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*** UPDATED x1 *** Tribune: Madigan, Cullerton to blame for losing Foxconn to Wisconsin

Thursday, Jul 27, 2017

* I seriously doubt that this particular POTUS would’ve favored a state he lost by 17 points over a state he unexpectedly won and which helped make him President, but whatever

Early this month, when they hit taxpayers with a 32 percent jump in the individual income tax rate, many legislators broke a promise they had made: No more tax hikes without major reforms to help Illinois’ moribund economy. Don’t worry, said Democrats who pushed the tax hike. We’ll get to those reforms soon enough.

But not soon enough, we now see, to keep electronics giant Foxconn from bypassing Illinois to make a jobs-rich investment in southeast Wisconsin. This is a huge win for Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin whom Illinois Democrats loathe. Just as this is an embarrassment for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton.

Once again, the people of Illinois see how Madigan and Cullerton, with their combined 86 years in Springfield, have left Illinois ill-prepared to compete for 21st-century jobs. Their agenda is about raising taxes, not about delivering those reforms. As we wrote a few days ago, every other state on Foxconn’s short list looked better than Illinois by the basic measures of financial stability and pro-growth economies. […]

But we do know this: Wisconsin boasts a freshly burnished global image. One of the planet’s largest tech firms, with a million workers worldwide, says its search led it to bet a fraction of its future on Wisconsin. Assuming that happens, expect robust economic growth from suppliers, subcontractors, construction companies and other businesses that will serve Foxconn and its workforce.

Illinois is a train wreck. The government is paralyzed with infighting and barely keeping its fiscal head above water, it can’t figure out how to fund its schools, the state has a lousy economic climate overall and is losing population. What’s not to love?

But it will still benefit from this because workers in the northern part of the state could find employment, and some or even many of those suppliers and contractors could wind up being from Illinois (unless they move operations north, of course).

* Not to mention that, at a time when the state is still struggling mightily to recover from the just-ended impasse and can’t even revive its most important corporate incentive (click here for that story), shelling out as much as $3 billion in subsidies probably would be frowned upon here

Let’s take a look at those figures: Wisconsin is paying as much as $1 million per job, which will carry an average salary of $54,000. The state’s economic development corporation is selling the project to taxpayers with a claim that it will create 10,000 construction jobs for building the facility and another 6,000 indirect positions. It’s expecting $3.3 million of investment per employee from the Taiwanese company.

Politicians, lobbyists and Foxconn can make the figures work by being generous with the facts. For example, if every one of those jobs came to fruition, they can claim 29,000 positions for $3 billion, or $103,000 per job. But that’s not going to happen.

Foxconn has factories in China and another dozen countries globally, yet that stated $10 billion investment is more than the group’s publicly traded flagship — Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. — has devoted to capital expenditure over the past five years combined.

There is potential for the payroll to climb to 13,000 in the future — a figure crucial to Wisconsin justifying the expense — but I wouldn’t bet your 401(k) on it. That’s because if Gou really does dish out $10 billion on this facility, the only way to make it viable is by keeping staffing low and leaning on automation to boost productivity. This LCD factory will be either labor intensive or highly automated. It can’t be both.

* But it still would’ve been a big win

The agreement represents an opportunity as well as a risk for Wisconsin — state lawmakers must now consider a subsidy package nearly 50 times bigger than the state’s previous record.

The factory project would involve a virtual village, with housing, stores and service businesses spread over at least 1,000 acres, according to interviews. That acreage, a 1.5 square-mile area the size of Shorewood, could be assembled from parcels that initially aren’t contiguous, the source said.

At 20 million square feet, the factory would be three times the size of the Pentagon, making it one of the largest manufacturing campuses in the nation. It would initially employ 3,000 workers making an average of $53,900 a year plus benefits and could eventually boast more than four times that.

*** UPDATE ***  Greg Hinz reached out to an upbeat Mark Peterson, the new head of Intersect Illinois...

Intersect Illinois already has been talking with county officials about how to plug local folks into Foxconn Technology Group’s talent search, and has had preliminary talks with the company that likely will be followed by a fuller discussion later this year, he said.

“We want to talk to them about what they need,” he says. “What can we do to customize (through worker training and other programs)?”

