One of the most recent activites of Wisconsin has been the Foxconn Bill to bring in a new LCD flat screen factory in the Racine/ Kenosha area. This is a big change socially, politically, and economically for Wisconsin and has been talked about both positively and negatively; however, there are more negative comments towards the new facility. With the thousand acre land loss and the enormous investment Wisconsin has to make, this is a tragic event for the state. The Foxconn LCD flat screen factory coming to southeast Wisconsin has has more negative impacts on the state, and less positive changes. (For anyone unfamiliar with the Foxconn Bill and would like to learn more, here is a video)
Wisconsin was chosen for the factory placement for reasons of space and location, but most importantly, the money they were willing to give up. The first offer from Wisconsin was $3 billion in tax dollars which was a positive response for Foxconn. The first and most important choice that Wisconsin has needs to be put up between the marginal cost and marginal benefit; they need to contemplate if the $3 billion tax dollars and a total of $10 billion investment is worth the benefits. Most likely the officials conducted a cost/benefit analysis that entailed the multiple details of losing this valuable land to gain jobs and money. Unfortunately, it seems that people aren’t willing to consider the negative externalities and are searching for the positivity that could arise.
The most obvious positive outcome for this is that the scarcity of jobs has risen to a lofty level for the country and to this area of Racine/Kenosha. Rachel Martin, American journalist at NPR, speaks in a report on the Foxconn Bill: “The president spoke of at least 3,000 jobs but as many as 13,000 jobs” (Wisconsin Public Radio). Not taking a side, Martin -- like the rest of us -- was searching for the positivity and the numerous amount of jobs that this plant can create. With this many jobs, people from the Milwaukee and Chicago areas can gain employment and support their families. The question leads to: what kind of workers are Foxconn looking for? Described in “The Tech Skills Gap Will Test Foxconn’s New Wisconsin Factory” in Wired, “They are, instead, part of a new generation of advanced manufacturing jobs, requiring high levels of engineering skills—skills that are still sorely lacking in the American workforce”. Hopefully Wisconsin will be able to find people in this field, otherwise the numerous amount of jobs will go to waste.
Although this factory has a perfect location for the employment need, one of the reasons it has been chosen for Wisconsin ( instead of another Midwest State), is because the consumer surplus was gaping. More specifically between Wisconsin and Illinois, Chicago Tribune states, “Foxconn chose the state that has stable government, healthy finances and pro-growth policies for employers. Illinois has none of the above. This state is deep in debt and badly run”. Since Wisconsin was so willing to let go of $3 billion up front, the state was chosen immediately. Why might have Wisconsin done this? Was the state in that much need for money and jobs? One of the major trade-off’s that Wisconsin has to make is giving up the 20 million sq. ft. of land for the hope of success within the new factory. Personally this trade-off is a terrible act; however, the economists who are seeing the money over land are the people supporting this idea. The more socially optimal use of that state’s resources includes wasting the earth; however, if Wisconsin wants efficiency from the environmental perspective, they must think about the land going to die and habitats they will destroy. Of course with the land loss in mind, the opportunity cost is unlimited because that space could have been used for anything; in an environmentalist's perspective the opportunity cost should be leaving the nature how it is.
The Foxconn Bill was developed to put Wisconsin ahead on the charts and in the economy, but will the state survive this disaster? Perhaps the economy will thrive off this addition to the state; however, the negative impact on the people and environment will be too great to sustain. The LCD flat screen factory Foxconn intends to build in southeast Wisconsin will produce more negative impacts than positive changes on all pedestals.
Board, Editorial. "The next Foxconn and Illinois: Here's Why Wisconsin Will Be the State Growing More Taxpayers." Chicagotribune.com. 04 Aug. 2017. Web. 08 Sept. 2017.
"Electronics-Maker Foxconn Plans Wisconsin Factory." NPR. NPR, 27 July 2017. Web. 08 Sept. 2017.
Lapowsky, Issie. "The Tech Skills Gap Will Test Foxconn's New Wisconsin Factory." Wired. Conde Nast, 26 July 2017. Web. 08 Sept. 2017.
Reuters. "Incentives Galore." Foxconn: Apple Manufacturer's Wisconsin Incentives Revealed | Fortune.com. Fortune, 31 July 2017. Web. 08 Sept. 2017.
Todaystmj4. "Foxconn Bill Held before Public Hearing." YouTube. YouTube, 03 Aug. 2017. Web. 08 Sept. 2017.