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Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO), Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT): Made in America, More Than Just a Patriotic Concept

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For many years, U.S.-based companies’ shipment of jobs overseas has distressed many Americans. Given the state of the American economy, though, it’s becoming more apparent that bringing some jobs back is an economic need, not a knee-jerk principle.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO)

Unemployment is still high, and many Americans continue to suffer. They’re unemployed or underemployed. Many have taken part-time jobs; they’re working hard and still can’t make ends meet.

Some huge American companies aren’t helping. They’re still eroding our advantage by engaging in counterproductive behaviors like mass layoffs. Fortunately, there are glimmers of hope. Some companies’ positive moves may be more about economics than altruism, but they’re a step in the right direction in terms of helping America.

Bottom-line narcissism
Some of the disappointments are galling. Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) announced its plans to lay off 4,000 employees, despite the fact that it remains profitable, reported good sales figures last quarter, and has cash on the balance sheet.

In terms of our current topic, Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) is no new offender. If you look up the record, it’s conducted many mass layoffs over the years. In 2011, it slashed 9% of its workforce, or 6,500 jobs; it then turned around and said it would ship 5,000 jobs to Mexico and to the infamous Foxconn in China.

I can think of many reasons not to invest in Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO); serial layoffs and shipping jobs overseas are the tip of the iceberg. For example, the currently haunting idea that Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) may be becoming less competitive should bring up one key question: Has its serial layoff strategy hurt it, even if short-term traders cheered it on?

Elementary economics
As disappointing as that may be, though, some companies are indicating a sea change under way, bringing jobs back to our shores.

In August, MarketWatch reported on a manufacturing summit attended by some of our most massive companies and public officials, and some corporate heads revealed interesting news.

Jeffrey Immelt, the well-known head of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE), pointed out that that household name is increasingly manufacturing energy-efficient light bulbs in the U.S.

It was easy to view Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)‘s vow to stock $50 billion worth of “Made in the USA” items over the next decades with a jaundiced eye. At the summit, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)’s U.S. head pointed out that the economics of bringing jobs here make “total sense.”

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