The Foxconn thing never even sounded right from the outset. Four to five billion? To manufacture LCDs?
I mean, I know I'm a bit more technically inclined than most people in Wisconsin, but didn't anyone stop and think for a second, "Hmmm... Wait? Isn't the future supposed to be OLED? This doesn't make any business sense for them????"
Now these Foxconn guys come back with a story about "R&D"??????
I'm just saying, isn't their entire business model manufacturing other people's R&D? So the best you'd get is R&D to enhance their manufacturing processes maybe? Throw in a small chance at some business process R&D???? (I know, it's a stretch, but I'm trying to be generous.)
Now again, I realize I'm a bit more technically inclined than most Wisconsinites, but does anyone else find it more reasonable to do that sort of R&D in places closer to your actual manufacturing? Even suspending that disbelief for a moment, you have to ask yourself why you'd need 13,000 people to do that? You don't. You'd just never do that if you owned Foxconn.
This whole story just doesn't add up. Even from the start, it never did. How could Walker and his cronies have ever fallen for any of this?
The suspension of critical thinking that comes from ingesting information, sourced from anything tagged as "Republican", has left the Wisconsin people vulnerable to being taken advantage of.
I speak from experience and discussions with people I had last summer. For example, some didn't believe me when I told them that Foxconn had to put suicide nets around some of their factories. They believed Foxcon is this shining star of a company come to save them, because that was what they were told by Republican leaders.
The tribalism from both ends is definitely disheartening.
As a politically moderate person, I agree that there are neighborhoods in that one blue city in Wisconsin that have an air of snobbery and resentment, but I'm not sure how Madison has made the state vulnerable.
I also agree tribalism is part of the issue, but not in the way you do. Whenever I brought up these issues of confirmation bias, the immediate discussion following would be "well whatabout..." or "us vs. them", with them being the hypothetical liberal boogeyman. Or in this case, the "blue bubble".
While it is true that Madison is liberal, the Willy-street hippies didn't strip the incoming Governor of his powers, gerrymander political lines, or push to evict Wisconsites from their land so Foxconn could build a plant.
Saying "both sides" are the problem does a disservice to Wisconsin by ignoring who has been controlling and responsible for the state for the past decade - who need to be held accountable.
On that everyone can agree.
Here's the thing though, it's the people who will have to pay the bill. ALL of us. There's no getting around it. There are a thousand ways for Foxconn to hose us in this agreement, and almost no ways for us to get out of it if I'm understanding this correctly.
So you guys, in Madison and in rural Wisconsin, can sit and call each other names until the cows come home, but in the end you'll all be kicking in a sizable chunk of tax money to pay off Foxconn. Just like I will.
The best thing that could happen for us is for the whole thing to fall apart, Foxconn to walk away, and we just eat the losses we have taken to date. I know that doesn't give farmers their land back, or give people in southeastern Wisconsin their homes back, but it does allow us to forego any further losses on this thing. (And the families that have already been hosed out of their property were never gonna get their farms back anyway.)
Probably won't happen though, this is Wisconsin. Wisconsin politicians are in charge, and there is a lot of money up for grabs. So my own bet would be that come hell or high water, they're gonna find a way to trigger those cash payments to Foxconn. (And consequently, "service" fees I'm sure will be paid to-, and construction contracts will be signed by-, their cronies.)
When are Americans going to take responsibility for the society they continue to create, or allow to be created?
...what about the voters?
Voters are the only people to blame, Walker was re-elected TWICE.
I think we can agree that both sides don't typically listen to each other, and if we're all using language like that then we never will.
Why should I debate you on medicare subsidies, e.g. if you've labeled me a "snobby progressive" and then have taken the victim role to boot?
Not just Wisconsin. I grew up in a rural town in the South, and it was horrible. I'm back there teaching and it's even worse, if such a thing is possible. The only light I see is that a vast majority of the non-"yee yee" kids are fairly left-leaning, and nobody actually questioned me when I mentioned global warming yesterday. Shame is, those kids usually get the hell outta Dodge and never return.
I'm reminded of a great passage from ITBWTCL:
But more importantly, it comes out of the fact that, during this century, intellectualism failed, and everyone knows it. In places like Russia and Germany, the common people agreed to loosen their grip on traditional folkways, mores, and religion, and let the intellectuals run with the ball, and they screwed everything up and turned the century into an abattoir. Those wordy intellectuals used to be merely tedious; now they seem kind of dangerous as well.
