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All call to collective action for economic development

Since we in Oregon are on the cutting edge of bicycle transportation, why not consider this repost (yahoo groups) a call to form a democratic worker-owned business to advance bike commuting.
From: "evsolutions" <evsolutions@r...>
Date: Sat Aug 7, 2004 3:56 pm
Subject: RE: [power-assist] Re: NEWS: Town officials target use of motorized bikes

IMHO when there are enough e-cyclists out there to sustain a voice in government, then manufacturers, distributors, dealers AND e-bike owners should pay into a slush fund to finance getting legislation changed in our favor.

The change to 750W X 20 mph came about via 4 e-bike manufacturers who saw individual States leaning towards EU-EEC power levels and THAT would impair their sales in those States.

What governments react to best is not boycotts and placard waving fringe groups, money talks the loudest, followed closely by State economic Advantage re: creating new jobs and holding onto jobs that already exist in one State. IF Ford or GM went to their State Governor and said unless every
citizen in this here State accepts.

E-Cars OR we shutdown all operations and move to another State... .you'd see it legislated that everyone must buy an E-Car. You'd also see a massive amount of Tax money being spent to get people to switch to E-Cars for all kinds of real or imagined reasons.

I am fascinated by the State of Oregon and their 1% of Tax Money going to building and maintaining bike trails... this is truly an enlightened State government, but Oregon ALSO has a plethora of DF, Recumbent and cycle accessory designer teams and manufacturing companies. Not sure if the State
government was sucking up to these companies or they saw enough of their voters would think better of them at election time for being pro-cycle active. My point is with the Oregon example is, would Oregon have gone this route IF it did not have these cycling related industries? California likely
has the same number of jobs involved in the cycling industry, but NOT by proportion, like in Oregon 200 jobs in cycling is a big deal when the total number of manufacturing jobs is say 10,000. In California 200 jobs is nothing against several hundred thousand jobs.

When I was more active in recumbent cycling on the building side, one of my main complaints was that America SHOULD NOT allow Taiwan or the PRC to dominate in the building of what we ride. That there are enough of us mother f**kers in North America riding bent that we can support "Home Spun" bents.
IF America allows 100% of what we ride to be made Off-Shore, we lose an Industry THAT can influence Government Legislation in our favor.

Same applies to e-bikes (hope Kenny is not reading this), when America allows all the technology that powers our e-bikes to be MADE Offshore, then again we are losing the influence that industry will have when we deal with State and Federal Legislatures.

The question was raised recently WHY can't we build e-motors in America instead of being dependent upon Asia?

1) Well we can build Hub Motors here, likely far superior to what is hitting our shores from abroad.

2) Do we have the Brain Power here to get a really good e-motor into production... Oh Yeah.

3) Do we have the Incentive to make this happen as a Home Spun product?......NOPE

4) Will Governments loan us seed Capital and give tax breaks for a new Industry?...YES, most will.

5) Will it happen... NOPE

6) Should it happen... Most Definitely

#3)

*Patriotism?...yeah right, seeing a 100% American made car is like seeing Big Foot at a J.C. Penney.

*Keeping jobs in America... not likely unless it includes a mop and bucket or will that include French fries?

*Having Polytechnical Educational Institutes like M.I.T. to supply our new industry with brain power to make us grow and prosper... highly unlikely unless the pay scale equals Edison or Boeing.

*America has pretty well given up on educating kids for Blue Collar labor intensive jobs, finding a good Welder is hard as hell now, 40 years ago we had kids leaving Technical schools in droves as apprentice welders. Same schools today are homeless shelters and what welder graduates there are line
up to operate the Robotic spot welders on assembly lines.

The ONLY incentive to make ANYTHING in America is down to: will it cost less than an import.

America has allowed itself to be lobotomized by marketing agencies and short range thinking governments, by people who convince us that Japan-Taiwan-Germany etc. make a far superior product than ANYTHING made in America. When the masses are convinced... you kiss the incentive to do it here
goodbye.

Apart from going totally Luddite and smashing the means of production, which in the case of America would now be scorching the earth in a slew of countries.

Or setting up protectionist legislation that would piss off the other G-7 partners.

I think America is on the edge of losing it's ability & incentive to feed and house itself.

Having the Best damn Military on the planet is wonderful, might be nice though if that Military had something at home worth returning to.

Bottom Line is this, if you want a Hub Motor made in America-I am confident it can be done. If you want a Hub Motor that is far superior to anything coming from Asia -I am confident it can be done. IF you expect anyone in America to actually buy what you build- I am confident it will be an uphill
fight all the way to convince people you are better than what arrives from Asia.

The mindset of the consumer needs to be changed before anything can be made and sold in America in the volume needed to make that company viable.

Am heading for the longest post ever here... ... and Lalonde is itching to censor something I write that is O.T.

Take ONE e-motor, make it (at least 85% made in America)... and by this I do NOT mean just assembled.

Here, but every bolt, wire, wire cover, connectors, case etc. is MADE in America. The machines to mill the aluminum have to be made here and made of parts made here as well. One setup 85% made in America... .I'd bet it cannot be done. It could be done 40 years ago, but not now.

TREK bicycles... floored me a few years ago after 9-11 and the Patriotism wave in America. TREK added an American Flag logo, added Proudly Made in America and Made by Skilled American Workers.

Turns out the ONLY thing Made in America was the decals saying Made in America and even the decal film was made in Taiwan... what was Made in America was the minimum wage employee who operated the machine (which was not made in America either) that added the glue to stick on the decals. Same deal with RANS recumbents... at one point they implied their bents were Made in America, nothing on their bent was made here except the staples used to seal the bike boxes for shipping. The extent of the Made in America was the bents were partially assembled in America using parts and tools made offshore.

Wavecrest Tidalforce = Made in America... yeah right/

Protectionism is not a good move, it causes more problems than it is worth and at this point there ain't a lot left in America to protect.

I would love to see at least one e-bike and one recumbent and even one DF that is Made in America. I would really love it if that product was so good it devastated the offshore competition BECAUSE it would give other Americans the INCENTIVE that is now missing to take back some of America's ability to
be a manufacturer again.

Should be about 14 Kb by now, someday I will go for 20 Kb for the 4 people who still read this stuff on P/A

Joshua
Electric vehicles still cause pollution 08.Aug.2004 11:57

CaptainPlanet

Are you physically handicapped? What need is there for an electric bike? Until there is infrastructure for charging the bike's batteries by solar / wind / other sustainable clean power, then the pollution is just shifted away from the vehicle and to the coal / nuclear / other plants that generate the electricity. Even hydropower has an environmental cost (river species extinction, reservoirs cover up habitat, etc.). The bicycle is the most efficient transportation machine ever invented, just pedal it!

While I agree with the sentiment about products made in USA, I wonder after reading the article what point(s) the writer is striving at.

Great source 23.Oct.2005 09:23

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