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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Schwinn Bicycle: Un-American?

I read the Tim Higgins' blog Just Blowing Smoke... entry Buy American Automobiles: An Idle Question or Two. I commented to that entry with "I get such a headache trying to understand all this. Heck, I am not even so sure there any bicycles made in the USA anymore. I heard Schwinn bicycles are actually made in China."

When I made that comment, I did not know for sure whether it was correct about Schwinn bicycles. So, I did some internet searching, came across some information that pretty much corroborates the allegation, and then hit the "publish" button for my comment to be posted.

Then, I began to write a blog entry for Roland's Ramblings to be published tomorrow. As I was doing so, I changed my mind and decided to do it here on Roland Hansen Commentary. Even as I make this entry, I see that Tim has already commented to my comment by stating "Roland, Did the lookup. Shcwinn was purchased by Pacific, which was in turn purchase by Dorel. The bikes are now made in Taiwan and the People's Republic of China. Sorry..."

None-the-less, I think I'll continue on with this entry. Here is what I found (make sure to look at the embedded links I am placing therein):

The parent company of Schwinn Bicycle which bills itself as "America's most famous bicycle brand" is Pacific Cycle which is owned by Dorel Industries, Inc.

In the true American business spirit, Dorel Industries is a multi-national operation that is not even based in the United States of America. Also, in the true American business spirit, the Schwinn Bicycle operation would have you believe that Schwinn is American. I ask you, is that really American, or is Schwinn Bicycle Un-American?

All of that got me thinking over and over again about the whole 'buy American' thing of which I happen to be a supporter although I admit not 100 percent of the time. Back in December 1985, the article Buy American campaign gains momentum appeared on the scene. Having read that article, you might go on over to read the LOCAL 12 WKRC-TV in Cincinnati News story "Buy American" Campaign. A cautionary perspective is somewhat indicated by the article 'Buy American' campaign stirs protectionist worries By Ron DaParma, TRIBUNE-REVIEW, Wednesday, March 18, 2009.

If the buy American thing is something in which you have an interest, you may always go to visit the web site How Americans Can Buy American.

On the other hand, the Ayn Rand Institute has put forth its perspective "Buy American" is UN-American By Harry Binswanger, Ph.D.

Hmmm, just what is American and what is Un-American? I wonder what you think.

1 comment:

Tim Higgins said...


Personally I was more a fan of the J C Higgins bicycles (no relation). I had one of the cruisers in my youth when we all measured our manhood by the size of the tank on our bicycle frame.

As for the whole "Buy American" push, I believe it to be nonsense. I believe that it is "American" to seek the highest value for the lowest price. That doesn't mean the cheapest, but neither does it mean some jingoistic support for domestic products, regardless of their quality or value.

The smarter than I am in disposing of my disposable income, the more that I can spread it around. The more I challenge any company to produce quality and value in their products, the higher the standard becomes. We do no favors to America or American companies if we do less.