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Bad Ideas

What the New Dealers Got Right – What Whitewater’s Local Notables Got Wrong

There’s sound reason to doubt that the New Dealers’ economic solutions to the Great Depression were effective, but there’s no doubt that Roosevelt’s Brain Trust was hard-working, smart, and candid in its description of America’s economic problems. For a critical assessment of the New Deal, written accessibly, see The Forgotten Man: A New History of…

Foxconn: ‘Innovation Centers’ Gone in a Puff of Smoke

Trump insisted Foxconn in Wisconsin would be the eighth wonder of the world, and smarmy development men in places like Whitewater spoke about how much would come of the project, but in a puff of smoke that project’s ‘innovation centers’ are gone. Nick Statt reports Foxconn finally admits its empty Wisconsin ‘innovation centers’ aren’t being…

Saying and Believing Anything

Adam Serwer, writing on Twitter in response to a series of distortions from the conservative Federalist website, states plainly the truth of Trump-supporting lies: There is no incentive to correct because the targeted audience will believe anything pro-Trump they are told, whereas acknowledging error would signal weakness and insufficient devotion to the Great Leader. Yes,…

Foxconn: First In, Now Out

One reads that Christopher ‘Tank’ Murdoch, the first Wisconsin resident hired by Foxconn, has left the company: Christopher “Tank” Murdoch, the first Wisconsin resident hired by Foxconn Technology Group and an honored figure at last year’s groundbreaking for the firm’s planned flat-screen factory, has left the company. In a brief interview, Murdoch said he left…

Be Patient, UW-Madison: Only $99,300,000.00 to Go!

If a group invited a guest speaker who said the world was flat, then that group would be rightly discarded as a credible policy advocate. In Whitewater and other towns, crony-capitalist groups of different sizes proudly declared the Foxconn project a boon for Wisconsin. (Trump, himself, declared it a boon for the whole planet: “the…

School Board, 8.26.19: Insatiable

School Board Meeting 08/26/19 from Whitewater Community TV on Vimeo. Update, evening of 9.9.19: Although this discussion of tax incremental financing (TIF) took place at a school board meeting, a program like this is (obviously) very much an initiative of city government and special interests. School districts like Whitewater’s have a role on a joint…

Foxconn: Hey, Wisconsin, How About an Airport-Coffee Robot?

In Whitewater, there’s a top-notch think tank right-wing landlord’s business group that flacked Foxconn both privately and through that group’s sway over the Whitewater Community Development Authority.  The group invited a state operative to spin Foxconn as a tech city of gold, and at the Whitewater CDA one could hear fantastic tales of high-tech wonders…

It Shouldn’t

Anna Clark (author of The Poisoned City: Flint’s Water and the American Urban Tragedy) asks Why should Wisconsin drain Lake Michigan for Foxconn?: The Great Lakes — five inland seas holding one-fifth of all the fresh water on Earth — are vast, but they are not limitless. So it is alarming that Wisconsin intends to send…

Foxconn: Independent Study Confirms Project is Beyond Repair

Previously: 10 Key Articles About Foxconn, Foxconn as Alchemy: Magic Multipliers,  Foxconn Destroys Single-Family Homes, Foxconn Devours Tens of Millions from State’s Road Repair Budget, The Man Behind the Foxconn Project, A Sham News Story on Foxconn, Another Pig at the Trough, Even Foxconn’s Projections Show a Vulnerable (Replaceable) Workforce, Foxconn in Wisconsin: Not So High Tech After All, Foxconn’s Ambition is Automation, While Appeasing the…

Town Residents Claim Trump’s Foxconn Factory Deal Failed Them

The project has failed those residents, as it has failed Wisconsin, and become a cautionary tale for the rest of America. Previously: 10 Key Articles About Foxconn, Foxconn as Alchemy: Magic Multipliers,  Foxconn Destroys Single-Family Homes, Foxconn Devours Tens of Millions from State’s Road Repair Budget, The Man Behind the Foxconn Project, A Sham News Story on Foxconn, Another Pig at the Trough, Even Foxconn’s…

Foxconn: Reality as a (Predictable) Disappointment

The Wisconsin Foxconn project was, is, and will continue to be a huckster’s con and a sucker’s idea. Across America – a place of over 325 million – Foxconn is an example of an obviously bad, unworkable idea. In Whitewater and other Wisconsin communities, the men who push this project were either objectionably conniving or…

Three Fundamental Failures: Employment, Income, and Poverty

An earlier post addressed Walker’s Fundamental Failure to meet his jobs pledge even after eight years. The record is much worse: years of corporate subsidies and meddling in the marketplace for preferred businesses & political cronies have produced failures of employment, income, and poverty. (Small town officials who copied this approach on the local level, as…