FREE WHITEWATER

Economy

‘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,…

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…

Lost Homes and Land, All Over a Foxconn Fantasy

Wisconsin State Senator Jon Erpenbach reminds that people lost homes and land over the Foxconn proposal, and communities spent far over one-hundred millions on an idea that was – to any reasonable, discerning person – doomed to fail. Doomed to fail: dozens of analyses and warnings from across America, of which merely one is Tim Culpan’s Wisconsin…

WISGOP Assembly Speaker Vos Hopes You’re Stupid

With the news that Foxconn plans to drop manufacturing at a plant that was supposed to hire thousands of workers, for which people lost their homes, and that was the centerpiece of Scott Walker’s corporate welfare and crony capitalism, Speaker Robin Vos blames…newly-elected Gov. Tony Evers. Oh, brother: Vos must hope that Wisconsinites are stupid enough to believe…

Foxconn Talks of Folding Wisconsin Manufacturing Plans

No one who thought about Foxconn seriously would be surprised to read from a Reuters exclusive that Foxconn [is] reconsidering plans to make LCD panels at Wisconsin plant. The Taiwanese manufacturer has already broken its promises on the kind of panels it would build at the plant, and failed to meet even its low, first-year hiring…

Commerce Slows

Update, Friday afternoon: Trump folds under pressure agrees to a three-week re-opening of the federal gov’t.  Of his Rose Garden address this afternoon (one that I watched in full), Jennifer Rubin observes “[m]aybe this is part of an insanity defense for the Russia probe.” One reads that under the shutdown, interstate commerce now slows: Significant…

Ignorant Policymakers Will Produce Ignorant Policies

Rep. Justin Amash, who is as close to a libertarian as any Republican in Congress, offered this observation about Wilbur Ross, Trump’s Secretary of Commerce: It’s amazing that Wilbur Ross was nominated and confirmed to be secretary of anything. He’s shown over many years that he doesn’t understand basic economics, and to describe him as…

The Shutdown Brings…a shutdown

Troy Newmyer reports Economists worry ‘zero growth’ may be reality as shutdown drags on: Kevin Hassett, the Trump administration’s top economist, acknowledged yesterday the economy may not grow at all in the first quarter if the shutdown lasts that long. And White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is eyeing an even longer impasse. He…

Nationally and Locally: The Big-Government Conservatives Are Economy-Wreckers

Catherine Rampell, writing about the national GOP, accurately describes their economic policy under Trump in The GOP has become the Soviet party.  This has been a building national problem for years, but a building local problem for about as long: a clique of slogan-rich but insight-poor local conservatives have wrecked economies like Whitewater’s economy with a steady diet of…

Foxconn Couldn’t Even Meet Its Low First-Year Goal

Here in Whitewater, the local private business lobby invited last year as a guest speaker a state operative to exaggerate wildly talk about Foxconn. See A Sham News Story on Foxconn. As it turns out, Foxconn hasn’t even been able to meet the low, first-year employment goals set for the publicly-subsidized project. Rick Rommel reports Foxconn falls…

‘Our Guy’ Isn’t Our Guy

Some months ago, in a radio interview to tout part of the Trump tax bill, the Whitewater Community Development Authority’s executive director Dave Carlson referred to Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner as ‘our guy.’ Sensenbrenner, a pro-Trump septuagenarian multimillionaire from a gerrymandered district, is – literally – Whitewater’s federal representative. Sensenbrenner has never been – and…

Political and Apolitical Means of Local Accomplishment

One test of an institution’s vitality is how eager people are to become members, and how interested a community is to learn who’s become a member. Strong institutions or organizations attract attention. When the institution is a city or county government, one looks to see who’s eager to run for office, and how many people…