Bad Ideas | FREE WHITEWATER
FREE WHITEWATER

Bad Ideas

Foxconn: Perhaps – Perhaps – a Few Lessons Learned

Scott Cohn of CNBC reports After Wisconsin’s Foxconn debacle, states and companies rethink giant subsidies. Rethinking is a hopeful prospect, but there has been significant lasting damage, as Cohn reports: Economic development officials in Wisconsin say they are more than ready to move on to other matters now that they have renegotiated a massive subsidy deal…

Adding the Amounts Spent for Foxconn (So Far)

Wisconsin’s new deal with Foxconn will reduce the cost to state taxpayers, but local governments have already spent vast sums on a project that will not – by Foxconn’s own belated admission – come close to what was originally, and ludicrously, promised. Bruce Murphy writes of The True Costs of New Foxconn Deal: the true cost…

Foxconn: Seth Meyers on One of Trump’s (and Walker’s) Biggest Scams, the Foxconn Deal

The Wisconsin Foxconn project that Trump, Walker, and local development men touted was a house of cards, with each card in the deck no better than a three of spades. Their supposedly serious effort now finds itself a national punchline. Previously: 10 Key Articles About Foxconn, Foxconn as Alchemy: Magic Multipliers,  Foxconn Destroys Single-Family Homes, Foxconn Devours Tens of Millions from State’s…

Foxconn: New, More Realistic Deal Means 90% Reduction in Goals

After years of flamboyant lies about what Foxconn would be able to achieve in Wisconsin, there’s a new deal with that foreign corporation. That new arrangement reflects a reduction of 90% or more in what Wisconsin expects and what the state will offer. Local governments have already wasted millions on absurdly grandiose, false promises Not…

Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: Marketing

This is the ninth in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. Through all the difficult events of the last two decades (a Great Recession, an opioid epidemic, economic stagnation, creeping nativism, a pandemic, a pandemic recession), Old Whitewater has responded with the same question: how can we market the town to others? If…

Foxconn’s Venture Capital Fund

Bruce Murphy has a solid assessment of Foxconn’s much-touted (by Foxconn) venture capital fund in About That Foxconn Venture Capital Fund. It’s well worth reading in full. A few key points: Unfulfilled: Louis Woo of Foxconn had promised this venture fund for startup companies would naturally connect to Foxconn’s innovation centers in Eau Claire, Green Bay…

Tommy Thompson @ UW-Whitewater: Day Late, Dollar Short

Former governor and current UW System president Tommy Thompson spoke at a UW-Whitewater Faculty Senate meeting on Tuesday. Thompson addressed a campus that confronts statewide funding reductions, a tuition freeze, repeated administrative scandals and failures over the last decade, a decline in the conventional student-age demographic, and competitive pressures from other universities. For all these…

WISGOP Legislation Would Gerrymander Wisconsin’s Electoral Votes

A WISGOP legislator, Rep. Gary Tauchen, has drafted a bill to award Wisconsin’s electoral votes by congressional district, thereby maximizing the importance of gerrymandering. Melanie Conklin writes that GOP has bill to reallocate Wisconsin’s electoral votes by congressional district: And that is what a new bill authored by Rep. Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel) would do. It…

Highlight’s from The Verge’s Foxconn Assessment

No failure better reveals the bankruptcy of corporate welfare in the Walker and Trump years than the Foxconn project in Wisconsin: exaggeration upon exaggeration, but nothing productive. This was a failure of judgment so obvious and significant that everyone involved should retire from policymaking. Walker Administration, Trump Administration, the WISGOP, the WEDC, down to Whitewater’s Community…

Accountability Comes Calling at Foxconn

After years of grandiose – ludicrous, truly – claims about Foxconn from Trump to Vos to boosters in Whitewater, Accountability has made her way to Foxconn. If not Accountability personified, then at least Missy Hughes (the new, Evers-appointed leader) of a slightly-reformed WEDC. Josh Dzieza of the national publication The Verge reports Wisconsin denies Foxconn tax…

Foxconn & UW-Madison: Two Years and Less Than One Percent Later…

Kelly Meyerhofer reports UW-Madison still waiting on Foxconn’s $100 million pledge 2 years later: Foxconn Technology Group gave no money to UW-Madison over the past year, renewing questions about the company’s commitment to its $100 million pledge to the university nearly two years ago. UW-Madison received $700,000 in the first of a five-year agreement — less than…

How ‘bout a New Slogan for the Walworth County Fair?

One reads that not only are organizers planning to hold the Walworth County Fair during a pandemic, but that they hope to entice patrons with beer sales. Candidly, aside from the pig races (always suspenseful), one can be hit-or-miss about the fair.  Holding it this year is problematic; looking for ways to attract more people…

The Lingering Problem of Local Exceptionalism

A common error in small rural communities is the persistent, false claim that local officials are examples of a local exceptionalism that makes them implicitly immune from the flaws and mistakes that beset the rest of humanity. Under this thinking, while there may be problems in the wider world, there are no local examples of…

The Janesville Gazette‘s Time-Share Stage of Decline

A nearby newspaper, the Janesville Gazette, part of an out-of-state chain (APG) owned by a family that made billions in billboard advertising, recently tried to position half-off advertising as a ‘community grant‘ program. See That’s Not a ‘Community Grant’ – It’s Half-Off Advertising. It’s an old – often true – adage that bad goes to…