"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants" - Albert Camus

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Harley Davidson - The Latest Lesson Left Will Ignore

Harley-Davidson warned employees in April that it will move its Wisconsin manufacturing operations elsewhere if it cannot cut millions of dollars at the factories that build the bikes known as "Milwaukee Iron."

Company spokesman Bob Klein said Harley wants to remain faithful, but its production schedule needs to be more closely aligned with seasonal demand, a change that would require approval from labor unions.

Negotiations with the unions began in late July. The president of Harley's largest union did not return multiple messages seeking comment.

Harley, which is the lone remaining Milwaukee based major employer not only employs 1,630, but is a major tourist attraction (Milwaukee Bureau of Tourism estimates last year over 100,000 tourists visited the city for the specific purpose of visiting the plant and the museum).  The city that was a major brewery center lost that distinction with the departures of Schlitz in the 1980s and Miller in 2008. 

In other words, Milwaukee is just another example of dying cities located in labor friendly states.  It is no surprise that the Tax Foundation ranks Wisconsin one of the 10 least business friendly states where businesses like Harley are fleeing from.

A year ago, urban scholar Joel Kotkin pointed out some of the policies that has resulted in traditionally blue states losing businesses as well as population in many cases.  Is it any wonder that federal government's policies have done nothing to ease the unemployment situation when you consider that over 90% of the administration officials come from these same failing blue states (and the rest are mainly progressives from red states), or that this is the administration with the least recent private sector experience in its ranks?

To progressives, Harley leaving Wisconsin or Toyota leaving Freemont, CA does not matter at all.  It does not matter that traditionally blue states of the rust belt and the northeast resemble fiscal wrecks.  Nor does the fact that the most comprehensive study done of rich versus poor states clearly shows that disparity between 10 year average growth rates, income growth, population migration, employment growth, and unemployment rates is striking (with red states making up the top ten performers while the bottom ten are all blue states as seen on the table presented in the executive summary section).

No, none of these matter.  Just like evidence of progressive policy failures - from experiences of the great depression, welfare states of Europe, or twenty years of government involvement in Japan - are all swept under the rug. 

As far as the left is concerned, the moment Harley departs for greener pastures, it will be erased from their collective memories.  Thus is the phenomena called progressive blindness.

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