[EDIT:] Of course, in the next paragraph Stephenson describes a different sort of intellectual devolution in USA.
Is the premise here that plausible pretexts for wars are less preferable than implausible ones? That an anti-intellectual launching a war on an irrational or purely emotional pretext is better than someone led by reason?
Because we had that with George W. Bush, and I'm not sure it was an improvement.
>Right now the most anti-intellectual politician in several years is the one who happens to be bringing the troops home from Syria, Afghanistan, etc.
He also said we should torture the families of terrorist suspects because fear is the only thing they understand, and warned North Korea that "the button for nuclear war is on my table". He would probably invade Iran tomorrow if someone told him Obama wouldn't have had the guts.
>> In places like Russia and Germany, the common people agreed to loosen their grip on traditional folkways, mores, and religion, and let the intellectuals run with the ball, and they screwed everything up and turned the century into an abattoir.
Meanwhile, anti-intellectual zealots like Pol Pot forcibly relocated people from the cities to the countryside and murdered anyone who demonstrated any form of "intellectualism" including wearing glasses or literacy.
ISTM -> It seems to me
ITBWTCL -> "In the Beginning was the Command Line" By Neal Stephenson
[EDIT:] You mean Iraq and Afghanistan, of course. Bush the Lesser was not so much anti-intellectual as he was easily suggestible. If a Wolfowitz or a Paulson or a Cheney had a horrible idea, he didn't have the resources to challenge that idea. Of course all the worst neocons have some sort of Ivy League credentials.
How certain are you that those attributes aren't correlated?
The troops aren't coming home because of trump. In the long run it was a fight that was never going to be "finished" and will to keep spending money indefinitely isn't there. As well blame the sunrise for clearing up your cold instead of your immune system.
Trump said he wanted to pull of of Syria, but his cabinet second guessed it, it was a pure PR stunt. I would concede Afghanistan, but that has been the policy for years.
He is actively pushing for war with Iran and a commercial war with China, so the link between anti-intellectualism and pacifism does not compute. Let's not even get to Venezuela...
IMO, these radical concepts (at least radical in the context of conservatism) were reactions to leftist intellectual movements, and also have served to supplant moralism.
The problem with intellectualism and moralism (which is being revived on the left with the social justice movement), whether from the left or the right, is that it makes is easier for people to think and speak in absolutes.
Absolutism is where intellectualism and anti-intellectualism can reinforce each other.
Realpolitik would have been leaving Saddam in place as less risky than invading.
Foxconn is a bad business partner and that should have been more obvious to everyone. Self serving politicians like Walker and Trump are looking for a photo spray with golden shovels and a big American flag in the background to sell to people desperately looking for jobs.
It is transparent and a damn shame for the politicians and voters involved. It's like a Nigerian email scam bilking your grandma out of her savings.
I think it's a mistake to underestimate just how much native R&D goes on in the broad and deep ocean of China's modern manufacturing complex. That entire industry has been working hard for decades now at learning from its customers, continually seeking opportunities to "level up". The particulars of this specific, sketchy case aside, the idea that Foxconn hasn't invested in sophisticated R&D facilities at this point in the game is far less believable to me.
For the US to change this, to compete directly with China at large-scale electronics manufacturing, would take decades of work and untold billions of dollars of long-term focused government effort. And frankly, the US government isn't great at long term thinking. Makes you appreciate an old-school Marxist Five Year Plan.
When does that sort of thing work, and when does it dramatically fail? I suspect that it's the looser forms of central planning that succeed and the tighter ones that spectacularly fail.
The fault lies not so much in systems as it does in people. Certainly some systems are a better "fit" for people than other systems, but to say that having a 5 year plan or not having a 5 year plan is going to be the key to success or failure is incorrect.
Even more than how they are incentivized, WHO the people are you have working on something is the key to its success or failure. A team of uninterested geniuses will be as useless as a team of diligent dullards, and in either case, there is a high probability of failure for your project. It won't really matter how you organize either of those teams to get the job done.
It's the Thermocline of Truth. The bigger and more powerful the organization, the deeper the thermocline and the more threats can be hidden therein. National governments are the biggest organizations around. Ergo, they can fail the most spectacularly.
The Chinese gov. is mostly centrally planning strategically, i.e. with investments, loans, subsidies, de-facto monopoly rights - which is another thing entirely.
In some ways, what the Chinese are doing is kind of like what Japan, S. Korea and even Europe did after the war.
But it's likely they are heading into a 'different stage' now where that doesn't work so well.