The state also may facilitate a connection between Foxconn and Northwestern University, Peterson said. Foxconn likes to work with academic institutions, and engineering-heavy NU “has a lot of things that could be beneficial.” […]

The potential is at least equally large for suppliers, Peterson said.

Though some will be located on a campus with Foxconn’s main factory—and still, a site hasn’t been chosen—”A lot of times, they want their suppliers close but not in their backyard. They don’t want to cannibalize their own workforce.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

93 Comments
  1. - Reality Check - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:48 am:

    How is paying state subsidies of $1 million per job “a big win”?


  2. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    Say what you want, but 10 years ago, Denny got a $500 million bridge built during Bush’s era completely through federal funds.


  3. - Ghost - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:52 am:

    I am not sur paying 3 billion for the factory is ultimately a win. It will depend on how many employees pay taxes and how much theu. collecting back 3 billion in income tax from a single employers employees is a shaky prospect


  4. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:52 am:

    ===Say what you want, but 10 years ago, Denny…===

    “Say what you want, but 20 years ago, 25 years ago… Denny… “


  5. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:53 am:

    What did Rauner do to even try to win FoxConn???? I keep asking this question and the fact that nobody knows tells me he did nothing. As he’s done nothing to lure any other major business. The turnaround agenda is a joke - it has nothing to do with turning around our economy. He just doesn’t care.


  6. - Ghost - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:53 am:

    What position did the Tribune take on brining Lucas to chicago again???


  7. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    ===“Say what you want, but 20 years ago, 25 years ago… Denny… “===

    “Speaker’s influence” I should add.


  8. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:56 am:

    ===”Speaker’s influence” I should add.===

    Teacher’s trust, I should add…


  9. - Dee Lay - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:57 am:

    $3 Billion in state subsidies to a non-American company that has a horrific human rights record?

    Suits Wisconsin…..I guess.


  10. - Roman - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    Yes, Madigan deserves heat for this, but there’s plenty of blame to go around. The fact that we have a governor who screams from the mountain top about what a terrible place his home state is every time he gets a chance is part of the problem. No state will win a project like this if it’s governor isn’t a good salesman for the state. Landing this project would have worked against Rauner’s political meme, which is why Illinois never really got involved.


  11. - Henry Francis - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:58 am:

    EDGE sunsetted. I haven’t really heard the Guv talk about that. We couldn’t offer them anything.

    Where was Intersect? I haven’t heard a peep out of those guys since they plucked that super star from upstate New York that no one has ever heard of (or from since his intro) to replace slipping Jimmy Schultz.


  12. - Hamlet's Ghost - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    Illinois [government] is a train wreck. Parts of Chicago are suffering terribly.

    But other parts of Chicagoland are doing very well, indeed.


  13. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:01 am:

    $1 million in taxpayer money per each $54K job?

    And the trönclodytes are in favor of that?

    That aint capitalism.

    That ain’t even socialism, because at least then the taxpayers would get an equity interest.

    That is flat-out robber baron corporate welfare.

    Uiehlein didn’t even get that kind of welfare in Wisconsin.


  14. - Norseman - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    As mentioned the incentive costs would have been too much for IL. It would still be nice if we had a governor who promoted the state instead of trashing it at every opportunity.


  15. - 360 Degree TurnAround - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:03 am:

    Does anyone think that Speaker Paul Ryan had anything to do with the re-location? It is rather narrow sighted to just think of Madigan and Cullerton, or even Rauner. Maybe speaker ryan needed a win.


  16. - Markus - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    LCD technology will be obsolete before this plant produces its first screen; as will factories of this scale for this type of technology.


  17. - ZC - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    God, I’m so sick of “major reforms” used as a shorthand for “breaking the back of organized labor.”

    Just say what you mean, please.


  18. - SAP - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:05 am:

    Wisconsin shouldn’t count their chickens until they hatch. From Crain’s the other day:
    “Critics have cautioned that Foxconn has made promises before to invest in the U.S. and not followed through. Foxconn promised in 2013, for example, to invest $30 million and hire 500 workers for a new high-tech factory in Pennsylvania, but it was never built.”


  19. - John Gregory (ex-IRN) - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    Wisconsin’s corporate tax rate is higher than Illinois’ after the recent hike (7.9% vs 7%).

