Re: American made 2 stroke
I have 2 points to add to what all of you have said. I too would love to buy an American made little engine provided the price is somewhat reasonable. It would be very much worthwhile to support Jim and the local (North American) economy. The guy has to make a decent profit for his troubles.
However, at the same time, we shouldn't take away anything from the HT engines. They are what they are. Sure, they aren't perfect and not of the highest quality but for the price that we pay for them I think we do get a reasonable amount of bang for the buck. Also, personally I think the work they require to keep going is somewhat endearing. I think it is necessary to have a spectrum/variety of products. I never learned anything from mechanical products that were bullet-proof because I never had a reason to take them apart. It is through the more unreliable cars and other doo-dads that I've owned, although annoying and frustrating at the time, taught me the most. I for one love to tinker. Most of us on this forum have that tinkering bug as well I believe or otherwise at least half of us would have gone the more 'sane' route and purchased a Honda or some other more reliable moped type of conveyance to satisfy the 2 wheeled motorized itch.
Also, these HT engines aren't 'crappy' just because they're Made in China. Here in America we don't exactly make everything that's 100% either. The Japanese at Honda, Yamaha, etc. could very well say the same thing about Harley Davidson that we say about the HT engines. Anyhow, the Chinese are perfectly capable of making high quality products as well which they do for all sorts of industrial sectors. It just so happens that they also make a lot of cheap(er) consumer products which unfortunately take the spotlight. There's probably a few subassemblies on the space shuttle that were made in China. We shouldn't blame the Chinese because they see a need and they want to fill it and make it affordable for those on a budget. It's just the nature of business. They didn't take American jobs by force. Blame the big business honchos right here in America who sent manufacturing jobs overseas screwing the American worker to fill their own pockets. Those are also the same people who put pressure on overseas manufacturers to make products at least cost. Quality just ends up being the unfortunate casualty.
We're now so accustomed and spoiled getting things for cheap that when a manufacturer comes up with a quality product a lot of people don't want to pay the price which again encourages mediocrity, vicious circle.
McGyver could fix that with bubble gum.