Foxconn, Biking and State Roads
$3 billion spent on transportation would create more jobs, fix all roads, add bike lanes.
You might not think that the massive Foxconn deal has much of anything to do with bicycling, but there is a link. Read on.
If you’ve been living under a rock or fanatically training for the Ride Across Wisconsin you could be forgiven for not knowing about Foxconn. The company is a giant Chinese manufacturer of flat screens and it promises to locate a big plant in Southeast Wisconsin in exchange for $3 billion in payments from state taxpayers and exemption from a number of environmental regulations.
Most of that $3 billion is actual direct cash payments to the company from Wisconsin taxpayers. It would cost a family of four, on average, about $140 a year for the next 15 years.
So, here’s the connection: for roughly the same cost to taxpayers we could lay a good foundation for fixing our roads. And we’d create a lot more jobs.
And here’s a bonus. At its rosiest projection and counting all the direct jobs, construction jobs and jobs induced by the project, Foxconn would produce about 50,000 jobs. But for that same $3 billion investment in roads and other transportation needs, we could produce about 84,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Better yet, those jobs would be produced all over the state, wherever a road needed fixing. The Foxconn jobs will be isolated to Southeast Wisconsin and Northeast Illinois.
To add insult to injury Illinois residents will reap the benefits while not having to shoulder the costs of the big Foxconn taxpayer subsidy. You could say the same thing about road building, except that road improvements will make it easier for Flatlanders to come here and spend their money. The Foxconn deal will make it easier for them to take jobs we subsidize to the tune of $230,000 to $1 million per job.
And here is the final irony. The state budget is going on two months overdue primarily because Gov. Scott Walker refuses to back new transportation taxes that would cost the average driver maybe $120 a year. But now he’s pushing hard for a project that will cost taxpayers roughly the same amount of money, only with benefits far below what a sound transportation budget would deliver.
- Op Ed: Foxconn Shows Folly of Cheesehead Revolution - Dan Shafer - May 12th, 2021
- Foxconn Deal Doesn’t Reduce Local Government Risk - Corri Hess - May 3rd, 2021
- Murphy’s Law: The True Costs of New Foxconn Deal - Bruce Murphy - Apr 28th, 2021
- The State of Politics: All Sides Won On New Foxconn Deal - Steven Walters - Apr 26th, 2021
- New Foxconn Deal Cuts Incentives By $2.77 Billion - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 20th, 2021
- Rep Hintz: Statement on Approval of Revised Foxconn Contract - State Rep. Gordon Hintz - Apr 20th, 2021
- New Foxconn and WEDC Agreement Provides Flexibility and Clarity for Renewed Tech Investments in Science and Technology Park - Foxconn Technology Group - Apr 20th, 2021
- Gov. Evers Announces Renegotiated Foxconn Contract to Save Taxpayers $2.77 Billion - Gov. Tony Evers - Apr 20th, 2021
- Rep. Hintz: Statement on Foxconn Announcement - State Rep. Gordon Hintz - Apr 19th, 2021
- Evers Announces New, Smaller Foxconn Deal - Jeramey Jannene - Apr 19th, 2021
Read more about Foxconn Facility here