Also, Foxconn is Taiwanese, worth noting.
On the other hand Communist China seems to have gotten better at planning over time. (What you do you get good at)
'No plan' would describe US industrial policy since Reagan.
Small nations that have stayed with old-school communism and are mired in poverty - North Korea and Cuba at this point - have been almost totally isolated from the rest of the world for decades, unable to trade with large, obvious, prosperous neighbors. Is it the five year plan, or the sanctions?
The USSR eventually failed, but they did improve a great deal over the economic situation Russia was in at the time of the revolution. And honestly, there's no guarantee that a financial collapse won't wipe out the world of western capitalism, either. The US came perilously close to that in 2008.
Maybe they didn't fall for anything? Who did Foxconn buy the land from? They presumably did OK in the deal, as did any of the parties (i.e legal/accounting/lobbying firms) who facilitated the deal. Walker lost his governership in the last election, but that was before the magnitude of Foxconn's reversal was clear, so it's not directly attributable to that.
Looks like the people duped here might just be the taxpayers who payed for it all, and the would-be manufacturing workers for whom the jobs haven't materialized. I'd guess those groups' interests weren't being represented by their elected officials when the deal was struck.
I feel really bad for the people who lost homes so that the WI Republican party could pull this publicity stunt. It's hard to even fathom
People pretty much knew the Foxconn deal was a fraud, because Foxconn, and the state government, both have a history of similar deals. There were some mining deals in northern Wisconsin that would make your hair stand on end.
Also, the water doesn't belong to us. Use of Great Lakes water is governed by a treaty with Canada and administered by an international body that includes the states and provinces in the Great Lakes watershed.
Like if you grab the environmental impact study from this license renewal for Point Beach Nuclear Plant near Green Bay, at maximum capacity it draws 1433 cubic feet per second from Lake Michigan and discharges it 23 degrees Fahrenheit warmer:
Just a guess, sadly, they probably had the financial lubrication to fight for it. Not to mention that the "big numbers" play to their political audience, my Reagan Republican father, for one. Sure, someone who's a little more insightful about technology might be skeptical, but that wasn't Walker's audience.
There's at least some life left in LCD. CES had some pretty interesting stuff like a TV that took a black and white 1080p panel and used it as the backlight for a 4k panel giving it really good contrast.
I love the OLED demos, but modern LCD screens these days are pretty solid. ~$2700 for a near flawless 75" LCD. That's crazy cheap compared to the ~$7000 a 77" OLED costs. And that's ignoring the completely watchable ~70" panels you can get for under $1000.
But like others in this thread have said, it never made sense to me for FoxConn to build LCD's in WI. Basically WI gave away land and access to freshwater for FoxConn could "bring jobs."
Large format displays will be LCDs for many years due to inherent yield issues. (60” OLED displays is analogous to Intel trying to make a CPU the size of a full 300 mm wafer, one dust particle...). As the middle class grows, they will purchase large format displays.
R&D investment is Foxconn trying to move up the value chain. A dollar spent on R&D in China on innovative new ideas is less effective than that same dollar in the U.S. Especially since leading top tier LCD technology suppliers reside in the U.S./Korea/Japan.
There is nothing inherent in OLED having lower yields.
Two TFT layers, metal , PEDOT, oled layer ,ITO, metal
Not much different from LCD in its basic form.
I'd say that there is a potential to make them even cheaper when printed OLEDs will finally get production ready
We can blame trump and his ignorant tax policies, but the reality is that Walker scammed the taxpayers. The only question is, was he getting kickbacks? Or was it just to look good to voters?
And then, of course, once his crew gets voted out, they reduce the power of the incoming administration. And then blame this whole mess on the "uncertainty" of the incoming administration. What a joke.
Yes yes, elected officials are SUPPOSED to represent their constituents, but no number of people protesting outside his office is legally capable of stopping Walker and Co. from misrepresenting their interests while they're in office.
And I mean, if there was some kind of quid pro quo between Foxcomm and Walker and Co., all the more reason for this not to benefit Joe Average.
From my understanding, creating 13,000 jobs means you will create 13,000 person-years worth of jobs. If you employ 1,000 people for 13 years you have satisfied the definition.
The news gets better and better.
So essentially, Foxconn could build a small building, hire 1000 people, and after 13 years the state of Wisconsin would be legally obliged to pay them the full USD4 billion in guarantees?
