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

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.

A Message From Nature: The zero waste lifestyle: A trendy illusion

ADELANA AKINDES | akind001@rangers.uwp.edu

I first found out about the zero waste movement a few years ago after stumbling across a video on YouTube. The woman who made the video, Lauren Singer, had gone a year living a ‘zero waste lifestyle’ and all the waste she did produce was concealed within a single mason jar. She used homemade toothpaste, bamboo toothbrushes, reusable upcycled razors and glass jars instead of plastic containers. It seemed impossibly green, chic and eco-friendly.

Zero waste thinking has its advantages, mainly by drawing constant attention to the issue of waste. By committing to a zero waste lifestyle, this awareness becomes instilled into everyday decisions and thoughts. One takes into consideration how much waste they produce, how much is thrown away and what in their lives can be used more than once. One may learn to value things that last longer, that have more staying power in one’s life and which are not easily disposed of.

Yet the issue of waste cannot be solved from individual choices about what to buy. We can try navigating the market to find products that fit a zero waste standard: no plastic packaging, long term use, no complex methods of disposal required. Yet when one goes grocery shopping with their reusable bags and mason jars, buying items in bulk, it is impossible to notice all of the other items, the wasteful, one-use items which are still the norm. It is the mindset of capitalism, hyper-focused on increasing profit, that is the root of the problem. It is this constant overarching system of overproduction and misuse of resources which ultimately needs to change for ‘zero waste’ to be a realistic vision.

Simply because waste does not reside in your own home, does not make it any less of a reality somewhere else. No matter what the consumer chooses to do with the waste in their own home, it is still being made on a mass scale. The consumer is not the true producer of waste. When one wishes to rid one’s life of plastic products for example, they are only navigating a maze. Whether one uses plastic or not, it’s still being produced and mass distributed on a grand and global scale.

What the zero waste lifestyle does is bring to a person’s attention the materials they use, where these materials come from, and where these materials are going. It is in this way that conscious consumerism is as an effective step for the consumer. Yet in order for any large-scale, long-term solutions to be made with environmental degradation, it is time for the true producers of waste, the giant corporations of this planet, to consciously consume.

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.

The Conservative Ranger | Governor Scott Walker’s accomplishments

JIMMY GRAHAM | graha028@rangers.uwp.edu

In October of 2017, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker announced that he would be running for a third term. During his first two terms, Governor Walker has achieved much. From historically low unemployment to freezing college tuition, the governor has greatly impacted the state of Wisconsin for the better.

Historically Low Unemployment

Under Scott Walker’s leadership, Wisconsin has achieved 2.9 percent unemployment, the lowest in the state’s history. The last time the state unemployment was nearly that low was in 1999 under Republican Governor Tommy Thompson. Also, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wisconsin is ranked number six out of all 50 states for lowest unemployment.

Lower Taxes

In 2014, under Governor Walker, the bottom state income tax rate was lowered from 4.4 percent to 4.0 percent. This adjustment has help put more money into the pockets of many Wisconsin residents. The Governor has also tried to help lower taxes for individuals by softening the marriage penalty. Before Walker, the marriage penalty made it so that individuals who filed their taxes jointly ended up paying more in taxes than they would have if they filed independently.

Along with lower income taxes, many corporations and businesses have benefitted from manufacturing and agricultural tax credit benefits under Scott Walker. These benefits have helped businesses expand and have helped in creating jobs.

Record Investments in Education

Currently, Scott Walker’s administration has put more money into K-12 education than ever before. An extra $200 has been put forth for every student, and an additional $204 increase per student is planned for this coming year. As a result, Wisconsin’s ACT scores are some of the highest in the country. On top of that, Wisconsin’s graduation rate is one of the best in the country.

Frozen College Tuition

One the biggest things the Governor has done that has impacted college students is freezing college tuition for all undergraduate students. For the past six years, tuition has been frozen in Wisconsin. This freeze has helped make college more affordable for many students. Along with the tuition freeze, Wisconsin’s government is also working with financial institutions to help college graduates refinance their student loans.

Continuing Wisconsin’s Progress

What I talked about above are only a few of Scott Walker’s accomplishments. I am in support of what the Governor has done in Wisconsin. Personally, I will support the Governor in the 2018 election. Also, I would encourage anyone who likes the direction our state is going in to also vote for the governor in the upcoming election.

Jimmy Graham is a sophomore majoring in business management and is political director of College Republicans.

