Josh Dzieza, in a devastating investigative report for The Verge:
In 2017, President Donald Trump and the Wisconsin GOP struck a
deal with Foxconn that promised to turn Southeastern Wisconsin
into a tech manufacturing powerhouse.
In exchange for billions in tax subsidies, Foxconn was supposed to
build an enormous LCD factory in the tiny village of Mount
Pleasant, creating 13,000 jobs.
Three years later, the factory — and the jobs — don’t exist, and
they probably never will. Inside the empty promises and empty
buildings of Wisconn Valley.
The hallmarks of the Republican Party, exemplified by the Trump administration, are incompetence, corruption, and lies. All three are at play in this story, but it’s hard to say in what order. The promises were all false — some combination of outright lies and utter failures — but the results are very real to the people of Wisconsin:
That illusion has had real costs. State and local governments
spent at least $400 million, largely on land and infrastructure
Foxconn will likely never need. Residents were pushed from their
homes under threat of eminent domain and dozens of houses
bulldozed to clear property Foxconn doesn’t know what to do
with. And a recurring cycle of new recruits joined the project,
eager to help it succeed, only to become trapped in a mirage.
“All people see is the eighth wonder of the world,” said an
employee. “I was there and it’s not real. I mean, it’s not. This
is something I can’t talk about ever again, because people think
you’re crazy, like none of this could ever happen. How could this
happen in the US?”
We all know how it happened. We made a terrible mistake in 2016 that we’re set to fix next week.
I can’t say enough good things about Josh Dzieza’s reporting and writing for this story.
★ Wednesday, 28 October 2020