Thursday, September 14, 2017

Foxconn

Elly Fox

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.

  

Works Cited
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.

24 comments:

  1. The Foxconn deal has become one of the major topics in a lot of my classes recently and it is always interesting to hear another person’s opinion about it. I completely agree with you that Foxconn should not be brought to Wisconsin. I believe this based on the amount of negative environmental factors it will have on Wisconsin as well as the low amount of jobs they are providing for the large amount of money we are giving. You did a very good job using vocab naturally and unforced. Your piece flowed very well together and there was no question about where you stood on this matter.

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  2. I have only briefly heard about this company before, and to me it is absolutely devastating that they are willing to put up this much money and land for something that will ruin our environment faster than it helps our economy. With people like Scott Walker who are only interested in the job growth aspect of this company it is very hard to convince them just how important it is to take control over our ecosystem while we can.
    With the hurricanes in the southeast, and wildfires in the west, it is very clear that we our killing our planet and ourselves, and if we don't resist against these cooperation then we are basically setting ourselves up for no opportunity of getting better.

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  3. I agree with your stance. This deal has more negatives than positives. The environmental impact will be huge, especially considering the fact that the Kenosha/Racine area now has another company with large buildings disrupting the natural habitat (The other being Amazon and their warehouse/distribution center). In terms of jobs, more jobs is a positive, but those jobs need to be filled, and advanced manufacturing skills and other labor trades aren’t as popular as skills related to the medical field.

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  4. I agree and think US should not approve the Foxconn project. The project plans to use between 3000 and 13000 employees, but a decent amount of those jobs are construction. So the Unemployment rate in the Milwaukee, Kenosha metropolitan area will decrease at first, but when the project is complete 4 years in time, once again the unemployment rate will be high. Another downside to the Employment, is that the project will need many high advanced engineers, and according to The Tech Skills Gap Will Test Foxconn’s New Wisconsin Factory, “Many of those engineering skills are lacking in today’s workforce”. The project will be created in the Kenosha between two major cities, Chicago and Milwaukee, so that there are more people willing to work.

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  5. Very interesting topic! Based on your evidence, I agree that the negatives of the Foxconn Bill outweigh the positives. One of the biggest issues with this bill is that success is not guaranteed, meaning the resources and money Wisconsin is putting into this bill might not pay off in the long run. Not only does the Foxconn Bill cost Wisconsin $3 billion up front, but it also requires 20 million square feet of land. Plus, like you said, Wisconsin currently has a very stable government, healthy finances, and pro-growth policies for employers. Is Foxconn worth the risk of possibly destroying Wisconsin’s economy? I think not.

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  6. Following the issue myself, I found that, like you said, the increase of jobs seems to be the main reason Wisconsin economists and politicians are supporting the Foxconn movement. However, I find it interesting that Wisconsin is determined to invest so much into a company who promises to employ 3,000 workers over 3 years. In research I have done before, I found that Foxconn actually has already constructed sites in both Indiana and Virginia and that the results of employees combined only adds up to only 1,500 employees. This is a big concern in questioning where Foxconn will find their employees. Therefore, I find that it would be a big risk for Wisconsin to invest in Foxconn. In addition, I found that what you said later about the environmental concerns interesting because a big reason for Foxconn moving to Wisconsin is the large open water source of Lake Michigan. With the increased production of LCD screens and the increased amount of water use for production could potentially lead to the contamination of Lake Michigan. Overall, there is a huge opportunity cost for Wisconsin investing in Foxconn. While Wisconsin is willing to invest 3+ billion in them, there is the lost opportunity to invest that money in other beneficial plans.

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  7. I agree that the Foxconn bill will produce more negative impacts than positives. The reason why is that they are only bring 3,000 jobs to Wisconsin. Most of the jobs that they are bringing to Wisconsin require college degrees or a lot of experience. Most of the people in Wisconsin looking for jobs are ones who have been laid off or fired. Many of those people will not have the qualifications needed to work at this new facility. That will require people from other states or countries to come and take those jobs.

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  8. Although true that this could produce more jobs for Wisconsin I find it difficult to say Foxconn could have any more positive aspects. Based on how much we are planning on giving Foxconn, there is no profit for Wisconsin until about 25 years from now. We're basically paying Foxconn to come to Wisconsin. And even then, Wisconsin's unemployment rate is sitting about 1.1% lower than the national average so we're doing pretty well anyways.

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  9. I agree with your stance and also think Foxconn should not be brought to Wisconsin. Although they are giving us the promise of jobs, they are not ensuring us that Foxconn will have success. So there is the possibility of failure and when $3 billion dollars of our own tax paying money is on the line, the risk just isn’t worth it. Wisconsin already has a stable government and is good financial standings, so I agree there is no need for Foxconn in Wisconsin.

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  10. While there is a need for jobs in Wisconsin I feel that this is not the correct way to solve this problem. The government of Wisconsin is gambling with the taxpayers money. To get jobs Wisconsin must invest in a lower education job so many more people can apply.

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  11. When you say that a lot of the jobs foxconn is providing are scarce and that there won't be enough people of that trade to fill the jobs requirement is a major problem, you have to take into account that people move all over the country for certain jobs. This means that not only will Wisconsin get people form all over the States, but when young people realize there is a shortage of these skilled workers, they will be more motivated to learn these skills whether at a college or as an apprentice.

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    Replies
    1. Robert H, I agree with you that some people are willing to move all over the country for certain jobs. But, typically the type of jobs people will travel, or relocate for are typically higher up, or offer them a substantial increase in pay or offer themselves a better opportunity to provide for there family. Are the types of jobs Foxconn is offering that substantial that people are willing too move all around the country for, or do you believe that the benefits of this job are not that, where people won't be willing to move?