    Wisconsin has a graduated income tax, with all but the lowest bracket (under $11,150) has a higher rate than Illinois, starting at 5.84%. https://www.tax-brackets.org/wisconsintaxtable

    Wisconsin has no legislative or gubernatorial term limits.

    Wisconsin’s redistricting is considered one of the most egregious gerrymanders ever, and is the subject of a Supreme Court case which may change congressional mapmaking forever.

    So what exactly are they talking about?


  20. - Blue Bayou - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:07 am:

    WI now part of the Chinese labor force.

    Make America Great Again By Insourcing the Outsourcing


  21. - The Captain - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:08 am:

    Wisconsin gave $1 million per job in subsidies, those jobs will have an average salary of $54,000.


  22. - Moe Berg - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    And, I say again to the tronc ownership, why would I want to pay good money to subsidize such intellectually dishonest pablum? Some of your news coverage is quite good, and then you despoil it by placing the editorial equivalent of an industrial hog farm next door.

    Talk about driving a brand into the ground. But nothing lasts forever. You had a good run.


  23. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    These investment per employee numbers are staggering. I will need multiple sources to confirm the numbers.

    With that level of investment per employee, wage costs become secondary. Worker skill is critical to making the equipment work well.

    Is this going to be a four shift operation? That makes the investment numbers even more surprising.

    The Tribune blame game is nonsense. Many states were in the race. Is Madigan in Indiana too?


  24. - DuPage - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:09 am:

    @- Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:53 am:

    ===What did Rauner do to even try to win FoxConn???? I keep asking this question and the fact that nobody knows tells me he did nothing. As he’s done nothing to lure any other major business. The turnaround agenda is a joke - it has nothing to do with turning around our economy. He just doesn’t care.===

    All that Rauner has done is badmouth Illinois almost on a daily basis. Instead of recruiting businesses to locate in Illinois, he spends his time campaigning and running attack ads AGAINST Illinois.


  25. - Huh? - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:11 am:

    SAP beat me to it. Heard the same thing on NPR this morning.


  26. - Roman - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:13 am:

    Interesting to note, the executives who will run that plant will pay a 7.65 percent income tax rate in Wisconsin. Proof that Illinois’ 4.95 rate is not the impediment to economic development the Tribsters claim it is.


  27. - Watson - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:16 am:

    Typical fox and the grapes reaction from the democrats. Who in their right mind would make that kind of investment in illinois when the only thing we are good at is childish gotcha politics?


  28. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:20 am:

    Great to see yet another Republican rap himself in crony capitalism.


  29. - cdog - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:21 am:

    Does Wisconsin have their public pensions under control?

    We have 60,000 public employees/pensioners making over $100K. That might scare off a scarecrow.

    Is this an open shop or is Foxconn going to invite the aflcio?


  30. - Reality Bites - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:21 am:

    Take a drive to Kenosha or Racine and marvel at all of the business that opted to work out of Wisconsin while still being in a convenient position to service clients and customers in the Illinois markets. Ditto for some businesses in Indiana.

    The presidential election has less to do with it than the poor business climate in Illinois that has its origins in the Capitol.

    For heaven’s sake, many Illinoisans routinely spend their dollars at the Wisconsin State Fair rather than patronizing the dog and pony show in Springfield.


  31. - Walter Concrete - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:24 am:

    Wisconsin does have higher taxes, but the Badgers are better at delivering services in return for tax dollars without layers of graft, kickbacks and padded contracts. Check out the pavements on most Wisconsin roads for one easily verifiable example.


  32. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:27 am:

    Who knows, but maybe if Rauner wasn’t so vicious politically and such a radical, he could have been cobbling together support to pass certain pro-business legislation.

    There’s no question to me that we need strong, reasonable leadership. Rauner could be building alliances if he was reasonable. That would help our state. But he’s very unreasonable and full of scorn for his opponents at such a very critical time in our history. This is definitely not a leader–always blaming his opponents, never taking responsibility, attacking people at the most critical times, when we need a unifier.


  33. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:28 am:

    Anyone else think that if Rauner had actually met with and talked with Trump maybe we could have gotten the factory?
    There is really no love loss between the Governor and the Donald.
    The Governor has done everything he can to run away from Trump but it sounds, from all the articles, like Trump had a major hand in this deal?


