Feast on the Savings
It is Thanksgiving! It’s the time of year when you get to hang out with family members that you rarely see, including your progressive niece, John, and your socialist nephew, Jane. It is also the time of year when you show the universe your gratitude, whether it is for your new job as a marine biologist or the endless hours of the fake news industrial complex providing you with tears of laughter.
But you know who else you should thank this year? The farmers. Not only are they helping you enjoy the holiday with a stuffed turkey, pumpkin pie, and little fried onions, they are making sure you gobble up some savings, too.
According to the 34th annual American Farm Bureau Federation survey, you can anticipate $48.91 for a Thanksgiving dinner that feeds ten, which works out to less than $5 a person for all of your favorites: sweet potatoes, peas, butter rolls, and everything else you love. The biggest savings comes from the 16-pound turkey that has a price-tag of $20.81, a buck cheaper than last year.
The study does not consider consumers hunting for bargains. Depending on where you shop, you could find these ingredients a lot cheaper than other major supermarkets. You could, for instance, buy private label stuffing, cranberry sauce, and coffee. This lowers your bill by about 25%.
So why has the price of a turkey feast pretty much flatlined over the last decade? Well, it is not because everyone has become a vegetarian and the demand has diminished. The obvious reason is that farms have become more efficient, embracing the latest technological developments and using automation and artificial intelligence. Scientific advancements have also contributed to the decreasing cost of turkey as housing and genetics have been updated, which means not a lot of time, resources, and feed are required.
Get stuffed! That is the only way to survive your in-laws shrieking about tofu and Das Kapital.
Manufacturing a Revival
Well, that certainly came out of nowhere.
After months of the U.S. manufacturing sector being in a recession, new data suggest that it is getting better in an industry that has been battered and beaten for the last 18 months. Despite a new trade agreement with China that has yet to be signed and the global economy remaining anemic, the IHS Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) came in better than expected.
The November manufacturing PMI clocked in at 52.25, up from 51.3 in October. This beat market expectations of 51.6. For other readings, the Markit flash services PMI was 51.6 this month, up from 50.6 a month ago.
Why does this matter? The manufacturing PMI is a collection of economic indicators gathered through surveys of manufacturing companies. With trade uncertainty affecting business confidence and investor sentiment, global financial markets take a lot of value in these types of measurements.
It is also evidence that it can be hard to time to accurately predict and time the market. While America’s manufacturing sector has been in a rut since the trade dispute with China commenced, it has somewhat rebounded. Whether you love President Donald Trump or hate him, this is a positive trend for the nation and the people.
What’s Your Insource?
Complaining about American companies outsourcing employment overseas and grieving about other countries stealing U.S. jobs has become a bipartisan national pastime. It is ostensibly sinful for private companies to shift their operations to another country because of tax policies or better human capital. It turns out that Republicans and Democrats want to dictate what these businesses can do with their money.
But what about insourcing? It seems like nobody is losing sleep at night over foreign companies moving to the U.S. and hiring American workers.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) recently published a gripping report that examined this trend. The study, titled “Activities of U.S. Affiliates of Foreign Multinational Enterprises in 2017,” contained some interesting statistics about insourcing:
- Nearly eight million Americans have insourced jobs.
- More than 7,000 multinational enterprises (MNEs) are situated in the U.S.
- Employment by MNEs represents about 6% of the total U.S. private sector.
- MNEs contribute $1 trillion to the gross domestic product (GDP).
- S. affiliates accounted for 25% of U.S. exports and 24% of U.S. imports.
- Foreign companies paid on average $96,000 a year in the manufacturing industry.
- Roughly $63 billion was spent on research and development.
The two states that are the largest beneficiaries of insourcing? California and Texas.
Mark Perry, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), wrote:
“The insourcing of production and jobs to the US has a significant and positive impact on our economy, and yet this huge economic stimulus gets almost no attention. All we ever hear about from Team Trump is the jobs that are allegedly being “stolen” from us by China, Japan, Europe, and Mexico.”
Indeed, there are times when the administration celebrates businesses erecting locations in the U.S. But if you wish to be intellectually consistent, shouldn’t you turn down the offer and encourage these companies to create jobs in their own nation?
Count Your Blessings
Thanksgiving is the one day of the year when you should certainly spend a large portion of your day looking back over the 12 months and count your blessings. A new baby, a 47,000% gain in your Zoom Technologies stock, or the New York Yankees denied a World Series appearance in this decade; there is a lot to be thankful for in this country, even if the mainstream media tells everyone that the U.S. is the worst place on the planet. A turkey dinner that feeds ten people for $50? Thanks, America!
Read more from Andrew Moran.