The Foxconn deal, manufactured several years ago by Gov. Scott Walker and President Trump (who labeled it the 8th Wonder of the World), may well result in one of the worst boondoggles in the state’s history. Every week brings bad news.
The large screen factory promised has been downsized to smaller screens that may well be unable to compete in today’s market. The 13,000 factory jobs now appear to be half the number promised. Construction work at the Mount Pleasant site is proceeding at a snail’s pace. Let us remember that homeowners in the immediate area have been left out in the cold.
Road construction has been a mess. Environmental wetlands may be in danger. Public officials in northern Illinois are most concerned about flooding from water runoff. Then there is the issue of using Lake Michigan water in the safest manner possible.
Walker and his colleagues bestowed the largest tax breaks in state history to lure the Taiwan-based company here. Terry Gou, president of Foxconn, just announced he will step down to pursue other interests. Recently Josh Dzieza, a syndicated columnist, visited acquired Foxconn properties in Milwaukee, Eau Claire and Green Bay to discover that the buildings stand empty. Seeking to interview company officials, he received “no comment” replies.
Our new governor, Tony Evers, wisely advises that a new contract with Foxconn should be given serious consideration. There is an immediate howl from Republican legislators that Evers is driving jobs out of the state.
Evers and the Democrats deserve a chance to re-evaluate “this riddle wrapped in a mystery inside of an enigma.”