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Public Money for Unskilled Manufacturing Jobs is Money Wasted

In times of historically low unemployment, communities are simply wasting public money when they subsidize unskilled manufacturing jobs.  The jobs, jobs, jobs mantra only makes sense in conditions of unemployment, unemployment, unemployment. Despite relatively low unemployment, ‘community development men’ in places like Whitewater still push business subsidies for companies using unskilled labor.  Pretending that dead-end…

Walker’s Fundamental Failure

Walker’s fundamental claim was that he would be a jobs creator, with a horde of operatives, development men, business insiders, and political cronies insisting that billions in state funds would somehow trickle down to create jobs. In his fundamental promise, Walker was a failure. Shawn Johnson reports Walker Never Reached 250,000 Jobs Created (‘Finalized statistics…

‘Stung by Trump’s Trade Wars, Wisconsin’s Milk Farmers Face Extinction’

After years of the ignorant scheming of tax incremental financing, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, capital catalyst grants, the Trump tax bill, and now Trump’s trade war, Alan Rappeport reports Stung by Trump’s Trade Wars, Wisconsin’s Milk Farmers Face Extinction (“The flagship industry in a pivotal swing state faces an economic crisis”): KENDALL, Wis. —…

Foxconn: The Closer One Gets, The Worse It Is

There is, about Foxconn in Wisconsin, a fair amount of ignorant insistence that there will be supply chain opportunities, etc. Public employees talking about the Foxconn project’s supposed benefit is the practical equivalent letting them recite limericks or play sheepshead: it’s not productive. For those near Foxconn, however, that project is more than wasteful talk:…

Foxconn: Evidence of Bad Policy Judgment

From the moment then-Governor Walker signed the Foxconn deal, it was clear to national economists (from across the political spectrum) that it was a dubious idea. As the months wore on, one could find more – and detailed – critiques of the project. FREE WHITEWATER has post after post addressing these sound critiques. The posts…

Half-Right About the WISGOP

Thomas Edsall, writing in the New York Times, quotes Jerry Taylor and Will Wilkinson of the Niskanen Center think tank on Republicans’ political economics. Two quotes from Taylor Wilkinson stand out – one right, and one wrong (at least wrong for Wisconsin). From Will Wilkinson, a view of cultural issues’ importance: The G.O.P.’s success in…

Foxconn: When the Going Gets Tough…

The national press has reported extensively, and critically, on the Foxconn project. National technology site The Verge (part of Vox Media) has also noticed how local officials who flacked this project day and night are now, well, quieter. Nilay Patel writes Let’s all watch the Wisconsin local news desperately try to get answers about Foxconn:…

‘Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn’

The published case against Foxconn – with reporting & analysis from some of America’s finest journalists and economists – is overwhelming. Their careful, published work has set out the plain facts for well over a year. And yet, as a multi-billion dollar public failure, there are even more startling accounts still emerging. Austin Carr reports…

Foxconn: The ‘State Visit Project’

Willy Shih, of Harvard Business School, writes that Foxconn’s Wisconsin Factory Is What The Chinese Call A ‘State Visit Project’: Last week I wrote that Foxconn’s giant flat-screen factory in Wisconsin was facing an economic reality check, and might not get built after all. On Friday, after a call between Foxconn chairman Terry Gou and President Donald Trump,…

Crops in a Business Park

It’s right to make bids for government services, just as it’s right to mitigate losses or vacancies. Yet, for it all, it’s telling that Whitewater’s Community Development Authority has so much vacant business space that it leases the empty lots out for cropland. The Community Development Authority of the City of Whitewater, Wisconsin (“CDA”) is…

Laughable Spin as Industrial Policy

Alternative Title: Oh, no baby, of course I still love you…  Josh Dzieza reports After a ‘personal conversation’ with Trump, Foxconn says it will build a factory in Wisconsin after all (At some point…): Days after Foxconn’s Louis Woo told Reuters that the company is no longer planning to build a factory in Wisconsin, Foxconn says the factory plan…

The Fight Against Gravity

The Trump Administration wants to bolster industries that are market failures, with coal as an example.  Catherine Rampell writes of that effort in The Trump administration learns that fighting gravity is hard: The Trump administration is learning that, as new data show that the industries it has worked hardest to prop up — through bailouts, tariffs…