Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Harley-Davidson – Leaving Milwaukee?

In the news this morning is an article – rumors of which I’ve been hearing about for months – that Harley Davidson wants to move their operations to another state.  (The rumors I heard was they were moving to Canada.)  At issue is the company’s desire to “cut millions of dollars at the factories that build the bikes”.  According to the article, they plan on making their decision within the next two months.

Also, according to the article “The company, he (Harley chief executive Keith Wandell) said, would also be open to incentives to keep the 1,630 manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin.”  I’m sure those incentives include tax breaks paid for by us – the taxpayers of Wisconsin.

And, is Harley-Davidson suffering?  Are they about to go broke?

Not according to their financial report:

“Harley-Davidson, Inc. (NYSE: HOG) reported second-quarter 2010 income from continuing operations of $139.3 million, or $0.59 per share, compared to income of $33.4 million and earnings per share of $0.14 from continuing operations in the year-ago quarter.”

Granted, sales of Harleys are down, but with the economy suffering as it is – isn’t that to be expected?  Harley-Davidson is the best motorcycle in the world.  Their sales will bounce back.

I don’t want to see 1,630 of my fellow Wisconsinites to be out of jobs, but do we really want our state to bend over and give incentives as a bribe to keep them here?

I know what’ll happen.  Our cash-strapped state will give in, save those jobs and the tax payers of Wisconsin will pay for the privilege of having Harley-Davidson motorcycles built in Milwaukee.

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1 Comment

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