I'm a little more educated, and a bit nicer than most Wisconsinites. I'll tell you right now though, if that's truly the case, you'd better make sure that doesn't become general knowledge here in Wisconsin. Most Wisconsinites are not gonna just sit back and accept that the way I do. Walker and his cronies would need round the clock security.
There are a lot of people around here who really bought in to the whole "13,000 jobs" thing.
People would get emotional. It would not be a good time in Wisconsin.
I knew Rod Blagojevich was a heel about 5 minutes after moving into his congressional district, in Chicago. When he got elected governor, I moved across the border to Kenosha, and was not surprised one bit when he went to prison.
I first heard about Walker in 2006, as a primary candidate for governor, and thought he was an ass then. Wisconsin was still fine under Doyle and Kohl and Feingold, though, and Paul Ryan was basically a do-nothing nobody (in my humble constituent's opinion) long before he somehow became speaker, out of nowhere. I moved to Tammy Baldwin's district in 2005, and left the state entirely in 2010. When Walker got elected governor, I suspected his tenure would be bad for the state, and especially bad for progressives. When the recall failed, I declared Wisconsin done. My Wisconsinite in-laws (and ex-Wisconsinite Arizonan in-laws) grew more Trumpy. Then the state legislation and executive policy turned into an avalanche of conservative favorites: union busting, ACA undermining, abortion restrictions, voter suppression, anti-pollution undermining, gun defending, immigrant intimidation, gay-marriage opposition. Dane county might hold out for a while yet, but Wisconsin is now a red state until further notice.
When the Foxconn thing came up, I guessed that it was all hot air and corruption, and that my Republican-supporting in-laws in the 1st would finally see first hand what they had all been voting for over the last 20 years.
Walker and company didn't fall for it. They engineered it for their own gain. Follow the money.
She's in no way a unifier, and has absolutely no support outside of her base. Which wouldn't be so bad, but she doesn't even try to reach out to anyone outside her base.
I mean, ok, maybe you don't want to try to bring conservative rural people on board because you think they're never gonna support you. I get that, I don't agree with it, but I get it. Baldwin goes further though. You won't even see Baldwin interact with, say, young urban minority adults in Milwaukee, Kenosha, or Racine. You'd think that would be a natural democrat demographic, the woman never even talks to them. Sheez, even Paul Ryan would at least talk to everybody.
This state is in dire need of decent leadership. Someone who doesn't hold entire segments of our population in contempt. Baldwin, Johnson, Ryan, Walker...
those guys just don't fit the bill.
I tend to assume that everyone with that business model dreams of getting out of that business model. You want to develop your own tech and move upmarket somebody else bids a penny less per widget to steal your manufacturing customers.
Regardless, it was obvious foxconn intended to open operations in the US because of the political climate. The same reason japanese automakers opened up shop in the US and the south koreans and the germans and so forth. It's partly to win political favor, gain market access and for good public relations.
My guess is that china is using foxconn ( I know it's a taiwanese company ) to put pressure on Trump after canada arrested one of their executives. I'm guessing there will be more tit for tat ( arrests, projects delayed, etc ) going forward between the US and our allies and China until this trade war is resolved.
Depending who you ask OLED is just a stopgap measure before mLED. Thay being said LCDs still have a long life ahead of them. Not sure if anything worth such an investment but they're definitely not going away anytime soon. They offer a combination of cheap and good enough for most purposes.
1) 'Tent pole' installations that employ a lot of people create substantial benefits way beyond whatever the investment is, at least on that basis subsidies can be rationalized. Of course there can be debate over whether they should be employed, the amount, and the means - and those details matter. But superficially, this is fairly normal practice.
2) You are probably smarter than 'most citizens of Wisconsin' but you're definitely not smarter than Foxconn's strategic planners :). A factory that makes one kind of screen can be adapted to another, and the world is massively bigger than modern markets and there are tons of applications for non-oled screens.
Superficially, again, their plans were within reason.
3) The political logic here, is that Trump was looking to make a 'big announcement' and 'foreign' companies wanted to placate him and give him his needed tweet, and then wait until the wind blows over to change their minds. An 'announcement' to me doesn't really have that much value anyhow, when they 'walk the talk' then we can count.
Remember that none of the '4 Billion' etc. will be realized unless Foxconn does make the investment, so it's not as though there's some kind of incurred debt, just possible lost opportunity cost.
Assuming the incentives are reasonably structured, and assuming Foxconn does actually start to hire in Wisconsin, well this might work out well. They may only end up hiring hundreds or a couple of thousand of people which case I suggest they aren't able to grab at the 'bilions' in incentives anyhow.