  34. - a drop in - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:30 am:

    Foxconn now: agrees to build factory, create thousands of jobs. Major Tribune headline

    Foxconn later: cuts jobs at plant. Tribune reports it on page 68.


  35. - Robert J Hironimus-Wendt - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:34 am:

    “when they hit taxpayers with a 32 percent jump in the individual income tax rate, many legislators broke a promise they had made: No more tax hikes without major reforms to help Illinois’ moribund economy.”

    Non-sequitur? Republicans made this promise. Democrats did not. The article suggests we should blame Repubicans for raising taxes against their promise, which led to Illinois not getting this ONE factory. This is just a foolish argument.


  36. - Anonymous - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:34 am:

    What is Rauner’s point? He talks hatefully about the state he governs, and it’s people. He despises those who he’s supposed to work with. Our credit rating is in the tank. No respect for working folks. Who is their right mind would care to set up shop here?

    And by the way, by reforms do people mean finally fully funding (annually) the pension systems—which have not been fully funded yearly for 75 years? Cheating working people is an honorable thing?


  37. - Arsenal - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:37 am:

    So we elect a pro-business Governor who promises us a lot of new employers, we miss out on one, and we’re not looking at that Governor? Cool, cool.


  38. - City Zen - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    ==Interesting to note, the executives who will run that plant will pay a 7.65 percent income tax rate in Wisconsin.==

    Not if they live in Illinois.


  39. - Sue - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    Get Serious- Illinois was never in the running. Right to work- unions in decline- a state budget surplus and a reduction in property taxes and most likely a better trained work force- where would you make the long term investment?


  40. - Pundent - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:40 am:

    =Does Wisconsin have their public pensions under control?

    We have 60,000 public employees/pensioners making over $100K. That might scare off a scarecrow.

    Is this an open shop or is Foxconn going to invite the aflcio?=

    Dollars to donuts tells me that if you are willing to spend $1M per job that none of this matters to the recipient.

    The jury is still out on whether or not we’re “losing” anything here. And I can only imagine the howls that would occur if we started to offer these kinds of incentives given all of our other problems.


  41. - Seats - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    This feels like a big win for Illinois to me.

    If Wisconsin is paying Foxconn a million per a job to get it there but Illinois residents are within driving distance to work at the building. Its extra employment opportunities without the expensive bill to make it happen.


  42. - Arock - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:44 am:

    If Illinois won this sweepstakes you all would have been gloating what a wonderful deal it is for Illinois so cut the BS. When you add all the taxes together it places Illinois in an unfavorable light. And taxes will have to go much higher at every level of government to pay the pension debts that the State and every level of government has rung up.


  43. - Amalia - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:46 am:

    Trump announces factory in Illinois. Yeah, right. Wisconsin foolishly kept with their governor. In Illinois Trumpinplaidshirt is closing in on his date with our chance to get rid of him. Given that what Seats points out is correct, that folks live close and get jobs, I bet Rauner does count it as a win as people can be on the I got ya a job list and Trumpinplaidshirt can look like a winner.


  44. - Annonin' - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    Just in case owners/editors are still wonderin’ why the Tibbies influence no one anymore go back and reread this nonsense….remember Tribbies only wanted $100 million their Wrigley scheme from Blagoof. This deal is $200 million a year for 15 years Yikes. For jobs that below the IL median wage


  45. - Galena Guy - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:53 am:

    As Kurt Eichenwald observed on Twitter, a company does not make a ten billion decision solely on a whim (and on the basis of an income tax increase I’d daresay)


  46. - chi - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 11:55 am:

    According to the Bloomberg piece, Foxconn has pledged investments of $27.5 billion just in this past year, which is more than its parent company has spent in the last 23 years.

    Illinois politicians should be jumping for joy that we will get a small portion of the employment benefit and possibly some collateral economic growth for free. If this thing ever even gets off the ground. WisCONsin just got conned by Foxconn. I’ll show myself out, thanks.


