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As I See It

Is Foxconn golden goose or albatross?



Is Foxconn the golden goose, or is it an albatross? We likely won’t know for a while. But there are some issues of concern. The Taiwanese company has pledged to invest $10 billion and hire 13,000 people in building a massive factory in Southeast Wisconsin. In return, the state of Wisconsin has pledged at least $3 billion in taxpayer-funded incentives. But the prices keep going up when local investments are factored in, the plant has yet to break ground, pollution rules that others have to follow have been waived, and now comes word that Foxconn may be scaling back its plans for the Wisconsin plant. That word comes from an Asian news outlet, which is reporting that Foxconn is scaling back its commitment to the Wisconsin factory. The report, citing industry analysts, says Foxconn “is considering producing small to medium-size displays for Apple, carmakers and others to lower initial costs.” That would be a shift from its stated plans to make larger liquid crystal display screens for televisions. Foxconn has issued a statement claiming the report is not accurate. Meanwhile, La Crosse State Senator Jennifer Shillling has issued a statement saying she is concerned, given the company’s failure to deliver on past promises. She refers to the gamble of Foxconn as an albatross rather than the golden goose Governor Walker promised. It is likely too early to tell whether this deal will work out, but let’s hope the report of a scaled-back Wisconsin commitment are not true.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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