 

U.S. response to Syrian chemical attacks could be disastrous

JOSEPH CANNING | canni001@rangers.uwp.edu

A probable chemical attack was carried out in Syria by President Assad’s forces last Saturday, April 7, in the city of Douma. That city has seen much violence since the beginning of Syria’s still-ongoing civil war in 2011, but the apparent chemical attack has brought unprecedented brutality to Douma. Chemical weapons are banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention; Syria is ostensibly part of that convention, yet it continues to use chemical weapons.

The President talks back

The Syrian government’s actions have garnered international condemnation. U.S. President Donald Trump took to Twitter to voice his ire, claiming “President Putin, Russia, and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad” and also threatening that they would have a “big price to pay.” He has suggested that price may be more cruise missile attacks.

 

Last year, following a similar chemical attack in Syria, Trump ordered a series of cruise missile strikes against Assad’s forces but did so without warning; however, Trump seems more hesitant to retaliate this time around. Three days after denouncing Assad and his allies, Trump wrote, “Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all!” on Twitter. “Not so soon at all” seems to suggest that a response may never occur.

The implications of action

Taking no military action at all for the attack is certainly the best option. There is no reason to believe another volley of cruise missiles will persuade Assad any more than the last time the U.S. did it, and there is reason to believe that a stronger response—whatever that may entail—could put US forces in direct combat against Russian and Iranian troops. Further deterioration of relations with either state could mean disaster for the U.S. and the world.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis spoke on April 12 in the Pentagon, attempting to temper Trump’s words and calling for more deliberation on how and why the U.S. should respond. About the U.S.’s strategy in Syria, he stated that the they were trying to “stop the murder of innocent people, but on a strategic level it’s how do we keep this from escalating out of control.” Mattis is referring to the tensions between the U.S. and Syria’s allies, Iran and Russia.

An uncertain future

Mattis has had a long military career and was a major general in the Iraq War, so his advice is informed by much experience. The world is in a dangerous order. Trump even wrote on Twitter, “Our relationship with Russia is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War.” Trump is trying to say the right thing, but his knowledge of recent history is clearly lacking—the two nations’ discourse has grown increasingly accusatory, but they are hardly aiming ICBMs at each other.

As US military officials are attempting to reverse (or at least delay) Trump’s military response, it is becoming less clear what that response may look like or if it may arrive at all. The UK and France too are weighing military action. One can only hope the West’s leaders tread lightly in Syria.

 

Community Connections | Take pride in LGBTQ resources

KRYSTAL DODGE|thorn008@rangers.uwp.edu

There are many resources available for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) students on campus and in the community. UW-Parkside has strived to be a safe place. Attitudes have gotten better towards LGBTQ students, but there is still room for improvement.

UW-Parkside has a LGBTQ Resource Center on campus in Wyllie Hall. The mission statement says, “The mission of the University of Wisconsin-Parkside LGBTQ Resource Center is to provide a safe, inclusive, and comfortable environment on campus for LGBTQ and Allied students, faculty, staff, and community.” It has books, movies, and informational material available. The center also hosts things like Queer Thanksgiving, Safe Zone Training, Lavender Celebration—which honors graduating members of the LGBTQ community—and educational events.

Safe Zone Training was created to reduce homophobia and heterosexism on campus. It is a series of training totaling approximately 4.5 hours. This training is a great way for faculty, staff and students leaders to show their support of the LGBTQ community.They are currently working on training dates for the Fall 2018 semester.

In addition to the LGBTQ Resource Center, Rainbow Alliance is a student-lead organization that advocates for supporting and educating about those whose sexuality, gender, romantic orientation and/ or gender expression does not conform to traditional norms. They provide educational events as well as social events. The meetings are every Wednesday at noon in the LGBTQ Resource Center.

LGBT of Southeastern (SE) Wisconsin is based out of Racine. They offer support groups and crisis services. As resources are available, they help with transportation, medical, senior, financial, pet, hotel, realty and more. Their address is 1456 Junction Ave Racine. Their number is (262) 664-4100. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There is a whole list of hotlines available on the LGBT of SE Wisconsin page. Here are a few hotline numbers: LGBT National Hotline is 1-888-843-4564, Runaway Safeline is 1-800-786-2929 and Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

There are even more resources held at Howard Brown Health in Chicago, Illinois, which is a trans and gender non-conforming health facility. The address is 4025 North Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL. The phone number is 773-388-1600. Their cost is on a sliding scale based on income. They offer hormone administering and monitoring, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing, specialized HIV medical care, breast cancer screens, gynecological care and pharmacy services. According to Howard Brown health, “We offer programs that address the unique barriers faced by trans and gender non-conforming client.”

There is a strong community out there with many resources. In the words of George Takei, “We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity.”