The Wisconsin Foxconn scam

Bloomberg with a huge article on this

I read that one too. Very informative.

Under the terms Walker negotiated, each job at the Mount Pleasant factory is projected to cost the state at least $219,000 in tax breaks and other incentives.

Walker should be in jail. The state of Wisconsin would have been better off finding 13,000 unemployed citizens and just given them $200k/year. Or better yet given 26,000 citizens $100k/year. But, you know, socialism.

The kicker is, when they signed the deal they knew that WI didn’t even have 13k available employees. And that many of the employees would be commuting from Illinois.

It’s all a bit confusing (long read):

The secrecy and vagueness are frustrating to critics. How do you prove that Foxconn won’t build an enormous LCD factory during an industry glut or create a research campus larger than MIT in rural Wisconsin other than by pointing out that experts — and even, occasionally, Foxconn executives — say it makes no sense?

State House Minority Leader Gordon Hintz recently appointed himself to the board of WEDC, and Foxconn’s continued promises of 13,000 jobs make him palpably furious. Speaking in slow, measured tones in his Madison office as he packed for a trip, he said the state needs to “right-size” the project to something realistic, likely a few hundred research jobs, and that Foxconn needs to be honest about its plans. “For something that had a 25-year payback, building a factory because the president wants you to for reasons that have nothing to do with market viability is insane.”

Hintz believes Foxconn is trying to slow-walk the project until 2020, continuing to use it to win Trump’s goodwill in the trade war and waiting to see who’s elected.

For Foxconn watchers, the Milwaukee headquarters feels like a distillation of the whole ordeal. Foxconn did buy a building — it put signs up, and there are some people there with Foxconn lanyards — but it’s a significantly diminished version of what was promised and strangely secret for a project that began with such public fanfare.

It’s become something of a running joke. When I told people I’d been to the headquarters, they would often grin and ask what happened, before recounting their own experiences of getting turned away at the lobby. Brostoff calls it a “ghost town, an empty storefront.”

Fascinating article. Thanks for posting it.

Just what in hell is Foxconn up to? This article leaves me more confused than when I started reading it.

Anyone know what this “AI 8K+5G ecosystem” means?

Sounds like Wisconsin’s taxpayers are going to be on the hook for all that money the state spent on infrastructure, since it seems like Foxconn won’t actually be using it. But maybe Wisconsin can lure some other corporations into the area to make use of it. But if not, my god what a monumental waste of money.

Edit: Oh man, I see I had not yet read @Woolen_Horde’s linked article yet. I’ve got more reading to do.
Edit #2: Reading the Bloomberg article, things are becoming much more clear to me.

Also, this part caused my jaw to drop:

New gov looking to renegotiate:

Gov. Tony Evers said Wednesday he wants to renegotiate the state’s contract with Foxconn Technology Group and emphasized the Taiwanese company won’t be creating 13,000 jobs in Wisconsin as originally envisioned.

“Clearly the deal that was struck is no longer in play and so we will be working with individuals at Foxconn and of course with (the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.) to figure out how a new set of parameters should be negotiated,” Evers told reporters in his Capitol office.

Most likely the supporting hardware manufacture for Machine Learning compute, 8K displays (Sony is really pushing this hard as The Next Big Thing) and 5G cellular modems.

Meanwhile, down here in northern Illinois, there have been stories like this since the “plant” was announced

The large Foxconn development in southeastern Wisconsin will increase flooding in Gurnee by two inches after a heavy rain, according to a village analysis of a report by Lake County Stormwater Management. And if development near Foxconn continues, officials said, the flooding could get 10 times worse.

David Ziegler, the village’s community development director, delivered his findings to the Gurnee village board this week. He based his analysis on the study Lake County commissioned in July, which found that the project will increase flooding along the Des Plaines River and degrade the quality of the waterway.

Ziegler determined that flooding in Gurnee would increase by about two inches over the course of 24 hours after a heavy rain because of Foxconn.

“It’s not fire and brimstone at this point, but it is something we should be concerned about, especially as it expands,” Ziegler said.

Representatives for Foxconn did not respond when reached for comment. In a column written for the Daily Herald and published over the summer, Republican Robin J. Vos, speaker of the Wisconsin State Assembly, addressed environmental concerns raised by Illinois officials and said “any worries about flooding downstream should be put at ease.”

Foxconn plans to build a flat-screen manufacturing campus in Mount Pleasant, about 20 miles north of Gurnee. Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin – led by then-Gov. Scott Walker – extended the company an unprecedented $4 billion in incentives and exempted the Taiwanese electronics giant from a host of environmental regulations, allowing the company to fill wetlands without a permit and to proceed without an environmental-impact statement.

Ziegler said phase one of the Foxconn project includes about 543 acres of land; the first two phases involve a total of 17,000 acres.

“So we’re looking at a magnitude of three times or four times from where we are right now,” Ziegler said. “So now we’re starting to talk about a significant amount of stormwater.”

Ziegler added that if Foxconn’s development is successful and it inspires further development along the I-94 corridor then the magnitude could end up being a factor of 10 and the two inches of flooding will become 20 inches.

Mayor Kristina Kovarik, who sits on the county stormwater commission, said the increased flooding will affect the village for years.

“Two inches I guess we can handle, the six to eight inches worries me,” Kovarik said.

The full report on the impact of Foxconn on the Des Plaines River commissioned by Lake County was completed by Rosemont-based Christopher B. Burke Engineering Ltd. and released to the public in early March. That full report is available at

That seems weird to me.

In PA, our DEP mandates that all new construction include various drainage mitigation systems to handle rainwater runoff. I guess Wisconsin doesn’t do that?


Ladies and Gentlemen, your Republican party at work!

That’s Job Creators to you, you damn libtard!


I did since work with the PA DEP on rain runoff control.

If you don’t mitigate that, it screws stuff up bad. PA implemented much stricter controls maybe 10 years back, because they started having massive flooding problems in the Eastern part of the state.

Wow, I didn’t realize PA hated business and free enterprise that much. I mean, what’s more important- a business gets to build wherever it wants (job creators!), damn the consequences, or people’s homes that have been there for decades get to continue to not get flooded? Hmmm. Tricky decision.

Ha ha! Joke’s on you, because those homes don’t get flooded!

They collapse into sinkholes caused by the runoff pouring through old mineshafts and eroding the ground from beneath

This is way better, because after a sinkhole opens up, your property is essentially worthless, forever, and nothing can ever be done to repair it!

Holy shit. I knew about the ever-burning coal mine in PA, but that is some fucked up shit.

Of course here in WA, we had a landslide a few years back that took out several dozen homes, possibly (probably?) caused by clearcutting trees in a logging operation, so we’re no saints in the department of saying no to business for environmental reasons.

Honestly, people like to shit on PA a lot, but the fact we have a real government in Harrisburg often means this state is pretty good at things that matter.

Yes, we have our nutcases, but we do an ok job keeping them in check for the most part.

I’ll never forgive you guys for Rick Santorum. Utah had to send up Jason “Benghazi” Chaffetz to up the douchebag ante.

Santorum seems like a moderate and fully rational person compared to the tea-party conspiracy theorists who took over the party and led to Trump.