  47. - Cook County Commoner - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:00 pm:

    Anyone who thinks “no big deal” if Illinois had a shot and lost it due to politics is very misinformed. The private sector workers in Illinois who won’t benefit from a Foxconn job but are stuck with escalating Illinois income, sales and real estate taxes beg to differ.


  48. - Juice - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:01 pm:

    It’s pretty clear to me that the Governor did not make a strong push here.

    I mean, operating in a state with 13 million people suffering from Stockholm syndrome would be right up Foxconn’s alley.

    Would have been a huge selling point.


  49. - David - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    It’s in easy commuting distance and it looks to be highly automated based on The salaries. They are looking for office space…..There is a bunch in Lake country…anyone following up on this?


  50. - sulla - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:03 pm:

    “As he’s done nothing to lure any other major business. The turnaround agenda is a joke - it has nothing to do with turning around our economy. He just doesn’t care.”

    I disagree. The Turnaround Agenda, whether you love it or hate it, was a plan for economic development. Rauner failed completely to implement that plan.

    The Democrats are cruising towards full control of our state government again in ‘18. What is their plan for economic development? How are they going to respond to citizens demanding more and better jobs?

    Rauner and the GOP are toast. We all can see that. But there are still major problems with economic development in this state that need to be addressed. This is rapidly going to become a problem that the Democrats have to solve.


  51. - Trapped in the 'burbs - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:10 pm:

    The reactionary nitwits at Tronc continue to push their agenda as the last vestiges of their credibility are a faint memory. They have no gravitas or influence. The Katrina like catastrophe they envisioned and perhaps still hope for, will not save them. Without credibility, they continue their descent to another bankruptcy propped up by the Rauner circle of money. The failure of the paper as a whole is second only to the disaster that is the collection of elitist gasbags that make up their editorial board. On the plus side, the collective view of their consistent, cruel ineptitude seems to be something that unites the citizens of Illinois.


  52. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:11 pm:

    ===Rauner and the GOP are toast===

    I don’t see that at all.

    I can see the GOP pick up IL House and IL Senate seats and Rauner defeated.

    I can see Rauner win, and see the seats all hold serve.

    We’re talking $300 million, “maybe” on the table, and messaging a micro message when the macro is failing Rauner is more than possible.


  53. - SE Mayor - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:16 pm:

    Smoke and mirrors from the POTUS. If I was looking for a job in Wisconsin I don’t think I would hold my breath. Foxconn has pretty long history of big promises. Maybe the president should have made the announcement at one of the other Foxconn plants in the country that was built, wait a minute…..


  54. - City Zen - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:17 pm:

    ==The Democrats are cruising towards full control of our state government again in ‘18. What is their plan for economic development?==

    Charging a higher price for the same, outdated product, no doubt.


  55. - Jocko - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:18 pm:

    Thanks to tronc, I now know it was Madigan and Cullerton’s job to encourage companies to move here. I guess Bruce is done taking the arrows.


  56. - sharkette - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:23 pm:

    How long before WI income and Corp taxes go down?
    Like NC and AZ.
    People are moving to that area in droves, Business and parks and housing all over SE WI. Great hospitals and healthcare facilities that are glad to have you unlike NWMHC in Lake Forest.
    Property taxes are so much less than IL. Even though income and personal are a few points higher.


  57. - CapnCrunch - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:24 pm:

    “Where was Intersect? I haven’t heard a peep out of those guys….”

    A UI official says they were involved. The vice president for economic development and innovation said that UI officials were involved and “…supported an effort led by Intersect Illinois to make a case to Foxconn that Illinois would be a great place for them open a facility”

    But as others have pointed out there was no chance of Illinois being competitive.

    There may be a bigger story here. Announcements like this may be a sign that transportation costs and rising wages overseas are forcing companies to consider locating manufacturing facilities in the US. Illinois should be trying to make the state an attractive place for these facilities. A first step is getting our fiscal house in order now.


  58. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:30 pm:

    Governor Rauner has been pushing economic development legislation for the past two and a half years.

    The Speaker who professes to be all about raising the wages and standard of living of middle class working families has done absolutely nothing for those middle class families that work in the private sector.

    He did permanently raise their income taxes and refuses to enable a property tax freeze.

    Just like you say there is no way 13,000 permanent jobs will be created, there is also no way each job will cost 1 million dollars.


