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Corporate Welfare

Foxconn’s ‘Innovation’ Centers: Still Empty a Year Later

 Over at the national tech website The Verge, Nilay Patel reminds that a year later, Foxconn has still done nothing with the ‘innovation’ centers that foreign corporation promised it would open around the state. They’re still empty:    See FOXCONN’S BUILDINGS IN WISCONSIN ARE STILL EMPTY, ONE YEAR LATER. In Whitewater, the ‘Greater Whitewater’ Committee…

A Newspaper’s Boosterism During a Pandemic

A worthy person – a man or woman committed to reason, honesty, and seriousness of purpose – would have little respect for the Janesville Gazette. This critical view is not a new one, truly: the paper’s work has been inferior during the Great Recession, during an opioid crisis, during cheerleading for countless state and local…

Declines, Recessions, and Rhetoric

While yesterday was a bad day for the financial markets, it’s the underlying – and troubling – fundamental condition of the economy that matters far more. Places like Whitewater, that adopted business special interests’ “if-you-build-it-they-will-come” approach despite increasing poverty and stagnation in household and individual incomes, are especially vulnerable to a downturn. Market Declines. Steven…

Do Yorkshire Terriers Dream of Being Wolves?

Perhaps Yorkshire terriers dream each night of being ferocious wolves.  If that should be so, and if even tiny dogs imagine themselves as mighty predators, then there may be a natural explanation – in animals and people – for the yearning of smarmy local development men for gigantic corporate welfare schemes. Of those men and…

A Reminder About Opportunity Zones: Bad Policy Flacked Locally

Those following what passes for economic policy in Whitewater know that this website has been rightly critical of the economic opportunity zones that were part of Trump’s tax bill. See About that Trump Tax Bill, More About that Trump Tax Bill, and The Trump Tax Bill: That’s Not Reform. Jenny Schuetz, commenting on part of Trump’s…

‘But Not in Conditions of Their Own Choosing’

It’s a truism to say that all people make history, but not in conditions of their own choosing: Admittedly and sadly, the local boosterism of the pre-Trump years is now in retrospect worse than one might have initially believed: across America boosters who peddled false descriptions & junk solutions during the economic hardship of the…

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…

Foxconn on the Same Day: Yes…um, just kidding, we mean no

One reads that in the course of a single day, Foxconn changed its plans for a major building at its Wisconsin site. Corrine Hess reports In A Day, Foxconn Changes Course, Plans To Build Different Mount Pleasant Building: This flashy building? Sorry, Wisconsin, you’re not getting this. Illustration via Mount Pleasant Development Dept. Foxconn’s plans to build a…

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…

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…

F. James Sensenbrenner Heads for the Exit

One reads that F. James Sensenbrenner, the pro-Trump septuagenarian multimillionaire congressman from a gerrymandered district that stretches all the way down to Whitewater, is retiring when his current term ends. Consigned to the minority forever must look unappealing. How time flies! It was not long ago that then-chairman of the Whitewater Community Development Authority was scampering…