Friday, March 23, 2018

Boosters still touting Foxconn's WI benefits. Why now?

With Walker having signed it nearly six months ago, and roadwork underway at the site since January, you wouldn't be expecting another outbreak of Foxconn fever at this late date.

But that's exactly what the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce did Thursday when it released a new, "conservative" study that gives the project a fresh coat of paint .
In reporting the MMAC study, the Journal Sentinel notes the methodological and statistical flaws in earlier studies which had justified the record-breaking taxpayer subsidies headed Foxconn's way.

So you could say that all the MMAC - - it's the SE Wisconsin's regional chamber of commerce - - is doing is straightening out that record.

Here's an alternative or supplemental analysis:

Scott Walker and dozens of legislator-Foxconn boosters running for re-election this fall needed a boost of their own after the authoritative Marquette University Law School poll only weeks ago produced findings and news like this which no Foxconn backer wanted to see, let alone put into a campaign ad or talking point: 

Voters think the State of Wisconsin overpaid on the massive Foxconn deal in spite of it bringing benefits to the Milwaukee area, a new poll has found.  
In the most extensive polling to date on the multibillion dollar deal, the Marquette University Law School poll found that 49% of voters think the Foxconn Technology Group factory won't be worth its cost to taxpayers and 38% think it will. 
And this:
A majority of voters across political parties and regions of the state — 66% to 25% — don't think the deal will help their local employers.  
And this:
Statewide, 62% of those polled were very concerned or somewhat concerned that the Foxconn project will have an impact on water or environmental quality, while 32% were not worried.
And there have been other disclosures since the Marquette poll came out which  also explain why the project might need a fresh shine, such as these, among others:
WI DNR schedules hearings on Foxconn's whopping air pollution.
Smoke stacks from a factory.
Foxconn-area residents angry over plans to take their homes 
Foxconn finds way to stick 7 million-gallon straw into Lake Michigan
And earlier, this:
Funding for state road down as much as $90 million. Foxconn cited.
And speaking of our politics these days, and environment, and land grabbing, consider the larger context:
...whether through an 11th-hour legislative amendment to speed a controversial wetland filling permit for a sand mining operating in Monroe County or to massage state agencies to transfer public land for private parking, building and golf course operations inside the popular Kohler Andrae State Park - - all outlined, here.
No one wants to be thrown off their land, or have it routinely contaminated as is the case, for example, in Kewaunee County, all because we have a governor and compliant GOP legislators put into office by big-dollar special interests so Walker can continue to spread and embed his 'chamber of commerce mentality' across the political environment and government's public purposes.
Look - - no one doubts Foxconn will spin off benefits, but let's not pretend that the entire enterprise will be liability-free when it comes to the environmental, public health and budgets in SE Wisconsin, and statewide, too - - real issues which need to be acknowledged, can be quantified and subtracted from an otherwise one-dimensional bottom line.

1 comment:

Rich Eggleston said...

This certainly amounts to putting lipstick on a pig. But, guess what, Development-at-any-price crowd, it's still a pig.Pucker up!