State Rep. Chris Taylor
Press Release

Conned by a Fox?

People of Wisconsin won’t be fooled by bad deal that needs thorough vetting.

By - Aug 1st, 2017 03:35 pm
Foxconn chairman Terry Gou and Governor Scott Walker hold a memorandum of understanding. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

Foxconn chairman Terry Gou and Governor Scott Walker hold a memorandum of understanding. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

MADISON – In their latest scheme, Governor Walker and legislative Republicans turned up the full-court press this week to try and pull the wool over Wisconsinite’s eyes. Cooked up behind closed doors by President Trump, Governor Walker and the Taiwanese corporation, Foxconn, Wisconsin taxpayers will be asked to write a $3 billion check for a shady deal that allows outsourcing and doesn’t require hiring Wisconsin workers.

Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) released the following statement:

“Make no mistake about it, this Foxconn scheme, long on promises and short on details, is about getting Governor Walker re-elected. I can’t tell who is actually quarterbacking the strategy – his campaign or his Madison office. The facts are simple – Wisconsin taxpayers may be required to write a $3 billion check to a Taiwanese corporation without any promises to hire Wisconsin workers, without an environmental assessment on our water or wetlands, and without serious, meaningful oversight. Meanwhile, our K-12 schools struggle to keep the lights on and our streets look like something out of the third world. All of adds up to a bad deal for the people of Wisconsin.

“The big price tag and potential harmful ramifications of this scheme for the people of our state should cause legislative leaders to slow down and not ram this through at the speed of light. The people of our state deserve better.”

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12 thoughts on “Conned by a Fox?”

  1. David Ciepluch says:

    Large companies in the US have not created any new jobs in the US for over 30 years. Small and medium size businesses, less than 5,000 employees, are the real job creators.

    Companies like Foxconn and “Walmarts” of the world are wealth extractors and parasites upon a regional economy. Wisconsin taxpayers and businesses that have stayed the course in WI paying taxes for decades, would be stuck paying off the $3 Billion scam, that essentially pays the wages for 15-years. The wages are likely starvation based for a majority, and workers would need other assistance like Badgercare and Food Stamps. We do not need to reward a company like Foxconn, it should survive on its own merit in the fair market place of goods and services.

  2. Vincent Hanna says:

    “We do not need to reward a company like Foxconn, it should survive on its own merit in the fair market place of goods and services.”

    That sounds like an inherently conservative position, something Republican politicians and conservative economists & think tanks have been saying for decades. They’d let Foxconn start building tomorrow if they could.

  3. A says:

    It astounds me that many on the left support a government paid universal basic income for everyone, even if they do nothing. However, if it comes to government incentivizing a business that actually produces new products and creates value to pay an average of 53k a year for at least 3,000 workers… that’s a no go. The fact that advanced manufacturing jobs are being compared to Walmart workers is a clue though as to who we’re dealing with in the opposition.

  4. Vincent Hanna says:

    It astounds me that so many on the right who never stop screaming about the free market are so eager to give Foxconn whatever they want no questions asked while believing everything Foxconn tells them about the total investment amount, number of jobs, etc. Not to mention they ignore the fact that the company is automating more and more jobs and won’t pay most workers anywhere near $53,000 a year.

  5. Adam says:

    @ Vincent Hanna,

    “Not to mention they ignore the fact that the company is automating more and more jobs and won’t pay most workers anywhere near $53,000 a year.”

    I would think median would be a much better metric to use to get an idea of how most workers would be paid. Sure there are going to be some well paid engineers to keep the robots working, but the low skill stuff where most of the employment will be at is going to be in the $10-12 range.

  6. Vincent Hanna says:

    Exactly Adam. That’s why Illinois residents will also get so many jobs if this actually happens.

  7. David Ciepluch says:

    The $53,000 is an average, using highest salaried employees, and likely the bloated CEO/COO salary. Most labor jobs will be in the $10/hr. range or less. Do not trust this company. If they locate and recruit workers, it should be on their own merits. A $3 Billion bailout by taxpayers is a scam and ripoff from all of us including existing businesses.

    Foxconn has a terrible reputation in other countries in treatment and pay towards workers. In China, they were jumping off the roof top committing suicide. So Foxconn put nets below.

