It has been years since Foxconn's failure to follow through on virtually any of their plans cost former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker his job, but the Taiwanese manufacturing company never stopped pretending that they would eventually construct a large factory employing many thousands of people.
Foxconn has long claimed they're still owed generous tax incentives from the state government even though they haven't held up their end of the bargain, but the company has now formally and legally admitted they aren't building a factory to employ 13,000 people.
Taiwan electronics manufacturer Foxconn is drastically scaling back a planned $10 billion factory in Wisconsin, confirming its retreat from a project that former U.S. President Donald Trump once called "the eighth wonder of the world."
Under a deal with the state of Wisconsin announced on Tuesday, Foxconn will reduce its planned investment to $672 million from $10 billion and cut the number of new jobs to 1,454 from 13,000. [...]
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said the new agreement will save Wisconsin taxpayers "a total of $2.77 billion compared to the previous contract, maintain accountability measures requiring job creation to receive incentives, and protect hundreds of millions of dollars in local and state infrastructure investments made in support of the project."
It's good that the state government will not be paying Foxconn billions of dollars for virtually nothing, but I want to point out that this project was never going to be worth the money.
Even under ideal conditions -- even if Foxconn had built a large factory and actually employed 13,000 local residents (read: state taxpayers) -- the investment was not projected to pay for itself until the year 2045. The project included a price tag of over $100,000 per job created which is more than the salary most workers would have theoretically earned each year.
An entire small town was also uprooted and demolished under eminent domain to make space for what is now a series of empty fields with no homes but also no factory. The state government also spent a significant amount of money to widen local infrastructure to accommodate a large factory that will never exist.
This project or deal with the devil was emblematic of a typical Trump business deal that goes nowhere, but it wasn't originally his idea. Trump only swooped in to take credit after former Governor Scott Walker signed the papers with Foxconn. This is representative of what most Republicans think is a good investment of taxpayer dollars; socialism for private business and scraps for everyone else.