Saturday, September 19, 2020
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New factory jobs may come to Wisconsin

It took billions in tax incentives from the state and will produce about 3,000 factory jobs to start, but the Foxconn Technology Group will bring a new manufacturing operation to southern Wisconsin, the Wall Street Journal reports. The plant will make flat-panel display screens for TVs etc.

Among other things, Foxconn, whose main operations are in China, stands as the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics and the maker of iPhones and other gadgets for Apple Inc. The corporation also owns Sharp, a name that appears on the TV sets of many Americans.

The plan was announced in a grand White House ceremony yesterday and seeks to employ about 13,000 people down the road. The tax incentive package, from Gov Scott Walker, Republican of Wisconsin, is expected to last about 15 years.

President Donald Trump, who has emphasized his desire to bring manufacturing jobs to the US, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, were reportedly involved directly in the negotiations, although no federal tax incentives were included in the package, the New York Times reported.

“TV was invented in America,” the Times quoted Terry Gou, Foxconn’s chairman, as saying at the White House ceremony, before noting that products like LCD displays and similar technology were no longer made here. “We are going to change that. It starts today in Wisconsin.”

If this factory does materialize—it is expected to cost about $10 billion to build—and Wisconsin residents actually get paychecks, I’ll be very happy. On the other hand, the tax incentives granted to Foxconn represent an opportunity cost for other state-supported programs, such as education, which can have the effect of reducing the skill level of American workers and lead to increased unemployment and growing ranks of the functionally unemployable within these shores.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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