Scott Walker's Ghost Is Still Fucking Over Wisconsin

Photo: Andy Manis (Getty)

Scott Walker finally left elected office earlier this month after a defeat at the hands of Tony Evers, but paws of the Bitmoji Patriot, former two-term governor, and failed presidential candidate are all over a growing disaster enveloping Wisconsin.

The lynchpin of Walker’s argument for a third term as Wisconsin’s governor was a deal with Foxconn, a Chinese electronics manufacturing giant, announced alongside President Donald Trump at the White House in 2017.

Advertisement

The promise was that Foxconn would build a new manufacturing plant in Racine County and employ at least 13,000 people. In exchange, all Wisconsin had to do was give them THREE BILLION DOLLARS in tax breaks. Along with a $764 million subsidy from the county, the cost of bringing those jobs to Wisconsin grew, by the time the governor’s race rolled around, to $4.1 billion, even as Foxconn itself lowered expectations for what exactly would be built there and how many jobs would come along with it.

As Reuters reported earlier today, Foxconn is ready to lower expectations even further, emphasis mine:

Rather than a focus on LCD manufacturing, Foxconn wants to create a “technology hub” in Wisconsin that would largely consist of research facilities along with packaging and assembly operations, [Foxconn official Louis] Woo said. It would also produce specialized tech products for industrial, healthcare, and professional applications, he added.

“In Wisconsin we’re not building a factory. You can’t use a factory to view our Wisconsin investment,” Woo said.

Earlier this month, Foxconn, a major supplier to Apple Inc., reiterated its intention to create 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin, but said it had slowed its pace of hiring. The company initially said it expected to employ about 5,200 people by the end of 2020; a company source said that figure now looks likely to be closer to 1,000 workers.

It is unclear when the full 13,000 workers will be hired.

Considering the total cost of the deal if Foxconn hires 13,000 people would come out to over $315,000 per job, you’d think they would know!

Advertisement

Woo also told Reuters that eventually, about three-quarters of the jobs will be in research and design rather than blue-collar manufacturing jobs. Woo said that it “would be more profitable” to make the LCD panels in China, Japan, and Mexico and then import the product to the U.S. This is something many people could have and probably did tell Walker before he gave away the farm.

Evers is reportedly meeting with the CEO of Foxconn later this year to discuss modifying the agreement. So far, according to Reuters, Foxconn has failed to hit even the extremely modest targets set for it, hiring only 178 people in 2018 rather than the 260 required to get a tax credit of up to nearly $10 million.

Advertisement

As for Walker, it’s a final nail in the coffin. He took a buzzsaw to labor unions, public education, and the safety net at large, all in the name of “fiscal responsibility,” only to give it away all for what’s rapidly becoming a punchline even considering the grim and stupid corporate handouts politicians constantly throw at any company willing to say the word “jobs” enough times.

What was that about not being able to afford single-payer, again?

Share This Story

About the author