On Thursday, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT gathered 1,500 attendees, including 500 manufacturers, both from the U.S. and overseas, along with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Dallas Federal Reserve President Richard Fisher; eight state governors among officials from 32 states for a manufacturing summit. General Electric GE CEO Jeff Immelt also spoke and announced it’s making more energy-efficient light bulbs domestically. Television producer Element said it’s going to make some TVs back in the U.S.This tells me that from a manufacturing perspective, the US had hit rock bottom and is moving back up. I have often wondered if this is something we had t go through as a macro-business cycle.
The manufacturing summit came after Wal-Mart said earlier this year it’s committed to buying $50 billion in additional U.S.-made goods the next 10 years. While that amount pales against the company’s global sales of $479.3 billion, it’s expected to gather some steam.
The bad news is that since so many companies left the country, the ones that are returning aren't hiring nearly the number they had before. This is mainly due to automation.
I think in the end, this will be the worldwide battle. Either automation makes everyone rich...or everyone poor.
Here is Governor Nikki Haley (SC) speaking at the Walmart Conference:
She makes an interesting claim that there are no unions in South Carolina. That's probably true...now. But during the time when South Carolina had numerous cotton mills and a thriving fabric industry, the unions were there. But, as usual, they priced themselves - and the companies they worked for - out of the market. The rest is history.