Consider that if Foxconn does not make an investment - even with billions of incentives on the table ... then it almost assuredly is not in their best interest anyhow.
Take these statements mostly at face value, with a grain of salt, but there's no reason to scream corruption or incompetence. There may be some ugliness in the terms of the subsidies, if someone wants to point those out that would be great, I'd love to hear about them.
They're not bright enough for sunlight readability - yet
It's difficult for Scott Walker to understand things when his steady stream of bribes (err, campaign "donations"?) depends on not understanding them.
The second is the town took on a massive loan to buy all the land it needed, it will now default. The state of WI backed the town in the loan and will now have to pay out for this nonsense.
Not that it makes it less terrible but backhanded stuff like this is not uncommon at all. If you run a business in my state you basically give up your right to stand up to the state/local government about anything (because they will use its power of discretionary enforcement to destroy your business).
If you're in the right you can win the head on fight (well, win it 10yr later in court, if that counts) but the government will always out flank you if they want something done but you are in their way. Sucks but it's reality.
And it might be more: the number of [Voted For Something Else] + [Didn't Vote] + [Not Eligible To Vote] is probably far greater than 49% of all residents.
It is, but for many of them they really should be excluded. How exactly is a 2-year-old going to make an informed vote, after all? How is an infant going to even fill out the ballot?
I would argue, however, that prisoners should be able to vote.
If you have so many prisoners in your society that it's substantially affecting the outcome of an election, then your society has a real problem, and it's not the prisoners.
Wtf? They could have just used eminent domain. Probably wouldn't have had to pay as much too.
Gotta think that would run afoul of open records laws and open meetings laws and etc...
I used to (mid-2000s) work for a SaaS company whose main customers were municipalities and universities in the US. We always had NDAs on file for customers we did business with. It was SOP.
We weren't swindling them out of billions of dollars, though. It was something that had prices in the 30k-40k annually range.
But general terms of a deal and etc.... that's just gotta be known.
The secrecy was telling; if they actually had an informed democratic debate, the proposal would not cut the mustard.
The worst part is this really plays into the hands of the right-wing. Of course no one is going to trust government if they keep sabotaging it.
You just took a great message and made it partisan. Why would you do such a thing? :(
Looking at some stats  it is plausible that education levels have some influence on voting, but realistically it is probably going to be a proxy for socio-economic status.
I'm not sure exactly what you mean by anti-intellecual, but the left has the same tenuous relationship with science as the right. The right just tends to be more obvious, because "science" has become a tool for telling poor people that the moral option is to accept lower living standards (eg, climate change => you are a bad person for consuming, but the rich aren't making sacrifices. Economics -> bankers get government protection from going bust, poor people get ruined with debt). I suspect these people aren't anti-science so much as they are pro-fairness, there are clearly massive class biases in the science that gets foisted on the political discourse.
Consider the belief, widely held by American conservatives, that destructive weather cannot possibly be related to climate change, but rather is God's punishment of America for legalizing gay marriage. As stated publicly by such conservative icons as Tony Perkins, John Hagee, and Franklin Graham. It's easy to passively dismiss these guys' views as fringey, but they are definitely not fringe actors in D.C. All are influential in mainstream republican politics, and all are staples of mainstream conservative media.
Perkins is perhaps the most powerful evangelical lobbyist in America, whose endorsement has long been practically requisite for repubican candidates for both congress and the presidency. Hagee leads another of the largest political organizations in the country, was an ally and confidant to the Bush white house, and is now enjoying a surge in popularity due to Trump's enthusiastic support. And Franklin Graham, nearly as famous and influential as his father.
This is just one example I picked at random. There are many, many more. I can't offhand think of a comparable example from the liberal side of mainstream American politics. The nearest I can conjur is from Britain: Jeremy Corbyn's support of the Chavez/Maduro regime in Venezuela.
You should be focusing on how to reduce GOP political power. How can we actually get people elected who won't be anti-intellectual? How can we turn out more voters? How can we elect people who aren't corporate stooges?
Another route: think about how you can better communicate with Republican voters that the Democratic party better represents their interests than the GOP. You definitely aren't winning their votes by telling them that they're the whole problem.
It’d be like a conference on measles and not mentioning vaccines because it makes 20% of the delegates filibuster the parties with speeches on autism.
I'm not letting the irony escape here; you've found the time to express a strong emotional response, but not enough time to actually explain or argue.
