Pay-as-you-go is another lie from proponents of Foxconn. Much has been paid, while the going is to nowhere. Ricardo Torres reports Taxpayers have spent more than $225 million on roads around Foxconn.
As it turns out, history had already determined that state handouts to attract and keep businesses was a horrible idea, so bad in fact many states amended their Constitutions to prevent those mistakes from ever happening again in the future.After reading the Cap Times article “Where to now with Foxconn? It won’t leave Wisconsin, but it won’t build what it promised,” where every paragraph revealed another strange twist or failure, I had to look up why Scott Walker and his band of plundering Republicans pirates liked the idea of state corporate handouts so much. Not surprisingly, their actions weren’t based on anything I found in the real world, it was simply pure ideological theory. Look at how much money we’re losing, and how few jobs they’re creating…
They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
Here’s the counter-argument today, first in a long, must-read piece carried by the Madison Capital Times which, among other things, looks at the risks facing Racine County and the Village of Mount Pleasant where Foxconn bulldozing and local borrowing are well underway:
Based on an examination of Foxconn’s corporate history, Asian business practices and the stark realities of the LCD panel production industry, the likelihood of a flat panel factory in Mount Pleasant seems unlikely any time soon — if ever.
Neither does the prospect of anything close to 13,000 “family supporting” jobs…
For Racine County, the situation is more pressing… The total county cost was recently projected at $911 million, a liability of more than $10,000 per county household…
It’s the default position of a declining class of entitled men in places like Whitewater that public money should be used to fund their pet business projects despite ample evidence that economic and social conditions have grown worse over time. Their control and manipulation of ‘community development’ hasn’t developed individual or household incomes. See A Candid Admission from the Whitewater CDA, Reported Family Poverty in Whitewater Increased Over the Last Decade, and Private Businesses Craving Public Money.
The reality is that all legislators, of both parties, will be hearing from schools and local governments in their district, that need to plan their budgets and need finality on how much in state aid they will get. There will be enormous pressure to end a long standoff, including from voters in both parties who are likely to get impatient and demand action.
Just to remind you on how much of a COMPLETE SUCKER you have to,be to think that Foxconn will ever create anything close to 13,000 jobs, let me show you yesterday’s John Oliver segment on the automation of jobs. Something Foxconn proudly proclaims to be a “world leader” on.
As Oliver’s piece notes, historically jobs that have been automated out of existence get replaced by new technologies, generally in more knowledge-based industries. Except that Foxconn’s big pre-election promises on new “innovation centers” outside of Racine County don’t seem to be working out either.
I went through the plan to see what Governor Evers saying he’d fully fund the recommendation of the Interagency Council on Homelessness really means. Here’s what I found. This is no longer a report, its an actual action plan!
Here’s the report of the Interagency Council on Homelessness.
And here’s the recommendations that Evers said he’s fully funding. Methinks they should have asked for more!
Defenders of the Foxconn deal often claim that the contract protects state taxpayers because Foxconn won’t receive any credits if it doesn’t meet job thresholds. Although that claim is true in part, it’s also very misleading. More than a third of the planned subsidies — $1.6 billion — including the state and local infrastructure spending for the project, has little or no tie to job creation.
3. The state and local subsidies per job are much higher if Foxconn falls well short of the job creation targets.
Under the contract, Foxconn can get the maximum capital investment credits even if it falls well short of each year’s job target. For example, Foxconn can receive the maximum annual cash subsidy (“tax credit”) of nearly $193 million per year even if it employs only 520 people at the end of this year (25 percent of the target level) and 1,820 at the end of 2020 (which is just 35 percent of that year’s target of 5,200 jobs). Under that lower employment scenario, the job creation payments to Foxconn would be lower, but the investment subsidies are much less tied to the job levels.
In light of that factor, plus all the upfront subsidies that are independent of job creation, the total cost of state and local subsides will be much higher per job if Foxconn builds a smaller plant with fewer employees than initially promised. The huge subsidies for each job created are a concern for many reasons, including the fact that the revisions to Foxconn’s plans make it far less likely that project will have the purported employment benefits for blue collar workers and communities of color in southeast Wisconsin.
[Updated from 3/2/19] If you follow the life and times of Scott Walker on Twitter, you will find attacks on socialism aimed at Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others.
You will also see all the socialism Walker regularly touts and enjoys, from travels from his downtown Milwaukee digs enriched by government-funded TIF districts, parks and protective services, to travels on 100% publicly-financed roads to airports where public employees from sheriff deputies to TSA agents to air traffic controllers move Walker and the government-certified airplanes he boards from one vacation spot and speaking gig to another.
Then back to Milwaukee, where Walker takes in Bucks games close to the city-created RiverWalk near the heavily-subsidized new basketball arena and city-supported entertainment district.
Which leads to an obvious question – why do numerous levels of Wisconsin government continue to bend over backward to shovel billions of tax dollars to help this one company, when we could pay to meet many other needs in the state that would benefit far more people for a much lower cost? The insanity of the Fox-con continues to grow with each story you read.
WISPIRG’s tenacity finally convinced the Legislature to audit the state’s transportation planning methods. The report is due this spring.
But did you get sucked into that newspaper story? I can’t blame you because local officials and their media enablers across Wisconsin, particularly in Janesville, are leaving no stone unturned in their effort to point blame for the avalanche of budget shortfalls expected almost everywhere in Wisconsin, except to point blame where it belongs….
In other words, instead of naming businesses in an obvious effort to target them for public shame, why didn’t the Gazette call out the party holding the majority in our state houses, or name every member of the Wisconsin state senate and assembly (D or R) who either obstruct these reforms or allow the dark store hustle to remain workable and legal? Shame them instead.
The same goes for the so-called state aid formula that hasn’t been changed since 2000. The Gazette and their establishment minions point to it as a major problem fueling local budget shortfalls, but then dismiss pressure to update the formula with, “well, they don’t have the political will in Madison to fix it.” But they sure found the urgency and will to gerrymander electoral districts for their advantage…..
Still, it’s pretty much a circus monkey ransom note from folks who want to soothe our pain of having nearly zero vacant industrial space by giving them free land and cash to build industrial space that would attract tenants so quickly, they’ll notice we have “nearly zero” vacant class “A” industrial space just in time again for the next ransom note demanding more free land and money to build class “A” industrial space …despite high demand for it. Ad nauseam.
According to this celebratory article, tender readers are led to believe various levels of government pitched a combined total of $9 million of the $100+ million projected price tag when in truth, private funding totals only $11.5 million of the $50 million raised so far leaving public sources i.e., federal, state and local taxpayers, pledging the difference of roughly 77% (give or take a few points) of the venture capital raised at this juncture.