Mack Truck, Ethan Allen, Celanese Acetate, Johnson & Johnson, Lear Corp., Dan River, Tultex, Spring Ford Industries, National Textiles, Buster Brown, Natalie Knitting Mills, American of Martinsville, Virginia Glove, Virginia House Furniture, Lea Industries, ArvinMeritor, Alcoa Wheels, Rowe Furniture, VF Knitwear, Vaughan Furniture, Webb Furniture, Burlington Industries, Renfro, Hooker Furniture, Bristol Compressors, Stanley Furniture, Dana Corporation, Thomasville Furniture, Sara Lee Branded Apparel, Bassett Furniture Industries, and Pulaski Furniture.
Southwest Virginia manufacturers. All gone. Or now shells of their former selves.
Broadly, where once textiles and furniture manufacturing predominated and where thousands of Virginians obtained their livelihoods, now only crumbling, decaying shells remain. Shattered dreams, like the shattered factory walls that are familiar to us all, prevail.
The Chinese have stolen it all away.
Or did we hand it to them?
If it cushions the blow, we're not alone.
Click on the following image. And be troubled.
Aross this country ...
It wasn't long ago that the Wall Street Journal editorial page was poo-pooing the notion that American manufacturing was in decline, informing us that, even though factory employment was down, productivity was up, and output was still strong.
I knew, when I read such pronouncements, that those who held such views - legitimate at the time - were whistling past the graveyard. That it was only a matter of time.
That time is upon us.
* Chart courtesy of the New York Times.