> There is no comparable anti-intellectual
As I hinted at above, how are we defining anti-intellectual today? Because a very quick check suggested to me that "anti-intellectualism" is defined as "republican party policy". Eg, I found a Quora article  where someone attempts to spin homosexuality as an intellectualism issue (second point, ironically dismissing the opinions of a neurosurgeon as unscientific in the process). That is off the rails; being homophobic is just plain bigotry. Homophobia is a symptom of intolerance, not anti-intellectualism. The scientific status of homosexuality is probably irrelevant to most bigots.
If we define anti-intellectual as anti-science, then it is plague on both houses territory. Both wings of politics have hot-button issues where any attempt to use science will result in angry crowds forming.
If we are defining that as right-wing people don't like academics then that seems plausible to me, but also not exactly a problem. Academics can be wrong politically just like the rest of us (academics were famously pro-communism as a body, and look where that went!). With that in mind, it isn't anti-intellectualism as such rather than a recognition that academics aren't supporting issues that right wing voters think are important. Pretend that 60% of plumbers associate right wing - nobody on the left is anti-plumber because they are on the other side of the political spectrum. At worst their political beliefs would be ignored.
Ah yes, you're referring to Ben Carson, the famous neurosurgeon. Let's take a look at one of his more prominent scientific statements on homosexuality:
> "[homosexuality] is a absolutely a choice (...) because a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight—and when they come out, they're gay. So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question."
Brilliant, right? In a subsequent defense of his statement (couched in an apology of sorts), he went on to deny the very existence of transgender and intersexual people:
> "I'm a doctor trained in multiple fields of medicine. Some of our brightest minds have looked at this debate, up until this point there have been no definitive studies that people are born into a specific sexuality. We do know, however, that we are always born male and female."
Unfortunately his vast medical knowledge and experience seems to have left him completely unaware of the numerous people born physically hermaphroditic, or the much greater numbers of people whose non-binary sexual development is caused by hormonal conditions such as Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome.
That such profoundly ignorant statements lead many people to discount Dr. Carson's opinions is thoroughly unsurprising.
The raging measles epidemic in my state came, in large part, from granola munching upper west side moms. (The balance came from the ultra-orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn.)
They have absolutely nothing in common except their rabid disavowal of modern medical science when it interferes with their pre-existing prejudices.
Contrast this with the right wing, where things like denial of climate change are a major part of the party’s platform, to the point that you’d hard time getting elected as a member of that party if you express confidence in the scientific consensus.
Intersectionalism, as it is applied popularly, is a massively 'anti intellectual' exercise.
Authoritarianism, controlling speech, banning speakers etc. at campuses all across the US is largely driven by a specific group of leftists.
Those actions are quite fundamentally 'anti intellectual' and 'anti liberal' to the point wherein it has quite a number of people in those communities afraid to speak out.
This has spread from academia into other institutions such as government and media and has significant impact upon us all.
I'm not taking sides, other than to point out that there's some roughshod everywhere you look, it just takes different forms. The hard part is most people might not want to have the self awareness to consider that some actions may be corrupt, i.e. banning 'Jordan Peterson' from speaking may be considered a moral act by some, hence, they see nothing wrong on 'their side' only 'the other'.
"...The local development agreement stipulates that, if, for any reason, Foxconn’s investment on the campus falls short, the company remains obligated to support a minimum valuation for the project of $1.4 billion, which will more than pay for all public improvements and development costs for the project."
And if the project is cancelled, it'd be logical that Foxconn will be limited to costs incurred to date. It's not like 1.4B is an open unconditional check.
And don't forget, that number might be small today but could grow much larger down the road. One aspect of reporting is creating a record. Without a record there can be no accountability. One function of a newspaper article is to provide context for quotations, and in particular a timestamp.
While journalists do choose who to talk to when seeking, for example, experts in a certainty j field of science, politicians are regarded more as the holder of their office, and not evaluated individually.
When they are lying or incompetent, the reader needs to be able to see so for themselves using the reported facts, I. e. “Show, don’t tell”. Anything else would rightfully be accused of editorializing.
But WI didn't write a 4 billion dollar check or anything. It was a promise of tax credits. If it turns out that Foxconn basically doesn't do anything in WI, then they won't make any money there so they won't owe any taxes so they won't use any of the credits.
So the whole thing becomes a much ado about nothing sort of situation (aside, I suppose, from the big waste of time spent negotiating everything).
Is this basically right, or am I misunderstanding something?
And Wisconsin is on the hook for around ~$1B in cash regardless of Foxconn's actual investments.
