Monday, February 25, 2019

The Vanishing Foxconn Fantasy

From The Shepherd Express:


Feb. 05, 2019
12:23 p.m.

Photo credit: Robert Geiger

Absolutely no one should have been surprised that the fantasy of an imaginary high-tech Foxconn factory three times the size of the Pentagon and transforming Wisconsin into a jobs-gushing Silicon Valley of the Midwest suddenly began vanishing into thin air last week. The only surprising part was that the deal started coming apart even before Foxconn—a Taiwanese company producing liquid-crystal display TV and computer screens—could collect any of the $4 billion in state and local taxpayer subsidies former Republican Gov. Scott Walker foolishly committed to pay the company throughout the next 15 years—the largest state tax giveaway in U.S. history.

Seriously, did anyone other than Walker’s Republican co-conspirators in the Legislature ever really believe all those preposterous claims about Foxconn turning Racine County into Walt Disney’s Tomorrowland, with Tinkerbell flying overhead sprinkling fairy dust? The initial announcement was a 2017 Walker re-election stunt at the White House featuring Walker, Donald Trump and Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou—three notorious public liars well-known for promising enormous jobs numbers that never materialized.

The centerpiece of Walker 2010 campaign was an incredible political promise to create 250,000 jobs in his first term, which he still hadn’t achieved when voters finally sent him packing eight years later. Trump’s blizzard of well-documented lies by The Washington Post increased to 15-a-day in 2018, tripling his 2017 world record. It wasn’t easy, but Gou put them both to shame. Gou had broken promises to spend billions of dollars throughout the world that, he claimed, would create tens of thousands of jobs in Brazil, India, Vietnam and Indonesia. Gou’s only prior U.S. fabrication was a 2013 promise to invest $30 million creating 300 high-tech jobs in Pennsylvania. It never happened.

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