Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Foxconn won't add 13,000 jobs, and showcases a backwards, failing Walker strategy

It’s telling that Republicans and Foxconn are putting on a major PR blitz these days to try to convince the average Wisconsinite that the Fox-con will do anything to improve this state for 99% of us.

CBS 58 in Milwaukee had a story repeating various GOP and Foxconn talking points titled "Walker says Foxconn leaders concerned about possible Democratic governor." It played off of comments by Dem guv candidate Dana Wachs on Mike Gousha’s show over the weekend where Wachs indicated that Foxconn’s contract with the state could be changed if the Chinese-based company failed to live up to its end of the deal. (Foxconn leave? And keep us from having to pay billions over the next 15 years? The HORROR!)

As part of the Channel 58 piece, this statement was intended to talk up Walker’s efforts, but sounds really bad when you think about it.
Foxconn Executive Louis Woo said Wednesday in Milwaukee at an event for Vice President Mike Pence, there’s a major reason they’re coming to build a a facility.

"I would argue that there is only basically one reason to start with," Woo said. "It’s Governor Walker.”
Not spoken, but understood- “…Because Scott Walker was the only governor STUPID ENOUGH TO MORTGAGE HIS STATE’S FUTURE ON A BOONDOGGLE LIKE THIS.”

By comparison, look at how little Amazon is getting to add jobs in Boston.
Amazon plans to add 2,000 workers to its research and development office in Boston, the company announced Tuesday, confirming reports that the retailer would move into a new waterfront complex in the city.

The company says it plans to occupy 430,000 square feet in the Seaport mixed-use development, beginning in 2021. Boston officials in March voted to approve $5 million in tax breaks as incentive for the move, which Mayor Martin Walsh had disclosed earlier this year…

On Monday, Amazon disclosed plans to occupy much of a coming office development in downtown Vancouver, B.C., hiring an additional 3,000 employees there from 2022 and making the city one of Amazon’s largest technology development outposts. The company also said Monday that it would add 200 jobs to a Minnesota office opened in 2016.
$5 million for 2,000 R&D jobs vs $1.5 BILLION just to build the campus at Foxconn, before they add one permanent job at the facility? Are you f’ing kidding me?

Why do you think Amazon chose those blue states to expand their high-paying jobs in? Couldn’t be the talent pool, could it? Look at that Amazon announcement in those major cities in blue states, and think how absurd Scott Walker looks when he thinks we should break out the party hats when Amazon adds $12-an-hour warehouse jobs in Kenosha.

As Foxconn officials sense the average Wisconsinite sees through this scam, they’re trying to promote the side benefits of the facility, such as when Woo told the Racine Journal-Times this week that Foxconn was planning to have R&D facilities on the Racine County site. The problem is that Woo slipped up and admitted most of the manufacturing jobs won’t be nearly as plentiful as GOP hacks have claimed.

Foxconn is already at work in Mount Pleasant, setting up a testing and training center at 13315 Globe Drive, along the Southeast Frontage Road. There it will experiment with manufacturing processes and work with technology and component suppliers to try to devise: “What would be the state of the art … when the building is all filled up either a year from now or two years from now,” Woo said….

Woo expects that manufacturing will be largely automated and robotic but will still require “a few thousand” people. “Even largely automated, you still need engineers to monitor them, to manage them, to supervise them,” he noted.

“And then I would imagine the majority of people would really be working on the research and development and looking at the software side of it,” Woo said. “Looking at the Big Data analytics of it.”

Why can't you people be as gullible and corrupted as your governor?

But Mr. Woo has a problem with those plans for an R&D facility. How are you going to get people with those skills (and their families) to come to an area where schools and other public services are underfunded and will worsen, in no small part to the billions being funneled to Foxconn?

It’s pretty easy to find smart people with employment options in cities like Boston, Seattle or Minneapolis. Madison seems to do pretty well for themselves as well, which is why they’re the only place booming in this state in the Age of Fitzwalkerstan. And in theory, you could get talent to come to the Milwaukee area and commute down (Wachs told Gousha this weekend that Milwaukee should be the "Seattle of the Midwest"). But the suburba-GOPs in charge of this state would rather hurt Milwaukee so they could continue to distract rubes with resentment BS against "the lazy people that use your tax dollars in THAT CITY (filled with minorities).”

I found this whiny tweet from Walker to be very telling.

Along with his continuing BS of “13,000 family-supporting jobs” (a statement that will work out about as well as “250,000 jobs in my first term” – not even close to reality), what Scotty is basically saying is that he can’t get any companies to come to Wisconsin without corporate welfare. That’s this Administration’s whole economic development strategy – giveaways to corporations through tax incentives and other handouts, looking the other way on pollution, and promoting a low-wage environment in the name of maximizing profit.

Notice who’s not mentioned by Scotty? WORKERS AND CONSUMERS! The idea of improving the work force and making Wisconsin an attractive place for talent to come to (and maybe create their own businesses) completely eludes Scotty. I guess when you’ve never worked a real job in your life and have spent your entire “career” kissing up to rich oligarchs, you don’t tend to think about things from the employee’s perspective, do you?

What kind of company is going to locate in a state with a declining quality of life where the talent leaves, population growth is low, and no revenues available to invest in public goods like infrastructure and education? Medicore, regressive ones who don’t want to improve. (aka, the WMC Crowd).

Can someone explain to me why Wisconsin government and corporations shouldn’t be raising their game and competing for the best employees and people to want to come here? Instead, the Fitzwalkerstanis cater their whole economic development strategy to the worst businessMEN that are looking to coast on their current position, a bunch of rent-seekers whose only goal is to hoard more in a zero-sum game.

It’s time to get people in power in this state who want us to excel, and want people other than campaign contributors to be the ones who get the benefits of growth in Wisconsin. And the only way it happens is if we sweep lifetime grifter Scott Walker and the rest of the GOP out office this November.


  1. Devil's Advocate position here - I've been thinking that, if we're going to do this FOXCONN thing, our focus should not be on creating a couple thousand manufacturing jobs with a break even point twenty years out.

    We should be trying to create a hub for advanced manufacturing and robotics. If automation is going to replace low skill factory workers (and I see no reason for that trend to slow) I'd much rather Wisconsiners be the ones building, maintaining, updating and replacing the machines and software than the floor guys getting replaced.

    We do have some significant educational resources nearby between the UW System, MSOE, and the Chicago metro area.

    In this vein of thinking, Scott Walker did just enough for this to be uncommonly bad for the state. A better vision might bring exactly the sort of high tech industry jobs we're seeking.

    We'll need to support the sort of educational enthusiasm and quality of life that attract those sorts of people - in short, Wisconsin needs to be more like the best parts of Madison.

  2. If we are going to be a center for artificial intelligence and robotics he is going to have to fund education. I don't see that happening if all of the money goes to FoxConn.

  3. Both of you hit on the reason the Fox-con is especially stupid. We are doing nothing to invest in and encourage the work force, infrastructure and quality of life that we need to attract high-tech and high-wage jobs.

    And it's even harder to do that when we're throwing hundreds of millions of dollars down to Foxconn-sin region instead of improving things at the expense of 95% of the rest of the state. Heck, DOT Secretary Dave Ross admitted as much to the Waunakee Rotary Club 2 weeks ago.