  59. - Moody's Blues - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:40 pm:

    Reading comments top to bottom in one swoop. Wow, this is a huge lunchtime serving of sour grapes. It’s true that a lot of legislators gave interviews, and filled out candidate questionnaires, saying tax hikes and reforms had to come together. Early this month, Greg Harris and many others again promised action on reforms. And … crickets.
    Let’s not deny this is a huge get for Wisconsin. And let’s not deny that by raising taxes without fixing finances and incentives –
    where is the legislation they passed? — the leaders of our two chambers set up Illinois to lose out on more jobs.
    Read the full editorial. Closing line: “We hope Michael Madigan and John Cullerton realize they delivered more for the governor of Wisconsin than for the people of Illinois.”


  60. - Lester Holt's Mustache - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:42 pm:

    ==If Illinois won this sweepstakes you all would have been gloating what a wonderful deal it is for Illinois so cut the BS.==

    Only a Raunerite would gloat over a deal like this. Robbing Illinois taxpayers - who are already on the hook for $15 billion in past due bills owed to Illinois employers and orgs - of another $3 billion to pay a Chinese company $1 million per job for 3000 positions that average $54K is neither conservative nor smart policy.


  61. - Da big bad wolf - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:49 pm:

    ==Anyone who thinks “no big deal” if Illinois had a shot===

    “Had a shot”? At three billion dodged a bullet.


  62. - Chicago 20 - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:53 pm:

    In the race to the bottom, Wisconsin has now jumped the shark.

    Absolutely ridiculous.


  63. - Da big bad wolf - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 12:55 pm:

    ==Is this an open shop or is Foxconn going to invite the AFLCIO?==

    Based on Foxconn’s reputation of how they treat workers in China, I’m guessing the workers themselves will be begging the AFLCIO to represent them.


  64. - chi - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 1:08 pm:

    Also, LOL at there ever actually being 3,000 jobs that average a $54k salary plus benefits. This is Foxconn we’re talking about, right? This is Trump we’re talking about, right? When do we stop taking the bait?


  65. - NoGifts - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 1:09 pm:

    Foxconn sounds so familiar. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bensin/2016/08/22/the-real-cost-of-the-iphone-7-more-foxconn-worker-deaths/#176bee945560 “These deaths once again shine a light on Foxconn’s harsh working conditions, in which poor factory workers are paid measly wages and forced to work overtime — sometimes 14 hours a day, seven days a week — to build Apple products that are then sold at high prices to consumers”


  66. - illinois manufacturer - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 1:12 pm:

    Foxcon gets maasive subsidies like this in China. An IMF report marveled how China had kept low paid industries like Ivanks stuff…..through subsidies. 3 billion will get a lot of plant and equipment bet Hon hai puts little in in the end. Wisconsin is paying to join a supply chain


  67. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 1:43 pm:

    I know I live in fantasy-land sometimes (well, more than sometimes), but we should take a real stab at legalizing recreational marijuana and expanding medical marijuana. That would be home-grown economic growth (no pun intended). We would be collecting taxes instead of big tax giveaways.

    No one who seriously argues for marijuana legalization and MMJ expansion should think that these policies would be economic and social panaceas, but they could create over $2 billion per year in sales revenue and over $500 million in tax revenue. Local governments could also collect much-needed tax revenue. Recreational marijuana could take a big chunk out of the black market and out of the hands of violent criminals. It could save money as it relates to criminal justice expenditures.

    Please, let us seriously consider this.


  68. - Ahoy! - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 2:15 pm:

    This seems more like a political stunt than a business decision on locating a plant for profitability. I hope this is followed closely because this seems like the type of project that is over-promised and over-hyped.


  69. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 2:22 pm:

    == there is also no way each job will cost 1 million dollars==

    The math is pretty simple. $3 billion in giveaways from Wisconsin for the company’s promise to fill at least 3,000 jobs. That’s a $1 million investment by the state for each job created.