    A full analysis of this is needed with real facts, not promotion with scant information to go on. Right now we have Foxconn’s history, and serial liar Walker’s words. Neither can be trusted.

  8. Vincent Hanna says:

    I found a little bit more about the salaries/wages:

    “Plant workers are expected to earn an average of $73,500 in total compensation, including an average base wage of $53,875. Since that figure is an average and not a median amount, it could be significantly affected by a few workers making very high salaries.

    Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has said most entry-level jobs would pay about $13 to $15 per hour and up.

    The majority of the 13,000 workers would be hourly operators and technicians — about 9,800 of them.”

  9. David Ciepluch says:

    I would not believe a rosy statement from Vos. Real facts are needed and an analysis. Getting this kind of plant would be a huge bonus for workers. Granting a large company $3 Billion is like taxpayers paying their wages for 15 years. That is insane for taxes to be used to pay the wages for a foreign company that takes profits back to Taiwan.

    Large companies have not created any production jobs in the US in the past 30 years. GM used to be the #1 employer. Today it is Walmart with wages less than $10/hr. and obtaining additional assistance of Food Stamps and Badger Care to survive.

    A $13 to $15 wage is like $26,000 to $30,000. Nice starter job for many people. I would not trust what this company has to say, or Walker. Real facts are needed and a full analysis. And a definite no to a $3 Billion handout.

  10. Vincent Hanna says:

    Yeah I don’t really trust Vos at all and am skeptical of everything he and other elected officials say about Foxconn. Might they pay in that hourly range though simply because nearby Amazon is?

  11. John says:

    I have historically voted Dem. my entire life, so I say that as a qualifier for what’s about the follow. The outright opposition to this I have seen here and other places is surprising. There is little in the way of detail yet and I think it’s best to see what is baked before taking a stance for or against. While I don’t care for Vos, Walker, etc., I think it important to give it some time to see if they actually can get this right, because if they do it will be a huge benefit to the state.

    For folks who support social welfare and assistance to the less fortunate and those who need help, it’s strange to see backlash when the government is willing to provide funds to create additional jobs in this state. Starting wages for many might be in the $13-15 range, but considering the median household income in Racine County is $55K per year, this does not seem out of line.

    Just using rough numbers, if the state invests $3B for 13,000 jobs, that amounts to $230,769 per job, or $15,385/year per job. They have stated they anticipate including claw backs if the jobs leave. I am not sure I see that as being a horrible investment if the average job earns $53,000 as a result. These numbers don’t factor in the additional investment that will be needed in the UW system and Technical College system to help staff this. It doesn’t include the likelihood of a job creation multiplier which typically happens when you have a massive plant like the one being proposed. I think a great example of this the rumored Corning plant at 1 million square feet which could be a billion dollar investment as well. Also the 250 acre site near Mitchell, the potential for a NA Foxconn HQ in downtown Milwaukee, and the likelihood of additional investments in Mitchell airport.

    I don’t see this press release as being helpful other than whipping up the base before anything is known. If the voters of the state need to be aware that the actual deal being negotiated is bad, by all means, please get that out. Until then, leave the shallow broadsides to Fox News ilk and WCD.

  12. David Ciepluch says:

    I am not opposed to new jobs. It is insane to reward a foreign company over 15 years with $3 Billion in taxpayer funds, that takes the profits back to Taiwan. Walker policies have removed billions in spending power from local communities through 15% wage cuts to public employees, and billions taken from K-University education. About $1 Billion is added in debt for unfinished road work and repairs. WEDC (pay to play scam) has squandered $2 Billion in handouts and no proof of new jobs created. Tax breaks for wealthy donor class and corporations have further removed money from the state. A measured indicator of this is that WI leads the nation in lost annual family median income of over $10,000.

    The economy is 75% consumer driven. Remove spending power from people and actual dollars from communities puts downward pressure on local and regional economic churn.

    A full economic and environmental analysis of Foxconn jobs and wages, promises, solid and hazardous waste streams, should be presented with all the pluses and minuses. A $3 Billion handout for low wage jobs is an insult to all taxpayers and existing small and medium businesses that have been striving to make WI a better place for decades. Where is our handout? This $3 Billion handout handicaps and sabotages future progess along with debt Walker has created for roadwork.

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