Monday, October 29, 2018

Wisconsin "Gov. Scott Walker promised billions to get a Foxconn factory, but now he’s running away from it"

Verge:

When Walker signed the Foxconn deal in November 2017, the details matched those jotted on the napkin: the state promised a $3 billion state subsidy if the company invested $10 billion in a plant that created 13,000 jobs.

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As the size of the subsidy has steadily increased to a jaw-dropping $4.1 billion, Foxconn has repeatedly changed what it plans to do, raising doubts about the number of jobs it will create. Instead of the promised Generation 10.5 plant, Foxconn now says it will build a much smaller Gen 6 plant, which would require one-third of the promised investment, although the company insists it will eventually hit the $10 billion investment target. And instead of a factory of workers building panels for 75-inch TVs, Foxconn executives now say the goal is to build “ecosystem” of buzzwords called “AI 8K+5G” with most of the manufacturing done by robots.

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Back when the subsidy was $3 billion, Wisconsin’s non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimated that it would take until 2043 for taxpayers to recoup the subsidy.