it.

Our politicians don’t get it.  The companies don’t get it.  Us as consumers don’t get it and yet, today by promoting QE3, our Federal Reserve wants us to spend and consume more.  They want us to buy more products, more products usually made overseas.  Me buying a new pair of Crocs is not going to lead to new jobs.  A second Vespa will not increase our GDP.

What we need is jobs.  Neither party seems to give us any ideas.  One talks family values, the other wants gay marriage as the battle cry and Romney’s tax returns and everyone to pay their fair share.  Which is much more complicated than they say.  Transfers of rich to poor might make the government budget balanced to some degree but it isn’t the poor who develop businesses and letting the rich buy more expensive wine will not help out creating jobs either.  The goods the poor buy are almost never made in America anymore.

It is time for new radical ideas.  Unfortunately if our government and the republicans are offering none.  I can describe thousands of jobs lost for our corporate business taxes to Ireland and Switzerland.  Companies like Transocean and Weatherford have moved their corporate offices.  Each time they do accountant and legal jobs are moved and as corporate coffers enlarge overseas, they can’t bring it back so they expand overseas and not here.

Ireland and Swiss corporate taxes are 12-14%.  Norway, 18.  Sweden 18, us?  We are over 40% with state taxes pushed in.  Counting the state costs we are the highest in the world and not counting the state load we are a little below Japan.  So who pays the 40%?  Small businesses as the big businesses have moved overseas because they can.  Let me see.  40% of nothing?  Not much.  20% of something, a lot more.  If some of the small businesses paid less taxes maybe we’d hire more.  At least if it isn’t competitive to move yopur company to Ireland, you’d have more poeple here.

Nobody who discusses corporate taxation on the TV ever explains it correctly.  A company will not move for 5%, but they will for 25%.  But I guess Dublin needs employment too.  Zug is a good place to be an accountant, or so they say.  That is why we are in a global economy, I guess.  We spend the money here and everyone else gets the benefit.  Our job growth?  McDonald’s, Walmart, and Starbucks.  Good jobs for the future?  I doubt it but here we are.

As they say, think globally and act locally.  I buy locally which is actually helping globally.  My next purchase?  Internationally designed and SE Asian manufactured furnature, Korean made tires, and a IPhone, mostly made everywhere but in America.  Oh well, maybe eventually if everyone else has enough money they will eventually have us make and then buy our products.

Oh I forgot, the soybeans in the back of the picture…they will be shipped to China.  At least it is something.  Meanwhile I’ll be stylin’ down the road in my hot orange Italian designed and built Vespa with a helmet that is modeled after Kazhu on the Flintstones, gosh am I cool!

To the freedon of the open road my friends,





2 thoughts on “September 13, 2012. “The King of Style”

  1. As Joseph de Maistre said: “Every country has the government it deserves (Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle mérite”). Could this be expanded to include the economy as well?

    Part of the problem, I believe, is that people vote, companies don’t, and for those voters, personal taxes is a four letter word. Big companies buy politicians but small companies just get screwed and pay the tax that the citizens don’t want to.

    Given the lack of care taken by government (pick a level – federal, state or municipal) with the money taken from the economy, I feel the frustration of the taxpayer. Governments, on balance, however, control this discontent by not actually sticking the voters with the real costs.

    Companies are merely a legal construct to generate income. It’s the people who benefit from the company who should be taxed. Just follow the money. Let companies create jobs, give people incomes, pay dividends to shareholders, etc., but only tax for services used (police, fire, etc.), retained earnings, and money leaving the country. Perhaps then, there’s a chance small business could compete against cheap off-shore products and there’d be more people with jobs sharing the tax burden.

  2. I agree, I never understood the double tax thing anyhow. Your point is better made than I presented it. Too much wind in my face on the scooter no doubt. Thanks. Olaf

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