  70. - zatoichi - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 2:24 pm:

    Foxconn did not happen to show up in Wisconsin by chance last week and decide over the weekend to invest in this plant. This discussion had to have gone on a long time. I thought Rauner was already talking with many corporations looking to move to Illinois? Not a peep about this he could brag on? Illinois Economic Development groups knew nothing about this? Then again, $1 million for a $54,000 job screams an extremly highly automated operation. Getting in under the made in America mantra while someone covers your payroll for 18 years looks like a good deal for Foxconn. Wisconsin income tax 8% x $54,000 x 18 years = $77,760 in taxes. Kind of a long way from $1M even if it churns over 4-5 times in other jobs.


  71. - City Zen - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 2:29 pm:

    ==In the race to the bottom, Wisconsin has now jumped the shark.==

    No mixing metaphors. And if you’re jumping the shark, it’s implied you’re on the decline.


  72. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 3:01 pm:

    – We expect to learn more in coming days about Foxconn’s thinking. We don’t know details of whatever federal, state and local government incentives lured the company Beyond the Cheddar Curtain. And we can’t be certain how many billions of dollars in investment, and how many thousands of jobs, Wisconsin will gain.–

    Hilarious. The deets are everywhere.

    The troncs don’t know because they chose not to know. Would step on their usual boilerplate hysterical tantrum.

    You think $3 billion, coming out to $1 million a job, might have helped.

    There are no facts, economics, or anything that supports the tronc tantrum. No evidence that Illinois was ever in the running.

    The edit is just thoroughly dishonest.


  73. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 3:23 pm:

    == there is also no way each job will cost 1 million dollars==

    The math is pretty simple. $3 billion in giveaways from Wisconsin for the company’s promise to fill at least 3,000 jobs. That’s a $1 million investment by the state for each job created.–

    You’re not expecting LP to get bogged down by facts now, are you?


  74. - Stewed Prunes - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 3:23 pm:

    The Democrats had full control of the State of Illinois from 2002 until 2014. How well did the state fare under their enlightened stewardship? Rauner’s rhetoric is tiresome, but one talking point was appropriate: the problems facing Illinois were not created in 2015.


  75. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 3:33 pm:

    The math is a little more complicated than that 1 million cost per job nonsense Wordslinger. No guarantee Foxconn will draw the entire 3 billion dollar subsidy for just 3,000 jobs.

    Foxconn Technology Group on Wednesday pledged to invest $10 billion to build a display panel plant in Wisconsin that could employ up to 13,000 workers and draw up to $3 billion in subsidies from state taxpayers — a deal that could ripple through the economy and 2018 elections.

    At 20 million square feet, the factory would be three times the size of the Pentagon, making it one of the largest manufacturing campuses in the nation. It would initially employ 3,000 workers making an average of $53,900 a year plus benefits and could eventually boast more than four times that.

    “America does not have a single LCD plant to produce a complicated system. We are going to change that,” Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou said.

    Walker called the deal “the single largest economic development project in the history of Wisconsin” and said it represented the most jobs ever to be plopped into an undeveloped parcel anywhere in the nation.

    The Foxconn plant would make liquid crystal display panels used in computer screens, televisions and the dashboards of cars. Walker’s office said the deal could result in up to 22,000 jobs that would be indirectly created by suppliers and businesses looking to locate near Foxconn and serve the company and its workers.

    The construction alone could lead to 10,000 jobs over each of the next four years.

    http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/2017/07/26/scott-walker-heads-d-c-trump-prepares-wisconsin-foxconn-announcement/512077001/

    You fail to mention up to 22,000 jobs related that would be created to handle the benefit to area businesses, suppliers etc.

    Also you don’t mention the 10,000 workers to build the plant for 4 years and the potential for up to 10,00 more permanent employees in the plant.


  76. - Demoralized - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 4:11 pm:

    ==as much as==

    See those words LP. “As much as.” That’s a max. And the math is simple to get to that max.

    I don’t think I’ve seen anyone who can deflect as well as you can. For you it’s always the “yeah, but” argument. You should be dizzy as much as you twist yourself around.


  77. - Colin O'Scopey - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 4:16 pm:

    I don’t care what the Trib thinks. Had Madigan or Cullerton had their fingerprints on Foxcomm coming to Illinois, the Trib editorial board would have howled that this was a miscarriage of epic proportions, that the state shouldn’t have committed billions to garner millions.

    I’m convinced that Illinois dodged a bullet and will be the ultimate beneficiary of this plant (if it even ever gets built). Jobs and downstream suppliers will locate to Lake County. And we didn’t have time give away the farm to get them.


