Sunday, August 12, 2018

Foxconn's two tracks; Walker's to November, the public's to mid-century

You might check the grassroots Facebook page "A Better Mt. Pleasant" for information about inter-governmental tensions among local officials who have committed taxpayers to hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to Foxconn, but may need more money or amendment agreements to make the Lake Michigan diversion and waste water return flow on schedule.

Let's understand that this is the just the beginning of the problems, not just because of the size of the effort and its levels of complexity, but because it was rushed to approvals on paper and into the ground - - sort of - - to suit the election timetable of Scott Walker.

Get the signatures and move some dirt around and keep a lid on until November, and then, everyone else can contend with perhaps a 25-year payoff horizon, said a non-partisan official analysis last year:
The analysis by the Legislature's nonpartisan budget office determined that if the Foxconn Technology Group plant operated at full expected employment levels — and attracted large numbers of jobs to Wisconsin through supplier companies — then state taxpayers would recoup their investment in 2043. 
All this while we know that flooding from runoff is going to be a challenge, that robotics will reduce the hiring, that market forces reportedly will continue to force changes already underway in what the plant may produce, and by whom, or what.

Take a look at some of the other large public projects in Wisconsin and how long it took to complete them.

Madison's resolution of its civic auditorium's struggle took about 50 years.

Miller Park's first financing plan collapsed, and the eventual project suffered a catastrophic physical collapse a few years later.

And these projects did not bump up against the state constitution's Public Trust Doctrine's public water guarantees - - which Walker has been at war with since his first day in office nearly eight years ago - - and the rules of an interstate water diversion compact provoking a lawsuit, separate interstate and federal clean air issues already leading to more litigation, and a host of other very substantial matters yet to be resolved - - let alone acknowledged by Walker and his allies who are trying to thread a needle wearing hockey goalie gloves. 

Before they start on the next 100 needles, or more.

Not only is Foxconn projected to be the biggest construction project in state history, it's being rushed to a fast-tracked ground-breaking because Walker needed the photo ops now ubiquitous in his re-election ads to make people forget he'd failed to keep his promise to create 250,000 new jobs in four years, and needed fresh material for campaign ads and Twitter posts that do not include a half-eaten sandwich or cup of frozen custard.

All this history and subject matter is covered in this Foxconn archive. I'd suggest starting at the bottom of the list and reading towards the top and the most recent posts.

Thousands of acres like this cabbage field shown here in 2017 are now in an area designated 'blighted,' available to be seized by local government for Foxconn uses and 'developed' with public funds. Heads-up downstream when there's one of those more-frequent '100-year' storms.


MAL said...

Indeed. Catastrophic.

Wisconsin v. Foxconn in federal court will be the most massive industrial-policy litigation in Wisconsin history.

Flynn and Soglin get this.

Check out Matt Flynn's Foxconn strategy with the urgency that our future depends on it:

Anonymous said...

Walker so easily fooled. The voters must not be fooled.

Anonymous said...

It was fast-tracked to make it seem impossible to stop and this was done with the cooperation of key democrats (peter barca, anyone?) The reason why Tony Evers has been anointed Walker's opponent is because he will stand-down for Foxconn.

Matt Flynn knows how to stop it. Paul Soglin? He initially asked them to develop at the empty Oscar Mayer site in Madison. Media reports consistently misrepresent that all democratic primary candidates are against the Fox-con. This is just another media lie, as the likes of Tony Evers will do nothing about it.

I am not convinced Soglin's stated opposition means anything. Only Matt Flynn directly advocates action to stop. Evers is Walker's ideal candidate -- a career bureaucrat with nothing to point to as successful leadership. He will lose, because there is no reason for Wisconsin's communities with overwhelming democratic majorities to come-out and vote. They will stay home.

Just like in 2011, we will see the state's media echo-chamber enable Scott Walker to proclaim "We're broke" and impose more forced cuts in everything and anything that supports workers and education. After the election, when Foxconn has served its purpose to deflect from Walker's failed job promise and economic failures, the media will flush this fiasco down the memory hole.

The claim that "we are broke", this next time around, will only be possible with massive amounts of propaganda. Wisconsin's nooooze network is more-than capable of this and will not let Walker down.