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  12. Foxconn may be creating a few thousand jobs but I agree that it is a waste of potential, and money, for Wisconsin. Like stated, the jobs require tech skills that not everybody in the area possesses, meaning people outside the state will take those jobs anyway, not helping with the unemployment present. We need to protect the few green spaces we have instead of taking a gamble with 1,000 acres, and 3 billion dollars in trade for jobs and maybe more money. Even other buildings could be built there that do not have technology requirements which would help out employment more. Additionally, the harmful waste given off by the factory is a horrible contribution. There is no reason the state of Wisconsin (particularly Racine) should support the decision to Foxconn.

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  13. Even though it will be nice to have to be bringing more jobs to the state and bring manufacturing back to the U.S., the environmental affects far outweigh the marginal benefit of the economic affects. Even if the plant were to be an economic success, tax payers are still going to be unhappy with the $3 billion tax break. That is if the company is successful and can endure the estimated 15 years it will take to pay off.

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  14. Elly, I agree with your stance on the topic. I believe that bringing Foxconn to Wisconsin has a more negative impact than positive benefits. Foxconn's plan to create 13,000 jobs overtime is a great way to fulfill Scott Walker's promise to create 250,000 jobs, but in a state that already has an unemployment rate of a low 3.2%, I'm not sure this is necessary. Amazon's factory that was recently built in the Kenosha/Racine area is already doing its job to fulfill the unemployed. Not only is it not necessary, but the 3 billion dollar tax break and environmental impact takes a big toll on Wisconsin residents. Overall I do not believe Foxconn should come to Wisconsin.

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  15. Foxconn is not the best way to fill the missing jobs for the 3% unemployment rate in Wisconsin. I agree that we need to protect all of the land that could be affected by this company. There is also a lot of money at stake here and the company has a chance of this location not working. We should invest our money in companies that are for sure going to work out and for sure help our economy. There will be thousands of jobs but there may not be enough people to fill those jobs in Wisconsin. Factories can hurt the environment and give off harmful gasses and chemicals. It is important that people know the harmful results of putting Foxconn in southeastern Wisconsin.

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  16. Foxconn has shown to be one of the biggest topics of debate within Wisconsin these last few months, and I agree that there are more negatives than positives, but I also think that there are more negatives than positives due to the fact that Wisconsin is rushing the entire process. Most of the negatives revolve around Wisconsin not having answers for different ideas Foxconn is providing, and the one thing I disagree on, is that I believe that if Wisconsin takes more time to figure everything out, there could be more positives in the long run.

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  17. I agree with your stance that Foxconn should not make a move to Wisconsin. We actually discussed in a previous class that the pros and cons for Foxconn moving to Wisconsin are much more weighted to the con side. Foxconn will be taking up thousands of acres in southeast Wisconsin for a cause that really isn´t even needed. Foxconn promises at least 3,000 jobs and yes they will definitely bring in a lot of revenue, but Wisconsin currently has an unenployment rate of 3.4% which is the 12th lowest in the US compared to other states that aren´t even close to the population size of Wisconsin. My point is Wisconsin doesn´t need more jobs, which agrees with your stance.

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  18. The Foxconn deal is polarizing. It will create jobs and they will be jobs that will require a decent amount of training. However not all the jobs will be from Wisconsin. People from Illinois are likely to come and work. There are also many indirect jobs that will be created due to the deal. Overall I think it's a "tremendous deal" as our Commander and Chief would say. On the other hand it is important to consider the opportunity cost of doing the deal with Foxconn. Are the 3 billion dollar tax breaks and land worth the deal? I wouldn't know I'm just a high school student.

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  19. I believe that the jobs created will be extremely beneficial to many families not only in Wisconsin but, for families willing to relocate, anywhere across the country. I also believe the concern for having trouble filling the positions available is an unwarranted one as these are very well paying manufacturing jobs and for those who need it, the relocation would e well worth it. To that end, the work force in search of manufacturing jobs between Chicago and Milwaukee may very well be plenty to fill the positions without the need of relocation of the work force. However, on all other fronts, I do agree that the opportunity cost is far greater then the Marginal benefit of what this plant could bring to the state. The tax breaks and negative environmental impact will out weigh the benfits of these jobs for the state, especially because the unemployment rate of Wisconsin is one of the best in the country (3.2%).

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  20. Based off of the research given throughout this article, I agree that the marginal cost of Foxconn moving to Wisconsin far outweighs the marginal benefit. Although it is promised that over 13,000 jobs will be created, which would help the economy thrive, the unemployment rate in Wisconsin is at an all time low meaning that there might not be enough employees to fill the jobs. This means that the promise made would not be fulfilled, in addition to Foxconn then being very inefficient as a company. In addition to that, it is surprising to me that Wisconsin would be so willing to build an enormous building in the Racine/Kenosha area that will hurt the environment faster than it will help the economy. As stated in your blog post, Foxconn will be given 20 million sq. ft. of land in hopes that the company will be successful. This could be very risky for Wisconsin, already noting that the environment would become more polluted. Overall, while Foxconn is a large company that has been successful, there are just many more negative effects of the Foxconn move than postive. Therefore, I agree with your statement that Foxconn should not move to Wisconsin.

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  21. There is a need for jobs. However I don't think this is the right way to do it because if you think about it them needing people with higher education isn't going to create more jobs the people that don't have a great education need jobs.We should invest in Jobs that don't require that much education so more people can apply and more people will have a job.

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