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The Foxconn Con

The company's Wisconsin outpost was supposed to create 13,000 jobs; as of this year it employed no more than 281 people.

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Two years after Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn broke ground in Wisconsin, the massive LCD factory and accompanying tech campus the company promised to build in exchange for $3 billion in state subsidies does not exist and "probably never will," The Verge reported in October. The company's Wisconsin outpost was supposed to create 13,000 jobs; as of this year it employed no more than 281 people.

Brokered by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker, the subsidy deal with Foxconn is now in serious jeopardy. Current Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, a Democrat, is refusing to pay, due to the company's unilateral decision to abandon or change many of its planned projects, including the pictured "globe." Originally pitched as "a network operation center for a complex of data centers," according to The Verge, the skeletal structure will now be merely an office and event space—if it's ever completed.

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  2. Let’s talk about the Unreason con…There once was a publication called Reason that published libertarian-oriented articles, with libertarian viewpoints. Then it transmogrified and zombified into Unreason, a shitty substitute that has no considered libertarian viewpoint.

    Maybe as a New Year’s resolution, Unreason might try morphing back into a libertarian-oriented publication.

    1. I really don’t care but “treason” has a nice ring to it. Better than unreason.

      1. “T-Reason”. Kind of like “T-Virus”. It turns people into zombies.

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    3. What annoys you about this article? Govt gets into the ‘create jobs’ business. Govt over pays & under delivers.

      This is no surprise to libertarians. Govt does not create jobs.
      Why is Reason magazine the problem?

      1. Reason has been slipping a lot in libertarian cred. This is mostly because of people brought on in the last 5 years.

      2. Even though I hate corporatism, most of the problems with the Foxconn factory are because Gov. Tony Evers (D) has a huge hate boner against everything Gov. Scott Walker (R) liked, and is deliberately fucking everything over.

        The Reason staff know this, but in the last three articles have been pretending that it’s Foxconn or the deal’s fault instead of giving credit where credit is due.
        They’ve also been saying that the $3 billion was a subsidy rather than a loan for construction, and implying Foxconn received it when in fact Evers has been withholding much of it.

        So in short, Reason has been lying by omission, which is why Commenter_XY is upset.

        1. Are you suggesting that if Walker had been re-elected, the factory would be up and running?

  3. Big government and big business working hand in hand for the glory of the state and the good of the workers, what could go wrong?

  4. No worries with Harris Biteme and Koch money we can transfer the remaining jobs and more overseas to save a few pennies per share. Tens of billionaires will make lots of money and that’s all that really counts. America is a service economy and those jobs are real safe. Right? Helloooo?

  5. So the democrats are refusing to let them continue?

  6. “supposed to create 13,000 jobs”

    LOL

    Want to create jobs? We Koch / Reason libertarians have the answer: (1) open the borders, and (2) abolish the minimum wage.

    Fortunately Joe Biden — the clear choice of Wall Street, billionaires, and Reason staff — is weeks away from inauguration. He’ll certainly implement the first suggestion. Now it’s up to us to convince Democrats to embrace the second half of our plan.

    #GetReadyForTheKochComeback

    1. “supposed to create 13,000 jobs”
      Did they use the wrong multiplier?

    2. It’s not just the Democrats, the Republicans as well passed the funding bill that included a provision to double the number of H-2B visas, the seasonal foreign workers who will do the jobs Americans won’t do at the wages offered, so lets be fair and give credit where credit is due.

  7. Of course, the pandemic panic didn’t help, either. That was obviously all Trump’s fault, and I’m surprised Reason didn’t bring it up. The dead horse still needs more beating.

  8. But did the crony deal boost Walker’s political career?

    That’s the real failure.

  9. I live in Wisconsin, about 15-20 miles south of the site. Foxconn is a well named company.

  10. The thing for people to remember is that all the money and effort went into Foxconn and not into Wisconsin businesses. Gov. Walker ignored real Wisconsin companies in favor of this white elephant. It will always be part of government work to promote and help businesses. But look out for the politicians that are pursuing the big deal, and make sure they have not forgot about the local existing businesses.

    1. “It will always be part of government work to promote and help businesses.”

      You exemplify perfectly the moniker “moderate”. Though, I sometimes wonder why you’re so invested in a libertarian website. True Scotsmans aside, do you just not understand what the word “libertarian” means?

      1. As a moderate I try to take in ideas from all. I read and listen to liberals, conservatives, libertarians and others. I use them to formulate and check a moderate and centrist philosophy.

        I also understand what libertarian means. I certainly think I understand as much if not more than many commentators.

        1. And maybe I inferred incorrectly… are you taking it for granted that part of government work SHOULD be to promote and help business? If so, why? As I understand the political philosophy, that stance is anathema to libertarianism.

          1. Government serves its citizens which included its business people. I don’t think it has ever been the case that government and businesses were completely separated. Roman roads helped move the army, but also benefitted trade. Government has provided standardization like certifying weights and scales, etc. Government assists in finding new markets for businesses in national or international markets. What I want is a government that helps with a light touch and where truly needed.

            The Foxconn deal was a bit of an over reach in my mind.

            1. The Foxconn deal was cronyist/corporatist through and through.

              Government should secure the natural rights of it’s citizens and provide a basic framework by which citizens can serve each other. I don’t have a problem with government involvement in some basic infrastructure (roads), and weight/measure standardization is an extension of the governments role in adjudicating/enforcing protections against fraud, theft, etc.

              When you (collective) give government the explicit mandate to “promote and help business” the inevitable outcome is either cronyism or coerced collectivism (socialism, to at least some degree).

              A light touch is only possible when government is not empowered to interfere by “helping and promoting” specific entities.

              1. I would agree with you about not “helping and promoting” businesses other than government seems to be drawn in more and more by businesses themselves. A business contemplating a new facility often seem to play cities, states and even countries against each other to get loans and tax incentives.

                Not sure how to get my state not to take the bait if a nearby state does?

            2. “Government serves its citizens which included its business people.”

              It’s a cookbook!

              1. Ha! …nice

  11. When are they going to bring back the Golden Fleece Award?

    Would cancel culture prevent such a thing today?

    1. You might remember that the Golden Fleece Award was the idea of Wisconsin Senator William Proxmire, a Democrat. Senator Proxmire was not adverse to spending money, but he wanted value for the money. Something lost on todays politicians.

  12. Foxconn was Trump’s crowning achievement. Stick it to the Chinese by letting the Taiwan build a US taxpayer financed factory on land confiscated from US landowners.

    All hail Trump! Four moar years!

    1. Eat a bullet

  13. So, Foxconn said it would “create” 13,000 jobs. Did they ever claim they would directly employ that many? It seems to me they are just taking advantage of the Washington D.C. math where “jobs created” == “jobs not destroyed (yet)”.

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