Foxconn has wrung a promise of $3 billion in corporate welfare from the state of Wisconsin, but even that is no guarantee that it will open a factory there, even if it swears up and down that this is in the cards.
Just ask the folks in Pennsylvania who were promised a flat-panel display plant in 2013 and instead got "an empty office in Harrisburg and nothing further" — and then ask the Indonesians who are waiting on Foxconn to make good on its 2013 written promise to open a factory; the Vietnamese who got their written promise in 2007, and the Brazilians who've been watching the ink dry on their Foxconn letter since 2011, and who've sent $12 billion to the company in the intervening years.
Michigan's deep-red red-state governor Rick Snyder also has a great vaporware deal underway with the Foxconn PR machine.
For free market ideologues, Foxconn is a bargain and a deal-sealer. After you take office, destroy your electorate's social safety net and slash taxes on the rich, Foxconn will, for a few billion dollars, provide the window-dressing you need to "prove" that your plan has lured in the world's great manufacturing companies, and will string things along until you're comfortably out of office and working as a lobbyist.
The good news is the proposed giveaway to Foxconn is getting enough well deserved critical scrutiny that it may not get done. The bad news is that if this deal, which has the earmarks of being unserious from the outset, falls apart, it will be used to blame anti-business interests and deflect attention from sounder approaches for creating good jobs…like the glaringly obvious need for more infrastructure spending.
Foxconn's Con: Seeking Whopping Subsidies for Wisconsin, Michigan Manufacturing Jobs…If They Happen
[Yves Smith/Naked Capitalism]
(Image: Alexander Kaiser, CC-BY)