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 themselves aren’t what matters – the links contained within them to national-quality assessments are what matter.

A reasonable and diligent person would see that Foxconn was a sham venture — showy politics but shabby policy.

And yet, and yet, at the local level in places like Whitewater, both the Whitewater Community Development Authority and the Greater Whitewater Committee business league pushed Foxconn long after any reasonable person would have seen the implausibility of that project.  (In Whitewater, the Community Development Authority has been run – for years – by the same men who run that local business lobby.)

Indeed, on November 15, 2018 – after analyses published major publications made indisputable the unsoundness of Foxconn – local officials were still speaking as though it might succeed. From the Whitewater CDA meeting, November 15, 2018:

What Mark Johnson and I have talked about, and Mark’s the director of the Innovation Center here, is we’ve talked about, you know, really trying to establish some connections with Foxconn, see what they’re looking for in terms of, you know, actual product supply chain and innovation supply chain.

Because, as I’ve explained to some people, there’s certainly going to be suppliers that provide, you know, things that go into the products that Foxconn makes. You know, whether it’s glass, they’re going to build their own glass factory down there, whether its other things that go into the glass, it’s cutting these things into bigger display monitors. But Foxconn is also putting a lot of focus on what they are calling a development of an ecosystem of innovation, and they are really basing it on what they call a 5G, 8K platform. 5G talks about the speed of internet transmission, and 8K talks about the resolution of video quality. And 8K is very high resolution. The applications for that technology really are kind of endless and the significant ones like starting telemedicine to other high resolution things.

But what they’re doing is they’re trying to attract innovative, innovation talent, you know, from around the world, and domestically here, to start working on products that can advance sort of the need for their base core base product, that I think they also are really talking about really branching into developing some of those products and new uses themselves.

So, you know and every day I learn a little bit more about Foxconn.

The full video of the 11.15.18 Whitewater CDA meeting is available online.

The FW posts that precede this November 15th meeting – with links to national publications’ critiques – are highlighted in bold, below.

By the time of this meeting, the case against Foxconn was already overwhelming.

To think otherwise is a significant failure of policy judgment.

Previously10 Key Articles About FoxconnFoxconn as Alchemy: Magic Multipliers,  Foxconn Destroys Single-Family HomesFoxconn Devours Tens of Millions from State’s Road Repair BudgetThe Man Behind the Foxconn ProjectA Sham News Story on Foxconn, Another Pig at the TroughEven Foxconn’s Projections Show a Vulnerable (Replaceable) WorkforceFoxconn in Wisconsin: Not So High Tech After All, Foxconn’s Ambition is Automation, While Appeasing the Politically Ambitious, Foxconn’s Shabby Workplace ConditionsFoxconn’s Bait & SwitchFoxconn’s (Overwhelmingly) Low-Paying JobsThe Next Guest SpeakerTrump, Ryan, and Walker Want to Seize Wisconsin Homes to Build Foxconn Plant, Foxconn Deal Melts Away“Later This Year,” Foxconn’s Secret Deal with UW-Madison, Foxconn’s Predatory Reliance on Eminent Domain, Foxconn: Failure & FraudFoxconn Roundup: Desperately Ill Edition Foxconn Roundup: Indiana Layoffs & Automation Everywhere, Foxconn Roundup: Outside Work and Local Land, Foxconn Couldn’t Even Meet Its Low First-Year Goal, Foxconn Talks of Folding Wisconsin Manufacturing Plans, WISGOP Assembly Speaker Vos Hopes You’re StupidLost Homes and Land, All Over a Foxconn Fantasy, Laughable Spin as Industrial Policy, Foxconn: The ‘State Visit Project,’ ‘Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn,’ Foxconn: When the Going Gets Tough…, The Amazon-New York Deal, Like the Foxconn Deal, Was Bad Policy, Foxconn Roundup, and Foxconn: The Roads to Nowhere.

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5 years ago

100% correct. Foxconn matters less to Whitewater than that worthless wizard festival meant for Jefferson.

5 years ago

This post says a lot.
I’m with you that Foxconn is a dumb idea.
It’s also interesting how this has developed in Whitewater. The “ultra-locals” push Foxconn and the Innovation Center all the time. You very effectively cite national articles to indict that local mythos.The gap between the local discussion and national one is now so wide it’s like a parallel upside down universe. However, you must have known for months that these guys promoted Foxconn at this meeting. I get that’s your point but you were patient in making it.
The Foxconn skeptics have definitely been proved right; so much that the video almost does your work for you.