Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Elitist

Click image to read fine print of fake ad

Trek Bikes proudly touts their “Made in America” status. I love my Trek, but it’s one of the lower-end models that doesn’t enjoy that American-made distinction. It gets used every day these days as I seek to be less unhealthy. I even outfitted it with a geeky halogen light after I almost ran over two ladies walking their golden retrievers (on the wrong side of the street with giant 50-foot leashes) pre-dawn, one of whom yelled at me, “You need a light!” I grunted back, “Yeah. Sorry,” and then went to Wal-Mart that afternoon on my lunch break to find one. The light was from Schwinn, a proud American company if ever there was one. The light was also made in China, like most things at Wal-Mart, but it casts a nice, wide beam in the wee hours and I can see the things and creatures I’m about to hit on my Chinese-made bicycle. I expect the light to last maybe a year, like most things made in China.

The bike is wearing, like most things made in China, but in our disposable economy, I’ll probably be better off to just get another lower-end Trek before I can pay for one of the “better ones” made in America by angry, bitter rural folks clinging to their overpaid manufacturing jobs.

Eventually, the market for “higher-end” Treks will take a downturn. Then the folks in Waterloo, Wisconsin who make those Treks will watch their factory close. Then they can cling to their guns or religion as they continue to vote for the candidates who have no problem allowing American jobs to be shipped overseas, but who share their faith and will defend their rights to own guns as they visit during campaign season to knock back a beer and regale the locals with tales of hunting in their youth.

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