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The Proletarian | Foxconn-Parkside partnership: Who’s really benefitted?


ETHAN COSTELLO | coste012@rangers.uwp.edu

The past several months in Wisconsin have been trailed with the ever-looming promise of economic glory to come. Gov. Walker has incessantly pressed for an investment of Foxconn in southeastern Wisconsin, and the corporation is all but confirmed for the construction of their facilities. Yet, despite all the alarums raised against the companies, our Chancellor Debbie Ford seems much too eager to welcome them here with open arms.

Walker and other wealthy interests—businesses and politicians—keep proclaiming this deal will bring about a stimulation of the Wisconsin economy like nothing else before it. The promise of 13,000 jobs within the proposed Foxconn facility alone, plus 10,000 constructions jobs and interest from 500 businesses is most certainly an enticing idea because most assuredly, Wisconsin is suffering. The world is suffering. 

What they do not tell you is that these jobs are possible through questionable means to the point of honest reappraisal. The hacked-out deal calls for complete disregard of environmental regulations. Local newspapers have reported that air, water and land regulations are being discarded to accommodate for Foxconn’s unhealthy requirements. The corporation is expected to pump an unsustainable amount of water from Lake Michigan for use in its facility—our clean drinking water—and will not be held accountable for fully returning their debt, and with no obligation to return it pollution free.

There are also economic concerns. The proffered incentive package is now up to $4 billion to be paid to Foxconn as they work towards their job creation mark. Where is this money coming from? The taxes that we are all paying. Economists expect Wisconsin’s gross domestic product (GDP) to increase by $51 billion dollars, but that figure does not indicate impact on standard of living. What is likely going to happen is that the thousands of workers will not be paid their true worth to the company; the workers’ value will be sent upwards towards managers and administrators, and the money made from us Wisconsin workers will be funneled overseas to the Taiwanese based company, benefiting wealthy interests at the hard-to-see detriment of Wisconsin laborers.

Chancellor Ford and other education administrators at UW-Milwaukee and Gateway seem to willfully ignore these considerations. In several press releases and reports, Chancellor Ford anticipates the need to provide Foxconn with a host of educated workers—a docile workforce. The question is why? This will look very good for the Chancellor and UW-Parkside’s Administrations, won’t it? This would lead to more revenue from further investment in the campus from outside sources. Some would argue is a good thing, but judging by how our administration handles our money—with actions like cutting programs and faculty while spending money on aesthetic projects like Wyllie Hall—further investment would not be set aside for the students and faculty who desperately need the funding. I urge the Chancellor to reconsider this partnership.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views or opinions of The Ranger News.

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