The reason things have changed is because of knock-on effects from Huawei, IMO. Foxconn would be in a very similar situation if they had proceeded.
HN was also harshly critical of Amazon’s HQ2 search/reality show and the willingness to subsidies successfull corporate giants with race-to-the-bottom tax incentives.
Corruption from the so-called party of "fiscal responsibility"
That said, yes, there are already millions in "sunk costs" that have already been borne by the people of Wisconsin. But at a time like this, it's probably best not to let the "Sunk Cost Fallacy" get the better of you.
It's a perpetual mess in Southeast Wisconsin. The problems extend far further than just the economics of the deal, into perpetual construction, shady eminent domain and reclassification of generational farms as "blighted", etc. It's criminal how much this one "deal" cost the area.
I'm just trying to be rational.
Also, I'm just a bit bitter as someone who travels back to my hometown area (the Fox Valley) often from Chicago and it's never the same thing twice. ;)
The reason people stay is that nowhere better wants them to come. And they can at least scrape some value out of the traffic between Chicago and Milwaukee, and from the far-flung commuters, and Chicagoans looking for a cheaper place to tie up their weekender sailboats during the summer.
13000 jobs would have been a real boon for the area, if they were ever real. But the Rust Belt is rusting, and states and communities are competing against one another to be the last spots of steel left, when everything else around is grimy red holes. Kenoshans will vote for anyone that promises more jobs or better jobs, no matter how transparently false the story may be. Their dads built cars, and now they're stuck cleaning the go-karts at Action Territory, or waiting tables, or commuting for an hour or more each way. So the one who tells them the most comforting lie wins.
I think it's probably the exact same story in Janesville, after the GM plant is finally closed for good, with no backsies. In another 10 years, someone will promise them a big manufacturing plant there, and the voters will fall for the exact same trick, all over again.
Not that I'm defending this obvious abuse of power but most multi-generational farms have enough old vehicles and equipment sitting around that most white collar people would call them "blighted" if the context were different.
But, and I'm not an expert here, I assumed that deals like these have some kind of protections in place to limit exactly that sort of course reversal from happening. From an outsider, this appears to be a situation where they may not be getting handed the full 4 Billion Dollars that everyone mentions, but they still used deceptive tactics in order to receive a sweetheart deal from the Wisconsin government.
My current understanding is that this isn't as good as some people are trying to make it seem (Net positive for the state! Much Gains!) but also not as bad as others seem to assume (we paid 4 billion dollars and get 0 return on that during the lifetime of the deal) and instead seems to be somewhere in the middle (we are paying more money than this deal is actually worth)
> First, the fact that state passed a law with special benefits for only one party. “It’s a principle of law that you can’t pass a law for the benefit of only one business or person,” Flynn says.
> Specifically, the Wisconsin Constitution has a provision prohibiting special laws to benefit a particular party that are not general in scope. And the law providing a subsidy for Foxconn gives the company different legal treatment than any business in Wisconsin:
> -Foxconn is exempt from state law requiring an Environmental Impact Statement to be filed by any new company building a plant;
> -And Foxconn has been awarded special legal treatment under the courts, whereby any legal claims made against it can bypass the state court of appeals and go straight from circuit court to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. In fact, any decision by a circuit court is automatically “stayed” or delayed, until the Republican-leaning Wisconsin Supreme Court takes up the case.
> No other business in Wisconsin has been accorded these benefits. The Republican-dominated legislature sought to disguise this, Flynn notes, by targeting the benefits to any company in a designed investment area, “but then they said there can be only one company allowed in this area. That’s tantamount to saying only Foxconn can benefit from this, which is unconstitutional.”
> A second challenge to the legality of the Foxconn deal, Flynn notes, is for breach of contract. The company promised to build a Generation 10.5 plant, with a factory of workers building panels for 75-inch TVs, but it now says it will build a much smaller Gen 6 plant, with most of the manufacturing done by robots.
> The deal, moreover, was supposed to provide a state subsidy in return for 13,000 jobs going to Wisconsin workers, but Foxconn is now considering bringing workers from China, as the Wall Street Journal has reported. The company denies this, but had earlier denied the change away from 75-inch TVs, only to later concede these news reports were correct.
> Moreover the company said that while Wisconsin workers will be the first priority, “We will supplement that recruitment from other US locations as required.”
I'm really getting tired of people confusing tax rebates vs tax deductions vs outright grants.
Tax rebates are you get $X off your taxes. No profit, no rebate. There's no grants going on here.