  78. - Mike Royko - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 6:11 pm:

    Hi folks,

    Just wanted to check in to say that Foxconn is a good deal for Wisconsin. Sour grapes are those that say otherwise.


  79. - Moody's Blues - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 7:53 pm:

    “Foxconn deal to build massive factory in Wisconsin could cost the state $230,700 per worker”
    Nice even-keeled explainer from The Washington Post. Google it. The $1 million-per-job line is glib but evidently quite wrong. Darned facts.


  80. - cannon649 - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 8:30 pm:

    Great deal for the Badgers - Illinois never had a chance.
    The grant per worker will be different with each reader each year. No where near the the numbers listed here for the state incentives - Sorry..
    Botton line : massive unfunded liabilities, mega debt, and current cast of “leaders” new business will not come to Illinois unless they need to here.


  81. - Chicago 20 - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 8:33 pm:

    - Moody - Darned facts.
    When does the Washington Post estimate Wisconsin will recover their investment in Foxconn?
    2300 AD?


  82. - boom - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:21 pm:

    the economic ripple effects will be massive for that area…


  83. - boom - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:25 pm:

    much of the $3 billion has strings attached depending on the reality of the eventual investment. so they have considered the follow through angle


  84. - boom - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:30 pm:

    who in their right mind would live in Illinois and work in wisconsin? paying higher property taxes, sales taxes and tolls every time you drive to wisc. make no mistake, they are good enough jobs to move entire families for


  85. - boom - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:32 pm:

    it’s not just about the thousands of construction and plant workers. they have families too who will be spending money in the area


  86. - boom - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:34 pm:

    most of the $3bil is also in the form of tax breaks. which means it is essentially free to Wisconsin as they wouldn’t have had those taxes anyway should Foxconn went elsewhere. basic economics here people.


  87. - boom - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:35 pm:

    its not like wisc is just writing them a check. geesh. the naivety on this board is astounding.


  88. - boom - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:36 pm:

    it is exactly the type of naysayers on this thread that will continue to support job killing, union loving democratic politicians that will bury Illinois and make well run states like wisconsin shine


  89. - boom - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:37 pm:

    you’d think 40 years of history being (essentially) led by one party of politiciians down the drain would have woken up the voters. apparently not.


  90. - boom - Thursday, Jul 27, 17 @ 10:37 pm:

    good luck with that


  91. - Downstate43 - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 8:56 am:

    boom - “its not like wisc is just writing them a check. geesh. the naivety on this board is astounding.”

    Sorry, this is the only one of your 9 posts in a row that I read. I think some commenting really believe that’s what is happening here. What Wisconsin is doing is no different in terms of the incentives themselves than what IL does with EDGE, other DCEO incentives, E-zones, and TIF districts, just on a much larger scale.

    Of the $3 billion, I would bet a fraction of that is direct aid paid out of state coffers. Most of it is probably abatements, tax credits, etc. That’s the premise of these types of deals - the state foregoes revenue in several areas and makes up for it in others through revenue created from direct new jobs and secondary and tertiary employment/sales. I’m not saying that’s how it necessarily always works, but that’s the idea. Saying $1 million per job is just a hollow criticism.


  92. - Harvest76 - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 8:56 am:

    “The factory project would involve a virtual village, with housing, stores and service businesses spread over at least 1,000 acres, according to interviews.”

    Ahh, the company town model. Glad to see that is making a comeback. It worked out well for workers in the industrial revolution.


  93. - Da Big Bad Wolf - Friday, Jul 28, 17 @ 3:24 pm:

    ==most of the $3bill is also in the form of tax breaks. which means it’s essentially free to Wisconsin as they wouldn’t have had those taxes anyway==
    Nope. Businesses and factories use the things taxes pay for. Roads and sewers and other infrastructure. If the factory catches on fire there are firemen and hospitals and social workers. If someone tries to steal something from the factory there are, police, courts, bailiffs and prisons. It’s workers are educated by schools and libraries. Do you think Wisconsin makes other companies pay nearly 8% just to be mean? If the factory doesn’t pay for these things then everybody else has to pay Foxconn’s share.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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