February 4, 2019


How the Foxconn Boondoggle Resembles the Fyre Festival (ANDREW EGGER,  FEBRUARY 4, 2019, The Bulwark)

Foxconn! During Donald Trump's first year in office, the mere name of the tech giant was synonymous with the president's bold promises to reinvigorate America's sagging manufacturing sector. The Taiwanese megacorporation, which assembles approximately 40 percent of the world's consumer electronics, had agreed to open a mammoth, state-of-the-art plant near Milwaukee--thanks to a king's ransom from then-Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who had promised the company an eye-popping $4 billion in tax breaks and subsidies. (An independent analysis found that the state would recoup their losses on the deal by 2043.) But even that came cheaply as far as Trump was concerned: He was bringing American jobs back, and everything else was fine print. At the groundbreaking ceremony in June 2018, Trump described the soon-to-be factory as the "eighth wonder of the world."

That was then. Now, the whole thing has devolved into chaos. Last year, Foxconn started telling everyone to lower their factory expectations, suggesting that the new plant would not be the cutting-edge "Generation 10.5" factory they'd promised, but a smaller, cheaper "Generation 6" plant. Then, this week, the tech giant abruptly announced that it wouldn't be "building a factory" after all, but a campus that would hire mostly white-collar workers for positions in areas like research and development.

"In terms of TV, we have no place in the U.S.," Foxconn representative Louis Woo told Reuters this week, citing the comparatively high cost of employing U.S. workers.

Posted by at February 4, 2019 12:02 AM