As part of the deal, it has seemed very likely that Foxconn will use eminent domain to seize property from people. If the whole debacle really does shit the bed and "no profit, no rebate" then I think there's a valid argument to say that there was no "public good" need to seize that land. This isn't even getting into the infrastructure costs the state has to lay out on road work/etc, or the cost of legal fees, court time, etc this project draws.
There are costs. They have nothing to do with rebates. This deal has a really high probability of being a net loss for the state (plus creating a likely "fool me once..." feeling with the voters for the next project that feels similar).
i.e. from US iPhone users. I'd prefer that Wisconsin bear the costs on their own - they would think better next time when electing people like Walker as the right to elect your representatives is free like speech not like beer. There is a reason California for example doesn't elect those "pro-business low taxes" self-styled magicians.
As always, the people are getting the government they elected and that they deserve.
No, gerrymandering doesn't affect the raw number of votes for each candidate, but it undeniably affects the outcome of elections.
> it's because a majority of the people in that state have voted for that party.
That's not true, because of the affect gerrymandering can have.
Oh, absolutely. But still, if Party X has a majority in the legislature, that still means that a very, very large number of your fellow citizens (possibly not an outright majority, depending on just how the gerrymandering worked out, but probably still very close to a majority) voted for Party X.
Another thing to note is that gerrymandering does not affect all elections. For a state, gerrymandering has zero effect on the governor's election, since all votes are counted equally in that race. So Wisconsinites are entirely to blame for their choice of their governor.
False. Depending on how well you can gerry-mander, you can easily get a situation where in a two-party system, the party that gets the minority of the vote gets the majority of the seats, and a super-majority of the power.
Note, the above is for a large set of districts. Gerrymandering does work well to keep one politicians in power.
No, there's no mechanism for "the people" to vote for a party in the legislature, as the people are divided up into districts.
The candidates whom I voted for, all won: Governor, assembly, senate. I didn't elect the government, and I don't deserve it. Who does?
Of course that's true for anybody who votes for any losing candidate. I think the problem for voting systems is to ensure that, if a vote falls short of a 100% consensus or massive landslide, can the government claim to be legitimately elected with no asterisk? I don't think this is a black and white question, and there is no perfect voting system, but my own opinion is that gerrymandering weighs against that claim of legitimacy.
This is exactly why my favorite saying, "every nation gets the government it deserves" is so true. If the people don't like the way their democratic government is working, it's their job to demand a change. In states where ballot initiatives exist, this is even more true, as the people have a mechanism in place to go around the elected officials if necessary. If they aren't taking advantage of it, it's their own fault.
It's just like the Electoral College at the federal level. People whine and complain about it all the time, but does anyone ever push to have it changed? There's action right now to push the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment, guaranteeing women equal rights) through the ratification process as it's been short a few states for decades now, but where's the action to demand a Constitutional Amendment to rework the electoral system? There isn't any. The people are getting the government they deserve.
What government do I deserve?
California is a such a top heavy reliant state, one brutal year in the stock market and returns of ultra rich, California will have a really bad time.
CA is not a model governance state, not even close.
In fact, if a company is not going to invest after such massive subsidies are offered, then it's probably a huge valid signal that it really doesn't make sense for them.
They seem to be more "anti-tax" and "anti-entitlement" at this point.
WI (the topic of this discussion) is a perfect example. We went from having Russ Feingold (a true shining star of progressive politics and the only senator to vote against the PATRIOT act) to Ron Johnson who is a true weasel.
Don't try and tell me that the guy who voted against the Iraq war, thought Dodd-Frank didn't go far enough, and worked actively for campaign finance reform is the same as a climate change denying, anti-abortion, anti-EPA shill.
The inevitably was sadly clear to all but those who had the power to make it happen.
I wonder how much economic stimulus to existing businesses would be created by dropping $15k into everyone’s pocket.
This is why the states should agree (or the Feds somehow impose restrictions) not to make these sorts of deals.
I like the fact that states can choose to compete for companies.
Probably not as much as just leaving $15k in everyone's pocket in the first place. It's really insane to think that they created a $60k liability for a family of 4.
Feb 1st, 2019
Foxconn Technology Group said Friday it will indeed build a liquid crystal display manufacturing plant in Wisconsin, following talks between President Donald Trump and company CEO and Chairman Terry Gou.
The Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer said it will move forward with construction of a so-called Generation 6 factory, or "fab," which typically produces screens for cellphones, tablets and small televisions.